bang bang
June 5, 2016 12:46 PM   Subscribe

 
Most of the stories I read about gun rights focus on the problem of mass shootings, but there is a more complicated matrix in which anti-blackness, the dehumanization of women, the lack of childcare and mental health care and the ready availability of guns creates an ongoing national crisis. For too long our country has treated incidents like the Trayvon Martin shooting as separate from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as separate from the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as separate from the Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting, all of it separate from, say, any recent murder-suicide, in which a husband kills his wife and children before killing himself. But these are not separate. They are incidents in which someone’s bigotry or anger or despair or delusion is enlarged into a murderous force that could have been minimized and made non-fatal with gun control regulations. And what we see now is that some states have actually loosened gun control laws in the aftermath, calling these new laws protections for gun owners, and lawmakers who support gun control regularly receive death threats instead.

In summary: Americans are much more adept at killing Americans than the Islamic State.

That first long read sums it all up so well.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:20 PM on June 5, 2016 [49 favorites]


in 2014, Florida made it illegal for doctors to ask or advise parents on gun safety in the home.

what
posted by biogeo at 1:31 PM on June 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


>in 2014, Florida made it illegal for doctors to ask or advise parents on gun safety in the home.<

Yes... they really did.
Believe me... I was as amazed as any that thus was even an 'issue' needing a law.
posted by twidget at 1:45 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


in 2014, Florida made it illegal for doctors to ask or advise parents on gun safety in the home.
posted by biogeo what


Forget it, biogeo. It's Florida.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:47 PM on June 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


Do doctors in other places often talk about gun safety? That has never happened to me but maybe it is a Thing somewhere?
posted by Dip Flash at 1:54 PM on June 5, 2016


Do doctors in other places often talk about gun safety?

Unsecured guns and children are definitely lethal combinations and kills about 3000 kids a year. Pediatricians are starting to give the polite version of "You fucking idiot. Secure your guns." to parents.
posted by Talez at 2:01 PM on June 5, 2016 [28 favorites]


My friends in the city used a word to describe the roughest neighborhoods: rampy. These tended to be the blocks with the worst violence, the most shootings, the most recently paralyzed young men in wheelchairs, with new ramps attached to their homes so they might get in and out.

Jesus christ. Each of these articles is just filled with the most horrifying details.
posted by biogeo at 2:02 PM on June 5, 2016 [25 favorites]


"Do doctors in other places often talk about gun safety"

Pediatricians do, it's part of their pretty standard battery around here of behavioral/safety questions. In fact we just had a well-child checkup this week and I've got the behavioral and social health fact sheet in front of me (was just filing), and it talks about:
Nutrition, exercise, limiting TV and video games in favor of physical activity, development of social skills, age-appropriate questions about sex and how to introduce the conversation (which you should and here's why), tell your child every day that you love her, be consistent about rules, discuss right and wrong, brush and floss, check windows for safety, beware trampolines, use car safety seats and always buckle up, wear a bike helmet, drowning information, stranger danger, fire and burns, replace your smoke detector batteries, ensure your child knows how to call 911, quit smoking it's bad for your kid, get vaccinated, and ensure guns are stored safely and that child is supervised in others' homes if they own guns.
After seven years my pede knows we don't own guns so we spend more time talking about brushing and flossing, but it's definitely a thing they talk about. It has been part of the intake questions every time I've brought a new infant to the practice. "Home built before 1978?" "Yes." "Routine contact with anyone with TB?" "No." "Guns in the home?" "No." "Child safety seat properly installed?" "Yes." Etc.

I go to a medical school teaching practice so my pede is generally an early adopter of the very latest recommendations and sometimes a pilot location for new ideas (I often hear from friends two years later that their pede is starting to do a new screening, that our practiced helped pilot and roll out 2 years prior), but yeah, it's been 7 years and it's part of what they talk to us about.

My ob/gyn has also asked, as part of their domestic violence screening.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:05 PM on June 5, 2016 [29 favorites]


Do doctors in other places often talk about gun safety?

It's becoming more common, yes, although only recently:
In 2009, 114 kids died as a result of unintentional gunshots—almost all of them in their own homes, and most commonly shot by other children.

In recent years a mantle to prevent these shootings has been taken up by physicians. Most professional governing bodies now recommend that doctors ask patients some variation on “Is there a gun in your home?” If the answer is yes, the physician is meant to ask about it being properly secured...."People think they can hide things from their children," Kummer said. "Those of us who are parents know that children will find anything in your house. You cannot hide a gun from a child. It has to be in a locked safe."

People are also more likely to kill themselves in a moment of despondency if they have a gun handy, Kummer noted. "When we're screening for depression, gun ownership is worth knowing."
posted by cjelli at 2:10 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


in 2014, Florida made it illegal for doctors to ask or advise parents on gun safety in the home.

Is this constitutional? At what point in the transition from "citizen with First Amendment rights" to "licensed doctor speaking with a patient" can government regulation stop you from giving this kind of advice?
posted by Rangi at 2:14 PM on June 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


Lots of good links in that first post - top on my outrage list is white people who pointed guns at police officers and somehow managed to not get killed.

**blood boiling**
posted by ianhattwick at 2:16 PM on June 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Is this constitutional?"

Probably not (IMO), but slightly possibly because professional speech can be regulated, and there's a hearing later this month in the 11th Circuit. Here's a lawsplainer.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:21 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


It is also worth noting the presence of warning labels, attached to products.

My vehicle has warning labels attached to the insides of the visors. There are many more under the hood.

My lawnmower has warning labels on multiple surfaces, cautioning for a whole host of possible hazards.

My leaf blower has warning labels.

My electric sander has warning labels.

My blow dryer has warning labels.

A simple extension cord has warning labels.


Guns don't have warning labels.
posted by yesster at 2:22 PM on June 5, 2016 [36 favorites]


The Surgeon General Has Determined that Being Shot Is Dangerous to Your Health
posted by Segundus at 2:36 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Forget it, biogeo. It's Florida.

I don't really accept this sort of "LOL Florida/the South/Appalachia/region I feel superior to." Even when it's meant tongue-in-cheek, it reinforces a false division between "Liberal America" and "Conservative America," with the implication that the people who live in places dominated by far-right politicians somehow deserve what they get. Florida, in particular, is a political swing state, and in the 2014 gubernatorial race Rick Scott only beat Charlie Crist 48.1% to 47.1%. Even the most politically skewed states have a core minority of at least 25% of voters who vote against the majority; even 1 in 4 Utahans voted against Mitt Romney.

Insanity like preventing doctors from even talking about gun safety with patients (or the CDC from researching gun violence) wouldn't happen if the gun lobby felt secure in their majority. This is a minority fringe that has managed to capture a political party and use it to attack the foundation of functioning democracy, the ability of the electorate to be properly informed, in a cynical strategy for maintaining power over the majority who hold opposing or even just less extreme views. This is a powerful industry that has managed to exploit identity politics and irrational fear to extract billions of dollars from the economy at the cost of thousands of American lives annually, and the destabilization of peace globally.
posted by biogeo at 2:37 PM on June 5, 2016 [67 favorites]


in 2014, Florida made it illegal for doctors to ask or advise parents on gun safety in the home.
posted by biogeo what

Forget it, biogeo. It's Florida America.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:47 PM on June 5 [1 favorite +] [!]

posted by klanawa at 2:40 PM on June 5, 2016 [16 favorites]


I don't think we do the states with humiliatingly dumb legislatures any favours by pretending they don't have a problem.
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on June 5, 2016


I don't think we do the states with humiliatingly dumb legislatures any favours by pretending they don't have a problem.

Even as we rapidly approach a point where humiliatingly dumb legislatures comprise a majority of governance? (And the smart ones are just as corrupt, even if their priorities are less openly apocalyptic.)
posted by an animate objects at 2:47 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Guns don't have warning labels.
You're right. The other things should be more like guns and omit the warnings about things which are obvious.

Or are you implying that there are people who won't realize that guns are dangerous without a warning label?!
posted by -1 at 2:48 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


At what point in the transition from "citizen with First Amendment rights" to "licensed doctor speaking with a patient" can government regulation stop you from giving this kind of advice?

It's also worth remembering that this is not the only place the new far Right is employing the strategy of advancing a political agenda by interfering with the doctor-patient relationship. 17 states mandate that doctors lie to women seeking abortions by requiring that they provide "counseling" which is contrary to medical evidence. Yes, it is no coincidence that this primarily affects women, but make no mistake that these supposedly "small government conservatives" want to control everyone's private lives if they can.
posted by biogeo at 2:49 PM on June 5, 2016 [27 favorites]


You know your side has serious problems
when you resort to gag laws. Examples include forbidding filming animal slaughtering and processing and forbidding public health research into gun violence.

If the NRA didn't have a stranglehold on the issue I could imagine a Grand Bargain that would trade universal background checks and much better reporting of mental health diagnoses for getting rid of restrictions on suppressors, short barreled guns with buttstocks and, yes, new manufacturing of automatic weapons (with the same strong background checks and a more expensive tax stamp).
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:50 PM on June 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


I don't think we do the states with humiliatingly dumb legislatures any favours by pretending they don't have a problem.

Well, if it's enough to be smarter than the dumbest guy in the room... bully for you.
posted by klanawa at 2:52 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think we do the states with humiliatingly dumb legislatures any favours by pretending they don't have a problem.

And I don't think we do the people in those states who are fighting their dumb legislatures any favors by pretending that it's an unsurprising, inevitable fact of those states.

Not that long ago, Wisconsin was a bastion of progressive state governance. Now look at it. Even if things turn around immediately, it's going to take at least a generation to repair the damage that's been done to the state's educational system alone. If you think you're safe in a "blue state," I hope you never have your complacency challenged.
posted by biogeo at 2:53 PM on June 5, 2016 [38 favorites]


Or are you implying that there are people who won't realize that guns are dangerous without a warning label?!

Given the number of actual adults who accidentally shoot themselves or others (there was a famous incident involving Dick Cheney that you might have heard of?), yeah it seems like a whole lot of people don't really understand that guns are dangerous.
posted by rtha at 3:03 PM on June 5, 2016 [30 favorites]


[Hello friends, this is a gun thread which are already difficult here. Please don't add to the difficulty with a pointless debate over whether some states are intrinsically bad or whatever.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:04 PM on June 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


What really makes me sick are the people who respond to mass shootings as "false flag operations" by the government, and those who are killed as actors, if they ever existed at all.

Unfortunately, that's who many of the legislators choose to listen to...
posted by SisterHavana at 3:09 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Regulating bullets is better than regulating guns. Bullets as integrated cartridges didn't exist when the second amendment was written, and if we restrict their purchase to responsible people who own insurance, guns become less of a compulsive object in demand.
posted by Brian B. at 3:10 PM on June 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Act actually allows a patient or mother/father of a minor to bring a complaint against the physician to the Florida Board of Medicine. It is an administrative and not criminal proceeding. Potential punishments could be as minor as CME or as severe as suspension of the physician's FL license. After the Act was passed, the 11th Circuit placed an injunction against enforcement which is still in effect.

Presently, you can ask about guns in the home. Even if the Act is upheld, you can still instruct patients and families in the risks of gun ownership and in gun safety without asking if there are guns in the home.
posted by sudogeek at 3:11 PM on June 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Get caught with a gram of cocaine; that's some big time serious stuff. Get caught with a stolen gun, bfd. Firearms and the current laws regulating them are essentially ignored like a five over speeding violation.
posted by buzzman at 3:13 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


When my parents were young and very, very broke, they entertained themselves with target shooting at a gun range. They used some type of revolver that my dad had for killing suffering injured animals in the woods he patrolled for one of his many jobs. During my teen years, when I went batshit crazy with eating disorders, depression, suicide attempts, etc. my dad disassembled the gun into a few discrete parts, discarded all of the ammunition, and still kept it locked up. They didn't tell me this until years later. What I never told them was that as a child, maybe 7 or 8 years old, I'd found the gun's lockbox and opened it with the key I knew he kept in a dresser drawer in a pile of rarely used but important keys. I took it out and even brought it outside to look at it in the sunlight. I have no idea if it was loaded. I couldn't figure out how to disable the safety. But I tried. After playing with it for a few minutes I returned it to its box with no one the wiser. My parents had never told me that they had a gun or what was in that lockbox. I just knew that a locked thing was interesting and I wanted to know what was in that box.

Whenever I read about gun debates and safety I think about that. My parents are both Democrats. They both have gun permits on tiny squares of paper that are literally yellow with age that were completely valid until the 2013 SAFE act that changed pistol permits to a renewable license. Neither one is even slightly interested in guns anymore. But they still had that gun knocking around because my dad needed one for work in the early 70s. When he got his permit and bought that gun he had no idea what the future would hold and the state that issued him the license didn't, either. He didn't know he would have a mentally ill child with anger issues who was sneaky and curious enough to open the box it lived in without his knowledge or consent. When he recently looked into surrendering a firearm he found the process to be tedious. So he just gave the gun away. To knock around in someone else's house. The new owner test fired it and declared it to be perfect for shooting the rats raiding his chicken coop.

Ultimately, that's what we're up against. Even if gun control activists finally prevailed against the NRA there are all these guns knocking around. That's no excuse not to try. But it's important to be realistic about what new laws and stricter controls would actually mean from a practical standpoint. Before my parents gave their gun away I could have put my hands on that gun without their knowledge in less than ten minutes. Now it would take me about an hour to get my hands on a weapon that belonged to someone else. But that's still troubling to me. While permits are issued to individuals, every individual has a web of connections that may present a danger to themselves or others if they have access to those weapons. I think the only sensible way to reduce the desire to own firearms and having them just knocking around is to make gun owners somehow responsible (criminally? financially? both?) for crimes committed with their weapons.
posted by xyzzy at 3:14 PM on June 5, 2016 [67 favorites]


Or are you implying that there are people who won't realize that guns are dangerous without a warning label?!

With my usual preface that I like guns, I own guns, and I support a robust Second Amendment, I completely agree: lots of people don't understand how dangerous guns are, at all. A lot of the time they think it will be like in the movies or cartoons, and they wildly overestimate the deterrent value of having a gun relative to the increased risk in the household. People play with them, or leave them around where kids can play with, and bad things happen.

I'm not sure a warning label is what is needed (and the packaging that new guns come in has plenty of those), as some better, more robust way to screen gun buyers and much better education. But that's for accidents, and doesn't have much to do with the kinds of mass killings, police shootings, and gang violence that captures most of the attention.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:20 PM on June 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ultimately, that's what we're up against. Even if gun control activists finally prevailed against the NRA there are all these guns knocking around.

The answer is in your story: your parents just gave the gun away. Under an amnesty program, they could have as easily given it up to be destroyed.
posted by klanawa at 3:23 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The last gun I purchased is a Ruger 10/22 stainless. Engraved on the top of the barrel: "Before using gun read warnings in instruction manual available free from Ruger, Newport NH, USA." The instruction manual has state by state specific warnings; warnings about the use of the (provided) locking device; warnings about the manual safety, lead exposure, ammunition, firing, handling, unloading, etc., etc. Gun manufacturers are very aware of the legal environment.
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:27 PM on June 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


For a long time, my ideal solution has been that if you want to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, you joined a "well regulated militia". These militias could then have (controlled, secured, and restricted) access to whatever guns they wanted and could afford depending on how secure and how well funded they are. If you've got military grade security, discipline, and whatever else deemed necessary then sure have a fully functional tank.

Well, it turns out I'm not the first one to have ideas along these lines (not the same but pretty close). I dug into it a little while back and it turns out that, here in Minnesota, the state defined the militia as the national guard specifically as the state's "well regulated militia". IIRC, New York is the same and maybe one other state did the same via legislature instead of putting it in the constitution. I'm convinced that it's pretty common.

So as far as I'm concerned, if you want to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, you can go join your state's national guard, anything is else is a privilege.
posted by VTX at 3:30 PM on June 5, 2016 [25 favorites]


Y'all, I live in Texas. Ground zero of stupid gun laws, and even here, pediatricians screen for gun ownership. They just seem surprised if you say no. We do have guns, antiques which haven't been fired since I inherited them. Even though we don't have ammo for them, and loading them is a multi stage process requiring a stick, we still have trigger locks on them, have them wrapped and tied in a quilt, under a pile of carpets, and getting to them would require two people, because we often have a houseful of teenage boys and giddamned if those kids couldn't find a gun by some sort of innate radar. Every one of those boys is fascinated by guns. I didn't let mine have nerf guns until I was overruled by family. I still won't let him have an airsoft because they look too much like real guns and I'd just as soon he not be shot by a cop.

Recently a firearms instructor offered to take me and the boys to a range, so the boys could hear and see what real guns do, and because he, like all the men in my family,firmly believes, that guns are so ubiquitous in our culture, that the boys should know how to safely handle a gun. (My rule is, Don't. Just don't.) How to make sure the safety is engaged, how to safely unload one, etc.

I thought the noise and smell and recoil would change their minds about the coolness of guns. I was totally wrong. There is something about guns that draws people. I don't understand it, I can't explain it, I don't like holding them, and I just want it out of my hand as soon as possible, but for some people, they are irresistible.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:34 PM on June 5, 2016 [18 favorites]


"Do doctors in other places often talk about gun safety?"

Sometime they do far more: Previously
posted by Consult The Oracle at 3:37 PM on June 5, 2016


Yah, the Crimson Trace equipped Ruger LCP seems to have a "BEFORE USING GUN - READ WARNINGS IN INSTRUCTION MANUAL - AVAILABLE FREE - FROM STURM, RUGER AND CO., INC. PRESCOTT, AZ USA" stamping on the slide.

Education on an issue helps everybody. Free for all side; free for none side. Few things worse than uneducated people having discussions over whose single solution is the only solution.
posted by buzzman at 3:43 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I thought the noise and smell and recoil would change their minds about the coolness of guns.

This is literally the coolness of guns.
posted by ethansr at 3:44 PM on June 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


he, like all the men in my family,firmly believes, that guns are so ubiquitous in our culture, that the boys should know how to safely handle a gun. (My rule is, Don't. Just don't.)

i can't agree with this - you can't foresee all circumstances and your kid might go to a public bathroom, put his hand up in the paper towel dispenser to dry his hands and come up with a gun in his hand

this actually happened to me

at least i knew to check the safety and be very careful of where the thing was pointed as i carried it back of our counter to be put down as we called the police

you just never know
posted by pyramid termite at 4:03 PM on June 5, 2016 [24 favorites]


Yah, the Crimson Trace equipped Ruger LCP seems to have a "BEFORE USING GUN - READ WARNINGS IN INSTRUCTION MANUAL - AVAILABLE FREE - FROM STURM, RUGER AND CO., INC. PRESCOTT, AZ USA" stamping on the slide.

Ruger has been using warning stamps since around the late 1970s as a response to a lawsuit. Google says that a few other companies have done so at various times, though I have never noticed it.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:09 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Guns don't have warning labels.

This is true, and it's useful to note why, that the makers of all those other products that are marked for their potential danger are liable if something should go wrong that is percieved to be their fault. Gun companies, on the other hand, are somewhat shielded from the legal effects of their products.

To biogeo and klanawa, you'll have to forgive mattdidthat's joke, which I got but I can see a lot of other people not. It's a direct reference to the end of the movie Chinatown.
posted by JHarris at 4:32 PM on June 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


If you're not a child and don't want to shoot anything and find a gun, what do you need to know besides "don't pick it up if you don't have to, don't pull a trigger and don't point it at anyone in the process of getting it somewhere safe?" though. I've never held a gun, don't know how to engage a safety, but I think I could do those things. I would not start juggling the damn thing or stick it in my purse.

If you are a child, it should be "never pick it up, ever, get an adult."

I think you could cover these things with a public information campaign. I feel like a class would be more likely to give people false confidence.

I would call the cops if I saw one lying around and then keep an eye on it till they got there. I would assume it had been used for a crime, for one thing, and wouldn't want my fingerprints on it.

I mean, I'm glad you knew what to do, pyramid termite, don't get me wrong. But I'd rather most people in that unusual situation just put it gently on the nearest safe surface and watched it till the cops got there. The less they touch it the better.
posted by emjaybee at 4:48 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


yesster: Guns don't have warning labels.

When you run over someone's foot with a lawnmower, that's an accident. When you propel a projectile verrrrry quickly into someone else's body, that's the gun working as designed. No warning labels necessary.
posted by emelenjr at 4:51 PM on June 5, 2016


No warning labels necessary.

Liquor and cigarettes have warning labels. Similar functions-as-designed deal.
posted by XtinaS at 4:55 PM on June 5, 2016


I see your point, but it's not as if the purpose of smoking or drinking is to die. Excessive use of cigarettes or booze could lead to all sorts of things, but it's not the reason those things were invented.
posted by emelenjr at 4:59 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I long ago accepted that guns and gun ownership are a fundamental part of life for many Americans, and some level of civilian firearms are going to be present in our society. Would a ban on handguns have stopped a disturbed student from coming onto campus that bizarrely snowy April morning in 2007 and killing 32 other members of our community before killing himself? Yes, of course. But very likely so would sensible regulations on gun purchases (something most gun owners support but the NRA opposes) and improved access to mental health resources. Would a ban on handguns mean that I wouldn't have to play the almost nightly game of "fireworks or gunshots?" in my home on the edges of a gentrifying urban neighborhood? Yes, of course. But again, so would sensible regulations on gun purchases and an overall reduction in the sheer number of guns flooding our communities.

Guns are a $16 billion per year industry in the U.S., and the NRA serves the interests of this industry, not of typical gun owners. The total economic cost of this industry is $229 billion per year in medical costs, lost wages, and the like -- not quite at tobacco industry levels ($289 billion per year), but close. Yet this dollar amount doesn't really capture the impact of the nearly 13,000 Americans who died last year from intentional or accidental gunshots, more than 750 of whom were children. And this number doesn't include the approximately 20,000 people who committed suicide with a firearm, many of whom would have lived and recovered from their suicidal ideation had a firearm not been immediately available. Nor does it include the roughly 90,000 people who were non-fatally injured by a gunshot, many of whom had their lives destroyed despite surviving. By comparison, consider the $0.168 billion budget of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the $0.146 billion budget of the National Endowment for the Arts. How beautiful would our country be, how many lives would be enriched instead of ended, if even a fraction of the economic activity we devote to firearms was instead devoted to the arts and humanities?

So for those who own guns and enjoy and take pride in what they offer for sport, you have won the political argument for your side. No one is making any serious attempt to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans to own guns for sport and defense. But remember what the industry that your hobby supports is. Remember that with each mass shooting, gun sales spike, and gun manufacturers and NRA lobbyists get a little more wealthy while shouting that the Liberals will surely use this one as the excuse to try to take America's guns away. Remember that while 67% of you support waiting periods for gun purchases and 83% of you support background checks, a portion of the profits from your purchase will go to support the NRA's campaigns to block and roll back waiting periods and kill background check legislation. Remember that all most of us want is a middle ground where you can enjoy your hobby without everyone having to worry about the 300 million guns in America sold by cynical profiteers who siphon off of the country's economic productivity using fear and identity politics, robbing us all of our safety, security, and all beautiful things we might have otherwise made.
posted by biogeo at 5:02 PM on June 5, 2016 [59 favorites]


Thanks, JHarris, I haven't seen Chinatown, but now that you say it I recognize the reference. Sorry for missing the joke, mattdidthat.
posted by biogeo at 5:05 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't care about mass shootings any more. Not since Sandy Hook. If 20 six- and seven-year-old kids getting shot to death along with six adults didn't change things, I can't imagine what ever will.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:23 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Today at work I watched our newest required training video "Active Shooter " which is supposed to make us feel better about...?...Idk....?
posted by mightshould at 5:33 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


(Yes, really, I work retail and we need to know how to respond to a gun toting black-clad evil-dooer. )
posted by mightshould at 5:36 PM on June 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


My wife has to lead her high school students through active shooter drills several times a year, as well as fire drills. This is the new normal.
posted by biogeo at 6:05 PM on June 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have been through active shooter drills with elementary school students. It's sickening.
posted by epj at 6:27 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Anecdotal evidence would show a fair number of Amerucans are dumb enough to not know leaving guns lying around loaded where children and pets can get to them, which would probably be a thing worth warning against with a label.
posted by Artw at 6:28 PM on June 5, 2016


Given that people shoot themselves at gun shows, while cleaning their guns, or showing their new toys off to friends, yes, people don't think that guns are dangerous. That rule's for the other folks who aren't responsible gun owners like they are.

David Waldman is doing the Lord's work by trying to catalog all of these incidents. Here are all the people who shot themselves in May. Security guards. A five-year-old girl. A three-year-old boy. Gun store employees. Another five-year-old girl. The CDC is barred from gathering such data thanks to the NRA, so the true butcher's bill will likely never be known...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:41 PM on June 5, 2016 [16 favorites]


My aunt recently retired from teaching preschool and described the active shooter drills they had to do. Imagine crowding into a school bathroom with the door locked and the lights out with a dozen terrified preschoolers.

I'm reading the GQ article in a restaurant hoping my waitress doesn't come by and ask me how my dinner is and why I'm crying.
posted by bendy at 6:48 PM on June 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Guns don't have warning labels.

Here you go.

Sighs.
posted by Fizz at 6:50 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Do doctors in other places often talk about gun safety"
I routinely screen my patients for suicidality, since they have epilepsy and depression is strongly comorbid. Then if they are severely depressed and/or suicidal, I ask about weapons.
In one case, I even finally prevailed on a patient after a gentle argument of fifteen minutes to have all his guns (they probably had 3-4 long guns and 1-2 pistols) moved out of his house until his mood improved. He was butthurt about it afterward but not too bad.
I practice in the Great Lakes region.
posted by adoarns at 6:51 PM on June 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


The problem is obvious, the solution is obvious, yet nothing is done. (Wait, are we talking about healthcare, or drugs, or...) So out of frustration I'll just let Johnny Cash say a few words.

OK, I can't stop there. I think its also important to point out that a lot of those bad guys with guns get them from good guys with guns who don't know how to secure their weapons (of course, the others just walk into a gun shop/gun show/have a buddy do it and buy them straight up.)
posted by TedW at 6:54 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


My wife has to lead her high school students through active shooter drills several times a year, as well as fire drills. This is the new normal.

As a child who grew up in Dallas, TX, we frequently had to practice Tornado Drills in our Elementary School. That was just a reality, we lived in a part of the country known as 'Tornado Alley'. The fact that we now have 'active shooter drills', only solidifies how prevalent shootings have become. So sad.
posted by Fizz at 7:05 PM on June 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Insanity like preventing doctors from even talking about gun safety with patients (or the CDC from researching gun violence) wouldn't happen if the gun lobby felt secure in their majority.

And

The CDC is barred from gathering such data thanks to the NRA

This is why I hate the NRA. Yeah, yeah, Second Amendment, but let's understand how gun owners can be safe and responsible.

Again in summary: Americans are much more adept at killing Americans than the Islamic State.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:31 PM on June 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


[A few deleted; if you want to make a point, make it without the insta-derail "gangbangers and lunatics" stuff.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:05 PM on June 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Our pediatrician asked us about guns in the house (nope, never) and then mentioned that given the high rate of gun ownership in our area, we still needed to talk to the kids about gun safety since they might encounter one at a friend's house. So we bought a reasonably realistic looking toy gun so they knew what a gun looked like, told them never to pick one up, and to go get an adult right away if they saw one. Now we run tests, leaving the gun out someplace where they might encounter it, and giving a prize to the kid who spots it first and runs to tell a grown-up. That's really all the gun safety training I think they need right now.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:17 PM on June 5, 2016 [37 favorites]


Something I've been trying to figure out since I moved to czech Republic is guns.

Cz and US have fairly similar rates of gun ownership
Yet there is not nearly the death rate by guns over here.

Domestic violence murder suicides aren't in the news everyday.
Kids getting shot bc they found one aren't in the news everyday.
Police killing a Roma or other minority or anyone really isn't in the news everyday.
Some guy killing a woman in the parking lot of a bar after she rebuffed his advances inside isn't in the news everyday. (this happened in my home state not long after I left).
Mass shootings don't happen here.

I still follow some local news stations on my fb feed from back home and it's a weekly if not daily occurrence there is a murder in my home city or county, if not my state as a whole.

I was talking about this with a mefite and they suggested that perhaps Americans think of using guns to solve problems and Czechs don't.

And then that made me extra sad bc how in the fuck do you legislate that.

I feel incredibly safe here and didn't realize how often I heard gun shots in my relatively safe neighborhood back home until I didn't hear any here. I haven't heard a gun shot since December 2015.

I'm starting to understand why people say guns don't kill people, people do.

But to me, that just means that maybe people shouldn't have guns if that's what they're going to do with them. And I'm more convinced than ever that the only thing that will stop this plague is a drastic gun buy back like in Australia where the only allowable ones are the kind that those who live on farms and ranches can have.
posted by sio42 at 9:11 PM on June 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Cz and US have fairly similar rates of gun ownership

I suspect this might not be true. Per Wikipedia only 3% of the population have gun licenses.

I suspect that's mostly hunting rifles and, given that guns being licensed is no big deal, the same kind of gun culture does not exist.
posted by Artw at 9:44 PM on June 5, 2016


a lot of those bad guys with guns get them from good guys with guns who don't know how to secure their weapons

A friend of mine just had his gun safe stolen in a burglary. The thieves will break into it at their leisure. I'm not sure how much more secured they could have been - and they are still stolen.
posted by thelonius at 10:08 PM on June 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Until we have reparations for slavery, gun control will never happen.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Until we can have a conversation about this madness like adults, gun control will never happen.

Until the day doctors and epidemiologists are allowed to research and treat gun violence like the disease killing thousands that it is, gun control will never happen.

Until the day government that prohibits the gun manufacturers from buying influence from politicians and treats them and the NRA as the terrorist organizations that they are, gun control will never happen.

Until the day we can deal with an organized right-wing social media network that goes on internet forums with a straight face and calls, for one example, 20 dead children and their families a "false flag" operation without, at minimum, ostracizing them from civilized society, gun control will never happen.

Until we can have a conversation about this madness like adults, gun control will never happen.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:07 PM on June 5, 2016 [18 favorites]


the nearly 13,000 Americans who died last year from intentional or accidental gunshots, more than 750 of whom were children

It's time for a War On Guns. You're either with us or you're with the gunists.
posted by flabdablet at 11:41 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


In my native Norway, gun accidents apparently take an average of 0.8 lives per year (link in Norwegian, sorry). With a population of 319 million vs 5 million, similar numbers for the US would be 64 accidental gun deaths. The last time a person was shot to death by police here was in 2015, and before that in 2006. We still have a lot of guns (10th in the world), but the major difference as I see it (and have been writing about earlier) is that gun owners are obliged to store all guns in approved safes, bolted to structural elements of a building. There's no legal carry for private citizens, concealed or otherwise, and if you're not on your way to or from the range or hunting you simply don't bring a firearm. So they're never easily available or lying around loaded, ready to be picked up accidentally or in the heat of the moment.

As an aside, I realize the big differences between our societies and what causes violence levels to be wildly different is more tied to wealth distribution, crushing poverty, social and economic mobility, social security net, treatment of mental issues, prison-industrial complex etc, but I think simply locking away your 300 million guns would have a huge impact.
posted by Harald74 at 1:58 AM on June 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


So for those who own guns... sport.... hobby... 67% of you... 83% of you... robbing us all of our safety, security, and all beautiful things we might have otherwise made.

Pretty good job of trivializing and othering 30-40% of the population.
If its true poverty and murder have a high correlation, I can think of another 1% of the population you might ought to chastise too.
posted by ridgerunner at 3:03 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine just had his gun safe stolen in a burglary. The thieves will break into it at their leisure. I'm not sure how much more secured they could have been - and they are still stolen.

It's almost as if guns attract crime.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:54 AM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


... how often I heard gun shots in my relatively safe neighborhood back home until I didn't hear any here. I haven't heard a gun shot since December 2015.

I grew up in the boondocks of Oregon and had my own BB gun at age 7. Father taught me how to shoot a .22 when I was around 12. I had friends whose parents were police officers; I have even shot automatic rifles. Never shot anything living though, with one exception. Couldn't. Shot a slug once and still remember how horrible I felt. Anyway, so I grew up hearing gunshots every day. We lived in a valley so they would echo. 1998, my French teacher's son got a gun off one of my neighbors' kids. His name was Kip Kinkel.

After moving to France in 1997, the last time I heard a gunshot was four years ago at the Monaco Opera House. Eugene Onegin. I jumped out of my seat, panicked. No one else batted an eye. Hadn't heard a gunshot before, haven't heard another since. Don't miss them. Personally and casually know more than 15 Americans who've been killed by guns, two being my French teacher and her Spanish teacher husband. Still don't personally or casually know a single European who has been. And I live just outside Paris, so.
posted by fraula at 5:06 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Do we need to get used to mass (or any other kind) shootings? Yes. This country is infested with guns and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Gun control is a pipedream because as soon as you get to enforcing it, the entire idea falls apart. Could we enforce it? Sure. If we can find a billion a week for war based on a complete lie, we can find the necessary funds to enforce gun control, fully fund education, go to Mars, or anything else that's worthwhile doing. But this country's Congress has already proven that it hasn't the desire to do any of this.
posted by prepmonkey at 7:04 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pretty good job of trivializing... the... murder... of... 1% of the population

See how when you just pull little bits out of a longer quote without regard to context or content, you can make it seem like it says something totally unrelated to what it actually said?

I think it was pretty obvious that my point was not that 33% of the gun-owning population* are Bad but that the powerful leaders in the gun industry who have successfully shaped policy are not acting in the interests of the majority of their customers, or even according to the beliefs of the majority of NRA members. I am going to assume that your misreading of my words was in good faith, in which case I would suggest that perhaps the reason you are so prepared to read an argument against the gun lobby as an attack on 33% of the population is because this public debate has been poisoned by the repeated assertion that gun control is really about a culture clash between two opposing sides rather than about finding effective policy to reduce needless deaths and injuries. And I do not believe this is an accident -- this is a strategy for preemptively undermining arguments like mine. So that when I said "us all" in the quote you pulled, you assumed I was excluding you.

Also, poverty was not a contributing factor in the deaths of 33 students and faculty at my university. Easy access to legally-obtained guns was.

* Only 1 in 3 households in America have guns, so it is closer to something like 10% of the total population who oppose waiting periods.
posted by biogeo at 7:07 AM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


* Only 1 in 3 households in America have guns, so it is closer to something like 10% of the total population who oppose waiting periods.


26% of non-gun owners also oppose waiting periods, per the link.

To the point about othering, though, the link is actually pretty funny. They illustrate the poll with a chart that labels non-gun owners simply as "Americans."
posted by jpe at 7:26 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Previously, there was a link by otherchaz: Let's make the NRA’s own rules federal law.
I thought it was an interesting idea.
posted by MtDewd at 7:32 AM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


To the point about othering, though, the link is actually pretty funny. They illustrate the poll with a chart that labels non-gun owners simply as "Americans."

Nice try, but no. The chart clearly shows NRA members as a subset of gun owners, who are further a subset of Americans as a whole.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:34 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the correction from the original data. But I think you misread the graph. The chart labeled "Americans" isn't non-gun owners, it's all Americans including gun owners -- check the sidebar. So it's 26% of all Americans who oppose waiting periods, a group which includes 33% of all gun owners.
posted by biogeo at 7:35 AM on June 6, 2016


Actually, on a closer look it is somewhat ambiguous -- the graph label contradicts the text of the article. The original data is also reported here, and by crunching the numbers given there I get between 66-74% of all Americans who favor waiting periods -- a number whose upper bound happens to match the fraction of non-gun owners who favor waiting periods. So it's unclear to me which the graph is intended to refer to.

Data from the link:
non-NRA members with no gun in the household are 58% of population, 74% favor waiting periods
non-NRA members with a gun in the household are 13% of population, 76% favor waiting periods
non-NRA members who own a gun are 17% of population, 66% favor waiting periods
NRA members who own a gun are 5% of population, 50% favor waiting periods
7% of population not accounted for with those numbers.

Calculation:
0.58*0.74 + 0.13*0.75 + 0.17*0.66 + 0.05*0.50 = 0.67
So without knowing the percentage of the unaccounted-for 7% who favor waiting periods, the total fraction of Americans favoring waiting periods is between 67% and 74%.
posted by biogeo at 7:58 AM on June 6, 2016


Until the day doctors and epidemiologists are allowed to research and treat gun violence like the disease killing thousands that it is, gun control will never happen.

Just to be clear, doctors and epidemiologists can and do research gun violence. Many landmark studies have come out in the past few months, let alone the past year*. They simply can’t pay for any of the research with federal funding, which is the source of most funding in this field, which is why a lot of foundations and other groups have to fund most of these studies.

*Their findings include things like “states with high rates of gun ownership have higher rates of suicide” and “states with gun control laws have lower rates of gun injuries” and “it turns out that many people are interested in buying the safer guns that gun manufacturers claim no one wants”— all the very obvious realities that the NRA is terrified people will hear about. But the studies are necessary, they are being repeatedly cited as different state level gun legislation conversations are developing, and they are happening.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:21 AM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


There is a significant subset of dedicated NRA type thinkers; but they are not in or have left the NRA due to the NRA's morass of emails and paper debris that is continuously proffered.

Certainly different organizations and goal sets; but PBS, Arbor Day Foundation, etc; have used the same approach to fund and membership building. Join once; get pestered forever for more, more, more.

Add in the selling of mailing and membership lists to third parties, and ugh yeah; NRA would be at least 10-20% larger except for those that walked away due to spamming of interests.
posted by buzzman at 8:37 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Inner city primary care physician here. I don't want to pile on the LOL Florida here, but the idea that a bought and paid for legislature might tell me I cannot discuss a meaningful health problem, a problem for which there is actual evidence to guide the discussion, suggests a shift in the norm so far from logic, that with respect to the 49% who are sticking around to fight the good fight, I just can't fathom why people aren't fleeing to raise their children in the bluest blue state you can afford to live in. I'm sorry if it comes off as condescending, but when I respond to something like this, part of what you're hearing is my shock at learning this exists, my reflexive rejection that such a thing is unacceptable, and my calculation that when things are so far off the rails there is no hope for change and the only reasonable course is to run away.

I talk to my patients every day about guns. There's really just 2 contexts. A well child visit along with seatbelts and supervised swimming (I once had a patient write my medical director a tirade about my bringing it up, despite the fact that, sensing their defensiveness, I discussed a study that had shown that simply asking whether guns were present in the home leads to a statistically significant decline in firearm accidents). The second is among suicidal patients, something I also encounter daily.

The standard suicide questions (which I unfortunately can recite in my sleep) includes determining whether there is access to firearms. When I see a depressed person with suicidal thoughts and a collection of guns at home, it sends chills down my spine. Doubly so if there is a substance abuse issue, as there often is. It's a similar feeling when I've got someone who walks in with crushing chest pain and shortness of breath, or 50 pounds of unintentional weight loss and rectal bleeding. Except in these latter two examples you spare no effort or expense to mobilize every medical resource to immediately address what is clearly a life threatening situation. With a suicidal gun owner, my options are much fewer. Sometimes I will gently talk them into voluntary hospitalization. (In my community you can forget about involuntary commitment. Same for sending the police out for a safety check.) Sometimes they'll allow me to get family involved in securing the guns. Once, a guy brought me a handful of firing pins after our conversation.

I'm guessing the Florida law only pertains to primary prevention counseling, but I have little doubt as to how the NRA would spend millions telling me to what to say and it makes me seethe.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:46 AM on June 6, 2016 [18 favorites]


I'm sorry if it comes off as condescending, but when I respond to something like this, part of what you're hearing is my shock at learning this exists, my reflexive rejection that such a thing is unacceptable, and my calculation that when things are so far off the rails there is no hope for change and the only reasonable course is to run away.

With respect, people aren't fleeing their homes because they're their homes. While I agree with you that the ideology here is so far off the rails as to seem unrecoverable, the fact that these fringe extremists are imposing their draconian ideas with only a slim margin of the popular vote means that there is indeed hope for change. A few election cycles of successful get-out-the-vote campaigns could easily mean the restoration of political sanity even in states like Florida notorious for its lunatic fringe.

(This is also yet another issue where approval voting or a similar sensible reform of voting rules would likely help make policy more representative of the will of the people.)
posted by biogeo at 11:02 AM on June 6, 2016


Guns don't have warning labels.

They most certainly do. Every new gun comes with safety locks (and most gun stores that handle used guns give them out with those as well). STAMPED INTO THE BARREL of most guns is a safety warning about not shooting stuff you don't want to shoot. Which is tad more permanent than the 'don't do stupid shit' warning sticker on machinery of various sorts.
posted by bartonlong at 11:36 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Regulating bullets is better than regulating guns. Bullets as integrated cartridges didn't exist when the second amendment was written, and if we restrict their purchase to responsible people who own insurance, guns become less of a compulsive object in demand.
posted by Brian B. at 5:10 PM on June 5


The problem with this line of thinking is that making cartridges is pretty low tech. The only difficult to make parts are powder and primers. Brass can be reloaded many times and bullets can be cast or swaged with simple equipment (cowboys were doing it around the campfire 100 years ago). And, I assure you people know this, you can buy 5000 primers and 5 pounds of powder for far less money than finished ammunition. People have been hoarding them like mad for the last 7 years.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:15 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Regulating bullets is better than regulating guns. Bullets as integrated cartridges didn't exist when the second amendment was written, and if we restrict their purchase to responsible people who own insurance, guns become less of a compulsive object in demand.

It's a cute thought experiment, but the NRA et al would say that "firearms" includes "ammunition" if that became the line of attack, and every court that currently agrees with the NRA on the rest of its shtick would agree with the NRA on that.
posted by Etrigan at 12:20 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pretty good job of trivializing... the... murder... of... 1% of the population

See how when you just pull little bits out of a longer quote without regard to context or content, you can make it seem like it says something totally unrelated to what it actually said?


Firstly, apologies for the way I started my post. It is totally more likely to be read the way you took it than just the list of words that led me to believe you meant to shift the blame for the NRA's bullshit from the NRA to people that use guns.

So that when I said "us all" in the quote you pulled, you assumed I was excluding you.

Of course I did, you're the one that put The National Endowments for Arts/Humanities in opposition to gun use. Many people don't care either way about the Endowments, but are passionate about the results of the 10-11% excise tax on guns and ammo the Pittman, Robertson Act has provided the last 80 some years.

I'm actually more disappointed over how statist and authoritarian the left's goals have gotten the last few years, abandoning the belief in education and persuasion. The NRA has obviously abandoned it's former mission of teaching safety, marksmanship and running tournaments to become a right wing power broker, leaving the field wide open for the left to use the Civilian Marksmanship Program promote a better gun culture. It wouldn't be quick or cheap but it could show the left's serious about gun safety and responsibility not just the state having a monopoly on the use of force.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:34 PM on June 6, 2016


Um but we are serious about gun safety. I literally just watched Obama take down some "you're going to take our guns" twit by pointing out that literally every single thing that gets proposed curb gun violence gets shot (ahem) down. It's worth pointing out that he contextualized this in view of being able to put a known Daesh sympathizer/supporter on the No Fly List, but zero power to prevent him from buying a gun.

He further contextualized his point by linking gun deaths to automobile deaths, which have dropped significantly in his lifetime. Why? Because sensible measures--seatbelts, designing cars differently, etc--were enacted and enforced. Any sensible measure--background checks, smart guns that can't be fired by others, etc--gets destroyed out of the gate by the right wing noise machine. I mean, I'm firmly of the persuasion that handguns and AR-variants are patently ridiculous for any normal citizen to own, but I recognize that view won't be taken seriously. Even the compromise version is simply verboten by the right wing.

The reason, though, that I get so annoyed when someone attempts to claim that the left isn't serious about gun safety and responsibility is that fewer guns are safer. Period. Humans are irresponsible, particularly in a culture where listening to what the government says about responsibility is seen as totally optional.

That's not going away. So. Gun safety is about keeping guns out of the hands of the irresponsible, yeah? If the right is so serious about gun safety in a way that the left supposedly isn't, why do they refuse to consider any measures which would do so? Answer: the NRA, which isn't in any way a gun rights organization, it's a gun-manufacturers-profit-rights organization.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:47 PM on June 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm actually more disappointed over how statist and authoritarian the left's goals have gotten the last few years, abandoning the belief in education and persuasion[...]not just the state having a monopoly on the use of force

Can we dispense with the ancap talking points?

The NRA has obviously abandoned it's former mission of teaching safety, marksmanship and running tournaments to become a right wing power broker, leaving the field wide open for the left to use the Civilian Marksmanship Program promote a better gun culture.

The NRA and pretty much every other large 2A advocacy group has abandoned their mission, yes, but to become straight-up hate groups, complete with threats of assassinating public figures and bigoted "enemies lists". It's not, and should never be, the responsibility of "the left" to step into that vacuum and promote a better gun culture. It should be the responsibility of the members of that culture to do so, alongside loudly and en masse disavowing these groups to the point that they don't have the power or the ability to become power brokers.

It wouldn't be quick or cheap but it could show the left's serious about gun safety and responsibility not just the state having a monopoly on the use of force.

Apart from another blatant misrepresentation of a nebulous "left"--the number of people on any part of the political spectrum calling for a complete gun ban for citizens is microscopic--this is exactly what has been happening for decades. And yet, every single tiny move towards that comes under the exact same attack you're using here. Even something as minor as safety locks or enhanced background checks automatically gets dialed up to 11 on the THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS! scale. Meanwhile, increasing funding into gun violence (of which gun safety is a major contributor) is attacked as government overreach, and any attempts to cut down on the bajillion loopholes on how obviously dangerous people such as domestic abusers get guns is handwaved away in the name of an unlimited scope to gun rights.

In the end, the responsibility to purge the "bad guys with the guns" from their ranks lies mostly (if not entirely) with the members of the gun culture itself. But for now, so much more effort is made to prove that most people are the "good guys with the guns," as well as the continued excuses for the idiots and criminals in their midst that it comes off as hypocritical and unserious. You want to talk about criminals getting their hands on guns, then you have to talk about the deep problems in variance in gun laws that make that possible. You want to talk about gun safety, then you have to talk about how other gun owners are making that happen. You can't just abdicate that responsibility and blame it on "the left" when it's not their problem in the first place.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:03 PM on June 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Something like a no fly list, but for gun buying, is what we need. Federaly controlled with required reporting of court orders, mental health diagnoses, convictions et cetra. It would be good for people who like guns as it would reduce the insanity. It would need a transparent appeal process.

I really think you could sell it to gun people by trading it for getting rid of the (weird and unnecessary) bans on suppressors (they are common in Europe) and short barreled rifles and shotguns (just treat them as handguns) and allowing new automatic weapons. They're legal now if you pass a background check and pay the $200 tax stamp. You could increase the cost of the stamp to $2,000 (effectively equal to what it was when originally enacted) to defray the cost of the background investigations.

It would be a win / win for both sides of the debate.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:06 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


(The relevant Obama bit is here, I think; I saw it originally on fbook)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:07 PM on June 6, 2016


The problem with expanded background checks is not in the concept, most gun-owners (including myself) are actually pretty ok with the idea that if you are selling a gun in a commercial transaction (meaning to someone you don't know using a public venue-including online). How the legislation gets written is far more broad, and chilling, to the overall gun culture. It is (typically) written in such a way as to cover any 'transfer' so that it can be used to criminalize ordinary, in no way criminal behavior such as borrowing a friends gun at the range, or using a hunting partners gun without their presence, or storing a friends gun when they are, oh I don't know, having a mental health crisis and in danger or suicide or going through an ugly divorce.

They are written by gun control groups who have an overall goal of removing guns from society and they are almost exclusively funded by Michael Bloomberg. Funny how the backing of this billionaire is not commented on as the destroyer of democracy as the backing of billionaires who doesn't share your viewpoint (there have been multiple FPP's on the evil Koch's political activities).

When gunowners hear from politicians (such as Obama and Clinton) that they favor an Australian or Great Britain approach to gun ownership they know what happened in those countries. People were forced to turn in their legally owned property, people who had done nothing wrong and engaged in no criminal activities, and if they refused or didn't want to part with their property they became criminals. It is hard to take that any other way then they want to come and take your guns, under force of law. Clinton is on record as saying she disagrees with Heller (look it up) and doesn't believe in a private right to own guns. Think about how you feel when someone says they disagree with Roe V Wade and realize that many, many gun owners feel just as strongly about the right to bear arms as many of you do about abortion rights.
posted by bartonlong at 1:22 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


What really makes me sick are the people who respond to mass shootings as "false flag operations" by the government, and those who are killed as actors, if they ever existed at all.

(to start off these people are wrong and should be ignored)

What really threw gas on this fire was the current administration partaking in illegal gun running, (inadvertently) arming very violent drug cartels through civilian channels , then using that as excuse to push for more restrictive gun controls. It does tend to fuel a paranoid, persecuted mind set when you do the thing they have been raving about for a while...
posted by bartonlong at 1:26 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Um but we are serious about gun safety.

Really? After Newtown the Dems had almost Universal Background Checks in the bag, hell even Toomey was pushing for it. But Dems had to introduce an assault weapon ban that needed to provide an exception for an 1894 designed rifle, a lever action, fixed magazine, with no pistol grip, no flash suppressor, no bayonet lug or barrel shroud, and it put Ruger's Mini-14 on both the good gun and bad gun lists.

So the GOA goes nuts, the NRA bolts so it won't lose its "true believers" and it all falls apart over a class of guns that is statically under represented in gun crimes.
posted by ridgerunner at 1:27 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


What really threw gas on this fire was the current administration partaking in illegal gun running, (inadvertently) arming very violent drug cartels through civilian channels , then using that as excuse to push for more restrictive gun controls. It does tend to fuel a paranoid, persecuted mind set when you do the thing they have been raving about for a while...

This is a totally unfounded paranoid conspiracy theory, though.

Really? After Newtown the Dems had almost Universal Background Checks in the bag, hell even Toomey was pushing for it. But Dems had to introduce an assault weapon ban

This is also false. The Manchin-Toomey bill was defeated after AWB language was removed.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:30 PM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


How the legislation gets written is far more broad, and chilling, to the overall gun culture. It is (typically) written in such a way as to cover any 'transfer' so that it can be used to criminalize ordinary, in no way criminal behavior such as borrowing a friends gun at the range, or using a hunting partners gun without their presence, or storing a friends gun when they are, oh I don't know, having a mental health crisis and in danger or suicide or going through an ugly divorce.

If you own something for which the only use is firing lethal projectiles, I think it's entirely and eminently reasonable for you to be responsible for its whereabouts at all times. Ordinary and non-criminal behaviour can have unforeseen consequences. So, yeah, these restrictions are entirely reasonable, and it's disturbing that people who talk about responsible gun ownership would be against them.

If you own a gun, you are responsible for it from the moment it is in your possession, as far as I'm concerned. If someone is killed accidentally with it, that's on you for not storing it safely and/or for allowing anyone else to handle it and/or being irresponsible with it yourself. If it's stolen, again you're not storing it safely (see above re: gun safes required elsewhere to be bolted to structural elements). Etc etc.

Funny how the backing of this billionaire is not commented on as the destroyer of democracy as the backing of billionaires who doesn't share your viewpoint (there have been multiple FPP's on the evil Koch's political activities).

Because fewer guns are safer, while lowering taxes on the rich/gutting welfare/healthcare/etc actually cause harms. Fewer guns does not cause harm, please stop with the false equivalence.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:38 PM on June 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


Of course I did, you're the one that put The National Endowments for Arts/Humanities in opposition to gun use.

Hm, I can be naive sometimes. I didn't even think about the NEA and NEH being "wedge issues."

Okay, you know what, fine. Substitute your own idea for a better way to spend $229 billion annually. I don't really care. Are you honestly happy with the status quo? I'm no Christian, but I can get behind Isaiah 2:4, [T]hey shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. How much better all our lives would be if we didn't devote so much of our energy as a society to violence. Please try to look past whatever superficial cultural markers I'm not even aware I'm displaying to understand the content of what I'm trying to communicate.

I'm actually more disappointed over how statist and authoritarian the left's goals have gotten the last few years, abandoning the belief in education and persuasion.

Yeah, it sure does suck with the Left uses the power of the state to prevent physicians from seeking accurate patient histories and giving accurate medical advice to their patients. I really hate when the Left is all authoritarian like that. Wait, sorry, I get my left and right confused a lot, which one was it again?

Snark aside, honest question, what are you talking about?
posted by biogeo at 1:43 PM on June 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


The problem with expanded background checks is not in the concept, most gun-owners (including myself) are actually pretty ok with the idea that if you are selling a gun in a commercial transaction (meaning to someone you don't know using a public venue-including online). How the legislation gets written is far more broad, and chilling, to the overall gun culture. It is (typically) written in such a way as to cover any 'transfer' so that it can be used to criminalize ordinary, in no way criminal behavior such as borrowing a friends gun at the range, or using a hunting partners gun without their presence, or storing a friends gun when they are, oh I don't know, having a mental health crisis and in danger or suicide or going through an ugly divorce.

The only instance I can think of where this happened is in New York. The Manchin-Toomey bill allowed for exemptions for friends and family, and was attacked before it was even released to the public.

They are written by gun control groups who have an overall goal of removing guns from society

[citation needed]

and they are almost exclusively funded by Michael Bloomberg

[citation needed]

Funny how the backing of this billionaire is not commented on as the destroyer of democracy as the backing of billionaires who doesn't share your viewpoint (there have been multiple FPP's on the evil Koch's political activities).

First, the idea that nobody supporting gun control has criticized Bloomberg is laughable. Second, the Kochs are funding things taking away universal civil rights for no reason whatsoever, and things that are killing millions of people. Gun control doesn't kill people.

When gunowners hear from politicians (such as Obama and Clinton) that they favor an Australian or Great Britain approach to gun ownership they know what happened in those countries.

And when gunowners tell us that removal of guns will lead to anarchy and violence of the likes we've never seen, we also know what happened. Namely, decreases in gun crimes and gun deaths (including suicides), less illegal gun activity such as gun-store thefts. That didn't stop gun owners and gun owners' groups such as the NRA to lie about it repeatedly.

People were forced to turn in their legally owned property, people who had done nothing wrong and engaged in no criminal activities

All of whom were compensated financially.

if they refused or didn't want to part with their property they became criminals

Several areas such as NSW have had wildly successful gun amnesty programs.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:52 PM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Answer: the NRA, which isn't in any way a gun rights organization, it's a gun-manufacturers-profit-rights organization.

Try reading "Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist by Richard Feldman", The NRA's about nothing but the NRA's money and power.

Just because I'm willing to criticize some strategies from the left, don't assume I'm a fan of the Republicans. I quit voting for any Repub when they took Mark Smith's (R. Ill) chairmanship away because he told the Bush cabal the truth and they didn't apologize 9 months later when he was proven right.
posted by ridgerunner at 1:53 PM on June 6, 2016


Then please base your criticisms in fact, and not in throwaway and blatantly false insults like 'the left isn't serious about gun safety.'
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:57 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


It is hard to take [Obama or Clinton's words] any other way then they want to come and take your guns, under force of law.

Except that, despite how you characterized it, neither Obama nor Clinton has actually claimed anything anywhere near this. In fact, they've pushed back on exactly this characterization many times. It's just as paranoid a fantasy as Fast and Furious being a scheme to take away gun rights. Or Jade Helm being a scheme to take away gun rights. Or Sandy Hook being a false flag covering up a scheme to take away gun rights.

Clinton is on record as saying she disagrees with Heller (look it up) and doesn't believe in a private right to own guns.

What she actually said was:
If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulation. And what people have done with [Heller] is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms. So I think it's important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right--I have no objection to that. But the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regularity, responsible actions to protect everyone else.
To posit that opposing Heller is a de facto repeal of the 2A is preposterous. To claim that regulation around Constitutional amendments, almost none of which are or were ever intended to be unlimited, shouldn't be allowed is just flat-out disingenuous.

Think about how you feel when someone says they disagree with Roe V Wade and realize that many, many gun owners feel just as strongly about the right to bear arms as many of you do about abortion rights.

This is an offensively bad comparison. The fight over abortion rights is over the fundamental human right of a woman having control over her own body, a choice that has overwhelming support of the OB-GYN and pediatric medical community based on tons of evidence. A gun is an object that must be acquired, exists only for the sole purpose of the destruction of life and/or property, and is not inextricable from being a human being.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:02 PM on June 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


MtDewd posted a link upthread proposing that the NRA's recommendations for safe gun handling should be made federal law, and it seems even more relevant here. For the most part they seem like good, common-sense ideas to me, someone who has only fired a gun once or twice and would consider going to a shooting range but has no interest in owning a gun. They are mostly focused on enshrining good gun safety practice as a legal obligation rather than restricting gun purchases. Where are the pro-gun activists in proposing these as sensible solutions to the problem of gun violence in America? Why is the only response from the pro-gun side to insist that more people, even people like me who don't want one, should own guns?
posted by biogeo at 2:06 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


What was actually in the Manchin-Toomey amendment.
Sen. Pat Toomey... blamed misinformation for helping sink the bill.

Sensible gun legislation doesn't get killed because of overreach by Democratic legislators. It gets killed because right-wing political operatives lie about what's in it.
posted by biogeo at 2:20 PM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is also false. The Manchin-Toomey bill was defeated after AWB language was removed.

DiFi and the 24 other Dem's bill lasted until the morning of April 17, 2013, the bill failed on a vote of 40 to 60. The Manchin-Toomey bill was defeated separately the same day.

People on various gun forums were mostly shocked into silence about the expanded background checks until the details of the Assault Weapons Ban came out, then people sympathetic to the GOA and Jew For the 2nd Amendment, etc went "Oh hell no." and started a vicious campaign against any gun control measures. The NRA bailed on its agreement with Toomey etc. to keep their mouth shut and hurried to get in front of nuts before they lost their image as the #800 gorilla of the gun rights power block.
posted by ridgerunner at 2:35 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ that GQ article. I had to stop reading several times to stop tearing up. I don't know how anyone can read that and then jump on here and say we need more guns. Where is the line? The reporter asks why are we surprised anymore when someone with a gun come for us, regardless if we have one, and I suppose the surprise would be the shock that it's someone you love, and you have to live with the loss, like that father of the Newtown boy. Holy hell.
posted by numaner at 2:41 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you own something for which the only use is firing lethal projectiles, I think it's entirely and eminently reasonable for you to be responsible for its whereabouts at all times. Ordinary and non-criminal behaviour can have unforeseen consequences. So, yeah, these restrictions are entirely reasonable, and it's disturbing that people who talk about responsible gun ownership would be against them.

If you own a gun, you are responsible for it from the moment it is in your possession, as far as I'm concerned. If someone is killed accidentally with it, that's on you for not storing it safely and/or for allowing anyone else to handle it and/or being irresponsible with it yourself. If it's stolen, again you're not storing it safely (see above re: gun safes required elsewhere to be bolted to structural elements). Etc etc.


I actually agree with you. The legislation (at least in Washington and Oregon) is so badly written that you could be prosecuted under an illegal transfer if you let someone else pickup at shoot your gun (safely) when out doing target practice or hunting(legal activities with numerous laws already regulating them), when you are still there in the presence of the gun. This is clearly absurd and wrong, and in almost all cases in going to be between two individuals who already own guns anyway. BTW the above example you cite is already illegal. And several law enforcement agencies in both states are refusing to enforce these laws because of their broadly and badly written nature.

This is an offensively bad comparison. The fight over abortion rights is over the fundamental human right of a woman having control over her own body

And the right to keep and bear arms is about the fundamental human right to self defense. Which take just as seriously as a persons right to control their own body. In fact, there is a HUGE overlap in both rights. Now the issues around the rights are different but there is a HUGE area of double think and "but I don't like it" around both issues for each side that refuse to see the common logic that if you allow one right to be limited, it allows for that same logic to be used on other issues. Abortion rights, privacy rights and the right to bear arms are ALL about being able to tell overreaching government authority to buzz off and not let the morals and feelings of other people govern your life.

The NRA, and gun rights supporters in general, get some defensive about it because every time the left start saying we need to talk about guns in society, it isn't a discussion about reasonable measures only, it is always about we need to remove guns, less guns, and you aren't responsible enough to own guns. There is never a part on the gun prohibitionist side about relaxing or removing gun control that is stupid, counter productive or only serves to make criminals out of the law abiding. NONE of the gun control proponents have commented at all about Bee's wings very reasonable proposals to reach a compromise.
posted by bartonlong at 2:41 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think we may have a different understanding of reasonable measures.
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on June 6, 2016


I actually agree with you. The legislation (at least in Washington and Oregon) is so badly written that you could be prosecuted under an illegal transfer if you let someone else pickup at shoot your gun (safely) when out doing target practice or hunting(legal activities with numerous laws already regulating them), when you are still there in the presence of the gun.

And what's the likelihood of that actually happening in this universe? Zero, I'd wager, absent other circumstances like someone shooting themselves accidentally with your gun--in which case, yup, you handed the gun over, you are also liable.

Abortion rights, privacy rights and the right to bear arms are ALL about being able to tell overreaching government authority to buzz off and not let the morals and feelings of other people govern your life.

Wow, no.

Abortion rights are about bodily autonomy,
Privacy rights are tolerably obvious.

If you don't think that my moral belief that I have the right not to get shot is 'overreaching government authority,' if you think that requiring people to handle weaponry safely is something you can tell to 'buzz off,' you are the problem and not the solution. You have to pass a test to be allowed to drive a car, you have to renew your licence and your plates, you have to go for emissions testing--and automobiles have actual and practical benefits to society that guns, outside of LEO/army contexts, simply do not. (I am not including hunting rifles here, because those are much less dangerous and unless I'm misremembering, are less likely to be used in murders, suicides, and accidental discharges).

The NRA, and gun rights supporters in general, get some defensive about it because every time the left start saying we need to talk about guns in society, it isn't a discussion about reasonable measures only, it is always about we need to remove guns, less guns, and you aren't responsible enough to own guns.

Because we DO need to remove guns, we DO need fewer guns, and statistics prove that a huge number of gun owners AREN'T responsible enough. If everybody followed these rules, how many accidental gun deaths, particularly of children, would we see every year? Far fewer.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:55 PM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Sensible gun legislation doesn't get killed because of overreach by Democratic legislators. It gets killed because right-wing political operatives lie about what's in it.

In that particular case we agree.

About Assault Weapons, I doubt we will. I see no functional difference between a forestock and a barrel shroud. Why are flash suppressors and bayonet lugs so heinous they need to be banished from the marketplace?

Not liking detachable box magazines kinda makes sense as they speed up reloading for a little while the rest comes across as nothing but a battle I the culture wars.
posted by ridgerunner at 2:56 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


And the right to keep and bear arms is about the fundamental human right to self defense.

Keeping and bearing arms isn't a requirement for that, though.

Abortion rights, privacy rights and the right to bear arms are ALL about being able to tell overreaching government authority to buzz off and not let the morals and feelings of other people govern your life.

Nope, still offensively bad and wrong comparison. A woman's right to choose and one's right to privacy are objectively common goods for what only affects the individual. The prevalence of gun violence puts it firmly in the areas of neither objectively good nor only affecting an individual.

The NRA, and gun rights supporters in general, get some defensive about it because every time the left start saying we need to talk about guns in society, it isn't a discussion about reasonable measures only, it is always about we need to remove guns, less guns, and you aren't responsible enough to own guns.

Another false characterization of the argument. The argument is that people who have demonstrated their irresponsibility to have guns shouldn't have access them. The arguments sbout less guns are themselves contingent that removing the access to guns by those people has shown to reduce gun violence. The opposite has thus far proven to result in n more fun violence.

There is never a part on the gun prohibitionist side about relaxing or removing gun control that is stupid, counter productive or only serves to make criminals out of the law abiding.

I doubt that's an accurate representation of what actually happens, especially since 1) so much repeal of those laws is linked to other activities that otherwise effective laws, and 2) the response from 2A advocates is often to propose wildly counterproductive "solutions" like carry laws that far more often exacerbate the problem.

NONE of the gun control proponents have commented at all about Bee's wings very reasonable proposals to reach a compromise.

Huh, that's the first time I've seen a 2a advocate think that a no-fly list type of solution was anything less than tyrannical, let alone reasonable.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:58 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Like I said before, I have no interest in restricting reasonable, regulated, second amendment guaranteed rights to own a gun. But the idea that bearing arms somehow acts as a defense against overreaching government authority is a ridiculous fantasy. The U.S. military is funded at nearly $600 billion annually. What kind of armament do you expect to amass that will send a tank squadron packing?
posted by biogeo at 2:59 PM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'd point to the Cliven Bundy thing and the standoff last year as being proof they can. Of course, the problem is that when you erroneously believe the entire government is illegitimate...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:01 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


In that particular case we agree. About Assault Weapons, I doubt we will.

Then you might be surprised. I don't know much about the details of different types of guns, and I try to avoid having strong opinions on things I don't know much about. I'm perfectly happy to let gun enthusiasts who know much more about them inform the policy of what's reasonable as far as those kinds of details, so long as they're acting with a good-faith intent to shape policy to reduce gun violence. If you say that assault weapons, however they're defined, aren't the problem, and regulations on various attachments aren't helping, I'm prepared to believe you, though I would want to see evidence to support the claims for shaping policy. I promise you, the only thing I care about is having fewer people die or be injured, and I will endorse anything that works.
posted by biogeo at 3:07 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd point to the Cliven Bundy thing and the standoff last year as being proof they can.

The reason that the federal government didn't just roll over Bundy and all had a small part to do with them being armed and a large part to do with not wanting to get into another shooting fight with right-wing radicals that would end up making the government look bad, like Ruby Ridge & Waco.

However, if the Bundy crowd had posed an actual threat to public health and safety instead of merely trashing a FWS administrative office, I am reasonably confident the government would have brought down the hammer. And no, their shotguns and pistols would not have protected them from the force the government can bring to bear. It would have been ugly, but the Bundy crowd would not have walked out the winners.
posted by suelac at 3:09 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


But the idea that bearing arms somehow acts as a defense against overreaching government authority is a ridiculous fantasy.

Wounded Knee '73, Deacons of Defense and Justice, Bundys in Nevada?
posted by ridgerunner at 3:10 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd point to the Cliven Bundy thing and the standoff last year as being proof they can.

I mean, it's not like the government was actually interested in winning by force in those cases. And we saw how the Malheur occupation ended. The reason the strategy worked was because the government wasn't actually willing to use force. Which means that a strategy of nonviolent resistance would have been as effective.
posted by biogeo at 3:11 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh I don't disagree, biogeo. In their minds, however, they were employing that 2a justification, which is patently nonsensical on its face.

The next justification is usually self-defence in the home... which isn't really tenable if you're storing your guns safely in the first place.

The reason that the federal government didn't just roll over Bundy and all had a small part to do with them being armed and a large part to do with not wanting to get into another shooting fight with right-wing radicals that would end up making the government look bad, like Ruby Ridge & Waco.

...which would not have been a calculation they'd have had to make if the obviously irresponsible gun owneres weren't allowed to own guns.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:13 PM on June 6, 2016


NONE of the gun control proponents have commented at all about Bee's wings very reasonable proposals to reach a compromise.

Okay then.

Something like a no fly list, but for gun buying, is what we need. Federaly controlled with required reporting of court orders, mental health diagnoses, convictions et cetra. It would be good for people who like guns as it would reduce the insanity. It would need a transparent appeal process.

This is a good start. I'm pretty sure I've heard gun advocates say that this is exactly the sort of policy that must be opposed, though. I don't have a citation immediately available. I do know that Obama explicitly referenced this recently, though, saying he can place a suspected terrorist on a no-fly list but can't stop one from buying a gun. I think it was linked upthread.

I really think you could sell it to gun people by trading it for getting rid of the (weird and unnecessary) bans on suppressors (they are common in Europe) and short barreled rifles and shotguns (just treat them as handguns) and allowing new automatic weapons.

I don't really know what suppressors are or have an opinion on them -- these are what are sometimes called "silencers"? No opinion. However, I would oppose anything that would introduce a large number of high-capacity rapid firing weapons into our communities without also allowing localities with different needs to regulate them to ensure they remain in the hands of licensed owners and limit the numbers in their communities. I know that the term "automatic weapon" has a specific meaning that doesn't necessarily mean, like, an Uzi, but I don't know the details. I just want to make it harder for a single person to murder 30 people in a few minutes. Pair this with the Norwegian-style lockbox bolted to a structural element, with inspections by a regulator to ensure that the weapons are properly secured, and I'm prepared to relax in my concerns about these kinds of weapons.

They're legal now if you pass a background check and pay the $200 tax stamp. You could increase the cost of the stamp to $2,000 (effectively equal to what it was when originally enacted) to defray the cost of the background investigations.

Okay, but background checks right now are a joke. Even aside from the "private sales" loophole, the fact that if a background check can't be completed within 3 days, the buyer can be given the weapon by default, and because the FBI lacks sufficient resources to conduct them, 2500 prohibited purchasers were allowed to buy guns in 2014. Fix these loopholes and ensure that the full cost of background check is included in a tax on gun sales so that people with criminal records can't buy guns and I am prepared to listen.

Now I'll point out that NONE of the gun proponents have commented at all about the proposal referred to by MtDewd, me, and fffm now to make the NRA's rules on safe gun handling legal requirements.
posted by biogeo at 3:45 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Australian or Great Britain approach to gun ownership they know what happened in those countries.
Hi. I live in the UK, have many gun-owning friends, and have debunked this claim before. There are plenty of legal guns here, but if you want one, you have to apply for a licence, be vetted by the police, store those guns securely (the police will check), and renew that licence every 5 years.

I think the licensing law is sane and sensible. Making it only a *little* more difficult to purchase a firearm has a good idiot-deterrent effect-- much like the $5 membership charge for MeFi. (In both cases, it doesn't deter all the idiots, but it's a start.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:07 PM on June 6, 2016 [13 favorites]


I promise you, the only thing I care about is having fewer people die or be injured, and I will endorse anything that works.

I'm old, I've seen some of the gun cultures go sideways. The only thing I've seen reduce the number of gun deaths is realistic, real world education for kids. It ain't hard to take a little kid to the range and turn them into little safety nazi. It does take more time to embed safety into muscle memory so it just feels wrong to violate safety rules. Just because I don't agree with your agenda doesn't mean I don't agree violence in this country has gotten out of hand.

When about 75% of gun deaths are one shot fired incidents, controlling the tech doesn't seem likely to do much even if you could reduce all Americans' firearms to single shots.

To whoever said its on gun owners to control others with guns. Sorry I'm not taking on the Hell's Angels, Banditos or any other 1%er club just because I ride a bike, nor do I feel responsible for street racing just because I own a car.

As long as a bunch of us believe we have a right to armed defense and others don't it will be used as a wedge issue. Y'all can have the last words, I gotta do chores and maybe shoot whatever's been eating the heads off my chicks and ducklings.
posted by ridgerunner at 4:17 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wounded Knee '73, Deacons of Defense and Justice, Bundys in Nevada?

Just to be clear, my response to fffm applies here, too. These worked only because the government was unwilling to use force, and so nonviolent resistance would have been equally effective. In cases where the government was willing to use force, as in Ruby Ridge and Waco, the outcome was pretty clear. Not good, but unequivocally not a victory for the resistors.
posted by biogeo at 4:22 PM on June 6, 2016


Just because I don't agree with your agenda doesn't mean I don't agree violence in this country has gotten out of hand.

As long as a bunch of us believe we have a right to armed defense and others don't it will be used as a wedge issue. Y'all can have the last words


I'm disappointed. I thought we had identified a few key areas of common ground, but each time it happened the point was dropped. Even though I don't recall anyone here arguing against your right to armed defense, it seems in the end there's a such basic level of distrust that any discussion of regulating guns to reduce their numbers and ensure that gun owners are handling them responsibly is inevitably going to be seen as an attack on that right.

I hope at least you understand that this isn't about having the last words. None of this is about winning some sort of academic argument or trying to control people who own guns. For me, this is about a whole bunch of people who were a part of my community who died one morning. One of them was Maxine Turner. She went by Max, and she dated my roommate for a while. I didn't know her all that well, but she was nice. Shy, when she was at our apartment. She was studying chemical engineering. She went to class that morning and was killed by one of the 174 rounds fired by a fellow student over the course of about ten minutes. She was 22. Another was Liviu Librescu. I didn't know him personally, but I remember his story. He was a child in Romania during the Holocaust, and Jewish. He managed to survive the camps, and became a professor of engineering. When the gunman came to the door of his classroom, he held the door closed while the gunman shot him, to give his students time to escape through the window, saving many of their lives. He was 76. There were 30 more like them, as well as the killer himself, ended by those 174 bullets. Hollow-tipped, for maximum damage.

So this isn't about winning an argument or a political struggle for me. And it's not something I can just walk away from. I'm no longer consumed with grief on the anniversary of that day every year, but it still haunts me from time to time in ways that surprise me. A strange, slightly panicky feeling as I enter the Modern Languages building at a completely different university, which confuses me until I remember that foreign languages classrooms were among those filled with bullets back in 2007. The reflexive anger every time I see Wolf Blitzer's stupid face, reminding me of his hack vulture "journalism" that day. The vague sense of shame I feel when the grief affects me, feeling I have no right to it when I and my loved ones remained safe that day, my now-wife spared perhaps by the gunman's choice to start at 9:40 am instead of 10:40 am.

So for me, this is personal. I don't have an "agenda" other than trying to keep this from happening again and again and again.
posted by biogeo at 5:20 PM on June 6, 2016 [18 favorites]


I'm disappointed.

I wasn't being sarcastic when I said "Y'all can have the last words, I gotta do chores and maybe shoot whatever's been eating the heads off my chicks and ducklings." Every evening about sunset, I take care of my livestock for the night, and finally a little after 2AM the possum showed up. She got another ducking before I shot her because I dosed off, bad farmer. At least it wasn't a whole family of raccoons this time, I would've been out there all night.

If you want to continue this conversation, feel free to MeMail me. I've got to do a 300 mile road trip to get a catscan in Fayetteville later today and take my mom to her oncologist Thursday so it would be a more drawn out discussion.

I'm sorry you experienced such a horrifing ordeal and see no reason to to feel shame for the after effects. There's a loss of (something like) innocence with every exposure to violence that's worthy of grief. The reasons its personal to me are more mundane, tweakers and domestic abusers going after me and mine mostly, and cops not interested in doing anything more than paperwork.
posted by ridgerunner at 1:57 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


But the idea that bearing arms somehow acts as a defense against overreaching government authority is a ridiculous fantasy.

the u s is a country that's been repeatedly stymied by insurgents bearing arms - insurgents who weren't in our country, weren't of the same social class as our troops and didn't speak the same language or share the same beliefs or culture as them

it may be an awful and horrible fantasy, but it's not a ridiculous one

just the idea that it might be possible makes the government be cautious

furthermore, bearing arms can be perceived as a defense against one's political opponents - or a way of intimidating them

you can argue all day that all of this is fantasy, but it's a fantasy that many armed people believe and they regard this as a source of political strength - the only way to prove them wrong will be to use force against them

i'd like to think that some gun control would be possible in this country, but we are never going to a system like australia has without some - or a lot of people deciding to test whether armed insurgency is a fantasy
posted by pyramid termite at 2:41 AM on June 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Almost forgot: Deacons of Defense and Justice, they were black guys, down south, in the mid 60s. The governments and the KKK were not unwilling to use force at that time.

Denise Oliver Velez wrote a great little essay about them over at DailyKos, the 2014 copy is the best. Pre-primaries so the comments are readable too.
posted by ridgerunner at 2:43 AM on June 7, 2016


To whoever said its on gun owners to control others with guns. Sorry I'm not taking on the Hell's Angels, Banditos or any other 1%er club just because I ride a bike, nor do I feel responsible for street racing just because I own a car.

Assuming you're referring to me, this is a twisting of my words. I first disagreed with your assertion that it was the responsibility of "the left" to step in and encourage a better gun culture, and that any failure also lies with them. I then said that it's up to responsible gun owners to make gun culture represent the positive values it claims.

And let's be clear, disassociating gun culture from the bigotry and violence and paranoia of the groups representing them is the absolute minimum that gun owners can do. Like I said above, start groups that share your values, including a culture of non-violence and opposition to bigotry. Stop promoting baseless conspiracy theories from Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. Encourage research into gun violence so that we can come up with methods to reduce it. Don't talk about "urban" gun violence as if it's something that is both unique and unconnected to our policies around guns when it is neither. Work closely with public health organizations, and especially mental health organizations, to avoid stigmatizing those with mental health issues the way the NRA et al are doing. As long as those guys run the show, gun owners are abdicating their responsibility for change, and the more entrenched the bigotry and violence and paranoia will become.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:25 AM on June 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


But the idea that bearing arms somehow acts as a defense against overreaching government authority is a ridiculous fantasy.


If it ever really came down to armed conflict between the Federal Government and the people, it wouldn't be citizens armed with handguns, shotguns, and hunting rifles. It's more likely that we'd see the various state's national guards and State Defense Forces (the state's militia when the National Guard gets activated).

I mean, that's what happened during when we started the damn country. For a combination of reasons, the founding fathers raised a militia from each colony to fight against the Federal government. That's what the 2nd amendment is there to protect, your state's right to raise and/or keep a militia so that the state can defend itself from a tyrannical Federal government.

If you want to bare arms, go join a well regulated militia, any firearms you have outside of that context you have because country has deluded itself into thinking that everyone has that right.

Besides that, we're talking about the 2ND THING THAT WAS CHANGED on the Constitution, we can change it again to both keep guns from private citizens and allow everyone the right to bare arms in a way that would actually allow us to keep a tyrannical Federal government with it's modern military in check.
posted by VTX at 7:17 AM on June 7, 2016


ridgerunner, I get you weren't being sarcastic. Although it seems we disagree on many things around this issue, from how you have presented yourself in the discussion I do trust that you're arguing in good faith. This is why I said I'm disappointed -- I think at the end of the day we have more common ground than we have differences, and so it's particularly frustrating to feel we've hit an impasse.

Anyway, I'm glad you got that possum. They're funny little creatures, but having them killing your chicks and ducklings sounds like a pain in the ass. Where I live I only have to worry about them getting into my garbage.
posted by biogeo at 8:57 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]




Three days, 64 people shot, six of them dead: Memorial Day on the streets, and the violence that has engulfed families and neighborhoods.
A Weekend in Chicago, New York Times (4 June 2016).
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:01 AM on June 9, 2016




I would encourage anyone who wants to discuss the political/policy angle of the tragic shooting in Orlando to do so here rather than in that thread. From my experience, having that discussion intrude on the grieving and processing is extremely upsetting for those who are close to the attack and it would be good to keep that thread for that purpose.
posted by biogeo at 10:31 AM on June 12, 2016




Yeah, I am not happy with that at all. A bunch of dots and no discussion does fuck all for anyone.
posted by Artw at 10:43 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]




Artw, that isn't true for the people who are actually trying to emotionally process what just happened to them and their community. I agree that an actual policy discussion is important and in many ways can only happen when everyone's attention is on the issue after an attack, but for me personally and many of my friends, seeing "journalists" descend on our campus mere hours after our classmates and professors had been murdered and demand that we talk about policy and blame while we were still trying to understand what had happened, let alone grieve, was itself an independent trauma. Even as someone who wanted sane gun control, the injection of that discussion into our grief process was itself traumatic for me.

A discussion focused on shared grief and processing the tragedy is extremely valuable for those who need emotional care at this time. Fortunately we have a policy-related thread open right now as well, so we can have both discussions in parallel, letting those who need to process their emotions do so while those of us who feel moved to discuss what should be done do so as well.
posted by biogeo at 10:52 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Artw, I'm in full agreement. This is a terrible decision by the mod team. Trying to revive a ten day old thread on gun politics while ignoring the political nature of the killing in Florida is, I think, doing a disservice to the victims of the killing.

Their deaths happened **BECAUSE** of American gun politics. you cannot separate the two. Trying is simply wrong. Worse, I think it is allowing the gun advocates to win. By playing their game of disallowing discussion of gun politics in the aftermath of what happens because of their gun politics the conversation can never go on.

The mods are very wrong on this issue.

That said, because I'm trying not to be more of an asshole on Metafilter than I have to be, here's the post I had for there over there.

It's good to analyze motives, to try and understand what role religion may or may not have played, to try to comprehend what makes a person do things like this so we can identify and prevent others from doing so in the future.

But all that is secondary.

If he hadn't had access to a crapton of guns he'd have been, at worst, a man who attacked and maybe injured a couple of gay people before the crowd stopped him.

The problem is not the individual mass killer, but the ready access to firearms. Remove guns from the equation and the scale of possible tragedy drops sharply.

We've tried it the other way. This, remember, happened in Florida. A state with very lax laws on gun ownership, a state with very lax laws on gun carrying, a state with a broad stand your ground law and castle doctrine. If the NRA approach to preventing mass killings was going to work, this was the ideal test case.

It doesn't work.

There are exactly two choices before us: we can either resign ourselves to having threads like this every few days, we can resign ourselves to mourning for the latest victims of the latest spree killer, or we can stop the pretense that somehow it is wrong to include "politics" in an intensely political event and start working actively to end American gun culture.

That's going to be a long, hard, uphill slog. Guns are deeply ingrained in American culture and there are a lot of people of good will who feel threatened when the issue of gun control comes up. One of my close personal friends is a proud concealed carry licensee and he was recently celebrating the decision by the Texas lege to force universities to allow CHL people to carry on campus, to him it was the removal of an inconvenience that he couldn't comprehend. To me it's a direct threat to the safety of students and professors.

But we have to change minds. We have to change culture. We have to change laws.

We must, or else this will keep on happening.

The attack on Pulse is the 173rd mass shooting in the USA this year. Yesterday was the 162nd day of the year. That means we've been averaging more than one mass shooting per day.

Either we acknowledge the political nature of the killings, or they will continue. We cannot separate gun politics from gun deaths. Trying will simply mean a continuation of the deadly status quo. My son's school has "active shooter drills" the way we used to have tornado drills. That's where the NRA has taken us. That's where American gun culture has taken us.

Either we we change American gun culture and American gun laws, or this will keep happening.
posted by sotonohito at 10:52 AM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


biogeo I cannot disagree in strong enough terms. There is no separation. Gun politics produced the killing in Florida, telling people to STFU about **WHY** the victims died is cruel and straight out of the NRA's playbook. The mods are wrong, you are wrong.
posted by sotonohito at 10:53 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


I am wrong about my personal experience. Okay.
posted by biogeo at 10:56 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


In that you are informing how we shape a discussion with it, it's entirely reasonable to say so.

I'm not settled on where I stand in it, but no one's saying "your experience is wrong here" They're saying "using that experience to silence a pertinent discussion by sweeping it under the rug into another, unrelated thread -is-" Surely that distinction is reasonably clear.
posted by Archelaus at 10:58 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




I think this is a discussion that would better happen on MeTa. I would rather talk about the actual issue here.
posted by biogeo at 11:01 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Obama sounds utterly defeated, like he cannot believe that he has to stand up and give another speech about a shooting that will result in absolutely no change whatsofuckingever.
posted by gatorae at 11:03 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Sotonohito and Obama kind of have my bit covered, but I'll add something I just commented to a facebook post.

The job of Congress has become "seeking reelection" instead of "the actual business of governance." This makes it flatly impossible for Congress to do anything remotely controversial to address problems.

That's gotta change. This situation's gotta change. We cannot countenance this continual death and destruction.
posted by Archelaus at 11:05 AM on June 12, 2016


gatorae: "Obama sounds utterly defeated, like he cannot believe that he has to stand up and give another speech about a shooting that will result in absolutely no change whatsofuckingever."

He said something like "or we can do nothing, that's a choice too." Which is of course what is going to happen. Nothing.
posted by octothorpe at 11:09 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


America can vote the fuckers giving cover to this out of office, or it can choose not to. It really comes down to that, and sadly will probably come down to the later.
posted by Artw at 11:10 AM on June 12, 2016


It's so obscene that this is where we are again.

Can anyone on the pro-gun side explain why weaponry capable of killing over 50 people in a matter of minutes is in any way necessary under your cherished right to bear arms? Is there not a reasonable compromise line we can draw here?
posted by biogeo at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Gerrymandering and single-issue voting makes it supremely unlikely that most of the career political animals are gonna move much on this thing. See also: my previous post.
posted by Archelaus at 11:12 AM on June 12, 2016


Just watched SOCIAL EXPERIMENT ON COPS - Black Man With Gun vs. White Man With Gun. Muscles are now all tense.
posted by clawsoon at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I should clarify that though my phrasing reflects my anger, I am serious. I would actually love to have someone like Jacqueline or ridgerunner who can comment thoughtfully from their perspective provide some insight. I am having serious difficulty understanding that perspective right now.
posted by biogeo at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


If anything was going to make a quick change to American gun culture it would have happened long before this killing.

That doesn't mean the cause is hopeless, it simply means the work is going to be long, hard, and unrewarding for quite some time.

And, I cannot emphasize this enough, we **MUST** talk about this in the wake of tragedy. We **MUST** make absolutely no bones about directly, frequently, and uncompromisingly, making the point over and over that it is American gun culture that caused the problem.

Changing culture takes a long time and lot of work. And it absolutely cannot happen by pussyfooting around, by being all nicey nicey and not "politicizing tragedy". The tragedy is directly caused by certain political choices, it was pre-politicized.

biogeo The right to bear arms must be eliminated. Ultimately we must repeal the 2nd Amendment. That's what we're up against. It won't happen quickly or easily, but it must be done.

Which is why I'm outraged at your belief that somehow talking about the cause of the killings in the fucking thread about the killings is wrong. Gee, if only we could stop this. Oh well, it wouldn't be right to talk about it in the thread about the killings, better try to revive a ten day old thread instead that'll **TOTALLY** be a great place to talk about the problem.
posted by sotonohito at 11:15 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


[Hey everyone, we can have a metatalk thread at some point, but for now, there is a thread about the horrible murders in Orlando, in which people would like to be able to grieve and also share updates and news. If you want to talk mainly about gun control, which is something that can and does completely overwhelm and overtake any discussion, this is a good place to do it. The issue is not that we don't want people to discuss gun control, but that we want to allow people the space in the Orlando thread to be able to talk about anything else at all. The same reason we don't want it to become a political / election thread. Everyone is outraged, everyone is grief-stricken, but turning directly to the people sharing this space to lash out is not the way to deal with that.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:19 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


That's cool, I'm outraged at your belief that communal grieving and processing "does fuck all for anyone." Now can we drop our difference of opinion on how to have this discussion here and have it over at MeTa instead?
posted by biogeo at 11:21 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I have no real opinion about repealing the second amendment. There is a strong argument to be made that prohibition simply doesn't work, and keeping guns legal but heavily regulated is safer for everyone. I'd like to see something more like the British model, personally.

What I don't get is why private citizens need to own guns with rapid-fire capabilities and high-capacity magazines that let them murder dozens of people within minutes.
posted by biogeo at 11:24 AM on June 12, 2016


[A few comments deleted. I understand that people are upset, but cut out the flamebaiting and personal stuff. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:35 AM on June 12, 2016


I'm not firmly on the side of abolishing the 2nd Amendment, I'd be perfectly fine with the Supreme Court interpreting it differently instead of just abolishing it.

Nor does repealing the 2nd Amendment mean banning all guns Japan style.

It simply means taking out the foolhardy and dangerous notion that owning guns is a right instead of a privilege granted to people who can demonstrate either a need or a degree of responsibility in a controlled environment.

The UK, as you note, doesn't actually prohibit all civilian firearm ownership. It just limits it to people in gun clubs, mandates that the guns be kept in the clubs, and so on.

I'm doubtful that we'll get a better interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, and ultimately whether we repeal it or not we're up against people who take the position that the sort of change we need in American gun culture is basically the same as repealing it so I say bite the bullet and just say outright that's what we're after.

The simple fact is that we have too many guns, too easily accessible, and not nearly controlled enough. Changing that is going to require a deep change of American culture. Self evidently that isn't something that will change as the result of tragedy regardless of scale. So we have to take a much longer haul approach.

I'm not entirely sure what that will actually involve. At this point even trying to pass laws is premature because the courts will strike them down even if we can get them passed.
posted by sotonohito at 11:43 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd be happy just to see some better tracking of them, registration of purchases and transfers, etc. We routinely do that with cars, and cars have uses outside "be a weapon."

I'm not sure that's -enough-, but it would be more tools to address the routine nature of this kind of violence.
posted by Archelaus at 11:46 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can anyone on the pro-gun side explain why weaponry capable of killing over 50 people in a matter of minutes is in any way necessary under your cherished right to bear arms? Is there not a reasonable compromise line we can draw here?

...

I should clarify that though my phrasing reflects my anger, I am serious. I would actually love to have someone like Jacqueline or ridgerunner who can comment thoughtfully from their perspective provide some insight. I am having serious difficulty understanding that perspective right now.



Well, since you asked for me by name...

The second amendment is meant to be a check on government tyranny. So as long as the police, national guard, etc. continue to be so heavily armed, civilians need to have access to similar capacity weapons or the second amendment becomes toothless.

That's the ideological argument, at least.

The more pragmatic argument is that we're long past the point where it's logistically feasible to ban them.

If the initial reports are correct and the terrorist used an AR-15, then there are already 10+ million of that style of rifle in circulation in the US. There's at least one in my basement right now.

Previous approaches have tried banning high-capacity magazines, but these days anyone with a 3-D printer can just print their own.

Additionally, in this particular case, I think the reason he was able to kill so many people so quickly probably had more to do with the venue (assuming that it was crowded without a lot of exits or cover like most clubs) and the terrorist's preparation/training than with the type of rifle he used.

Meanwhile, mass shootings are responsible for less than 1% of gun deaths. So making the focus of any proposed policy changes be on preventing mass shootings doesn't make a lot of sense. The quickest way to significantly reduce gun violence in the US would be the end the War on (Some) Drugs.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:46 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


To me it's a question of how our goal informs our strategy. I think we're on pretty much the same page here as far as what we want, which is fewer unregulated guns in the hands of untrained, irresponsible, and/or criminal individuals. I also think there's a number of gun owners who are actually sympathetic to that goal, as demonstrated in this thread. But if our stated goal is repealing the second amendment, a lot of gun owners are going to interpret that as a blanket ban on civilian gun ownership, regardless of how careful we are to state that that isn't what we're after. In this thread, some good policies that could be adopted without needing to address the second amendment have been proposed, including making the NRA's own recommendations for safe gun ownership and handling into legal requirements for gun ownership. Those are goals I think that we can make real progress on to try to reduce the number of horrific mass murders like we have seen today.
posted by biogeo at 11:50 AM on June 12, 2016


these days anyone with a 3-D printer can just print their own

Is this actually true? I have heard that while you can technically 3-D print gun parts, in practice they tend not to function very well and tend to degrade after only a few uses with current printing technology.
posted by biogeo at 11:52 AM on June 12, 2016


Honestly, if your goal is "shoot up a club fulla folks", it's not like the degradation is going to be a factor after the fact.

Not agreeing with Jacqueline's stance. Just saying that that drawback is only relevant when "re-use" matters.
posted by Archelaus at 11:54 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


...fewer unregulated guns in the hands of untrained, irresponsible, and/or criminal individuals...

...to reduce the number of horrific mass murders like we have seen today...


Wouldn't have helped in this case, given that the terrorist was a professional security guard and thus must have had a background check, interview process, extensive training, etc.

I have heard that while you can technically 3-D print gun parts, in practice they tend not to function very well and tend to degrade after only a few uses with current printing technology.

If you're planning a terrorist attack you only need them to work the one time.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:56 AM on June 12, 2016


mass shootings are responsible for less than 1% of gun deaths

This isn't true any more. Last year there were 475 deaths from mass shootings, out of 13,486 total shooting deaths (other than suicides). That's 3.6% of non-suicide gun deaths. Mass shootings really are rising at an alarming pace. Obviously the vast majority of shooting deaths are due to other causes, but they do constitute a significant proportion.
posted by biogeo at 12:03 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


But if our stated goal is repealing the second amendment, a lot of gun owners are going to interpret that as a blanket ban on civilian gun ownership, regardless of how careful we are to state that that isn't what we're after.

On top of that, all you need to stop a Constitutional amendment is thirteen states. The former states of the Confederacy already gives you eleven states. Just add a few of the more pro-gun Great Plains states, and the NRA can easily get thirteen states together in a coalition to stop any attempt at repeal through the Constitution. This is totally a non-starter politically & would be a waste of time and resources drawn away from strategies and tactics that might actually have a chance of working.
posted by jonp72 at 12:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't have helped in this case, given that the terrorist was a professional security guard and thus must have had a background check, interview process, extensive training, etc.

I don't think most security guards have to have that extensive training, from everything I've read. Don't know anything about this particular individual. Also any background check clearly didn't uncover his violent history with his ex-wife so this isn't so much an argument against background checks and regulations as it is a statement that the current background checks and regulations we have are woefully inadequate.
posted by biogeo at 12:05 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]




Like many people, Jacqueline is exaggerating about 3d printing. Yes, it's nice, yes it can do some things, but zip guns were a thing long before 3d printing and it isn't like suddenly people just need to STFU about guns because thanks to the magic of 3d printing all gun control arguments are rooted in the past and irrelevant.

that said, I do actually agree with her that piddily crap like magazine size limits is pointless. A bigger or smaller magazine won't make much difference.

What we need is to simply make guns less available generally. Taking existing guns out of circulation through an ongoing buyback program at the federal level would be a good start, as she points out there's a lot of guns in circulation right now. Around 300,000,000 in the USA IIRC.

Another thing that would help is responsible gun owner laws coupled with a robust and ongoing buyback program.

Here's one possibility that might work, and wouldn't even require UK style gun clubs:

Want a gun? You must have gun insurance, a certified gun safe, a trigger lock or similar disabling mechanism on each individual gun, ammo stored separately in its own safe, every single gun registered and if any are missing or stolen you have a legal responsibility to report that immediately, and inspectors will be stopping by randomly to assure that you are keeping your guns in a responsible manner. Failing to do any of that means you lose the right to have guns.

If that sounds too onerous since all you want is to keep grandpa's gun around as memento of him, you can have it rendered inoperable at a licensed gunsmith and certified that it was inoperable.

Or, if that sounds like too much work you can simply sell the gun to the government and get rid of it that way. Any police station will take a gun and pay $X for it.

All guns registered and tracked, all transfers including as gifts or sale between family members registered and tracked, same as with cars.

If a gun registered to you turns up used in a crime, you're liable.

**************

As for this specific guy, people who mention background checks failing are leaving out the part where thanks to the NRA his history of domestic violence didn't disqualify him from owning a gun. People have tried to pass laws to that effect, and the NRA has blocked them. So yeah, the background check turned up the fact that he had a history of domestic violence, and legally that did nothing. Because of gun advocates.

Similarly he was on a terrorist watch list, again thanks to the NRA that also didn't disqualify him.

****************

As for the 2nd Amendment, I'm just saying bite the bullet. The NRA types are going to flip their shit no matter what we try, which is why this whole thing is a long term culture change effort. Sure, pass whatever laws we can when we can, but that's used by the NRA [1] as an argument against gun control.

Look at this thread, for example, where gun apologists go out of their way to deride background checks and magazine size limits as "proving" that there's nothing gun control can do except hurt innocent Americans.

That's what we're up against. People who have their identity tied to gun ownership and gun carrying, and that's not going to change quickly.

Again, I think we can get things fixed even with the 2nd, it just requires a Supreme Court that will change previous interpretations and focus more on the first clause than the second.

[1] Using "NRA" here as a blanket term for all the gun everywhere advocates.
posted by sotonohito at 12:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Additionally, in this particular case, I think the reason he was able to kill so many people so quickly probably had more to do with the venue (assuming that it was crowded without a lot of exits or cover like most clubs) and the terrorist's preparation/training than with the type of rifle he used.

I'm just going to ahead and call bullshit on that right there. It was certainly 100% responsible for making it much, much easier for him to kill and maim more innocent people quickly.

The quickest way to significantly reduce gun violence in the US would be the end the War on (Some) Drugs.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of things that can be done that can significantly reduce gun violence alongside ending TWOD. Many of them would (collectively) have the same or greater effect, and are in directly in line with the wishes of large majorities of the population. There are probably dozens or hundreds more we don't know the true effectiveness of because we haven't been allowed to study them, let alone implement them.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:11 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's worth pointing out, though, that the NRA's lobbying and policy positions don't even accurately represent the majority of NRA members' views, let alone the majority of gun owners.
posted by biogeo at 12:12 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The UK, as you note, doesn't actually prohibit all civilian firearm ownership. It just limits it to people in gun clubs, mandates that the guns be kept in the clubs, and so on.

While its correct that there isn't a full ban this is a little misleading, the range of guns that is allowed, even for club based ownership and storage is very limited compared to what is available in the US.
posted by biffa at 12:16 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


zip guns were a thing long before 3d printing

I remember a George Carlin routine about how "the guys in my old neighborhood went from making zip guns to hash pipes in shop class in about three months." Maybe the solution is to open up Amsterdam-style hash bars.
posted by jonp72 at 12:20 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Taking existing guns out of circulation through an ongoing buyback program at the federal level would be a good start

YES PLEASE YES THIS (assuming that such a program paid market rate and not some piddly token amount)

My husband I keep accumulating guns because he lets broke people make barter payments at his shop, but once we have them we don't feel comfortable selling them to just anyone. So even though we're pretty far down on the gun-nutty end of the spectrum, we'd still jump on a safe and fairly priced opportunity to divest ourselves of most of our armory.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:23 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I suspect "fairly priced" would be a bit unlikely since a gun buyback program is simply going to destroy the guns not resell them.
posted by sotonohito at 12:29 PM on June 12, 2016


I could imagine a separate program for firearm retailers' surplus inventory, maybe involving enhanced tax incentives.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:32 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Security guard is the step below cop in terms of screening/training, so next-to-none probably becomes none. Doesn't Zimmerman claim to be a security guard?
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on June 12, 2016


I suspect "fairly priced" would be a bit unlikely since a gun buyback program is simply going to destroy the guns not resell them.

Fairly priced is pretty essential if you want it to be effective in taking a large number of guns out of circulation. Otherwise all you're doing is creating another entity that screws over the poor and desperate using the same tactics as pawnshops and payday lenders.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have heard that while you can technically 3-D print gun parts, in practice they tend not to function very well and tend to degrade after only a few uses with current printing technology.

If you're planning a terrorist attack you only need them to work the one time.


This is putting a subtly incorrect gloss on the thing. If you decide to shoot someone with a 3D printed gun, there is the question of initial reliability. When you stage your big introductory party into the ranks of homicidal maniacs, you want to make sure it doesn't blow up in your hand. 3D printed guns are something that's technically possible, but when professionally-made weapons are so inexpensive and involve so much less work, why would someone use one?

As for the argument that magazine size isn't relevant, how many people did one guy manage to shoot, again?
posted by JHarris at 12:37 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I -strongly- feel that the argument of "there are so many that a ban is unfeasible" is an argument of capitulation to the problem, rather than addressing the problem. More capitulation is the exact opposite of what we need to do to address this.
posted by Archelaus at 12:38 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you decide to shoot someone with a 3D printed gun

I was talking specifically about 3D printed high capacity magazines, not whole guns.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


And the reason I was talking about that is that a lot of people's approach to the problem of mass shootings is "well if we can't or don't want to ban all guns we'll just ban high-capacity guns/magazines."
posted by Jacqueline at 12:42 PM on June 12, 2016


I strongly feel that irrespective of any additional regulations on gun ownership, the gun manufacturers should be responsible for paying the $229 billion per year I mentioned upthread in negative externalities that their industry generates. Considering that the industry's revenues are $16 billion per year this would have a fairly large impact on the number of guns flooding our communities.
posted by biogeo at 12:48 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Jacquwline - fuck it, make them go to the extra effort to do that. One extra peice of panning and potential juncture at which to be caugh, and no downside for normal people whatsoever.
posted by Artw at 12:50 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Gun Industry Executives Say Mass Shootings Are Good for Business

ISIS is defined as much by criminal activity — drugs and prostitution, for example — as by its religious ideals, and yet our media don't call them gangsters but terrorists. If we can't seem to get common-sense laws enacted, maybe it is time we similarly review the narrative about gun manufacturers, whose executives are effectively leaders of terrorist organizations that spread fear and terror and death in order to make money, just as much as ISIS leadership does by its own criminal activities. Keep gun ownership legal, but treat the manufacturing and distribution of guns as an act of terrorism upon American soil. Seems like it is time to try something new that the lobbyists and extremists can't buy their way out of or otherwise manipulate the public about.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




Jacquwline - fuck it, make them go to the extra effort to do that. One extra peice of panning and potential juncture at which to be caugh, and no downside for normal people whatsoever.

I don't know. I'm in favor of strengthened gun control, but regulation of tacticool accoutrements has always seemed kind of misguided to me. Look at the would-be LA Pride shooter caught this morning. Taped clips instead of high-capacity magazines. I think the piecemeal approach and focus on ultimately unimportant military-looking features ultimately lends itself to looser enforcement, with a side of easy mockery.

I'd rather start focusing on closing sales loopholes and improving background checks and monitoring than continue the ongoing legislative tug of war with the red tape around some weekend warrior's folding stock.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:18 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ban anything more than five rounds. Make the fuckers reload.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jacquwline - fuck it, make them go to the extra effort to do that. One extra peice of panning and potential juncture at which to be caugh, and no downside for normal people whatsoever.

Speaking of planning, I really hope that someone is studying how much planning and forethought go into the different types of mass shootings and mass shootings in general. What proportion are impulsive murder-suicides vs. planned-out terrorist attacks? (FWIW, my definition of terrorist includes people like Dylann Roof and Elliot Rodger, not just Muslims.)

I doubt that restrictions on high-capacity magazines will have much effect on the latter. You could still get your hands on them even during the old Assault Weapons Ban -- back in the early 2000s, I briefly worked for a guy who had stocked up before the ban went into effect and was selling them online -- and that was before widespread 3D printing.

I also wonder about how much magazine capacity limitations can be mitigated with training. Back when I took my defensive handgun courses, they taught us how to quickly eject and replace a magazine in just a few seconds and keep on shooting. I'm not much of a rifle person so I don't know how well that skill would translate to a rifle, but I'm pretty sure that I could use what they taught me to shoot a *lot* of people in just a few minutes with just a handgun and a belt of extra magazines.

So I just don't know what, if anything, could actually stop mass shootings if the shooter has half a brain and a plan. Even France still has mass shootings despite their very strict gun control laws because terrorists have the patience, fortitude, and resources to figure out a way around those obstacles.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:27 PM on June 12, 2016


Even France still has mass shootings despite their very strict gun control laws because terrorists have the patience, fortitude, and resources to figure out a way around those obstacles.

How many per month?
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


So I just don't know what, if anything, could actually stop mass shootings if the shooter has half a brain and a plan.

So lets just do nothing. 'Cause that's worked out so well so far.
posted by octothorpe at 1:36 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Jacqueline So I just don't know what, if anything, could actually stop mass shootings if the shooter has half a brain and a plan. Even France still has mass shootings despite their very strict gun control laws because terrorists have the patience, fortitude, and resources to figure out a way around those obstacles.

And there's the standard "if we can't make it perfect, just don't do it" line. Thanks, I was wondering when that would be brought up.

As Artw notes, France has very few mass shootings compared to the USA. We have, literally, more than one per day now on average. One. Every. Day.

How man in France? There was a paramilitary terrorist operation, planned and executed by people with international ties (and, not coincidentally, easy access to guns thanks to the lax laws in Brussels), and other than that what? How many per day?

And France isn't exactly banning guns, there's civilian gun ownership in France and they have looser laws than the USA.

Of course there will, occasionally, be a person with a lot of dedication who manages to carry out a mass shooting regardless of the laws. That doesn't mean we should just declare that gun control is futile and resign ourselves to daily shootings.

The idea that a proposal must perfectly eliminate all mass shootings or it is bad and not worth enacting would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous.
posted by sotonohito at 1:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


So I just don't know what, if anything, could actually stop mass shootings if the shooter has half a brain and a plan.

How about doing enough to stop the ones which don't? I think it would be a good thing to restrict mass shootings to only those people who have the necessary contacts to obtain illegal items, rather than anyone who can walk into a shop.
posted by MattWPBS at 1:42 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I looked at the mass shootings of the first three months of 2015 and did some brief analysis on the data. I'm posting it here 'cause I'm seeing a lot of people on my Facebook feed talking about things that absolutely aren't related, and bringing up the standard media template of a mass shooter (angry, young, socially-isolated) that really doesn't occur that often in reality.

(I was mowing my lawn angrily this morning, and wondering why I'm always angry when I mow my lawn - and I didn't have to wonder very long, because I tend to mow on a Sunday afternoon, which means I'll have read about the two or three mass shootings that happened that Saturday night, because there's ALWAYS two or three mass shootings that happen EVERY Saturday night in this country.)
posted by FeatherWatt at 1:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


It was Republicans that blocked a law that would stop terrorists from buying guns. So who are we kidding?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:49 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Want a gun? You must have gun insurance, a certified gun safe, a trigger lock or similar disabling mechanism on each individual gun, ammo stored separately in its own safe, every single gun registered and if any are missing or stolen you have a legal responsibility to report that immediately, and inspectors will be stopping by randomly to assure that you are keeping your guns in a responsible manner. Failing to do any of that means you lose the right to have guns.

If a lefty like me thinks that sounds profoundly un-American, good luck getting widespread support for the idea.

As Artw notes, France has very few mass shootings compared to the USA. We have, literally, more than one per day now on average. One. Every. Day.

A substantial number of those are gang-related, and rightly or wrongly for a lot of people gang violence is an argument for robust second amendment protections, not for stronger gun control.

If gun control ever does come out of one of these attacks, it is going to be because something especially horrific happens, or politicians were targeted, but even then I would be surprised. If Sandy Hook and the attack on Giffords didn't spark stronger gun laws, neither will the next set of killings, either.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:51 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nothing is going to change it outside of a new set of politicians.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


If a lefty like me thinks that sounds profoundly un-American ...

"Un-American" What the hell does that even mean?
posted by JackFlash at 1:54 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


We need a new metric in gun control.
Instead of the endless quibbling about stocks, clips, scopes, semi- or full auto etc we make it real simple:
Could a skilled marksman use this to kill dozens of people in a matter of a few minutes?
If so, you cant have one. Sorry. That's not hunting, that's not "self-defense", that's mass murder and by the way were putting you on a 6-month watchlist just for asking for one.
‪#‎fuckyourhobby‬
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


Un-American. You know! Against baseball, apple pie, and random horrific tragedy on a weekly basis.
posted by JHarris at 2:03 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Also I think the ‪#‎fuckyourhobby‬ hashtag might be a good roundup for this sort of thing.
Show it for what it is: a hobby.
You arent defending your home with an AR-15. You wanna shoot one at a range? Fantastic. You check it out there and you check it *in* there.
Fuck your hobby. We're losing people that create things at the hands of people that destroy things. Over your fucking hobby.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:07 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm not saying that a solution has to be perfect. I'm just honestly wondering what percentage of mass shootings can actually be stopped at each additional level of infringement upon our rights.

Personally, if fiddling with some small thing that doesn't personally affect me (e.g., magazine capacity restrictions for rifles) stops ~90% of them, then I'm not going to get too worked up about fighting that. It's like when a smoking ban was on the ballot in my old state -- I voted against it like a good Libertarian, but I didn't care enough to work on the anti campaign.

On the other hand, if it turns out that most mass shooters are determined enough that only a total gun ban and/or an even more oppressive surveillance state would have a noticeable effect, then I care quite a bit. There are a lot of other ways to save lives that *don't* infringe upon our rights, and I don't see why mass shooting victims should be prioritized when they're only a tiny percentage of overall gun deaths, which themselves are only a tiny percentage of overall deaths.

All the different ideas that people are proposing have a financial, political, and human cost. And even if you think, "I don't like guns so I don't care if the gun owners get hurt," at least stop and consider the level of surveillance and intrusion into people's private lives and the amount of violence involved in actually executing a total ban. You really think that the government is only going to use that kind of power only once and only for one issue?
posted by Jacqueline at 2:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


‪#‎fuckyourhobby‬

Uh yeah some of us have violent misogynistic stalkers. Gun rights are not a "hobby" for me, they're potentially life or death.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:13 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


... honestly? No.

And honestly, if it cuts down the violence so I'm not getting scared messages from my son, who is too afraid to venture outside today? I'm not sure I fucking care.

I am admittedly pretty far past "overwrought" on the issue today, but you asked. /shrug
posted by Archelaus at 2:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gun rights are not a "hobby" for me, they're potentially life or death.

I don't see why mass shooting victims should be prioritized when they're only a tiny percentage of overall gun deaths, which themselves are only a tiny percentage of overall deaths.

I'm not sure what shifts someone's life-or-death situation from "Important enough to consider on each individual basis" to "Just a statistic", but consistency would be nice when the topic is policy.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:38 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


[Please don't make personal attacks on other mefites.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 2:45 PM on June 12, 2016


I'm not sure what shifts someone's life-or-death situation from "Important enough to consider on each individual basis" to "Just a statistic", but consistency would be nice when the topic is policy.

There is a huge difference between having a known, specific, personal threat to one's life versus worrying about the statistically infinitesimally small chance of being the victim of a random mass shooting.

Furthermore, the number of women with violent stalkers exceeds the number of random mass shooting victims by several orders of magnitude.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Jacqueline: I don't see why mass shooting victims should be prioritized when they're only a tiny percentage of overall gun deaths, which themselves are only a tiny percentage of overall deaths.

Here's one idea to consider: It's like Ebola. They're only a small proportion of deaths because we take them very, very seriously when they happen. If we don't, or if we fail to contain them, numbers can escalate very quickly in a way that heart attack deaths or car accidents can't. (Pick any civil war or out-of-control gang war you'd like as illustration.) They are a systemic threat.
posted by clawsoon at 3:07 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


So nobody's mentioned how the right to bear arms evidently does not apply to black men? And black women? That feels relevant when we talk about the right to carry guns for self-defense.

In so many of the "unarmed black man shot by police" stories, the officer later says that they thought the man was reaching for a gun. This includes Trayvon Martin. Black people are punished and killed when they are imagined to have an imaginary gun.

This includes children and young men being shot for carrying toy guns and there are too many to list so I'm just linking to the Google search. I subtracted Tamir Rice from the search, and there are six different boys on the front page. Some of the toy guns had orange tips; some didn't. Some of these happened in open-carry states, where the older ones could possibly have had a permit to legally carry a real gun. The police didn't bother to verify if the gun was legally owned or even real.

This even includes a woman who fired warning shots at her abusive ex and served 3 years in prison. Here's another woman who shot someone non-fatally, allegedly in self-defense, and was arrested with a $100,000 bail. And another who killed a wanted murderer who assaulted her, turned herself in, and was arrested without bail.

When the rubber hits the road, gun rights are for white people. I lean towards supporting limited gun rights; but the hypocrisy here has got to be chewed on.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 3:08 PM on June 12, 2016 [29 favorites]


They are a systemic threat.

I actually agree with that. As I said in the other thread, it seems almost like suicide contagion.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:08 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I doubt 3d printed guns represent any serious threat, even if you can get them 3d printed in solid metal from a model downloaded off the internet after 2 min of google searches.

Anything 3d printed is not actually readily available in the sense that you must engage in some rational though, not just walk into a gun shop. At minimum 3d printed guns would not be used for domestic violence anywhere near as often.

A manufactured guns is like a Toyota car in that it works correctly. As good as 3d printers might get, a 3d printed gun will remain like replacing your car's control systems like Linux. Yes, it still works, maybe better in some ways, but you'll need to know what you're doing. If you do not know what you're doing, then you could fuck up some printer setting, so that either some part is either too heavy or too thin, and does not recoil correctly or warps on repeated firings. Also you must print the bullets!

Yes, an Islamic terrorists could plan far enough ahead to do their printing correctly, test the results, and practice for themselves. It's still nowhere near the military grade assurances gun shops provide. And all that real world bang bang bang provides some opportunity for folks to get suspicious.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:09 PM on June 12, 2016


As a woman who has experienced stalking as well- guns have never made me feel safe. When my husband wanted to keep a loaded gun by the stairs because of a former friend with violent behavior seemed to be fixated on me, all I could think was how bringing a gun into this equation was likely to end bad for me. And I know how to handle a gun. But the thought of being vulnerable to the point of needing to defend myself with firearms was more distressing than having a violent person come to my home. It sucks! But I really don't think guns are the answer for that either.

I know I won't be the first or the last to say it, but guns are more of a threat to the well being of women, and more likely to get used on them than provide protection. To me, guns are a domestic violence issue and a woman's issue, and the more guns in homes, the more women are exposed to the risk of being killed.

Jacqueline, I can't speak to your situation, but I think there is a false sense of security that comes with gun ownership. I think that is why gun ownership is so rampant. We need to address the real issues, be it better protection of women, addressing poverty, racism that goes along with white gun ownership, addressing entitlement that comes to light in these shootings, etc... The way to answer gun violence isn't more guns- that's what we've been doing and it's only making things worse.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:15 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


So nobody's mentioned how the right to bear arms evidently does not apply to black men? And black women? That feels relevant when we talk about the right to carry guns for self-defense.

Oh, I am 110% outraged about that too. Especially given that many early gun control laws were in almost direct response to the Black Panthers providing security patrols for their neighborhoods after the city police had decided to abandon or abuse the people there.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:20 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


So nobody's mentioned how the right to bear arms evidently does not apply to black men? And black women? That feels relevant when we talk about the right to carry guns for self-defense.

I heard an interesting bit on NPR once that stated that in the 60's, when the Black Panthers were advocating concealed-carry - suddenly the predominantly-white Congress was falling all over themselves to enact gun laws.

--

The following is an imperfect analogy, and I acknowledge that, but it is one that I tailored to my audience: on Facebook I saw a comment in a friends' facebook feed where someone retorted "Criminals wouldn't care about gun laws." I fired off a response that well, criminals also don't care that it is also illegal to hijack planes and fly them into buildings, and yet I'm sure he doesn't object to the TSA conducting screenings in airports, right?

History has not yet recorded his response.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]




Criminals wouldn't care about gun laws.

One may as well ask why murderers get to dictate our laws and how we make our spaces safe.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:42 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Criminals wouldn't care about gun laws.

Not that the U.S. is anywhere near this, but: If you've got really strong gun laws, it also means that it's much easier to identify criminals. (Hint: They're the ones carrying guns! Easy!) There's no need to hum and haw about whether a particular person with an AR-whatever walking toward a parade downtown might be a harmless citizen exercising their Second Amendment rights or someone about to open fire. No need to check whether the guy on his way to his ex-girlfriend's house with a gun has a valid open-carry license.

I know that there are legitimate everyday uses for guns - I grew up around hunters and farmers - so I suspect that reasonable gun control would look a lot like the laws around explosives.
posted by clawsoon at 6:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Criminals don't pay attention to bomb laws, either -- except that because the bomb laws essentially disallow industrialized production of bombs, criminals can't just go to their local bomb dealer and pick up a ready-to-go bomb and murder dozens of people with no training.
posted by Etrigan at 6:12 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


It is worth posting this link from earlier in the thread once again, I think. The point isn't really whether gun control is guaranteed to prevent a would-be murderer from ever getting their hands on a gun, but to give the legal system recourse against people who, intentionally or unintentionally, make it easier for gun violence to occur.
posted by biogeo at 6:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is basically "How laws work 101" - not entirely sure how you function in a society if you do not understand this shit.
posted by Artw at 6:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hey, I wasn't the one that was trying to use "criminals don't care about gun laws" as a justification for anything.

So far the dude who was hasn't come up with a good response to my challenge, either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:29 PM on June 12, 2016


TBH I doubt someone who thinks they need an AR-15 for home defense really knows how guns work either. You're going to fire that thing inside of your house, with its walls made of plasterboard, because what, there's nothing else important in there? And you need the 30 round mag in case there's 30 robbers or something?
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't really think that anyone thinks they need an AR-15 for home defense. I only really understand two reasons to own a weapon like that. 1) It's fun to shoot. 2) You want to kill lots of people. Are there other reasons?
posted by biogeo at 6:41 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Biogeo - Penis extension? Is that covered by your first one?
posted by Archelaus at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2016


Bullshit pretend soldiering, but really that comes under intimidating/killing people.
posted by Artw at 6:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


EmpressC- just saw it used in all seriousness against me in another forum. My response was: "That argument is only good for choosing to do nothing, and keep stacking up bodies. I refuse."

Still refuse, but haven't yet found anything useful I can do. My Senators are all for better laws, and my Representative is a Tea Party jackass.
posted by Archelaus at 6:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Happy to say that my congressman, Mike Doyle, gets an F grade from the NRA.
posted by octothorpe at 7:23 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just sent the following message to both of my senators, both of whom voted against Dianne Feinstein's bill to prevent gun sales to individuals on the terrorist watchlist:
In the light of the horrific mass shooting in Orlando this week, a shooting claimed by ISIS as a terrorist attack, I would like to ask the senator to explain his vote against SA 2910 which would have enabled the Attorney General to prevent the transfer of weapons to individuals on the terrorist watchlist. Please explain how allowing terrorists to have access to guns is in our country's best interest.
Anyone here is free to copy, with or without modification, this message to send to their own senators. Of course I don't expect it to change a damn thing about their voting patterns but I'll be damned if I'm going to let these bastards hold our nation hostage to the NRA without at least confronting them with their hypocrisy. I would love all of these senators to have to answer why they're in favor of arming domestic terrorists when they are up for reelection.
posted by biogeo at 7:36 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Should also add, as zombieflanders posted upthread, you can check your senators' votes on this issue here, and get your senators' contact information here.
posted by biogeo at 7:39 PM on June 12, 2016






Hi biogeo, sad day. If I was Latino or gay I'd be mad as hell too.

Can anyone on the pro-gun side explain why weaponry capable of killing over 50 people in a matter of minutes is in any way necessary under your cherished right to bear arms

I'm a Scotch-Irish/NDN Hillbilly, so I ain't speaking for the Planter/Cracker culture down South, the miners/lumberjacks/dry land farmers from the Westen Great Lakes to the Northern Plains or the cowboys/farmers/miners of the Southen Plains and mountainous West.

First, cops suck ass, not all of them, but the idea of voluntarily dealing with them is very foreign. Their job is to keep powerful people happy, anything else is just a hassle to them. Making a cop annoyed with you will cost you time and money even if you don't stay in jail. So, ya pay your taxes and don't get drunk or rowdy in the wrong part of town and the lazy fucks generally leave you alone.

Hobbs was wrong, being basically outside the power structure doesn't result in a war of all against all, most people are pretty much okay. Sociopaths of all sorts on the other hand need a concrete reason to behave, retaliation. As long as there's a chance they've got a good weapon, I want them wondering if I've got something better than a revolver or lever-action rifle.

Second, the U. S. isn't really a first world nation, it more like a Mid-East or African country where the U. K. grouped differing tribes together. Historically the three most powerful tribes have been, the Richmond-Alanta-Dallas tribe, the Manhattan into New Jersey tribe and the confederation of the Rest of New York to Boston tribe, the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh tribe and the the Pacific Coastal tribe. None of those tribes are particularly fond of my tribe. As long as we've had guns and no lucrative concentration of resources (i.e.Kentucky coal) they haven't they haven't fucked with us outside of being ridiculed a little. Most of us would just as soon it stayed that way.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:46 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


> If I was Latino or gay I'd be mad as hell too.

Dude. I'm not Latino or gay or even American. And I'm mad as hell. I can't understand why anyone would not be.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:53 AM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Dude. I'm not Latino or gay or even American. And I'm mad as hell. I can't understand why anyone would not be.

Maybe its because they just found masses in my lungs, maybe its because my favorite tree for 50 years bit it in the last storm or maybe it because of a situation with a relative but this time I'm just sad. Hell maybe it'll change tomorrow, I just read about it 3 hours ago.
posted by ridgerunner at 1:05 AM on June 13, 2016


Considering that there is already limit on what exactly falls into the category of 'Arms' in the 2nd amendment (guns yes, bombs and other arms no), I would campaign to make that category even tighter, perhaps something more in line with what the authors of the constitution had in mind: Buy all the single shot, barrel loading, black powder muskets you want, everything else needs clearance from the ATF.
posted by PenDevil at 5:06 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Background checks in the US for guns were set up to block repeat criminals from buying guns (with the obvious racial coding that comes with that). So they basically check if you have any convictions or are wanted by police, but nothing deeper -- there are no national registries of mental health problems to check against, it's not meant to be tied into FBI or other national security apparatus, and there definitely is not the step (that happens in some countries with much stricter gun laws) where you have to provide any reasons or have any kind of interview before being allowed the purchase. You fill out a form where you say "no" to a bunch of questions about convictions, drug use, and mental illness, yes to the question about citizenship, provide ID, and then you wait for about 10 minutes (unless there was just a big mass shooting causing panic buying, in which case the wait times are longer) and you get approved.

This is why almost all of the big mass shooting perpetrators have been able to buy their guns legally -- there is no check in place that will prevent anyone with a reasonably clean record from buying guns, no matter what kind of unstable nutjob they are. There are workarounds, like private sales, but the checks in place are so lax that they there is no reason for these people to seek them out. They were meant to alleviate fears of someone like Willie Horton buying guns, not prevent the next mass shooter.

Personally I'd rather there was a lot more scrutiny on the front-end, at least to the minimal level it takes to get a concealed carry permit (which is still very little, but at least there is another level of contact and scrutiny other than the online FBI records check). I also don't see much reason to have legal assault rifles in the first place, but I'm honestly not sure how you would effectively ban them because so many features are shared with completely legit hunting rifles. I'm sure there are smart people who could figure it out, but it also needs to be acknowledged that the vast majority of firearms deaths wouldn't be affected, like the daily carnage in places like Chicago.

I ended up for a while on the first version of the airport watch list or whatever they were calling it, so that every time I flew I got the extra security and a chat with a sheriff's deputy or airport police officer, because of some name mixup or random bureaucratic error. It was frustrating because there was no appeal or even a way to get them to acknowledge that there was a list, and if there was a list that I was on it, even though it was obvious and the airport workers would apologize. If we decide to use those lists for things like gun purchases and other real-life issues, I would hope that it would be coupled with some sort of constitutional oversight of the lists, and a lot more transparency and fairness.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:17 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


As for self defense, while I can't speak to anyone's personal situation (perhaps they are ex-special forces soldiers with extensive training in urban combat), I can say that the statistics demonstrate guns are not all that useful for self defense, especially for women.

A woman with a gun in the house is many times more likely to be shot by that gun than to use it to defend herself. Cite

The simple, undeniable, fact is that statistically guns do not make people safer. A gun is over 32 times more likely to be used in homicide or suicide than in self defense. Cite.

Again, I can't speak for any individual. Maybe the people claiming to "need" a gun for self defense are highly skilled markspeople with intense training in close quarters combat and the psychological ability to kill to defend themselves. I doubt it very much, but I can't say for certain it isn't the case.

What I **CAN** say for certain is that in general guns do not make people safer. And I can also note that in developed nations with stricter gun control measures women are not murdered, raped, or assaulted more often than they are in the US, the opposite in fact. Women in the USA are **MORE** likely to be murdered than women in most other developed nations.

The claim that a person needs a gun for self defense is simply not reasonable and is absolutely not a reason to oppose gun control.
posted by sotonohito at 6:40 AM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


So with that bit of nonsense out of the way, let's talk about how to really reduce violence by getting guns out of circulation, and passing and enforcing gun control that makes it vastly harder for people to get guns for use in mass shootings.

I made a proposal that would even allow people to keep firearms at home, some people seemed to think it was a very bad proposal.

So what's your suggestion for a solution? What specific steps do you propose that will actually cause a decrease in shootings?

If gun owners would like to continue being gun owners rather than becoming former gun owners they're going to need to come up with a compromise that actually produces results rather than jus spouting empty NRA slogans.
posted by sotonohito at 6:44 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Joanna Rothkopf: Donald Trump Responds to Orlando Shooting With a Proposed Ban on Syrians, Not Assault Weapons
Trump said:
“Well first of all there are millions of ‘em already out there, millions upon millions, so they’re already out there, number one. And I absolutely wouldn’t, because people need protection. They have to protect. So the bad guys will have the assault rifles and the people trying to protect themselves will be standing there with a B.B. gun.”
“Can you think of an instance where someone on the good side used an assault weapon?” Guthrie followed up.

“She’s the wrong person at the wrong time,” he said, ignoring Guthrie’s question and turning his focus to Clinton. “She’s weak. She’s ineffective. She does not understand the issue and she would be absolutely the wrong person.”

“She wants to bring 500 percent more people in from Syria, 500 percent more coming into this country, pouring into this country, and I’m saying we cannot take any more people from Syria right now, we can’t do it, we can’t even think about it.”

Doesn’t it seem that Trump is speaking about actual human beings the way he should be speaking about, I don’t know, assault rifles?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:57 AM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


If gun owners would like to continue being gun owners rather than becoming former gun owners they're going to need to come up with a compromise that actually produces results rather than jus spouting empty NRA slogans.

Obama has done nothing to remove guns from private ownership nor does he appear to want to do so, no major political candidate is proposing such a thing, both branches of Congress would block any such proposal, and the current Supreme Court is strongly on the side of an interpretation of the Second Amendment that protects private gun ownership including for self defense. I'd say the chances of gun owners becoming former gun owners right now is pretty remote barring an unexpected new form of political organizing and action.

I hear your frustration but gun owners right now do not have any serious reason for concern about new restrictions, much less any serious rollback of gun rights. That's the political reality and has been for quite a few years. My understanding is that a solid plurality of Americans are in favor of stronger background checks and the like, but that has not turned into effective mobilization for such laws, and as was noted above these mass shootings seem to lead to gun rule loosening, rather than restrictions, weirdly enough.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:01 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't actually understand (my perception of ?) the lack of suspicion of the NRA in everyday discourse . Tobacco companies bullied all sorts of policy for years. For the sake of the mighty dollar. Then we worked out smoking was dangerous (after they tried to hide it), we saw their tactics for what they were and started to change laws around smoking and sales of cigarettes etc...

Why aren't more right wing Americans deeply suspicious of the funding the NRA (indirectly?) get from gun sales? "Big Pharma" seems to raise more suspicion with their vaccination and chemotherapy.... I truly don't understand the response to not get really fucking incandescently angry about the profiteering part. (The rest of it, normal people are disgusted and distressed by, but why aren't the usual conspiracy types on to the NRA chain of money??? I'd have thought they'd have been furious at the manipulation for money that the little people aren't getting a cent of... just the deaths.)

I know there's been lots of stories about how the NRA are powerful.. but I feel like I never hear how self interested they are in the same tone we do about big corporate pigs. Average American people seem angrier with pay pal and facebook than the NRA. I can't parse it.

Disclaimer/explanation: Australian
posted by taff at 7:17 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd love if if anyone could sell the case that the NRA lobbying supports gun manufacturers over gun owners. Ain't clear how one makes that case to the NRA's current supporters, but if so it'd help.

Also : "Not sure about Daesh/ISIS connection but Omar Mateen supported at least one terrorist organization #NYPD" (more)
posted by jeffburdges at 8:11 AM on June 13, 2016




ridgerunner, I am so sorry to hear about the mass in your lungs. I really hope it is treatable.

I find your breakdown of America into distinct tribes to be both false and incredibly depressing. I have friends and family who live in or come from all of the areas you mention, including Appalachia. In my experience, while it is certainly true that there are real regional cultural differences, there is much, much more that we have in common than we have differences. And while I am neither gay nor Latino, these folks are my friends and neighbors, and I cannot help but feel their pain; any differences of "tribe" are dwarfed by our human connections.

I also don't understand how the divisions you perceive help to justify the need for civilians to own weapons like the AR-15, which is increasingly the weapon of choice for mass shooters.
posted by biogeo at 10:18 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's a statement weapon. The statement is "I could go on a killing spree at any time."
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]




Still no response from the Senators who "represent" me as to why they want guns in the hands of domestic terrorists. I'm not really holding my breath.
posted by biogeo at 11:09 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]




Has the Onion posted its traditional "'No way to prevent this,' says only nation where this regularly happens" article yet?
posted by MattWPBS at 2:50 PM on June 13, 2016




The Onion seems to be mixing it up for this one with new ones.
posted by Archelaus at 3:50 PM on June 13, 2016


Gun violence is a serious problem, but the extreme arguments (melt them down versus everyone has a right to one) make this a really hard issue for me. I believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. All of it. It's the immigrant in me, I guess.

I look at the Second Amendment and see the reason for its existence (the ongoing militarization of our police makes it even more obvious) but my reading on it is that a civilian 1) has the right to bear arms and 2) does so as part of a well-regulated militia. A militia is a non-professional who can be called up to bear arms so that just means civilian to me. But the part that is always ignored by the extreme right is the definition of "well-regulated". It's as if the extreme left wants to delete the second half of the amendment while the extreme right wants to delete the first half.

To me that means any civilian who wishes to bear arms must be trained to bear those arms responsibly and that defines being "well-regulated". I would be impressed if we were like Switzerland but parts of it may be considered unconstitutional. However, doing something similar to what is done across all 50 states in the process by which a person is authorized to own and drive cars could be a basis from which to build something appropriate for arms.

I once proposed in another of these threads the following:
  1. The individual is licensed after providing sufficient evidence of capacity; the license requires renewal after a certain period (say annually), which again requires demonstrating the individual's responsible use and ownership of a firearm. This assessment would be both written and demonstrated, where safe handling and knowledge of federal and state laws are tested as well as minimum requirements for safe use and marksmanship. This is akin to a driver's license. I don't see a problem with application and renewal incurring a fee.
  2. The purchase of each individual firearm is registered and must be regularly re-registered after a certain period (say annually). This is akin to a car registration and also can incur a fee.
  3. Insurance must be purchased, based on the individual and the number and type of legal firearms they register.
  4. All above fees and insurance cannot create undue burden on the individual and yes, it can be made wholly or partly tax-deductible or even subsidized. It is still a right even if it must be regulated.
I would even advocate a manual of arms class in school much like driver's ed, because the mysticism of the gun causes two problems: 1) it makes it a somewhat forbidden topic that can excite a person's fancy and lead to fetishism and 2) it makes the majority of the population ignorant on their operation, including what they can and cannot do. Also, such education should include the serious legal ramifications involved when exercising your right to bear arms. You may not like it and you may never want to use one ever again, but you at least need to know what they are and how they are used in order to discuss how they are regulated.

Knowledge is power and reduces fear. The revolutionary period was one where arms were common hunting, sporting and military instruments. Children knew of them and knew how to use them. There was no ignorance, no need to tell a friend, "Hey wanna see my dad's gun? I know where he hides it." Today a majority of the population is so unfamiliar with guns that they confuse basic terminology, which can affect perception and color opinion.

For example, the AR in AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle and not a machine gun, does not mean assault rifle; the term assault rifle is a political term that is defined differently depending on which state you are in and is about as useful a descriptor as "sports car" -- evocative but practically meaningless. They also don't know the actual law regarding the control of firearms; the producers of Katie Couric's recent documentary "Under the Gun" broke several federal law and then claimed what they did was legal (it definitely was not) so they were either ignorant or deliberately misleading. Either way, they confused the issue and contributed to the noise that prevents a practical discussion on the very real problem of gun violence.

Remove ignorance and a better informed public along with a better informed legislature can decide intelligently on how best to regulate the availability and use of arms, not to mention destroy the poison of the current incarnation of the NRA.
posted by linux at 4:29 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey, if semi-automatic rifles with pistol grips and 30 round magazines aren't any different from any other gun I guess you won't miss them then?
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Linux - You had me right up until #4 on your list, frankly. - if we have to subsidize guns so that people can have them, I find that an undue burden on the taxpayer in favor of gun owners. I'm not a fan of that in any capacity.

You also lost me when suggesting guns were a tool for fighting the militarization of the police. It seems to me that the Founding Fathers made a pretty clear statement about their intentions in this regard back in the Whiskey Rebellion. I also think that the folks who talk loudest about "resisting the state" have a certain tendency to look like the Bundy Ranch Dudes. Not the guys I want out there fighting for my freedom, when it comes down to it, kthx.
posted by Archelaus at 4:41 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


just repeal the 2nd amendment already. you're OK with disallowing tanks, bazookas, nuclear bombs, etc. why not just draw the line at guns?

compared to the u.s. armed forces, a militia CANNOT be well-armed. swords are just as good as guns when the feds come shooting. we've seen it.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:49 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Archelaus, the 4th item is basically acknowledgement of constitutional right. I am not against not having a subsidy, I just don't know how to set this up so that if a citizen wishes to bear arms they can do so without undue burden but still be regulated (i.e. licensed and registered).

I would prefer the police demilitarize and again be a civic job concerned with protecting the peace instead of enforcing order. As to folks who talk loud and own bunkers filled with ammo -- yeah they're just as scary as SWAT and the mafia.
posted by linux at 4:54 PM on June 13, 2016




Yup, we really shouldn't expect anything except the usual BS.
posted by Artw at 6:38 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]






linux, and that's one major reason why despite not being intrinsically opposed to civilian ownership of firearms I think we need to either repeal the 2nd Amendment or get a Supreme Court that will interpret it in such a way that the NRA would considered it to be repealed.

A person's dangerous hobby should not be counted as a basic human right explicitly because it makes regulation of that dangerous hobby difficult.

I also think the belief that civilian owned guns represent even the slightest stumbling block to tyranny is not merely demonstrably false [1], but reflects a delusional worldview that is quite dangerous. And, as Archelaus, pointed out, the bozos with the Rambo fantasies are about as far from the people I want "protecting" my freedom as you can possibly get.

Again, I'm not actually advocating for abolishing civilian firearms. I'm just for imposing a strict regulatory structure, mandating safe storage and immediate reporting of any lost or stolen gun, liability for anyone who's gun was used in a crime, and abolishing the sheer madness of civilian open or concealed carry.

Now I'll also get on board with demilitarizing the police. Hell, I'll get on board with disarming the police. I don't think a random traffic cop needs to have a gun anymore than I think a random schmoe walking down the street needs to have a gun. But that's a wholly separate issue from civilian ownership of guns.

[1] Iraq under Saddam Hussein had looser gun laws than Japan does. Clearly owning guns did not prevent tyranny there, nor does sharply limiting guns cause tyranny in Japan. Guns and tyranny are irrelevant to each other.
posted by sotonohito at 7:43 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: Hell yes! Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes is flipping amazing here and I love him. Enough with this bullshit ritual of a "moment of silence" for people they didn't give a shit about while they enact the NRA's agenda that assures a constant stream of "moments of silence".

We are, as a nation, practicing a grotesque form of human sacrifice. The NRA demands a regular blood sacrifice to sate their great gun gods an I say enough is fucking enough. No more human sacrifice to appease the NRA.
posted by sotonohito at 7:48 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


sotonohito, repealing the amendment won't fly but interpreting it such that the term "well-regulated" is enforced to mean strict ownership responsibilities along the lines of what I outlined above is something I can get behind 100%. The reason those yahoos with action hero ambitions are the way they are is partly because of the how guns are a fetish, perceived as a dangerous taboo by the majority of the populace.

In a population educated in what a gun is and how it works and familiar with the laws in place to regulate their purchase and use, it's no longer as fetishistic nor as scary. It becomes boring, as common as a machete used to cut grass or one of those seriously expensive kitchen knives yet look like they were meant to do something more (knives freak me out). In a population familiar with firearms and aware of their danger and their limitations I think the creation of people who believe they are the saviors of democracy because they know the secret of the gun will diminish. But if you ban them or greatly restrict them via bizarre laws intended to confound and frustrate a licensed seller (much of the law is around the ability to transfer a firearm to an individual, not to possess one) then you increase their appeal as an exotic item. You would think Prohibition and the war on drugs made that evident. Legalize and regulate, then tax it and fund research on improving awareness and safety programs. Then we can get off this crazy merry-go-round of extreme emotions and address the issue of gun violence sanely.

Concealed and open carry can be tricky. Certainly, CCWs should not be "shall issue" and instead be "may issue" where requirements must be met. Some places are quite strict about it and others are so loose as to be nuts. I could certainly be convinced to allow open carry instead of concealed, whereby a security guard must openly show they are carrying versus having it concealed (I work across a building that employs CCW guards in suits due to it being a Jewish cultural center that has received its fair share of threats).

As for open carry, that's trickier. In the city, unless you are cleared for a specific job, I don't see why you should carry at all. However, in the countryside, on farm land or in areas close to wilderness, it's not at all out of the ordinary to have a hunting rifle or shotgun on you or hanging off a holster or rack in your truck or car. It's common and common sense, just as it is common sense to think a person is an idiot if they did the same with an AR semi-automatic. There is a clear, practical reason to open carry in such areas, just as I think that if one were out traveling deep in the countryside, hiking trails far away from cell reception, that they would be within their rights to carry something to protect themselves, including a gun.

The point is you want to make sure that since civilians can possess firearms they must be trained in their use, in making them safe, and in knowing the laws that govern them. You do that and you greatly increase public safety.
posted by linux at 9:04 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]




Now I'll point out that NONE of the gun proponents have commented at all about the proposal referred to by MtDewd, me, and fffm now to make the NRA's rules on safe gun handling legal requirements.

I didn't get to this thread until today and just read this bit right now. The NRA's safe gun handling instructions are actually pretty much enforced by California's Firearms Safety Certificate, which is required to purchased a firearm. It is a written exam based more or less on the NRA's safe gun handling manual, correctly identifying the parts and operation of a gun, and correctly answering questions on state-specific statutes like minimum ages to purchase handguns versus long guns and the misdemeanor and felony charges one could face given particular scenarios. You pass, you get a certificate. You fail, you get to try again after 24 hours and only with the same place you took it the first time (there are different versions of the test so you can't memorize the test).

Also, each and every time a person buys a gun in California they have to either be educated on or demonstrate knowledge of the manual of arms for the gun in question. During demonstration all safe handling guidelines must be observed by a certified instructor (not every salesperson is allowed to perform this safe handling demonstration to a customer).

So yeah, there's not much to say about that proposal other than SURE. Californians already have to get that certificate in order to purchase a gun so you could just make it a federal requirement (or convince the other states and territories to adopt it much like a lot of state ARBs are starting to align with CARB for automobile emissions requirements). The NRA's stance is that these are common sense guidelines and shouldn't be enforced by a federal statute, so there may be some gun proponents who would say they wouldn't like it to be actual law. My stance is clearly not theirs in this regard as I have no problem making this required, licensed, registered and regularly enforced. So yeah: SURE.
posted by linux at 11:55 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


sotonohito: "
Similarly he was on a terrorist watch list, again thanks to the NRA that also didn't disqualify him.
"

Being on the terrorist watch list shouldn't disqualify anyone from owning a gun. List membership is determined by grossly unconstitutional methods (EG: the CIA, NSA, and other countries security apparatus can nominate people for inclusion, in secret and under a cloak of national security) and can only be challenged by internal secret arbitration. Arbitration which seems to be (though we don't really know because secret) "yep we correctly followed our internal processes" or "nope we didn't follow our internal processes"

Senor Cardgage: "Could a skilled marksman use this to kill dozens of people in a matter of a few minutes?
If so, you cant have one. Sorry. That's not hunting, that's not "self-defense", that's mass murder and by the way were putting you on a 6-month watchlist just for asking for one.
"

That would cover essentially all rifles. The British were able to train their line troops to fire the bolt action Lee Enfield at a sustained 15 shots per minute (helped along by stripper clip fed box magazines) while still putting the rounds on target. Heck you can do the same with a compound bow.

homunculus: "The gun used in the Orlando shooting is becoming mass shooters’ weapon of choice"

This is as much the ubiquitousness of the AR-15 as it is some sort of reasoned choice by spree killers. I ran the numbers once in another thread which I can't find now and the AR-15 comprises more than 1% of the US rifle market. It would like being amazed that the pizza delivery guy showed up at your door in a Toyota Corolla if the Corolla accounted for 1 in every 90 automobiles sold.
posted by Mitheral at 2:51 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is as much the ubiquitousness of the AR-15 as it is some sort of reasoned choice by spree killers. I ran the numbers once in another thread which I can't find now and the AR-15 comprises more than 1% of the US rifle market. It would like being amazed that the pizza delivery guy showed up at your door in a Toyota Corolla if the Corolla accounted for 1 in every 90 automobiles sold.

But AR's were used in a lot more than one percent of the recent mass shootings (of the large scale kind, not the gangland drive by kind and family violence kind that make up the vast majority of shootings). At least in the last few years, they really have been the go-to option for these people, and I disagree that it is purely out of fashion or as a reflection of the overall percentages of sales.

There are design elements that make AR's well-suited for paramilitary applications, including the low recoil, good ergonomics, and reliability (not to mention the surprisingly low cost). I very much doubt that many of these guys would have the same results if they were limited to, say, bolt action hunting rifles.

Legislatively I don't know how you would do it (because of the functional features they have in common with many hunting rifles, and because you can add the cosmetic components to all kinds of other guns), but I am coming to the conclusion that it would be better to have AR's and similar guns handled like silencers and machine guns -- totally legal, but you need to jump through all of the expensive and difficult ATF rules to own them. Raising the bar to ownership and lowering the number of AR-ish rifles in circulation won't do anything to the overall US gun death rates, but it will put a barrier in place to this one specific kind of mass shooting, which seems worthwhile to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:39 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dalia Lithwick: The Second Amendment Hoax
This is where I tell you that the current interpretation of the Second Amendment—the one held onto by Carson, and Donald Trump, and practically the entire Republican Party—is a hoax. Outside of the GOP, this is widely understood. But what we fail to comprehend, as we bury more of our dead in the name of freedom, is that it is a triple-decker hoax: A lie wrapped in a fabrication, lacquered over with a falsehood. That we chose to wrap it around our necks as a symbol of our own liberty is our own fault and shame.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution says this: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” For most of U.S. history, that was understood to mean that the freedom guaranteed by the Second Amendment was precisely what it said: the right of the people of each state to maintain a well-regulated militia.

So clearly and unequivocally held was this worldview that no less a liberal squish than Richard Nixon Supreme Court appointee Warren Burger said after his retirement in 1991 that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud—I repeat the word ‘fraud’—on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” This reading was based on precedent. The Supreme Court had clearly agreed with Burger’s interpretation and not that of the special interest groups he chastised, perhaps most famously in a 1939 case called U.S. v. Miller. That ruling said that since the possession or use of a “shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length” had no reasonable relationship to the “preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia,” the court simply could not find that the Second Amendment guaranteed “the right to keep and bear such an instrument.” Period, full stop. And that was the viewpoint adopted by the courts for years.
[...]
We are in thrall to a fib of epic proportions that itself relies on two other lies. And because we are captive to all these lies, we are also captive to the notion that as much as we wish someone would do something about all the innocent dead people, our hands are tied by the freedom-affording gift that is the Second Amendment. It is a sick joke of our democracy that after every mass shooting we must tell our children that the Framers gave us this precious gift of liberty, more valuable than their lives, and that we are stuck with it. This is the opposite of freedom. It is slavery by choice.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:43 AM on June 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


The NRA's stance is that these [requirements to demonstrate knowledge of gun safety and operation] are common sense guidelines and shouldn't be enforced by a federal statute

If a direct federal statute wouldn't pass muster — either constitutionally (although I think it would) or politically — I wonder if federal pressure can be applied to adopt something like this in all 50 states and DC. Much like we don't technically have a nationwide drinking age of 21, we have 51 state+DC drinking ages, all of which are 21... but the states are swayed by the fact that the federal government will withhold highway funds if they don't have a 21 drinking age.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:52 AM on June 14, 2016






Ban large magazines. Make the fuckers reload more often. That's when someone can hit them with a chair.
posted by Artw at 7:12 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Samantha Bee's segment includes a clip of Obama's recent PBS NewsHour town hall discussion where Obama addresses the question "why restrict 'good' gun owners?" bullshit, but without getting into the white guy's specific example of the murder rate in Chicago (which, as of three years ago, was very racially divided - a safe city, unless you're black), or talking about no one can seem to pass laws in the US that do anything about really identifying "the good guys" who should own guns, without getting into some hand-waving comparison of "thugs" vs "us" (likely being more white guys).

Okay; now there’s no denying it. President Obama, the Democratic Party, the liberal media, and other members of the progressive left are the best gun sales team of the decade.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on June 14, 2016


Jacqueline: Speaking of planning, I really hope that someone is studying how much planning and forethought go into the different types of mass shootings and mass shootings in general.

That would be great, but 1) what defines a "mass shooting," and 2) as long as you don't look for Congress to support such research.

If the answer to #1 is at the threshold set by the Gun Violence Archive, where four or more people are wounded or killed, then the recent example posted Artw, where there were 5 Found Shot to Death in New Mexico Home, would count. In that case, it was the father who is accused of fatally shooting his wife and four daughters in their home. Good news for anyone who is not the CDC who wants to study this in the US, as we have 31% of all public mass shootings in the world between 1966 and 2012, even with only 5% of the world's population.

But that would miss such low body count "road rage" type instances, like a man shot and killed a four year old girl. But we can overlook that one, as all the coverage I've seen of this other New Mexico case centered on it being a case of "road rage," not "guy with anger issues who shouldn't have a gun, especially in his car where he might get angry enough at a lane change dispute to pull out a gun and fire it at other people."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:37 AM on June 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


It would like being amazed that the pizza delivery guy showed up at your door in a Toyota Corolla if the Corolla accounted for 1 in every 90 automobiles sold.

Corollas aren't really fetish objects, though. I have seen how (multiple) AR-15 owners treat those guns. They're fetish objects.

Remove ignorance and a better informed public along with a better informed legislature can decide intelligently on how best to regulate the availability and use of arms

Once again, for some reason, it's always gun aficionados who make clear that they'll only talk when everybody's a fucking gun aficionado versed in the infinitely-deep minutiae of their hobby. (It is very sealion, very Reddit, very 'DEBATE MEEEE'.)

Once again: how about we remove ignorance about what a pile of bleeding bullet-ridden bodies looks like, and then Americans can decide intelligently whether they really want piles of bleeding bodies stacked up in their cities on a semi-regular basis? If they do -- and let's face it, that's the working assumption -- then fine. Gun people are going to keep shooting people, and other gun people are going to blame the victims for not being gun people, and the lunatics will continue to run the asylum.
posted by holgate at 8:18 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Corollas aren't really fetish objects, though.

They most certainly are (to some people).
posted by zakur at 8:33 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]




There are design elements that make AR's well-suited for paramilitary applications, including the low recoil, good ergonomics, and reliability (not to mention the surprisingly low cost). I very much doubt that many of these guys would have the same results if they were limited to, say, bolt action hunting rifles.

An AK would be more reliable by a mile and it is cheaper to boot. Low recoil? Maybe? It can be handled if the person is trained, but it is enough that if you fire rapidly (faster than one round per second) you will find yourself pointing up tens of degrees after a dozen rounds no matter how trained you are, especially if the round is .223/5.56 or larger. As for ergonomics, that can be a personal preference but having fired one I don't find its ergonomics appealing (certainly, you can customize parts to get there, but that's true for many models other than an AR).

I attribute its popularity mainly to its being a civilian variant of the military model used by our armed forces and looks the part. Basically, it carries with it a mystique in its easily identifiable visual that can cause intimidation and fear when presented; this is something that would be psychological advantageous for the shooter and feeds his/her self-aggrandizement.

To be frank (and macabre, so apologies), the AR and its ilk are more about that visual than their usability when used by those who wish to terrorize a crowded room versus its use by the Beltway sniper. As for bolt action hunting rifles: Charles Whitman at UT fed his ego by being an unseen killer in a clock tower, a scenario where a bolt action hunting rifle is exactly what you would use but he could also have used an AR so long as he didn't rapid fire.

Ban large magazines. Make the fuckers reload more often. That's when someone can hit them with a chair.

Actually, I think having a large magazine would make them waste more ammunition shooting high. Large capacity magazines make one think they can fire their weapon rapidly. Firing rapidly increases inaccuracy. Stay low, dive for cover, move quickly. And when they do run out, a large capacity magazine is more bulky and awkward to remove to boot, so given you are already planning a counter-assault you have that extra time to throw that chair then pick up another one and ram them with it.

Trying to pass legislation centered around terror shootings (since a mass shooting is about number of deaths and can include domestic violence) and painting the AR as evil and a superior murder weapon won't solve the far larger number of gun violence deaths in this country. In many ways, and again this rather morbid, the switch to using guns for terror assaults is, to me, better than bombings. I would attribute the effectiveness of our anti-terrorism capabilities that these assholes are switching to guns, which are much less lethal than explosive devices.

Access to legally obtainable firearms is therefore what should be addressed (and is precisely what Obama tries to address). Banning of any sort, be it large capacity magazines or evil features like thumbhole stocks, pistol grips and suppressors all feed into promoting the visual of an evil gun and address nothing. A gun is made of many parts and one could therefore purchase one without those features, purchase spare parts that are not illegal to purchase, and swap out the stock bits and end up with an evil, illegal gun.

So limit access via licensing, regulating, taxing and you make it harder to obtain or transfer a firearm (and if you do it is inextricably linked to a chain of ownership). Require safety programs and training for license and registration and you create a a culture of safety and awareness around the use and misuse of a firearm, and here you hope to see a drop in negligent discharges and improper storage leading to tragic consequences.

Once again, for some reason, it's always gun aficionados who make clear that they'll only talk when everybody's a fucking gun aficionado versed in the infinitely-deep minutiae of their hobby.

You don't have to be an aficionado, you have to be knowledgeable. Being knowledgeable doesn't make you an expert or a hobbyist, right? You know how to drive a car and that it needs fuel and maintenance to run but you don't have to know how it works internally or go into aficionado territory and geek out on suspension geometry and air/fuel ratios.

Would you converse with someone who has a negative opinion on a particular subject yet professes to know little about it but states they don't need to know much about it to know it is factually evil?

Conversely, would you converse with someone who has a positive opinion on a particular subject that has decided to pin you down as a hater and thinks that you have nothing useful to say?

Welcome to the merry-go-round.
posted by linux at 8:51 AM on June 14, 2016


Absolutely happy to see AK-47 patterned assault rifles banned too.
posted by Artw at 8:53 AM on June 14, 2016


biogeo
I really hope it is treatable.

Thank you. It just caught me off guard after 6 years C-free. I sorry I depressed you again, and depending on how much you read into it, calling different areas tribes could be over stating it. I felt terrible for New Yorkers after 9/11; and I don't think there's a chance in hell anyone would be allowed to do mountain top removal in the Catskills.

I can love The City, and I mean like 4 blocks off Castro. I learned more than you can shake a stick at that summer and have nothing bad to say about it except for the prices. Still don't want to be a San Franciscan. So,I'm not sure how you find it false and depressing.

I also don't understand how the divisions you perceive help to justify the need for civilians to own weapons like the AR-15,

From reading some popular sociology books one of the cultural differences between people in 'fly over' country and 'bi-coastal' people is the concept of liberty, as in having the freedom to do or own whatever you desire with out having to justify it to anyone, balanced against other people's right to do the same. If someone wants something regulated or banned, its on them to justify that reduction of everyone's liberty. (And yes I know some members of my subculture can be head-bangingly hypocritical about extending that right to everyone.)

Without being able to prove assault weapons are necessary or sufficient (as in owning one of the millions of assault weapons in the U.S. makes you more likely to murder) to commit a mass shooting, its going to be tough to get the Senate votes you need.

Then there's this quote from Charles Krauthammer's Disarm the Citizenry. But not Yet. in the Washington Post:
"Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquillity of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically. It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today.

Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic -- purely symbolic -- move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation."

Every time the New Republic, HuffPo, The Daily Beast etc. publish a headline mentioning gun bans or confiscation someone will cut n paste it to a gun forum. Shortly, someone else will trot this quote out as proof that The Left, Liberals, Yankees, City People, PETA are liars, deceptive, deceitful, can't be trusted. Then somebody else will cross it to hunting forums, motorcycle forums, homestead forums, even livestock forums.

I don't know how many times I've seen it in the last 20 years. Krauthammer couldn't have done the RNC a bigger favor if he had tried. You can read the whole thing at the Post, its dated 5 APR 96. This meme is embedded in the Deep South, the Upper South, the Southern Plains and the West. I don't see how you can defeat it, short term.

Here's a couple more from a Pulitzer Prize winning author and self identified Liberal from the Quaker tradition, Jane Smiley:
"4. Scots-Irish “New Light” Protestants from the Border Counties and
Ulster to the Appalachian Backcountry, 1717-1775. Characteristics in
both Britain and America: Mean as a snake and twice as quick...oh,
excuse me. I am losing my judicious tone."

"Perhaps culture #4 cannot be, or won’t be assimilated, but can only be reduced,
subdued, or dominated."
Damn. Don't that just give ya the warm and fuzzies?
You can read Jane’s Bingo! Award at HoffPo, updated 2011

If you think, halfbreed white trash, has disappeared from the Right's lexicon, I have to congratulate you on your choice of websites to read. I mean being here beats the hell out of being on a Rez out West or being Black. But all in all I think we should keep our weapons, not because I think we would win, but someone might think the price of winning could be too high.
posted by ridgerunner at 8:56 AM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


In many ways, and again this rather morbid, the switch to using guns for terror assaults is, to me, better than bombings.

In what way?

This is all absolute garbage. Please stop parading around spouting nonsense, you possess no surperior or useful information, just a bunch of ghoulish excuses.
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


You don't have to be an aficionado, you have to be knowledgeable.

No, you're kidding yourself. It doesn't work like that. If you're a veteran, and you use the word 'clip', then you are declared incapable of commenting on semi-automatic rifles. It's not simply uber-hobbyist, but the cultivation of an esoteric vocabulary and form of discourse that includes or excludes.

Would you converse with someone who has a negative opinion on a particular subject yet professes to know little about it but states they don't need to know much about it to know it is factually evil?

The flawed and toxic assumption here is that the topic for discussion is "gunz!" and not "mass murder". What's your informed opinion on mass murder? Personally, I don't know much about committing mass murder, but I think we could do with less of it.
posted by holgate at 9:10 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Trevor Noah:

"This is exactly the kind of country it wants to be. Because we know how this always plays out. We're shocked, we mourn, we change our profile pics, and then, we move on."

"ISIS without guns is basically just a blog."
posted by numaner at 9:23 AM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


ridgerunner: If someone wants something regulated or banned, its on them to justify that reduction of everyone's liberty.

Why does anyone need a gun with the capacity for more than one bullet? (Ignoring the question, why does anyone need a gun?) You still get your gun, and you can shoot something once. But I don't think that's a compromise gun owners would accept.

I feel it's like someone demanding they get a lion when being offered a housecat. Look, lions are dangerous, and you can visit them in the zoo or a wild animal park if you want to see one, but everyone is safer if people don't have lions in their houses. Cats are still potentially dangerous, but not in the same way.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:23 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


You don't have to be an aficionado, you have to be knowledgeable.

I'm sorry, do you mean "to discuss the issue" or "to murder dozens of people"?
posted by Etrigan at 9:30 AM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


The NRA's safe gun handling instructions are actually pretty much enforced by California's Firearms Safety Certificate, which is required to purchased a firearm. It is a written exam based more or less on the NRA's safe gun handling manual, correctly identifying the parts and operation of a gun, and correctly answering questions on state-specific statutes like minimum ages to purchase handguns versus long guns and the misdemeanor and felony charges one could face given particular scenarios. You pass, you get a certificate. You fail, you get to try again after 24 hours

I mean, okay, licensing and and requiring that individuals can safely operate a dangerous piece of machinery that they'd like to own seems like a good idea, much like what is required for cars. But that is not what the proposal is. The proposal was not to require that people know safe firearms handling practices in order to own a gun, the proposal is to make people legally obligated to follow such practices. Right now if you decide to see how fast you can drive your car through a residential neighborhood, you are committing a crime of reckless driving. But if you show off your gun by spinning it around your finger and accidentally kill someone with it, no crime has occurred. If at work I fail to follow the FDA's requirements on securing the controlled substances used in my research, and someone steals them, I have committed a federal crime (and am probably fired). If you fail to follow the NRA's recommendations for securing your weapon and someone prohibited from purchasing guns steals it, the only crime that has occurred is theft.

Merely requiring that people know good practice is not enough. They need to be made responsible for following good practice.
posted by biogeo at 9:39 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Actually, I think having a large magazine would make them waste more ammunition shooting high. Large capacity magazines make one think they can fire their weapon rapidly. Firing rapidly increases inaccuracy. Stay low, dive for cover, move quickly. And when they do run out, a large capacity magazine is more bulky and awkward to remove to boot, so given you are already planning a counter-assault you have that extra time to throw that chair then pick up another one and ram them with it.

If you seriously believe that, then why aren't you advocating for banning small-capacity magazines? That's a just a disagreement in the methodology rather than the principle. It follows that if you think large capacity magazines make it harder to kill more people quickly, shouldn't we try to make magazines as big as possible?

A gun is made of many parts and one could therefore purchase one without those features, purchase spare parts that are not illegal to purchase, and swap out the stock bits and end up with an evil, illegal gun.

If it's true that one can simply swap in spare parts so that bans change nothing in practice, then surely banning multiple parts isn't objectionable in the first place under any kind of constitutional ground or practical ground?
posted by cjelli at 9:41 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


To be frank (and macabre, so apologies), the AR and its ilk are more about that visual than their usability when used by those who wish to terrorize a crowded room versus its use by the Beltway sniper.

Inorite? Like this pinko hippie idiot (emphasis mine):
An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that. That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America[...]The number of people in America killed by firearms is extraordinary compared to other nations, and I don’t think we’re a bloodthirsty country. We need to look at everything we can do to safeguard our people.
Oh, wait, I'm sorry, that's Gen. Stanley McChrystal. But, you know, maybe he's just not knowledgable about these things.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:45 AM on June 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


No, you're kidding yourself. It doesn't work like that. If you're a veteran, and you use the word 'clip', then you are declared incapable of commenting on semi-automatic rifles. It's not simply uber-hobbyist, but the cultivation of an esoteric vocabulary and form of discourse that includes or excludes.

That's part of the problem, isn't it? The line is drawn and the extremists on both sides refuse to have any form of discourse and the moderates and slight leaners get pegged as either/or and so also don't get to have a say. I find gun fetishists disturbing in their insistence on precise vocabulary precisely (I have probably already misused some terms in this discussion as while I do know about firearms I am very, very far from being an expert). I also find that this absolutism also exists on the other extreme and it's disheartening. You can't get a word in edgewise with some, no matter how much you write (and I've noticed I'm writing rather long-winded posts in my attempt to be deliberate and careful in what I write to avoid a shouting match -- and instead I may be coming off as a snob or a bore).


The flawed and toxic assumption here is that the topic for discussion is "gunz!" and not "mass murder". What's your informed opinion on mass murder? Personally, I don't know much about committing mass murder, but I think we could do with less of it.

My opinion is that "gunz!" is a topic with a very specific type of object and "mass murder" is the result of the use of a variety of objects and/actions. There isn't much to having an opinion on mass murder whereas I think when discussing how to legislate the procurement and use of a gun that does require some education, if only so we all have a common base from which we can discuss and be informed of the opinions of both sides.

I'm sorry, do you mean "to discuss the issue" or "to murder dozens of people"?
I'll play. I meant to discuss the issue on how best to regulate the procurement and use of firearms and promote a culture of safety and awareness.


I mean, okay, licensing and and requiring that individuals can safely operate a dangerous piece of machinery that they'd like to own seems like a good idea, much like what is required for cars. But that is not what the proposal is

Okay, I see that. Basically a set of laws similar to reckless driving. The FSC exam does go over the legal consequences, by the way. It tests you on what is considered legal, safe storage and what you would be charged with should you violate that law. Adding a set of laws on reckless use of firearms? Sure. I don't know if they aren't already in the book, though. If they aren't then I wouldn't object to getting them in there.


If you seriously believe that, then why aren't you advocating for banning small-capacity magazines? That's a just a disagreement in the methodology rather than the principle. It follows that if you think large capacity magazines make it harder to kill more people quickly, shouldn't we try to make magazines as big as possible?

If it's true that one can simply swap in spare parts so that bans change nothing in practice, then surely banning multiple parts isn't objectionable in the first place under any kind of constitutional ground or practical ground?


I'm advocating that looking at these bits and pieces doesn't solve the larger issue of changing gun culture in America. I'd like to see guns lose their exotic mystique and become as mundane as a machete in context (obviously a guy with a machete in a bar is a problem versus in the brush).


Inorite? Like this pinko hippie idiot (emphasis mine):
An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that. That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America[...]The number of people in America killed by firearms is extraordinary compared to other nations, and I don’t think we’re a bloodthirsty country. We need to look at everything we can do to safeguard our people.
Oh, wait, I'm sorry, that's Gen. Stanley McChrystal. But, you know, maybe he's just not knowledgable about these things.


There's no denying the lethality of an AR. I just think that these people choose the AR because of the added visual recognition of it as a lethal weapon versus other guns out there that can be just as lethal.
posted by linux at 9:51 AM on June 14, 2016


I just think that these people choose the AR because of the added visual recognition of it as a lethal weapon versus other guns out there that can be just as lethal.

You do realize how much it sounds like you're leading into "So we shouldn't bother banning any of them", right? I mean, it's a pretty common trope that you're (possibly unconsciously) imitating here.
posted by Etrigan at 10:02 AM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


If people wandered into public spaces and started chopping people down with machetes then machetes would be banned or regulated in five seconds flat.

* yes, yes, they probably already are.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on June 14, 2016


There isn't much to having an opinion on mass murder

That's specious. Demanding a hyper-technical foundation for conversations -- in essence, granting guns more privilege than the victims of gun violence -- is expressing an opinion on mass murder, namely ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

It's not massively different from the special pleading and establishment receptiveness to special pleading that kept the Stanford rapist out of state prison. "That gun didn't have a history of criminal violence, it was bought from a respectable shop, there's no reason why it couldn't have had a bright future defending people against crime or tyranny."
posted by holgate at 10:08 AM on June 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


Being on the terrorist watch list shouldn't disqualify anyone from owning a gun.

You can make exactly the same argument, for exactly the same reasons, to say that "being on the terrorist watch list shouldn't disqualify anyone from flying on a plane." And yet the general population has no problem with the terrorist watch list being used for that purpose.

It is a given that the watch list is inaccurate. But this inaccuracy can't be used as a justification to waive gun regulation, and at the same time be dismissed with a shrug and a "whaddyagonna do" when it comes to people's free movement throughout the country. You cannot have it both ways. If you use it for one, you should use it for the other; if it'd not good enough to be used for one, it shouldn't be used for the other. If you need to fix it, fix it. But do not go halves like that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:22 AM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


You do realize how much it sounds like you're leading into "So we shouldn't bother banning any of them", right? I mean, it's a pretty common trope that you're (possibly unconsciously) imitating here.

I'm going to walk a fine line here. I personally think the AR is a useless firearm for civilian use and couldn't care less if it was banned. How you classify this as banned and not other types of firearms is where I'm not sure how things would go. I think even my opinion on how to restrict and regulate the use of firearms is naive because I don't think we as a nation are informed enough on all aspects of the issue.

If I advocate anything, I advocate more knowledge to make informed decisions. The worst thing that happened was in 1996 when the gun lobbyists succeeded in defunding gun violence research at a national level. This is why the one gun bill in California that I 100% unequivocally support is the establishment of a gun violence research center at the University of California (campus undetermined).


That's specious. Demanding a hyper-technical foundation for conversations -- in essence, granting guns more privilege than the victims of gun violence -- is expressing an opinion on mass murder, namely ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

I didn't think I was demanding that level of granularity for conversation. I don't expect this to be a high bar for entry. I think the largest gap in knowledge is about the actual laws that are in place at the federal and respective state levels so we can evaluate whether or not they are useful given the object they are legislating.

The catch-22 is that much of the current and future legislation is and will be obsessed with the bits and pieces of a gun and so in order review whether or not any of this can actually contribute to decreasing and eventually eliminating gun violence means you would need to know what those bits and pieces mean; hence, needing to know about guns.
posted by linux at 10:25 AM on June 14, 2016


I may be coming off as a snob or a bore

More like someone who isn't knowledgeable lecturing other people on not being knowledgeable while simultaneously dismissing information from people who are knowledgeable. I'm sure you can see how that would seem condescending and frustrating.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:26 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Being specific about what is banned is exactly what laws do. If parts can be tinkertoyed onto a gun to make it into a quick mass murder tool, then I would expect those parts to be banned too.
posted by agregoli at 10:40 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]




EmpressCallipygos: "You can make exactly the same argument, for exactly the same reasons, to say that "being on the terrorist watch list shouldn't disqualify anyone from flying on a plane.""

One could. I mean it's funny when garnering extra security or being denied access happens to well connected and well known no-good-nicks like Senator Kennedy It sucks if it happens to Nigel from Toronto. It took a sitting US senator's staff three weeks to get him cleared; what chance does someone unconnected have?.

EmpressCallipygos: "And yet the general population has no problem with the terrorist watch list being used for that purpose."

Something being popular doesn't make it right. Stopping people from flying because of who knows what reason is wrong. It's dumb security theatre to boot; 9/11 style attacks aren't going to happen again. I've railed against the no-fly list here before.

The no fly list is doubly dumb because they intentionally leave off people of interest lest those people be tipped off that they are being surveilled.
posted by Mitheral at 10:55 AM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, do you mean "to discuss the issue" or "to murder dozens of people"?
I'll play.


See, some of us aren't treating this issue as "playing". It's less a Philosophy 101 exercise than a very real issue that continues to affect a lot of people.

I meant to discuss the issue on how best to regulate the procurement and use of firearms and promote a culture of safety and awareness.

And that's the problem here. By claiming that one must have a certain level of expertise to discuss legislation or other measures, you seem to be ignoring the fact that under the current legislative regime, that level of expertise is in no way required to take action that leads to bad outcomes.

Some of us are pretty fucking sick of "Well, but there's this detail that you haven't thought of, so your entire argument is invalid." Some of us who have qualified Expert in several different weapons systems, including the thing that AR-15s are made to look and act like, and have been trained in using those weapons systems to kill a whole bunch of people very quickly, and would be amused at your claims that they aren't really any good for that sort of thing, if we weren't so fucking sickened by your Wellactuallyism.
posted by Etrigan at 10:57 AM on June 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


Something being popular doesn't make it right. Stopping people from flying because of who knows what reason is wrong. It's dumb security theatre to boot; 9/11 style attacks aren't going to happen again. I've railed against the no-fly list here before.

Then you agree with me. Good.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:05 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


More like someone who isn't knowledgeable lecturing other people on not being knowledgeable while simultaneously dismissing information from people who are knowledgeable. I'm sure you can see how that would seem condescending and frustrating.

If that's how it came off then that's unfortunate as that wasn't my intent and I meant no offense. I was trying to express my opinion and all of it is subject to critique. If any of my replies appear dismissive then I truly apologize and ask that you point those out so I can eat crow and attempt to express what I meant without the perceived condescension.


Being specific about what is banned is exactly what laws do. If parts can be tinkertoyed onto a gun to make it into a quick mass murder tool, then I would expect those parts to be banned too.

Sure, but that's why a legislator needs to be knowledgeable about the specifics in order to come up with an effective way to do so. More often than not, many of these laws that try to be specific end up tripping over themselves with loopholes and ineffective enforcement. I find a lot of them are just there to look good on a politician's CV and don't do much to prevent gun violence.

I guess I'm saying I think it would be more useful to enforce laws on the person obtaining and using a gun versus laws on what bits and pieces of a gun can be purchased, and that to me means license, registration and training.


See, some of us aren't treating this issue as "playing". It's less a Philosophy 101 exercise than a very real issue that continues to affect a lot of people.

When I said "I'll play" it was because the question felt sarcastic. I thought I was talking about being informed about the issue, not being knowledgeable about how to to murder people. I believe gun violence is a very real issue in this country and I have expressed how I think it can be addressed through regulation.


And that's the problem here. By claiming that one must have a certain level of expertise to discuss legislation or other measures, you seem to be ignoring the fact that under the current legislative regime, that level of expertise is in no way required to take action that leads to bad outcomes.

You have no argument from me there about the current legislative regime. As to discussing legislation and other measures, I do think you need a certain level of expertise, but it's not one that would require years of education or knowing the minutiae of the law or of the object addressed by law.


Some of us are pretty fucking sick of "Well, but there's this detail that you haven't thought of, so your entire argument is invalid." Some of us who have qualified Expert in several different weapons systems, including the thing that AR-15s are made to look and act like, and have been trained in using those weapons systems to kill a whole bunch of people very quickly, and would be amused at your claims that they aren't really any good for that sort of thing, if we weren't so fucking sickened by your Wellactuallyism.

I was trying to argue that the fetishism of the AR-15 over its practicality and affordability was why it was the weapon of choice for these murderers, not that it was in and of itself inferior in its effectiveness. I got pedantic about it and so lost the thread of my argument.

Let me try again: the AR-15 is extremely effective but so are other guns. I think the AR-15 is more popular because it is fetishized more than these other guns, especially because it is a widely recognized gun that can evoke terror when seen. That's all I meant regarding the AR.
posted by linux at 11:18 AM on June 14, 2016


If that's how it came off then that's unfortunate as that wasn't my intent and I meant no offense. I was trying to express my opinion and all of it is subject to critique. If any of my replies appear dismissive then I truly apologize and ask that you point those out so I can eat crow and attempt to express what I meant without the perceived condescension.

Well, for example, this:

The line is drawn and the extremists on both sides refuse to have any form of discourse and the moderates and slight leaners get pegged as either/or and so also don't get to have a say.

That's fine as a general point, but we're nearly 300 comments into a thread which has predominantly featured the voices and opinions of fairly moderate voices from both perspectives on this issue (which is not to say that there are not stark disagreements, and particularly since Sunday some naked anger) having a discussion largely centered on evidence. From the start of your contributions you have presented yourself as a moderate voice of reason adding some much needed facts to a polarized discussion, many of which were already raised in the thread, which frankly is rather grating and makes it seem as though you didn't really catch up on the thread before joining in. I agree with you that the extreme polarization of this issue makes it hard to discuss. But the assumption that anyone having this discussion must hold and espouse polarized opinions also makes it hard to have the discussion.

A couple of people have advocated for repeal of the second amendment and/or a blanket ban on guns. I don't think anyone has explicitly advocated for no gun control at all. The rest of us have been trying to negotiate and understand how we reduce gun violence against the backdrop of the reality of American law and culture.

Personally I have been disappointed that those who are defending the right to own guns haven't proposed much in the way of specific suggestions for saving lives while preserving their perceived right. The best suggestion I've seen from that side came from outside the thread, now linked and discussed multiple times, that safe handling guidelines be made legal requirements. I think you're the only person who favors the second amendment who has agreed that this is a good idea. I would like to see more suggestions and comments from the pro-gun side as to what would actually work, as opposed to repeatedly stating that proposals from the anti-gun side won't work.
posted by biogeo at 11:26 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


More often than not, many of these laws that try to be specific end up tripping over themselves with loopholes and ineffective enforcement. I find a lot of them are just there to look good on a politician's CV and don't do much to prevent gun violence.

That's not the fault of an unknowing anti-gun legislator, that's the fault of a pro-gun lobbyist who knew exactly what he was doing and a bunch of pro-gun legislators who don't want meaningful changes and a bunch of anti-gun legislators who know that they can't get meaningful changes through the system, so they do what they can and hope it will save at least a few lives while knowing that it probably won't.

But you still plug the holes in the dam that you can reach.
posted by Etrigan at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


"If you want to ban the AR-15 you should also ban X Obscure Gun Nerd Shit That Im Saying Hoping To Derail the Conversation Into Being About Technical Specs So I Can Continue Ignoring The Problem."
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:36 AM on June 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


An additional idea that I think both the second amendment and gun control advocates in this thread may be able to find some common ground on is that the problem is at least as much on the supply side as it is on individual gun owners. There are too damned many guns in this country. This is a large part of why it is pathetically easy for people to obtain them.

This is similar to the climate change issue. We can debate and implement all kinds of pollution controls like carbon taxes, carbon sequestration, clean energy requirements, and so forth, and these are an important part of the solution. But the real problem is pulling carbon out of the ground and returning it to the carbon cycle, and as long as we keep doing that, everything else is fighting a losing battle. Likewise, the real problem here is the sheer number of weapons, particularly military-style weapons, flooding the U.S. (more than one per person). Regulating the actions of millions of individual gun owners and their ability to legally purchase specific weapons can only do so much to solve the problem of gun violence. Reducing the number of guns by regulating the actions of a few thousand gun manufacturers and implementing buyback programs to remove existing guns from the market is a much simpler solution. The problem, of course, is that this directly targets the profits of a powerful industry with an experienced and effective lobbying arm. This is why I attempted to emphasize upthread just how much the NRA fails to represent the goals of typical gun owners, and point which several of the pro-gun commenters here agreed with. I think this is common ground we can work from which really will help save lives.
posted by biogeo at 11:44 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thing is, Im of course joking with my comment above but the problem is a serious one.
Gun nerds will try and hide behind the smoke of specs and minutiae as if you need to know as much about their stupid hobby as they do to have any problem with it. You dont. That is a smokescreen and they know it. All we have to know is that their hobby has spilled over into our lives with deadly results and it therefore needs to be curbed. Dont get pushed back by a gun nerd that tries to gish gallop you with a bunch of irrelevant nonsense about rounds per second, stock type, etc. Its an NRA tactic to keep the conversation off their complicity in selling weapons of death to a small segment of the population and it's going to prove to be an ever-more ineffective one.
I dont care about your spec sheet, and I really dont have to care about your hobby.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:46 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Sorry, editing closed before I could continue so I'll put this in a new comment: we need a new metric in gun control.
Instead of the endless quibbling about stocks, clips, scopes, semi- or full auto etc we make it real simple:
Could a skilled marksman use this to kill dozens of people in a matter of a few minutes?
If so, you cant have one. Sorry. That's not hunting, that's not "self-defense", that's mass murder and by the way were putting you on a 6-month watchlist just for asking for one.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:52 AM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sure, but that's why a legislator needs to be knowledgeable about the specifics in order to come up with an effective way to do so. More often than not, many of these laws that try to be specific end up tripping over themselves with loopholes and ineffective enforcement.

This is why it would be really great if gun nerds who really love this kind of minutia would get on board with the program of crafting sensible gun regulations to help make effective laws to save lives, rather than just blindly obstructing such regulations and using their intimate knowledge to justify throwing out an entire legislative action because some details need work.
posted by biogeo at 11:53 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes. I agree. That's the only metric that matters to me. Can this kill dozens in mere seconds? Does it have any other civilian purpose? Then no.
posted by agregoli at 11:55 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Senor Cardgage, I'm not even as concerned about "skilled marksmen" as I am about random assholes. Very few of the people who have committed mass murders with guns have much appreciable training. And to me, that is part of what makes these weapons so horrendous. The barrier for committing mass murder becomes so low.
posted by biogeo at 11:57 AM on June 14, 2016


Right but I think thats why the litmus test would be for a skilled marksman, since that would set a higher ceiling on it. If he can't do it, then a rando would be less successful.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:58 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, biogeo, I appreciate it. I concede that I came in late and very likely tread on a lot of what was covered earlier; I think I'll try to keep my discussions focused on the issue of how to make regulation work and shut up about gun parts and bits. My comment about the extreme sides was not so much directed at this thread but more the political landscape as a whole and personally, my Facebook page (yes, by default already a source of frustration and annoyance and so magnified exponentially by this issue whenever it hits the news). I was not clear about that and certainly did not mean to say this thread was like that (otherwise I wouldn't be posting at all because I wouldn't see the point of putting myself out there).

I definitely believe that California's safety certificate is the right direction. I think it should also include training courses that must be taken periodically to qualify, and by that I mean not just pointing and hitting a target but demonstrating safe handling, safe storage, etc. This makes it the sort of license I was expressing in my first post in this thread.

Also in that post I was advocating more education and/or awareness on firearms in general. I think that by removing its mystique you can do a lot towards making it more mundane. I believe reinstating federal gun research by the CDC would be a good thing. California establishing its own state level research center is a good thing. And yeah, I think teaching a course on firearms safety at the high school level, educating youth on the law and on how to make themselves safe, would be a good thing.

Making it more mundane (as mundane as such a thing can be) might even address the gun proliferation issue. There are definitely too many guns out there but I don't know if something could be legislatively made to place restrictions on how many are out there. But if you make a thing more ordinary, less exotic, then demand decreases. Less demand, less supply.

Also, if you enforce an annual registration fee per gun you can discourage those who build up arsenals for their impending preferred apocalyptic scenario. I forget where I read that a large amount of the guns in the country are actually held by a minority of gun owners who build up an arsenal.

Senor Cardgage, that metric could be workable. It removes the emphasis on round count and other bits and pieces, so one could have a handgun with whatever standard capacity but given that it is a handgun its ability to kill is very limited compared to a rifle with the same capacity. How would this be legislated, though? It may end up going back to those specifics. You might say let's ban all semi-automatic rifles (this would have to define a rifle). But then some semi-automatic rifles use a small, low-power cartridge that is not capable of killing dozens in mere seconds. Yet when you get to those specifics it turns out that James Bond could totally kill dozens in mere seconds using a BB gun.

It would be interesting to figure out what sort of conditions would define the metric you propose, though. If it can avoid the bits and pieces of a gun even better, as it would then be applicable to any weapon.
posted by linux at 11:59 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Senor Cardgage, I agree with the principle, though pragmatically I suspect a trained shooter could probably take out dozens with fairly generic guns, and this would have the effect of setting the bar low enough that we'd lose a lot of people on the pro-gun side who would otherwise be willing to work with us. But lines like this are is the sort of thing I would actually like to see the debate focused on.
posted by biogeo at 12:04 PM on June 14, 2016


I forget where I read that a large amount of the guns in the country are actually held by a minority of gun owners who build up an arsenal.

The average gun-owning household now owns an estimated 8.1 guns, compared with 4.1 guns in 1994. But, at the same time, less households actually own guns.
posted by Etrigan at 12:11 PM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


I guess I'm saying I think it would be more useful to enforce laws on the person obtaining and using a gun versus laws on what bits and pieces of a gun can be purchased, and that to me means license, registration and training.

The most despair-inducing part of this debate (other than the underlying events where peoples' lives are taken from them) is the two-step that status quo defenders rely upon where reforms that could possibly pass an NRA-controlled Congress are declared ineffective (usually without any evidence) but that they would be receptive to other sorts of "common sense" reforms that they damned well know (or ought to know) won't have a chance of passing.

You seem to be participating in good faith from what I can tell, but surely you recall the sequence of events after Sandy Hook where we tried to take incremental steps toward the kind of tightening of regulation you're alluding to here and it was defeated in the Senate? If we couldn't even close the private sale loophole while also expanding access to guns by allowing interstate sales, how are we to implement the more comprehensive regime you seem to support? It's like the goalposts are always set in a position beyond the realm of political reality so that we ensure nothing can be done.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:15 PM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


linux, I agree that licensing which includes demonstrated knowledge of and ability to adhere to safe practices should be a bare minimum for operating deadly equipment, just as it is for vehicles. I am not all that familiar with the details of California's laws there, but something like that should be applied nationally.

I don't really agree with your suggestion that making guns more mundane will remove the mystique and reduce demand. For a lot of folks in rural America, guns are already pretty mundane, but gun violence, particularly associated with the meth trade, is still an issue, despite the common narrative that gun violence is an "urban" problem. And for a lot of us, guns in our communities are already all too mundane. As I mentioned earlier, I hear gunshots from my house at night on a fairly regular basis. Not that there's murders happening constantly (though there are definitely too many of those); a lot of them are just idiots having fun making something go bang.

I don't know if something could be legislatively made to place restrictions on how many are out there

I am a big advocate of government regulations focused on internalizing otherwise externalized costs. Upthread, I wrote this:

Guns are a $16 billion per year industry in the U.S., and the NRA serves the interests of this industry, not of typical gun owners. The total economic cost of this industry is $229 billion per year in medical costs, lost wages, and the like

(See the original for links to sources.) Imposing a tax on gun manufacturers to pay for even a fraction of the negative externalities their industry generates would force the price of guns to reflect their true total cost, which would very likely have a dramatic impact on demand. Yoking such taxes to objectively measurable external costs makes it harder (though not impossible) for them to be subject to regulatory capture by the gun industry.
posted by biogeo at 12:22 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking legislation centered around the cartridge might be an option.

Let's say any cartridge of a specific power (the size of the bullet and the amount of propellant behind it) can only be used in manually operated firearms. Say .223/5.56 is the threshold, for example. If that is the case then any firearm chambers for that round or of higher "power" can only be a manual action firearm.

This eliminates the AR and AK platforms, by the way, but like I said, I see no use for these firearms in civilian life, either. This allows hunting rifles to remain legal but eliminates rapid fire weapons like the AR unless it is chambered in .22LR or some other "low power" cartridge.

Conversely, it allows for the existence of a semi-automatic handgun such that the police use. To prevent very high capacity magazines you can also say that a magazine when seated must be flush with it's holder (in a handgun this would be the grip) and eliminates the artificial round count a lot of laws rely on but cannot enforce (you can't truly say how many rounds a magazine can hold as some magazines are compatible with different rounds such that one way it is illegal and another it is not).

Oh, right, that's another one. Can we somehow have a way to prevent legislation from exempting law enforcement? Law enforcement are not military. Why do they get exempt from current restrictions? It allows law enforcement to have it both ways and keeps them out of the discussion.

As to the problem with the current legislative regime, that's a bigger issue but affects the gun issue. If you get rid of lobbying, wouldn't THAT be interesting?
posted by linux at 12:22 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Making it more mundane (as mundane as such a thing can be) might even address the gun proliferation issue.
...
There are definitely too many guns out there but I don't know if something could be legislatively made to place restrictions on how many are out there.


If it might be helpful to understand why you're getting disagreement, I'd like to note that most of the times you're talking about something that's unknown, uncertain, or unproven, you're taking that as a reason to do it, when the proposal is 'maintain or expand access to guns or training/information about guns,' and a reason to not do it when the proposal is 'restrict access to guns or types of guns.'

That's effectively a double standard that asks gun control advocates to prove that a solution works perfectly before it can be enacted, without asking pro-gun advocates to prove anything at all. Especially because -- as you note! -- pro-gun advocates have intentionally closed many avenues to actually obtaining any kind of proof, that can easily read as stonewalling rather than participating in good faith. It's effectively an argument for the status quo, rather than for an specific position.

To be clear: I think you are participating in good faith and you just disagree with several people about several things. It's a hard topic to talk about!
posted by cjelli at 12:24 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]




I'm thinking legislation centered around the cartridge might be an option.

The NRA will fight it, just like they have every other compromise and reasonable restriction and half-measure of the last quarter-century. Why? Because they saw their fellow travelers in the right wing use compromises and reasonable restrictions and half measures to get to the point we're at now, where state legislatures are openly passing bills that directly contradict established law, and millions upon millions of women are effectively unable to get an abortion in the U.S.

Reasonability won't work against an opponent who is desperately afraid of a slippery slope that they have seen work.
posted by Etrigan at 12:34 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


NRA: ‘Law-abiding gun owners’ are the real victims in Pulse nightclub shooting

This is evil. I don't understand how even the most dedicated pro-gun advocates can't see how evil the NRA is.
posted by biogeo at 12:44 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Tax the bejeebers out of guns and ammo. It's worked for reducing tobacco and alcohol use. There's nothing in the Second Amendment prohibiting taxes. $100 per year per gun would do a lot to reduce the number of guns in the U.S.

Of course the NRA would stop this. But don't claim that there's nothing that can be done that would work to reduce the number of guns.
posted by JackFlash at 12:49 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's like the goalposts are always set in a position beyond the realm of political reality so that we ensure nothing can be done.

And at the same time, the domain of both concealed and open carry has been greatly widened thanks to the crazification of state legislatures, and it is hard not to read those efforts as 'fuck you liberal wimps, we're going to wave our guns in your faces until you buckle under and start packing heat yourself.' (Show up in mid-terms. Vote and donate and campaign in state legislative races.)
posted by holgate at 12:50 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is evil. I don't understand how even the most dedicated pro-gun advocates can't see how evil the NRA is.

Gun owners disagree with some of their extreme positions when polled, but I think there is definitely a lesser of two evils situation going on. Better to have the NRA than to have the guns taken away which they definitely believe is what Democrats want. (Some do, so they have a point.)
posted by Drinky Die at 12:54 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tax the bejeebers out of guns and ammo.

License, Registration, and Insurance. If you can prove your competence and financial responsibility, I don't mind what you buy.

This also give law enforcement the tools to get guns out of the hands of irresponsible gun owners. If you don't have your license, registration, and insurance card, it's confiscated right there and you can explain it to the judge...
posted by mikelieman at 12:55 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Get two evils to fight each other: tell the healthcare industry the gun manufacturers will pay.
posted by Artw at 12:57 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


The NRA will fight it
Yes, they will. That's where I don't know what you could do concerning lobbyists other than flat out eliminating the ability for a lobbyist to use money. A lobbyist should be like applying for a federal grant: you apply, you present a case, you wait. Change that and you change the landscape. But that's even more idealistic.

This is evil. I don't understand how even the most dedicated pro-gun advocates can't see how evil the NRA is.
Oh, believe me, some of us see it. I see it, my close friends who are pro-gun (i.e. people not just on Facebook) see it. The NRA is evil. Every time they issue a PR I lock my jaw and clench my fists.

Tax the bejeebers out of guns and ammo. It's worked for reducing tobacco and alcohol use. There's nothing in the Second Amendment prohibiting taxes. $100 per year per gun would do a lot to reduce the number of guns in the U.S.
I would tax ammo. It's a consumable just like tobacco and alcohol, and I think that makes it easier to implement. More taxes on guns may prove a harder road and I don't think it would matter if you tax ammunition. What you are proposing with an annual fee doesn't sound like a tax; you could call it registration. $100/year may be a bit steep, though.

License, Registration, and Insurance. If you can prove your competence and financial responsibility, I don't mind what you buy.
Pretty much sums up my thoughts with regards to legal ownership.
posted by linux at 12:57 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


As an aside, the UK pretty much already does the ammunition thing, or a variant thereof - rather than specifically banning AR-15s (or rather weapons which are modelled on the Colt AR-15), they treat these AR-15 variants by their capabilities. A centerfire, semiautomatic rifle - which includes the standard AR-15 model - can't be owned by a private citizen without special permission from the Home Secretary.

However, a straight pull centerfire rifle (i.e. one where the cartridge is manually ejected) can _look_ like an AR-15, if you want, and is usable under a standard firearms certificate. Likewise a semi-automatic variant chambered for .22 rimfire would be a Section 1 firearm - that's a lower range, lower energy, lower velocity cartridge.

To get a Section 1 firearms license, you need to show good reason - which usually means either membership of a target shooting club or proof that you have permission to hunt on someone's land. If you're a farmer or landowner, you can give yourself permission, of course - rimfire is all you need for ratting, and it won't pierce the walls of your barn, and if you miss game with a centerfire cartridge it is unlikely to stick around for a second trigger pull.

However, the UK government explicitly says that gun ownership is a privilege, not a right, which I don't think any US politician in anything like the mainstream would argue.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:07 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Get two evils to fight each other: tell the healthcare industry the gun manufacturers will pay.

Doesn't this sort of thing usually end up with Tokyo getting destroyed?
posted by biogeo at 1:07 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


filthy light thief: Why does anyone need a gun with the capacity for more than one bullet?

The only hypothetical answer is the last one. Because;
1. Feral hogs travel in packs and seem to have doubts that they aren't at the top of the food chain.
2. Once when butchering a goat, 4 water moccasins came out of the creek and headed directly at my friends sitting around drinking beer.
3. When I explained to 3 tweakers that no one was cooking meth in my barn, they decided I was, trying to rip them off, setting them up, a fucking asshole and were coming across the yard to demonstrate what bad things these were. My brother came out onto the porch holding a shotgun that held 5 shells and invited them to leave.
4. My best buddy, partner in many road trips, squirrel hunts, etc was in worsening pain and wasn't going to get better. So I fixed her a plate of her favorite food, (bacon) and while she was sniffing it I used 2 bullets to put her out of her misery. 2 because I'm always afraid the first one might be defective and not provided instant unconsciousness.
5. When out hunting I have screwed up and not make a clean kill with the first shot.

6. One fine day, some arrogant son of a bitch stopped his car in my yard, opened the barnlot gate and leaving it open, let his whole damned family in to pet my baby goats. This ignorant asshole never even bothered to notice the gate to the pasture was open and in the pasture there was a big red bull with white horns headed at them. So not only is he getting their nasty city germs all over my healthy milk goats, but he's put the entire family at risk so being butted, gored, and trampled. I ended up jumping the fence with a rifle in my hand. (The first time I ever did that stupid trick). After I got between him and the useless piece of shit sitting on his feed trough it turned out alright, but if that bull had gotten all bullheaded and territorial it would have taken more than 2 or 3 bullets from a 30-30 to stop him.
posted by ridgerunner at 1:14 PM on June 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


I actually like the idea of the cartridge-centered legislative effort. It's at least something we haven't seen tried before. Not what I -want-, but still a hell of a lot better than the current "nothing, and we keep letting folks die."
posted by Archelaus at 1:29 PM on June 14, 2016


Wow, um. I don't think we need obscure scenarios in this discussion.
posted by agregoli at 1:37 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


However, the UK government explicitly says that gun ownership is a privilege, not a right, which I don't think any US politician in anything like the mainstream would argue.

I think that the US Supreme Court was quite clear in DC v. Heller that licensing and registration are not infringing of the 2nd Amendment, and since Marbury the acts of the Legislature are presumed Constitutional, then requiring insurance wouldn't be a problem, either.
posted by mikelieman at 1:39 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think these statements contradict each other... the law allows for all of these things (qv driving, which is a privilege, not a right, in the sense that a car without insurance or a valid license is illegal), but I still don't think you'll easily find a politician in the mainstream who will explicitly say that gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2016


So aside from the cartridge-centric legislation idea, which is fairly sweeping in scope and probably not immediately implementable, what I see are three general areas of effort that could work in the immediate future:

1. License, registration, training and insurance.
2. Education.
3. Ammo tax.

The first one will be hard to implement as it likely runs into a lot of state interference. And yes, the NRA will fight it tooth and nail. But this is just their top leadership. The majority of NRA members support background checks and don't mind registration as long as it doesn't involve banning guns or bits and pieces of guns.

On the other hand, the NRA won't oppose education as they hope it brings them new members (and their membership is in decline). At a federal level the NRA has neutered the CDC but at a state level this is still possible (as mentioned, California is trying this right now). Providing safety courses to youth would also be something no one would oppose. The problem is still funding.

And that's where the third idea might work to support the second. An ammo tax would be opposed by the NRA but they may not be able to fight it at the state level and they would probably be hard put to combat it effectively. You're not restricting it, you're not asking for someone to have an ammo registration card (that's one of the crazy bills California politicians keep trying to enact; I've lost count on how many versions came before the two that are up this year), you're simply adding a tax on ammo like what's done for cigarettes and alcohol. And like them, the tax money can be directed to firearms research and education.

Increase research and education on gun violence and from taxing ammo you gain ammo on increasing good safety education and practical, implementable regulation.
posted by linux at 2:02 PM on June 14, 2016


I hate that this is a thing, but a federal tax on ammunition, especially when the NRA declares it a symbol of the end times, may be the thing that pushes a bunch of unstable sovereign citizen types over the edge.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:20 PM on June 14, 2016


Honestly, let 'em go. Something's going to push them over that edge eventually. Letting them dictate the conversation by not stepping on their toes forever isn't going to stop that.

Witness: Mahleur.
posted by Archelaus at 2:24 PM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


Letting them dictate the conversation by not stepping on their toes forever isn't going to stop that.

Also, only having laws that the terrorists are okay with is... pretty much the definition of letting the terrorists win.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:29 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Know who doesn't want firearms owners proving they're responsible by simply getting a license, registering, and insuring their guns?

Terrorists.
posted by mikelieman at 2:35 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Senor Cardgage: "we need a new metric in gun control.
Instead of the endless quibbling about stocks, clips, scopes, semi- or full auto etc we make it real simple: Could a skilled marksman use this to kill dozens of people in a matter of a few minutes? If so, you cant have one.
"

More honest and understandable restatement: Ban all guns that hold more than one cartridge. I guess that would be mission accomplished for pro ban advocates as I'm guessing the single shot market is less than 1/100 of 1% of the current american inventory of firearms.

running order squabble fest: "To get a Section 1 firearms license, you need to show good reason - which usually means either membership of a target shooting club or proof that you have permission to hunt on someone's land. If you're a farmer or landowner, you can give yourself permission, of course - rimfire is all you need for ratting, and it won't pierce the walls of your barn, and if you miss game with a centerfire cartridge it is unlikely to stick around for a second trigger pull."

The US isn't the UK. Every citizen of the US has permission to hunt on vast tracts of public land. Nevada, California, Montana, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Alaska, and California each have more acres of wilderness area than the entire land area of England. Caveat: not all wilderness areas allow hunting but most do.

linux: " The majority of NRA members support background checks and don't mind registration as long as it doesn't involve banning guns or bits and pieces of guns."

The problem (for people who want to own guns) is registration almost invariably leads to confiscation. So for them it is important to "Wehret den Anfängen!" (resist the beginnings. Maybe the US can avoid this trap, they haven't yet confiscated automatic weapons despite decades of registration. I doubt it though. Automatic weapons aren't involved in crimes so there isn't any real push to remove them from the market.

RE: ammo tax. What you really need is a tax on primers. This will get reloaders and avoids a bunch of potential hair splitting on what constitutes ammunition. Also I'd bet there are way less primer manufacturers than ammunition manufacturers so regulation would be easier. The down side is taxing the manufacturer rather than at POS is anti competitive.
posted by Mitheral at 2:49 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


registration almost invariably leads to confiscation

Cite, please. We've had registration on many types of guns under the NFA for decades and nobody's taking them away.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:17 PM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also we have been registering cars for several years now and I think they are still legal.

"they will pry my mazda from my cold dead hands" doesn't have the same ring.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:21 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wow, um. I don't think we need obscure scenarios in this discussion.

I think ridgerunner's point is that in some communities there's nothing obscure about these scenarios. I've spent enough time in parts of Appalachia without quick access to 911 service that I get what he's talking about. Obviously I am all for more sensible regulations on guns, and if I had my druthers cities, where such scenarios don't apply, could choose to ban them within their limits. But calling stories like ridgerunner's obscure pretty much confirms the suspicions of the rural Americans, who are a minority but a numerically significant one, that gun control advocates like us are uninterested in even considering their perspective and needs. Personally I'm glad he had the tool he needed for the stories he just related, but we absolutely have to find a way to make sure his access to a vital tool for his life doesn't come at the cost of letting the gun violence epidemic continue unabated.
posted by biogeo at 3:30 PM on June 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


The US isn't the UK. Every citizen of the US has permission to hunt on vast tracts of public land. Nevada, California, Montana, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Alaska, and California each have more acres of wilderness area than the entire land area of England. Caveat: not all wilderness areas allow hunting but most do.

"The US is not the UK" is an obvious but uncontestable statement - so, realistically, it would be by application of the same rules very easy - at least in rural areas - to get a license for a straight-pull rifle or a semi-auto rifle with .22 rimfire cartridges, and very hard to get a license for a handgun (pretty much useless for hunting) or a semiautomatic centerfire rifle. That's still likely massively more restriction than the US will ever see, but it would, I think, be workable.

Honestly, let 'em go. Something's going to push them over that edge eventually. Letting them dictate the conversation by not stepping on their toes forever isn't going to stop that.

Witness: Mahleur.


Malheur is one example, definitely. I said in the Mahleur megathread - and I would maintain - that the leaders of that "occupation" were primarily grifters - confidence men looking to exploit the gullible and use them to get onto the white nationalist conference speaker circuit. It was also a great example of the successful application of current tactics for dealing with militias - they were allowed to travel freely until they were overextended, then neatly decapitated, so that the leaderless and directionless mix of religious extremists, white supremacists, misfits and grifters left at the camp rapidly splintered and ran.

That said, there was still one person killed, and it was a mix of good planning and good luck that that number wasn't larger.

Another example might be the Bundy Ranch - that was an example where it would have been far harder to decapitate the camp, and any attempt to arrest him physically would almost certainly have led to exchanges of gunfire and probably deaths. And of course the non-arrest of Cliven Bundy almost certainly led to Malheur - and, hopefully, Malheur has in turn made it less likely that grifters will try to engineer similar stand-offs in the future, but that may be giving people too much credit.

Even that isn't really the relevant example, though - that's probably Jerad and Amanda Miller, who left the Bundy Ranch and shot two police officers and a civilian dead, then engaged in a gun battle with police which could have killed more if they had been better shots. Grifters will usually leave town when the game is up, but the genuinely unhinged people who are exploited by them are going to lose it, and if they all do it at once the kind of measured, long-term approach used at Malheur is going to be much harder to manage.

I mean, this is academic, I suspect, because nothing of significance is going to be done. The Onion has called it again. So, all of these hypotheticals are just hypotheticals and likely to remain so. Which I realise sounds depressing and defeatist...
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:32 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


The down side is taxing the manufacturer rather than at POS is anti competitive.

Why?
posted by biogeo at 3:40 PM on June 14, 2016


Some communities, sure. Not very many. I don't find those obscure (and yes, these are incredibly obscure, I don't care what someone might think of that word) scenarios, however real, at all compelling an answer as to why so many people need items like the AR-15 at the ready.
posted by agregoli at 3:46 PM on June 14, 2016


Nor do I think extremely specific examples to place and people and situation are helpful in this discussion.
posted by agregoli at 3:49 PM on June 14, 2016


And even in those communities, I think we can probably arrive at a number greater than one but less than double digits for the number of rounds that would suffice in all but the most far-fetched scenarios.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:51 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Look, I agree that we can't let anecdotes determine policy, but neither can we dismiss them out of hand. I've heard stories like those from a number of people I know who've lived in very rural communities, and not because they were bringing them up in the context of gun control discussions. Dismissing these kinds of events as obscure (and these don't seem obscure to me at all) is a great way to guarantee that some fraction of the electorate is not only going to vote against gun control, but be highly motivated to campaign for and contribute money to groups like the NRA even if they don't agree with them on everything.

I have said above that civilian ownership of weapons like the AR-15 make no sense to me, and nothing the pro-gun voices here have said has been in the least way compelling to convince me otherwise. But there's obviously some space between "only one round" and "military grade assault weapon". I agree with tonycpsu, and even if there are legitimate uses for such rapid-fire, large-magazine weapons in rural communites, I don't think it's asking too much for gun owners in these communities to give up something in the interest of making the country safer for the rest of us.
posted by biogeo at 4:02 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also: hollow-point ammunition, which was used at Virginia Tech in 2007 to increase fatalities and suffering. What on earth is the legitimate civilian usage for this?
posted by biogeo at 4:05 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ok I get that rural life is different and that those anecdotes, as dissimilar as they are to my experience, are still valid.

I have anecdotes too.

A child was shot in the back, blocks from my house, last week.

I was on the bus - also last week - when we were stopped due to a murder crime scene that had the street blocked off.

A few months ago a young man was brandishing a gun on the packed evening rush hour bus I was on. He passed the gun off to his friend who took off before the cops could arrive.

Three days ago a friend of ours called my husband, panicking, because there was a gunfight going on in the gas station across the street from the apartment he's just moved to.

Hundreds of my fellow Chicagoans have been killed by people with guns this year, and it's not even summer yet.

So yeah. People can register their hunting rifles or whatever. It won't kill you to do a bit of paperwork.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:12 PM on June 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


I want to note that I'm not mad at anyone in this thread.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:14 PM on June 14, 2016


Here's an obscure story of my own. This Spring in my urban neighborhood there was a spree of burglaries, almost entirely targeting sheds and basements. My own basement was broken into twice. On Nextdoor (which a great place to learn about just how racist and bigoted some of your neighbors are), lots of people posted information about the burglaries, which was somewhat helpful for keeping track of things and in a couple cases getting video of the perpetrators disseminated. At one point, one of my neighbors posted that his shed had been broken into and some tools stolen, and he gloated that next time he'd be waiting with his gun and was looking forward to shooting the burglar in the head. He lives about three or four blocks from a police precinct, so the 911 response time would be less than a minute if he caught the burglar, but this guy clearly was getting off on his violent fantasy of murdering someone over some stolen tools.

Frankly knowing that this violent deluded jackass lives in my neighborhood and owns a gun makes me more nervous than having had a bunch of my tools stolen from my basement. So while I get ridgerunner's story about self defense in areas where you can't rely on the police, in the cities where most people live, the story is flipped. But groups like the NRA push policies that prevent local municipalities (like Chicago, or notably DC) from passing regulations that make sense for their local needs and are desired by a majority of local residents.

I posted a somewhat less obscure story of my own upthread if people want to understand where I'm coming from.
posted by biogeo at 4:33 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, almost forgot:

More honest and understandable restatement: Ban all guns that hold more than one cartridge. I guess that would be mission accomplished for pro ban advocates as I'm guessing the single shot market is less than 1/100 of 1% of the current american inventory of firearms.

This is not borne out, I think. Australia, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, instituted a 10-shot magazine limit in 2004 on handguns (ownership of which is already restricted to target shooters and permitted security guards). Self-loading shotguns with a capacity of more than 5 rounds and semiautomatic centerfire rifles are restricted to government agencies. Various classes of people including farmers and target shooters can own shotguns with fewer than 5 rounds and semiautomatic rimfire rifles. And anyone with a "good reason" can own a manual rimfire rifle or double-barrelled long shotgun. So, quite close to the British model.

I think "one cartridge only" is a reductio ad absurdum, much as "Wehret den Anfängen!" is, I suspect, a Godwinism. There are plenty of examples from current nations where lethality and thus legality is gauged by speed of fire and velocity of bullet, at least in rifles. 5 shells in a shotgun would I think cover all ridgerunner's situations above, as would a semi-auto rimfire rifle, which at short range can do a lot of damage to an unarmored target (like a bull).

Also: hollow-point ammunition, which was used at Virginia Tech in 2007 to increase fatalities and suffering. What on earth is the legitimate civilian usage for this?


They are less likely to overpenetrate - ie to go through walls or pass through one person's body and hit another. FWIW, a lot of police forces use hollow points as standard (although they are banned in war by the Hague Convention), and it's the justification for use in home defence also.

(That and that because the energy is transferred into the body it's more likely to knock people down, and to cause enough damage and trauma that they can't get up, which has obvious law enforcement benefits. In the UK it's illegal to hunt deer with FMJ, because of the likelihood that they will still be able to run away after the bullet passes through them, and will bleed out slowly and painfully rather than either dying immediately or being immobilised for long enough to be shot cleanly.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:37 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Look, I agree that we can't let anecdotes determine policy, but neither can we dismiss them out of hand.

Duelling anecdotes are mostly irrelevant: the Senate gives rural dwellers greater clout in determining policy, and American political culture ascribes them a greater and more 'authentic' voice than the residents of cities.

This is what propels the GOP-NRA axis, especially on the gerrymandered state level, to bludgeon and blackmail city folk (by which I mean white surburbanites) into becoming gun owners and punish those who do not wish to do so by imposing the presence of guns on spaces they use and enjoy.
posted by holgate at 4:41 PM on June 14, 2016


Once again, for some reason, it's always gun aficionados who make clear that they'll only talk when everybody's a fucking gun aficionado versed in the infinitely-deep minutiae of their hobby.

LOL, I'm not well-versed enough myself to hold anyone else to that standard. I own and use guns and carry concealed but I often find myself having to look up specific terms when talking about them on the internet because to me all the different moving parts are "thingy that does X" where X is whatever it's actual function is.

For example, earlier in this thread I claimed there was at least one AR-15 in my basement. Turns out I was wrong! My husband -- who is fucking gun aficionado -- chastised me and told me no, the rifles I was thinking of are actually AK-47s and he doesn't own any AR-15s because AR-15s are total shit because etc. etc. etc. goes the lecture as my eyes glaze over.

I'm a satisficer, not an optimizer. When I first started carrying I went to the range with my friend who owns 200+ guns and had brought all his handguns with him in several impressively heavy bags. I shot a bunch of them and decided that the Kahr P9 fit my hand best. He confirmed that it was a good, reliable gun. So I bought one of those and thus ended my interest in learning any more about any other make or model of guns ever again.

So if you want to debate gun policy with a gun nut who isn't going to hold you to that high of a standard of knowledge because she doesn't give a shit about most of it herself, I'm here for you. Basically all I want is to talk with people who understand or are willing to learn and retain some very basic info that is very relevant to gun policy discussions, like the difference between automatic (one trigger pull, many bullets) and semi-automatic (one trigger pull, one bullet) and what a magazine is (the thingy that holds more bullets).
posted by Jacqueline at 4:41 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Prior thread, related and very interesting if you never saw it: Hard numbers: How many people do you know who have been shot?
posted by madamjujujive at 4:47 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why does anyone need a gun with the capacity for more than one bullet? (Ignoring the question, why does anyone need a gun?) You still get your gun, and you can shoot something once. But I don't think that's a compromise gun owners would accept.

For self defense: Multiple assailants. Not hitting anything vital enough in the first shot to stop your attacker. Missing.

For hunting: Sometimes the first shot doesn't hit anything vital enough kill quickly. You need to be able to immediately follow up with additional shots to bring down the animal so that it doesn't just run off and die slowly in pain.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:01 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would like to see more suggestions and comments from the pro-gun side as to what would actually work, as opposed to repeatedly stating that proposals from the anti-gun side won't work.

I think that regulating gun ownership exactly like cars and driving would probably make a significant impact, although I'm not personally in favor of that approach because I don't think you should have to get a license to exercise a constitutional right.

But it's something that I think might "work" by whatever your definition of "work" is, and might even be politically viable because people are already used to complying with those kind of regulations for their cars.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:19 PM on June 14, 2016


How about this:

(1) Shall-issue licensing (of the owner, with ongoing training requirements etc), weapon registration (upon acquisition and annual fees) and insurance (of both owner and weapons) for ownership of anything that isn't a .22LR varmint rifle. Or anything bigger than a .38 handgun, I suppose, while Heller is around. Liability for negligent, reckless or willful misuse, storage, entrustment, etc. of weapons or ammunition.

(2) All ammunition sales to be recorded and reported electronically at point-of-sale. Proof of current insurance of a weapon of the caliber/type of ammo sold required. Ammo sale reported to insurance company, which is required to provide information to law enforcement w/a proper court order.

(3) Every ammo sale also requires an instant up-to-date electronic background check. Family courts and other local courts issuing restraining orders able to directly suspend an individual's ability to purchase ammo for a certain amount of time upon showing of threat to another, to public safety, or other good cause. After a hearing, such a court also able to order the surrender weapons and ammunition to the court or some other acceptable bailee (e.g. a bonded gun club, an attorney's office) for safekeeping pending further proceedings.

(4) Insurers are authorized to impose premium surcharges based on reported ammo stockpiled, beyond a certain amount over a certain amount of time per registered and insured weapon. Insurers also authorized to impose premium surcharges for other measurable risks. Presumption that such excess ammo was stockpiled can be rebutted by submitting documentation that additional rounds were expended at a monitored facility/activity (gun club range, hunt w/a certified and bonded monitor, whatever). This compliance & insurance need probably becomes a cash cow for the NRA and aligned corporate interests, which might make it a bit more politically palatable.

(5) Requirement to liquidate ammo stockpile for any caliber/type for which the holder is no longer licensed/registered due to lapse of owner license, weapon registration or the sale/transfer/loss of the weapon.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:22 PM on June 14, 2016


I think you're barking up the wrong tree with your focus on ammunition, snuffleupagus.

Making ammo harder to buy just makes gun owners less likely to get sufficient target practice to maintain their skills. And many people don't go to ranges for target practice. Where I live, people just shoot in their (multi-acre) backyards.

Also, ammo is something that lots of people stock up on when it goes on sale, so your proposal would likely impact a lot of normal gun owners doing normal gun owner things and thus is very unlikely to pass. My husband and I are never going to go on a shooting spree yet we have thousands of rounds in the basement because "it was on sale!"
posted by Jacqueline at 5:30 PM on June 14, 2016


This is evil. I don't understand how even the most dedicated pro-gun advocates can't see how evil the NRA is.

If you're looking for a non-evil gun-rights group, the Pink Pistols are great. Our focus is on armed self defense for LGBTQ people but we welcome cishet allies too.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:39 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


My husband and I are never going to go on a shooting spree yet we have thousands of rounds in the basement because "it was on sale!"

The point is to disincentivize that kind of stockpiling. It's not a bargain if you have to pay premium surcharges to sit on thousands of rounds. Buy what you need to use in the near term.

Making ammo harder to buy just makes gun owners less likely to get sufficient target practice to maintain their skills. And many people don't go to ranges for target practice.

The per-gun allowance would be set to some reasonable quantity for target practice and hunting per quarter or month or whatever.

It sounds like the only reform you're willing to accept is the kind that doesn't change anything at all, or impose any additional cost on people who want to own large numbers of weapons and large stockpiles of ammo.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:44 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


rather than specifically banning AR-15s (or rather weapons which are modelled on the Colt AR-15), they [the UK] treat these AR-15 variants by their capabilities.

Now THAT makes a lot more sense than regulating guns based on cosmetic features.

So there you go, gun control people: Propose legislation that regulates guns based on their capabilities instead of specific physical features and you won't have debate specific physical features with gun geeks anymore.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:46 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Basically all I want is to talk with people who understand or are willing to learn and retain some very basic info that is very relevant to gun policy discussions, like the difference between automatic (one trigger pull, many bullets) and semi-automatic (one trigger pull, one bullet) and what a magazine is (the thingy that holds more bullets).

Although of course your semiautomatic Kahn P9 is idiomatically referred to as an "automatic", because the loading mechanism is automatic - just like a semi-automatic rifle.

Further confusing the issue, in terms of US gun policy, strictly, a fully automatic rifle is a "machine gun" when in the hands of a civilian - the National Firearms Act refers to machine guns when talking about guns that continue to fire when the trigger is depressed until the magazine empties - and the Hughes Amendment mirrors that language, even though a soldier would look at an M16 and call it a rifle, and reserve "machine gun" for heavier weapons.

Obviously, it's good form to make clear distinctions, but somebody referring to an unmodified AR-15 as "automatic" is either wrong (if they mean automatic firing) or right (if they mean automatic loading). Either way the significant distinction is usually between a weapon covered by the NFA/Hughes amendment (a machine gun, in those terms, which is to say an automatically firing weapon), which cannot be legally sold or transferred to a civilian, and one that is not, which can.

None of which, incidentally, answers the question of what, exactly, a semiautomatic long gun with a large magazine capacity like the AR-15 family or the Sig Sauer MCX is for, whether you call it a semiautomatic rifle or an "assault weapon" (which only confuses the issue further, of course, since there is no longer a current federal definition of assault weapon and state definitions vary). One answer to that, of course, is "it doesn't have to be for anything - it's a type of weapon I can purchase lawfully according to state and federal regulations, and what I want to do with it is entirely my own business".

So perhaps the question is - assuming it would ever be successfully tabled - what uses would be offered as reasons why semiautomatic rifles with large magazines should not be subject to more stringent controls on sales than rifles that are either manually loaded or do not have the capacity (at least when sold) to hold an extended magazine?
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:49 PM on June 14, 2016


The point is to disincentivize that kind of stockpiling. It's not a bargain if you have to pay premium surcharges to sit on thousands of rounds. Buy what you need to use in the near term.

But how does this help reduce gun deaths? If you're planning to mass murder a bunch of people, you know you're not going home after. So liquidate everything you own to buy the ammo you need for your attack.

Seriously, I don't think that limiting ammo is going to have any impact on mass shootings. All it's going to do is annoy normal gun owners and discourage them from keeping their skills in practice. And since so many people like me will instantly perceive what a huge annoyance this would be as soon as it's proposed, it's never going to get passed.

Going after ammo is a pointless dead end. It wouldn't get passed and it wouldn't be effective even if it did get passed.

It sounds like the only reform you're willing to accept is the kind that doesn't change anything at all.

Did you miss where I said that I think regulating gun ownership like cars and driving would probably work pretty well? I don't like it or support it, but I think it's politically feasible and would have the least impact on normal gun owners.

Going after requiring higher standards for gun owners is a much better approach, because campaigning against it is basically saying "no, I want to be able to keep doing things that pretty much everyone in the gun community agrees are irresponsible." The only real argument against it is "I don't want the government telling me that I *have* to do the common sense stuff I already do or know I should do." Which doesn't get much traction outside of libertarian circles.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:57 PM on June 14, 2016


but somebody referring to an unmodified AR-15 as "automatic" is either wrong (if they mean automatic firing) or right (if they mean automatic loading).

Which is why we have the word semiautomatic. Automatic loading, manual firing.

Automatic loading is good unless you don't think people should have the right to self defense because many self defense situations require being able to fire a small number of bullets quickly without having to stop and fiddle with your gun in between.

Automatic firing is bad because you should know where each of your bullets is going and how are you supposed to that if you're not making a conscious decision to shoot each one?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:05 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


biogeo: "
The down side is taxing the manufacturer rather than at POS is anti competitive.
Why?
"

Because a tax at the manufacturer level gets compounded at every stop along the distribution chain (IE: a $1 tax at manufacturer increases the retail price by $2-4) it makes products noncompetitive compared to foreign manufactured items that only get taxed once at the boarder.

biogeo: "hollow-point ammunition, which was used at Virginia Tech in 2007 to increase fatalities and suffering. What on earth is the legitimate civilian usage for this?"

Most hunting rounds are hollow point or otherwise expand to increase energy transfer and reduce over penetration.

running order squabble fest: "This is not borne out, I think. Australia, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, instituted a 10-shot magazine limit in 2004 on handguns (ownership of which is already restricted to target shooters and permitted security guards). Self-loading shotguns with a capacity of more than 5 rounds and semiautomatic centerfire rifles are restricted to government agencies. Various classes of people including farmers and target shooters can own shotguns with fewer than 5 rounds and semiautomatic rimfire rifles. And anyone with a "good reason" can own a manual rimfire rifle or double-barrelled long shotgun. So, quite close to the British model."

All of those weapons with the exception of break action shotguns are going to allow a skilled marksman kill dozens of people in a few minutes (the original proposed bar for illegal weapons). Note my example up thread of the bolt action Lee Enfield (a weapon without a removable magazine but compatible with stripper clips) with which most regular soldiers with a few weeks training and practice could sustain a fire rate of 15 shot on target a minute.

tivalasvegas: "Also we have been registering cars for several years now and I think they are still legal."

Thought it was obvious I was referring to firearm registration.
posted by Mitheral at 6:06 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


So there you go, gun control people: Propose legislation that regulates guns based on their capabilities instead of specific physical features and you won't have debate specific physical features with gun geeks anymore.

Instead we'll have to debate specific capabilities with gun geeks.

I'm being a bit glib, of course, and I agree with your point. At some point in the chain specific physical features are inevitably going to have to be considered and have decisions made about them, but it is probably more effective to let the courts and the regulators solve that problem rather than legislators. But as has been addressed above already, the regulations we have, focused on specific physical features, aren't the regulations that gun control advocates wanted, they're the regulations they were forced into out of political expedience to get at least minimal restrictions in place to reduce gun deaths. Essentially this is a case of the gun lobby and gun control advocates reaching a hard-fought, suboptimal compromise, and then the gun lobby pointing to the limitations of this compromise as evidence that gun control advocates are idiots who have no idea what's effective. Meanwhile most people who favor gun control literally have no knowledge about or opinion of the details of specific physical features of particular guns, they just want to stop so many people from being senselessly murdered. To get more sensible, effective regulations in place, we really, really need the help of the non-evil gun groups to help craft and argue for legislation that takes real steps to solve this crisis.

Jacqueline, I would value your perspective as someone Libertarian-leaning on my argument above that focusing on gun manufacturers to internalize the externalized costs of their industry is potentially more effective than regulating the behavior of individual gun-owners. Is this something you still are unwilling to support because in your view it infringes on personal freedom, or is this more acceptable to you?
posted by biogeo at 6:20 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline, I would value your perspective as someone Libertarian-leaning on my argument above that focusing on gun manufacturers to internalize the externalized costs of their industry is potentially more effective than regulating the behavior of individual gun-owners. Is this something you still are unwilling to support because in your view it infringes on personal freedom, or is this more acceptable to you?

I majored in Economics. I looooooooooooooooooooooooove internalizing externalities. Go for it.

Unfortunately, I don't speak for all Libertarians. Many of my fellow Libertarians think I'm a pinko commie statist because I want to internalize pollution costs too. So I doubt your proposal will go over well with the kneejerk ALL GUVMINT BAD wing of the party.

Also, while I love the idea, I seriously doubt its political viability in mainstream political circles too because the gun manufacturers are the ones who fund the NRA and its lobbying efforts. So there's a whole ocean of regulatory capture to deal with before anything like that has a chance in hell of passing. I honestly think you might have a better chance if you abandoned gun policy entirely for a few years and poured all your efforts into campaign finance reform instead, then revisited this idea after most of Congress is no longer bought and paid for.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:31 PM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


Because a tax at the manufacturer level gets compounded at every stop along the distribution chain (IE: a $1 tax at manufacturer increases the retail price by $2-4) it makes products noncompetitive compared to foreign manufactured items that only get taxed once at the boarder.

Well, this seems like a problem of trade policy rather than gun policy to me, though the U.S. already has pretty strong market leadership in arms manufacture. Personally I believe that any free trade agreements should allow a country to impose tariffs on imports that impose equal costs on imported goods as those borne by domestic manufacturers imposed by taxes and regulations. Not protectionism, but parity, to avoid penalizing domestic industries for socially desirable regulations. I admit that how exactly this should be accomplished is not straightforward. But that's a topic for another thread.

Most hunting rounds are hollow point or otherwise expand to increase energy transfer and reduce over penetration.

Thanks for the answer, that's useful.

registration almost invariably leads to confiscation

I'd still like to see evidence for this claim. Several countries have been mentioned in this thread which require registration of guns but have not confiscated them, including the U.K. and Australia.
posted by biogeo at 6:32 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


But yeah making gun manufacturers financially liable for damages for gun murders* would be a great way of putting ~ * ~ * ~ THE MAGIC OF THE MARKET ~ * ~ * ~ to work in reducing mass shootings. I bet they'd suddenly decide all on their own that their customers don't need to be able to fire more than 10 rounds before reloading.

*I would only hold them liable for murders, not all gun deaths. Suicides are the product working as the customer intended, justified homicides for self defense are why handguns exist, and hunting accidents are stupid user errors.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:39 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, I think we have to work on all these issues in parallel. But I take your point. And a lot of Libertarians are economics nerds, so I take some hope from your answer.

Honestly, if the Libertarians ran candidates on the platform "internalize all the externalities" instead of Gary Johnson's "Uber everything," I would seriously consider voting Libertarian. Not for president, not under the two-party winner-take-all system, but definitely down-ticket.
posted by biogeo at 6:42 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm always grateful to Jacqueline for talking openly and in detail about this topic whenever it comes up, and it comes up a lot. We've had conversations and knock-down arguments here before, and we're never going to agree on this, but I appreciate her honesty.

People in rural and remote parts of the US have state legislators. Often, those state legislators are returned to office based upon their commitment to protecting the gun rights of their constituents. When in office, they increasingly shove through carbon-copy legislation that makes it easier to carry guns across their state, which extends to cities and towns that those legislators don't represent and don't particularly like. Often, it's done punitively, to spite those densely-populated areas with people who don't look or behave or pray or vote like they do out in the country.

That's an imposition, often a bloody and awful one.

In a world of zero-sum politics, a potential response upon swings in the balance of power would be to impose something commensurate on rural and remote residents. If their guns are sacrosanct and untouchable, then maybe see if they receive funding disproportionate to their economic contribution, like school funding or sales tax receipts or road maintenance? If your state road washes away in a flood, then maybe we'll get to it once we're done dealing with guns in the cities.

I don't like zero-sum politics. I really don't like punitive politics. But the legislative drumbeat of "you must embrace the gun, you must love the gun" on communities that want nothing to do with guns will eventually create the conditions for a backlash against other communities that don't have the same level of gun violence but serve as veto points for reform.
posted by holgate at 6:53 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


communities that want nothing to do with guns

"Communities" are a collection of individuals, and some of those individuals do want guns.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:02 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


And they should get to override the more-than-some who don't.
posted by Etrigan at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2016


If your state road washes away in a flood, then maybe we'll get to it once we're done dealing with guns in the cities.

I have visited Kenya and seen highways and other infrastructure in a country where funding for these is used as a political weapon. This is not something we should suggest for America.
posted by biogeo at 7:06 PM on June 14, 2016


I honestly think you might have a better chance if you abandoned gun policy entirely for a few years and poured all your efforts into campaign finance reform instead, then revisited this idea after most of Congress is no longer bought and paid for.

The Democrats essentially have abandoned gun control, aside from the "Maybe now?!? Oh, okay, guess not," after each mass shooting. The result has been movement in the other direction because the gun-nuts aren't even happy with the status quo of being able to open-carry across like 99.3 percent of American geography.
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 PM on June 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


And they should get to override the more-than-some who don't.

Well yeah that's what individual rights are all about.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:12 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Note my example up thread of the bolt action Lee Enfield (a weapon without a removable magazine but compatible with stripper clips) with which most regular soldiers with a few weeks training and practice could sustain a fire rate of 15 shot on target a minute.

This is certainly evidenced - cf the British Expeditionary Force in WW1, of course. However, it's notable that Australia has not seen any bolt-action rifles used in mass shootings since 1996, when the Port Arthur massacre (two semi-automatic rifles) stirred the government to action. Likewise the UK since the automatic weapons ban of 1988 in the wake of the Hungerford Massacre (also two semi-automatic rifles, and a pistol).

So, we can certainly agree on the remarkable firing rate of the Lee Enfield rifle in trained hands, but precedent doesn't seem to support the contention that killers will simply move from using large-magazine semi-automatic rifles to ten-bullet bolt-action rifles, with no change in frequency or lethality.

Automatic loading is good unless you don't think people should have the right to self defense because many self defense situations require being able to fire a small number of bullets quickly without having to stop and fiddle with your gun in between.

This has been a horrible couple of days, but, to be honest, this kind of sophistry feels sort of enchantingly retro in the face of the current Trumpian vogue for just going straight for the accusation of being a secret enemy of America.

It's nice to have a choice, you know? Either you approve of easy access to semi-automatic weapons, or you don't think people should have the right to self defence. Those are the two options. Great stuff.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:15 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


the status quo of being able to open-carry across like 99.3 percent of American geography.

Correction: White people being able to open-carry. The percentage of the country in which black people can open carry without instant death penalty via cop is much smaller.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:16 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


We both know that i was talking about the law there.
posted by Etrigan at 7:19 PM on June 14, 2016


The law doesn't exist outside of culture. Open carry laws are de facto for white people, and those who push for the laws understand that. This is why unrestricted open carry is a bad idea.
posted by biogeo at 7:31 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure. But one reason people push for stronger open carry protections is because the laws already on the books aren't always acknowledged by the police, or by passerby who freak out and call 911 about perfectly legal activity and exaggerate about what's happening so that the cops show up ready to shoot someone. The idea is to push the law far enough so that there is significantly less gray area for the cops to misinterpret the situation.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:31 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


How about the individual right to not get shot huh

Honestly, it's not about whether individuals or communities want guns. It's about social harms and social benefits. Social harm: it's a lot easier to do crime with a gun. Social benefit: it's much easier to defend yourself. In rural areas, guns are largely pointed at wildlife, and there's - I'm guessing? - less crime per capita, so on balance, the social harm isn't great enough to justify restricting guns.

In urban areas, there isn't any wildlife worth shooting, so obviously the guns will be pointed at people, and that changes the balance of things. There is evidently a lot of social harm that comes from violence that is enabled by guns. Whether that justifies restricting guns, and doing a buyback program to get them out of circulation, is really up to each community to decide. And that will get simplified down to whether people "want guns," but it's not really about wanting. It's about the cost.

(When people say "NO CIVILIAN NEEDS AN AK-47 or an AR-15" they're subtextually doing a social harm/benefit analysis. Benefit: nothing that can't be provided by weaker guns. Harm: huge.)

Often, it's done punitively, to spite those densely-populated areas with people who don't look or behave or pray or vote like they do out in the country.

Of all the bits of punitive legislation, I'm not sure gun control is one of them. Maybe those legislators want to punish urban areas for their gun control advocacy. Either way, big 'ol [citation needed] here.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:36 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


The idea is to push the law far enough so that there is significantly less gray area for the cops to misinterpret the situation.

A handgun ban completely eliminates the gray area as well, and the residents of majority non-white Washington, DC were happy to choose the "nobody carries" resolution to the gray area problem over the "everyone carries" resolution that was forced down their throats by Scalia and the other members of the D.C. v. Heller majority when they discovered an individual right that somehow no other Court had ever noticed before.

But, you know, originalism.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:41 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have yet to hear a plausible example of legislatures choosing to extend gun rights to urban areas as some some sort of punishment for the people there being different. Instead, I have heard of many examples of them enacting gun control when "people who don't look or behave or pray or vote like they do out in the country" living in cities started arming themselves (e.g., the Black Panthers).
posted by Jacqueline at 7:44 PM on June 14, 2016


The problem (for people who want to own guns) is registration almost invariably leads to confiscation. So for them it is important to "Wehret den Anfängen!" (resist the beginnings. Maybe the US can avoid this trap, they haven't yet confiscated automatic weapons despite decades of registration.

Between this and the comment about America consisting of four tribes with the big evil powerful coastal tribes being held back (from what is unspecified but it must be dire) only by the guns of the good middle American tribes, I think that the only way to make any progress at all is to simply ignore some people and run right over them without the slightest concern for their objections.

Because here we are trying to talk about reality and suddenly in come these bizarre paranoid delusional screeds.

Really? The good middle American folk need their guns to fight off the evil city slickers?

Really? Every single measure that might possibly help reduce the mass killings is a secret cover for the Evil Gun Grabbers?

How can anyone expect to deserve a place at the table when their position is utter insanity?

Some gun owners seem sane and rooted in reality. Others, I think basically need to be totally ignored or else we can't even have a conversation because we'll be zipping off into their paranoid delusions rather than discussing the real world.

Not content just to own their guns and be able to buy, sell, and trade gun with no government oversight at all, not content with the status quo of mass shootings on a daily basis, the gun nuts are insistent that everyone must embrace their vision of a Mad Max style dystopia where everyone goes armed at all times.

First they demanded licensed concealed carry and after that was given to them they demanded open carry, and unlicensed concealed carry, and now they're demanding that concealed carry and open carry be a sacred right that no one can ever deny even on private property.

There is a huge backlash against the gun nuts brewing. It doesn't have much momentum yet, but it will come because they just can't leave well enough alone. They had it good but that wasn't enough, some people still dared not to kowtow to their mighty guns and they couldn't stand that. So they passed the laws forcing guns into private property and colleges and all manner of other places they were unwelcome, and it's starting to seriously piss off a lot of Americans.

Maybe, possibly, there's a few rational gun owners who can try to talk their nuttier fellow gun carriers off the ledge. I don't know. Personally I doubt it, I look at the ravings in this thread, and I know those ravings are positively restrained compared to what you see where the real gun nuts gather, and I don't think there's any talking them back to sanity.

Any step that might seriously fix the problem is, to them, nothing more than an effort by shadowy evil forces to steal their metal penis extenders. There's no talking to such people, and trying is nothing but a waste of energy.

The real irony is that there probably will be gun confiscation coming because they were too stupid and pig headed to give a little ground now. I'll have no sympathy for them and their whining "oooh, but my hunting culture is soooooo special and magic and I neeeeed it". Too bad fucker, you had your chance to compromise and you pissed it away.
posted by sotonohito at 7:45 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Social benefit: it's much easier to defend yourself.

Except it's not. Guns are rarely used by civilians to stop crime. Original paper.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:45 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


The idea is to push the law far enough so that there is significantly less gray area for the cops to misinterpret the situation.

That might be the idea. The reality as demonstrated is deliberate imposition and provocation. It is the ethos of the stalker scaled up to the community level. What's the escape there? Move out to the coun--oh.

Maybe those legislators want to punish urban areas for their gun control advocacy.

That's what I said: apologies if it wasn't clear. Legislating expanded carry on public college campuses and other areas under the purview of state legislators -- in spite of the objection of administrators, faculty, staff and students -- is at heart a punitive fuck-you.
posted by holgate at 7:46 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jacqueline It is hard not to see shit like the Texas lege forcing guns onto university campuses as anything but rural gun freaks giving the Evil City Slickers the finger.
posted by sotonohito at 7:46 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can we please stop with the lie of guns as self defense? It's proven to be total bullshit. No your guns won't protect you from [insert paranoid delusion here]. A GUN IN THE HOME IS THIRTY TWO TIMES MORE LIKELY TO KILL YOU THAN TO BE USED IN YOUR DEFENSE. We need to stop with the lie that guns are necessary or useful for self defense.
posted by sotonohito at 7:49 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, Act 192 in PA.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:51 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


(More on Act 192)
posted by tonycpsu at 7:52 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Um, by self-defense I meant against wildlife. Which people have already testified to in this thread. That's why I mentioned wildlife literally one sentence later. That's why I agree it's a totally different calculus when you're defending yourself from people.

- Thanks for remembering the race thing and pushing it, Jacqueline. Clarification: I'm pretty sure most gun nuts are in fact fine with that status quo, where open-carry is for white people.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:53 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline It is hard not to see shit like the Texas lege forcing guns onto university campuses as anything but rural gun freaks giving the Evil City Slickers the finger.

How are they "forcing" guns onto university campuses? If no students or staff want to exercise their right to carry a gun, no one is forcing them to.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:53 PM on June 14, 2016


Can we please stop with the lie of guns as self defense? It's proven to be total bullshit.

Indeed: In 2010 for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 36 criminal homicides. For the five-year period 2006 through 2010, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 44 criminal homicides.

There simply no legitimate argument that making guns available for 'self defence' delivers any sort of net societal benefit.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:53 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


How are they "forcing" guns onto university campuses? If no students or staff want to exercise their right to carry a gun, no one is forcing them to.

OK, that's just obtuse. Come on.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:53 PM on June 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


[insert paranoid delusion here].

You're not doing your arguments any favors with this stuff.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:53 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


OK, that's just obtuse. Come on.

Words mean things. Allowing students and staff to exercise ALL their individual rights as per the Bill of Rights is not "forcing" guns onto campuses.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:58 PM on June 14, 2016


How are they "forcing" guns onto university campuses? If no students or staff want to exercise their right to carry a gun, no one is forcing them to.

Wow. File under: "Gay man? Want to get married? Just find a women! Problem solved!"

I have yet to hear a plausible example of legislatures choosing to extend gun rights to urban areas as some some sort of punishment for the people there being different.

Well, you don't live in those areas, so maybe you don't hear state legislators from the back of beyond saying very clearly that cities need to do what they're told, oh, and keep sending taxes to be distributed out to Bumblefork County. Thus the ALEC methodology meshes with that of the NRA. And I'm out.
posted by holgate at 7:59 PM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


As long as no respect is going to be paid to the wishes of campus administration and student government, I will give zero fucks about unique concerns of rural areas regarding guns. Not because I don't feel empathy for them, but because I'm not going to allow empathy to be a one way street on this issue. Either let other localities make their own choices, including that they don't want guns, or don't ask me to care about your locality.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:01 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


How are they "forcing" guns onto university campuses? If no students or staff want to exercise their right to carry a gun, no one is forcing them to.

Seriously? There is so much wrong with this I don't know where to start.
posted by biogeo at 8:02 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's forcing people to accept that there will be lethal weapons in their place of employment and/or learning. And completely ignoring people who don't want lethal weapons in their place of employment and learning. Employment. Learning. Seriously.

(I've already heard from some teachers who were very quietly freaked out about it)
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:03 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow. File under: "Gay man? Want to get married? Just find a women! Problem solved!"

More like, "Gay man? Want to get married? To another man? No, that's forcing your 'lifestyle' onto our community."

A majority of people in a community not liking something does not give them the right to take away people's individual rights, regardless of whether they are gay rights or gun rights.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:04 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Words mean things. Allowing students and staff to exercise ALL their individual rights as per the Bill of Rights is not "forcing" guns onto campuses.

Scalia himself noted in DC v. Heller that the individual right is not unlimited, and is subject to time, place, and manner restrictions like any other right. The specific edges of where those restrictions are constitutional vs. not haven't yet been decided in court, but please stop pretending it's an unlimited right.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:05 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Words mean things. Allowing students and staff to exercise ALL their individual rights as per the Bill of Rights is not "forcing" guns onto campuses.

This is where the Libertarians always lose me. We have recognized in this country for two centuries that the individual rights guaranteed in the constitution are sometimes in conflict with each other, and thus there are limitations on those rights to help negotiate those conflicts. This is not advanced-level stuff.

The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. Huge swaths of the Constitution guarantee the rights to safety and liberty. This isn't about a community of people saying "I don't like this thing that you're doing with your personal life that doesn't actually impact me but I want to stop you from doing anyway," this is about communities saying "I don't want to have to wonder whether the guy sitting next to me in class is going to use that gun if the professor says something he doesn't like." Your equivalencies could not be more false.
posted by biogeo at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


[If you're remaking the same points over and over, against the same points over and over, the conversation has stalled and it may be best to move on to a different piece of it or just let it go.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yup. We're never going to agree on whether local jurisdictions should be allowed to infringe upon people's individual gun rights.

So let's get back to figuring out how to get gun manufacturers to pay for their externalities. I really like that idea because I think it provides a strong market incentive to drastically decrease the availability of the weapons typically used in these mass shootings without infringing upon individual's rights.

There's no right to be able to buy a product that is no longer for sale because it is no longer profitable to make. ;)

Not being able to sue gun manufacturers for harm caused by their products because of the way their products were designed like we can sue car manufacturers for the same thing is total bullshit. A lot of basic assumptions about how things would work in Libertopia rest on the threat of lawsuits incentivizing businesses to do the right thing without regulations forcing them to.

Calling their protection from lawsuits a form of corporate welfare and pointing out how they effectively bought that law via funding the NRA's lobbying efforts would most likely be a productive approach for getting more libertarian-minded folks on board with this plan.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:26 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not being able to sue gun manufacturers for harm caused by their products because of the way their products were designed like we can sue car manufacturers for the same thing is total bullshit.

What? The guns are working as designed, intended and advertised. They are not defective. This isn't comparable to, say, Ford Pinto. On what basis would you sue?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:31 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just explained the "let people sue gun manufacturers for more things" idea to my husband and now he's yelling at me "You're no longer a Libertarian! You're just a Democrat! You're against freedom!"

lol he's really mad guys
posted by Jacqueline at 8:34 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


College students having a noisy protest against an invited speaker = Chilling effect on free speech! say a lot of conservative politicians.

College students carrying guns into a classroom = exercising their Constitutional rights! say a lot of those exact same politicians.
posted by rtha at 8:35 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


...should be allowed to infringe upon people's individual gun rights.

The only people who decide if an act of the Legislature infringes on the 2nd Amendment is the United States Supreme Court. Not me. Not Wayne LaPierre.

And DC v. Heller was quite clear that IF Heller met the requirements, DC must let him register his handgun. So, that's 2/3rd's of the **NON-INFRINGING** risk-management strategy of "Licensing, Registration, and Insurance".

And given that since Marbury, Acts of the Legislature are *presumed* Constitutional, people better get used to the idea of *proving* they are responsible gun owners.
posted by mikelieman at 8:36 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm going out of town for a week tomorrow so I think I should sign off and make up with my husband now. But if they have wifi on the plane I'll be back for several hours tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:36 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Allowing students and staff to exercise ALL their individual rights as per the Bill of Rights is not "forcing" guns onto campuses.

This seems identical to the argument that smoking restrictions on campuses are impermissible. Sure, it's your choice to smoke, but everybody else has to deal with the mess/aftermath.

Then again, perhaps the analogy there (and relative effectiveness with smoking) suggests there isn't enough individual stigma. Gun ownership isn't a protected class as far as employment/housing/social connections go; and we've seen above how there's regions you can go where your hobby is revered.
And you'd better believe that if (general you) try bringing a firearm into my home you'll see problems.

Doesn't do anything to solve social segmentation (or really a lot of the issues noted above), but then, it's not like anything effective would be allowed to pass anyhow.
posted by CrystalDave at 8:49 PM on June 14, 2016


Has an armed civilian population ever succeeded in overthrowing a dictatorship through use of those weapons? What's the evidence to support this theory that the second amendment is an effective check against tyranny?
posted by humanfont at 8:57 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, isn't the American Revolution generally the relevant example here?
posted by Drinky Die at 8:58 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


"A well regulated militia[,]* being necessary to the security of a free state...

My reading is that it's actually calling for the citizenry to be armed so that they can assist in the defense of the state.

Who gets to determine when a state becomes illegitimate because unfree, otherwise? There's no right to revolution.

I know this is a ship that's already sailed (maybe not if President Hillary Clinton gets a particular set of SC justice nominations?), but at the very least I think it's disputable whether an individual right is granted. And if there's a dispute we should try to take the interpretation that will save life. As conservatives are always fond of saying in other contexts, the Constitution isn't a suicide pact.

the comma is disputed, apparently?
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:20 PM on June 14, 2016


I just explained the "let people sue gun manufacturers for more things" idea to my husband and now he's yelling at me "You're no longer a Libertarian! You're just a Democrat! You're against freedom!"

It's funny how this is one of those issues where lines of policy division that are invisible or inconsequential to some people are stark chasms which cannot be reconciled for others; this is a great example. Gun control is this sense a microcosm of the American political spectrum. Obviously we still have stark differences that can't be swept aside, but I'm glad we've identified at least some common ground. Now we have to figure out how to pitch it without talking about "externalities" and making most people's eyes glaze over.

Originally I tried to say this with a well-intentioned but glib throwaway joke; hopefully this is more clear!
posted by biogeo at 9:32 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


What? The guns are working as designed, intended and advertised. They are not defective. This isn't comparable to, say, Ford Pinto. On what basis would you sue?

Didn't Napster get sued because they didn't do enough to prevent their customers from using their product for illegal purposes? Have other companies been sued for similar reasons?

I don't know enough about the law and precedents to know what would be the best grounds to sue, but obviously they're worried about someone finding a good basis because they got that special law passed to protect their industry from such lawsuits.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:36 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


The American Revolution was won when the French Navy defeated the English Navy while
an American army trained, equipped and aided by the French army defeated the English at Yorktown.
posted by humanfont at 9:39 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think I'm probably less Libertarian than Jacqueline as I don't believe students and faculty should be allowed to carry on campus. The right to bear arms means ownership to me; it doesn't mean being able to walk around with a gun anywhere I go but as long as I am on my own property or on someone's else's property where they allow me to, I have a right to carry what I own. If I am on public land then my privilege to carry should be contextual: out in the wilderness? May carry. In an urban public park? School? No carry. And so on.

I'm not sure I would agree with making manufacturers liable for the use of their product for murder. Car manufacturers aren't liable for drivers that use their product to run over people. Knife manufacturers are the same. And yes, yes, guns are for killing. So how about a bow and arrow manufacturer? Can they be sued for murders committed by their product?

It's also not a liability issue on a defective product, so the Ford Pinto analogy doesn't work here.

I think I still prefer the three pronged approach of regulation (license, registration, training and insurance), education and a sales tax on ammunition. The fourth where we can explore the potential for gun laws focusing on ammunition types defining what can and can't be sold is also something I'd like to discuss further.
posted by linux at 9:46 PM on June 14, 2016


FACT CHECK: Are Gun-Makers 'Totally Free Of Liability For Their Behavior'?

In short, no. But The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act specifically protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:48 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


My reading is that it's actually calling for the citizenry to be armed so that they can assist in the defense of the state.

Nope. It's intended as a check against tyranny. Read the Federalist Papers. Basically, everyone is supposed to be armed so that we outnumber and can defeat the army.

Obviously that's not a realistic outcome these days due to the armed forces having tons of weapons that private citizens can't even buy (and oh the silly arguments I've gotten in with some of my fellow Libertarians who sincerely believe that individuals should have the right to own nukes too), but that doesn't change what the second amendment meant at the time it was written.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:48 PM on June 14, 2016


Nope. It's intended as a check against tyranny. Read the Federalist Papers. Basically, everyone is supposed to be armed so that we outnumber and defeat the army.

Garry Wills:
One of the Standard Modelers’ favorite quotations, meant to prove that the militia was designed to fight against, not for, the federal government, is James Madison’s argument, in Federalist No. 46, that any foreseeable national army could not conquer a militia of “half a million citizens with arms in their hands.” But Madison says this while making what he calls a “visionary supposition”—that the federal government has become a tyranny, overthrowing freedom.

[...]

Madison is describing the Revolution, when Committees of Correspondence, Minutemen, and other bodies of resistance to tyranny sprang into being. It is not the “well-regulated militia” under the Constitution that is being described, but the revolutionary effort of a people overthrowing any despotism that replaces the Constitution and makes it void. Tyrannicides do not take their warrant from the tyrant’s writ. In Madison’s dire hypothesis, all bets are off and the pre-government right of resistance replaces governmental regulations including the Second Amendment. He is not describing the militia as envisioned in the Second Amendment. To use his words as if they explained the amendment’s proper functioning is absurd.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:53 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


biogeo: "
registration almost invariably leads to confiscation
I'd still like to see evidence for this claim. "

I'll just speak at this point for Canada where I live because I don't have to look anything up. In 1936 handguns in Canada were required to be registered. In 1951 automatic weapons were added to the firearms that must be registered. Handguns went from essentially unrestricted in 1968 to restricted in 69 (restricted being the middle classification of
  1. unrestricted (rifles and shotguns with barrels over 18 inches),
  2. restricted (handguns), and
  3. prohibited (fully automatic weapons, short barrel rifles and shotguns, and assorted scary looking rifles and shotguns that would otherwise be unrestricted.)
Also in 1969 owners of restricted and prohibited weapons were required to register those weapons.

In 1986 as a reaction to the L'Ecole Polytechnique shootings a large number prevously restricted weapons were moved to the prohibited category (this despite the fact the perpetrator of that event used common as dirt hunting weapon but that is a rant for another day). This included all previously registered handguns with barrel lengths less than 4" or less than .38 caliber. This includes the personally significant Walther PPK.

This is where the defacto confiscation comes in. It isn't possible for individuals to acquire new prohibited weapons licenses. If you owned a restricted weapon that got moved to prohibited status and if you had a prohibited license at that time you are grandfathered for that weapon. You can also transfer it to someone else who happens to have grandfathering for that weapon. But your estate can't sell it within Canada; and you can't give it to your kids if they happened to turn 18 a few months after the gun was prohibited and therefor were never eligible for the prohibited licensing. You can sell it outside the country into another country that allows people to own that weapon and allows private importation (this realistically means the US) but the paperwork involved is more expensive than many handguns are worth. And hey if the US enacts the same rules at anytime that option closes. If none of those work for you you can pay a licensed gunsmith to render the firearm permanently disabled (generally done by cutting a big hole in the breech) or turn it over to the Mounties for destruction.

But better do it before you die otherwise the RCMP will knock up your grandmother and seize the weapon if she hasn't maintained the appropriate licensing for the last 50 years. That's another gotcha in this process; if your license lapses for even a day (even if it is the RCMP dragging their feet for eight months to renew your license) you're boned. You have permanently lost your grandfathered status and the Mounties will be by to seize your weapon.

Going forward all the prohibited license holders are at least 40 years old; another 50 years and all prohibited weapons will have been removed from circulation. Though it is somewhat amusing to imagine a group of nonagenarians getting together to redistribute the thousands of prohibited weapons a death in their shrinking ranks requires; each meeting occurring sooner and lasting longer than the last. "Grace you know Ethel collects the PPK. How about you take the autoshotguns instead? Now that Gay is trying to liquidate before she moves to Arizona we need some one to take them over."

running order squabble fest: "This is certainly evidenced - cf the British Expeditionary Force in WW1, of course. However, it's notable that Australia has not seen any bolt-action rifles used in mass shootings since 1996, when the Port Arthur massacre (two semi-automatic rifles) stirred the government to action. Likewise the UK since the automatic weapons ban of 1988 in the wake of the Hungerford Massacre (also two semi-automatic rifles, and a pistol)."

I don't disagree; mass confiscation of specified weapon types will reduce the use of those weapon types to commit crimes. But that wasn't anywhere near the point of my statement.

Senor Cardgage proposed a paragraph worth of description on what firearms he feels should be banned. I merely meant to say that the paragraph can be summed up with a single sentence consisting of prohibiting all firearms that hold more than a single cartridge. It's concise, clear and doesn't obfuscate the intention of the regulation.

Whether people will use those single shot weapons in the same way they currently use multishot weapons is completely orthogonal to the point that a skilled marksman (Senor Cardgage's criteria not mine) can perform a mass firearms murder in a couple minutes with any firearm that holds more than one cartridge.

On extended think I bet a single shot bolt action firearm could be specifically designed with speedy unassisted hand loading (no speed loaders) in mind that would allow at least six shots per minute. No one has done it because we have repeating weapons but remove those from the market and all sorts of gunsmiths and engineers (formal and self taught) would apply themselves to the problem. I'm picturing a saboted round so the point doesn't get caught on anything paired with some sort of hopper similar to paintball markers where you could just drop the cartridge in when the bolt is open.

running order squabble fest: "So, we can certainly agree on the remarkable firing rate of the Lee Enfield rifle in trained hands, but precedent doesn't seem to support the contention that killers will simply move from using large-magazine semi-automatic rifles to ten-bullet bolt-action rifles, with no change in frequency or lethality."

I don't think you can really compare the UK or Australia to the United States and draw anything but shaky equivalences. Mostly because the USA's root problem is not accessibility to fire arms but rather violence. The US has a violence problem, guns are a symptom. But also partly because of contrast of Switzerland to the US. In Switzerland practically all males between 20 and 30 are issued a select fire automatic weapon as part of their mandatory army participation. They keep those weapons in their homes for ready accessibility and the government subsidizes the purchase of ammunition so people can afford to practice (up until 2008 the government provided a reserve supply for every rifle). After a person musters out they are given the option of keeping their rifle (though the select fire option is disabled). Just knowing that you'd think the mountains would be awash with gun violence but in 2014 the murder rate from all causes was just 0.49 per 100,000.

And because of that I believe stranger mass murderers would shift to other methods if firearms were to magically disappear from the US tomorrow. Arson is a popular choice. It's not like the state could ban gasoline, lighter fluid or camping fuel. The Happy Land arson fire killed 87 people. The UpStairs Lounge arson (many similarities to the Pulse shootings; the Upstairs Lounge was a GLBT church and the prime suspect a gay man) Killed 37. And not in the US and not an arson however the Kiss nightclub fire killed 242 people.

Hard to speculate on what'll happen to the more common domestic violence mass murders if firearms were to go poof. I'd hope they'd go down, at least in the short term but it's whether rates would recover that is hard to project IMO.
posted by Mitheral at 9:53 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


A lawmaker plans to give away assault rifles as fundraiser prizes days after Orlando

Instead of canceling his gun giveaway, as some critics called for, Holt had another idea.

“That’s right…. I’m now giving away TWO AR-15s!” he wrote on Facebook on Monday. “I’m sick and tired of the media and liberal politicians attacking our right to keep and bear arms. I’ll do everything I can to ensure the 2nd Amendment is protected and people are equipped to exercise their innate right to self-defense.”

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:57 PM on June 14, 2016


This is where the defacto confiscation comes in.

So now it's "defacto confiscation?" What's that? Either guns are being confiscated or they're not. Furthermore, you have only shown that in one country that registration preceded this so-called defacto confiscation, not that it caused it. Your barely-qualified statement ("almost invariably") is now so watered down as to be meaningless.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:01 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts: "Indeed: In 2010 for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 36 criminal homicides. For the five-year period 2006 through 2010, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 44 criminal homicides. There simply no legitimate argument that making guns available for 'self defence' delivers any sort of net societal benefit."

This set of statistics and the inference drawn from them are nonsensical. Most self defense firearm usage will not result in a homicide. Brandishing the weapon is often all that is required. To compare the two rates at a minimum you'd have to show that brandishing the weapon in defense happens at the same ratio relative to the the justifiable homicide rate as the ratio of brandishing a weapon in commission of a crime does to the criminal homicide rate.
posted by Mitheral at 10:14 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mitheral, the linked report addresses non-fatal uses of guns for self defence. The point - that the benefits are very limited and the detriments are enormous - stands.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:35 PM on June 14, 2016


If you have reliable and sourced statistics somewhere for brandishing in self defense vs. brandishing in a crime, I'd be keen to see those, by all means. I've got a solid bet which'd be higher there, though.
posted by Archelaus at 10:56 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you have reliable and sourced statistics somewhere for brandishing in self defense vs. brandishing in a crime, I'd be keen to see those, by all means.

The continuing suppression of US government-funded research into gun violence is very much working as intended, in that respect.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:29 PM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


If you have reliable and sourced statistics somewhere for brandishing in self defense vs. brandishing in a crime, I'd be keen to see those, by all means. I've got a solid bet which'd be higher there, though.
This is why we need gun violence research. I don't think we have any truly reliable data at this time to prove any sort of point from either side of the debate with hard statistics and analytics.
posted by linux at 11:31 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


the RCMP will knock up your grandmother

This phrase must mean something different north of the border than it does down here.
posted by biogeo at 11:36 PM on June 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


This is why we need gun violence research. I don't think we have any truly reliable data at this time to prove any sort of point from either side of the debate with hard statistics and analytics

Just because the CDC doesn't do gun research, doesn't mean that no one else does. There is a lot of data and much of it is conclusive. For example, more guns = more homicide (a summary literature review by via Harvard School of Public Health).

They have also addressed Mithral's self defence claims.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:50 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


tonycpsu: " Furthermore, you have only shown that in one country that registration preceded this so-called defacto confiscation, not that it caused it. Your barely-qualified statement ("almost invariably") is now so watered down as to be meaningless."

OK here are a few more examples:

New York City implemented registration in 1967; in 1991 and again in 2013 registered owners were told they had to surrender, destroy or remove from the city previously legal and now prohibited weapons.

The net's favourite whipping boys the Nazis used the the 1928 German gun registration requirements in 1938 to confiscate weapons from Jews.

Austrailia is an unusual situation. They didn't confiscate firearms directly after registration was put in place the decade before instead offering a public buy back. However their was a big stick involved too in that the ability to get a possession license was greatly curtailed and any weapons not sold to the government by the end of the buy back period became illegal if you weren't able to garner a license. They've since accepted 10s of thousands of illegal weapons in periodic amnesty programs. Also after mandating registration in 1996, in 2002 they shifted many guns from possesable with a permit to illegal to possess. I'm not delving into whether they actually used the registrations of those weapons to enforce compliance (it's really hard to google this kind of thing) with the ban but it sure would make enforcement easy. Can anyone in Australia comment on how that was handled?

California has been confiscating select registered guns since AB-1015 went into effect January 1st, 2016.

Britain started registering rifles in 1920 and shotguns in 1968; many rifles were prohibited in 1988 and practically all handguns in 1997. The British Olympic target shooting team finds it can no longer legally possess target pistols in their home country and moves training to Switzerland.

In 1972 Ireland uses firearm registrations to force owners to turn all registered weapons larger than .22 caliber over to police for temporary (originally one month) safe keeping. The safe keeping period is extended and when finally lifted owners find they can no longer claim their weapons as all possesion permits have expired and no new permits are being issued. There has been moderate pull back on this since the 90s.

The Philippines currently requires registration of all guns and if your registration lapses your guns are seized.

If you thought the US had permissive ownership rules you should check out Pakistan. Practically no hand gun is prohibited; fully automatic rifles and shotguns are mostly allowed; in both cases you just need an appropriate possession permit and registration. That registration is sometimes used to confiscate all the weapons in an area or from targeted individuals.

Honestly I don't know why people find this sequence remarkable. What is the point of requiring registration if it isn't so you can go in and remove specific weapons if the law or circumstance changes? I guess one can use it to levy taxes but it is self evident to me that governments will leverage that intelligence to advance other agendas. Some users here on Metafilter are very open about advocating for mandatory registrations in order to confiscate weapons in the future. And firearm regulations (as is the case for most regulation) generally becomes more restrictive. Sure the US and Poland and Ireland and a few other places have liberalized some aspects of their laws in the last couple of decades but in general it goes the other way. If a government has a handy dandy list of who owns what weapons and then latter prohibits the possession of some of the weapons on the list what earthly or heavenly reason would they have for not using that list to seize the now illegal weapons.

biogeo: "the RCMP will knock up your grandmother

This phrase must mean something different north of the border than it does down here.
"
British leakage, means call on early in the morning.

His thoughts were red thoughts: "They have also addressed Mithral's self defence claims."

I intended to make no self defense claims though re-reading I can see how it could be interpreted that way. I wanted to argue that the statistics presented didn't encapsulate all uses and didn't allow the derived conclusion to be drawn.
posted by Mitheral at 12:06 AM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


more guns = more homicide

Is it really that simple? Found the paper and after looking at the tables and the abstract I have some questions about the research. First, the data is from 1991 to 1994. Second, the "more guns" part is a calculation of gun availability, which is proxied by using the percentage of suicides by firearm and a second proxy using the average of the percentage of homicides by firearm and the percentage of suicides by firearm, or Cook index as noted in the article.

These proxies for gun availability, i.e. more guns, doesn't sound right to me. The paper cites a 1993 paper, which explains the index: "Cook suggested that two indirect measures of the availability of firearms in a society were the accidental death rate from firearms and the average of the percentages of suicides and of homicides committed with firearms. The more firearms available, the more likely that accidental deaths from firearms will occur and the more likely that firearms will be used for suicide and homicide."

If guns are more available then they are more likely to be used in suicides and homicides. Okay, but I don't know if I'd buy that this is a validated way of estimating gun availability. Switzerland is ranked 4th in the number of firearms (behind the US, Serbia and Yemen) estimated to be in circulation. I would think that this would mean it would therefore be ranked 2nd in this paper since Serbia and Yemen are not high income 1st world countries but instead it is ranked 13th. I can't find the data easily but I wouldn't doubt that in the early 1990s Switzerland was still ranked 2nd in gun availability and yet in the paper it is ranked 13th via correlation on estimated gun availability based on the rates of suicide and homicide by firearm. That makes me think something else is going on beyond just more guns.

The CDC in 2011, if I am reading this right, estimates a homicide by firearm percentage of 69.52% during a time when the total rate was 5.1 (this is almost half what the paper reports in 1993, which was 9.93 and it is even lower in 2014 at 4.9). The CDC suicide rates from 2013 reports a percentage of suicides by firearm at 51.46%, also lower than in 1993 when it was 60.9%. This paper reports the number of guns in 1994 to be around 192 million and that by 2010 the number is about 310 million. In the early 90s the population was at 260 million and in 2010 at 309 million.

So in the last 20 years homicide rates have gone down in the US by half and the percentage of suicides by firearm has also gone down. At the same time, the number of available firearms in the USA has grown. It would be interesting to see how the study holds with this data along with the other countries (Switzerland in 1994 had a homicide rate of 1.32 where it is now 0.49, no idea about gun availability numbers).

I don't think this paper makes that strong a case that more guns = more homicide; certainly, I don't think it's conclusive. It introduces a basic correlation using one feature. It may be that the correlation is strong but it may be strong because of other factors that have yet to be identified.
posted by linux at 1:11 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


On extended think I bet a single shot bolt action firearm could be specifically designed with speedy unassisted hand loading (no speed loaders) in mind that would allow at least six shots per minute. No one has done it because we have repeating weapons but remove those from the market and all sorts of gunsmiths and engineers (formal and self taught) would apply themselves to the problem. I'm picturing a saboted round so the point doesn't get caught on anything paired with some sort of hopper similar to paintball markers where you could just drop the cartridge in when the bolt is open.

The fact remains - and it is an obvious fact - that 19th century mechanisms are less rapid firing than their 20th century ewuivalents. We can workshop how our imagined gunsmith might compensate to some degree for that, but it seems otiose.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:18 AM on June 15, 2016


No disagreement on that from me running order squabble fest, you are right it is obvious.

--

Ok I've delved deeper into the linked Violence Policy Center report on Self-Defense Gun Use (published in 2013 using numbers for the period 2007-2011).

They say a potential victim brandished or used a firearm in a non lethal manner 235,700 out of 29,618,300 attempted violent crimes. And while they spend a couple pages pointing out that this is three orders of magnitude lower than the NRA's obviously bogus number of 12.5 million for the same period; they don't seem to quantify how they reached the conclusion that a quarter of a million self defense uses of a firearm and 1.031 justifiable homicides for the period aren't an acceptable trade off for the 45,328 criminal homicides.

So I'll stand by my criticism. The linked study takes two sort of related numbers, says the criminal number is much larger than the non-criminal number, discounts the societal effects of an even larger number of non criminal self defense uses and ignores the effect that even larger number may have had on the first two numbers (IE: how many of the 235K firearm defense uses prevented a criminal homicide isn't considered anywhere in the study). It then draws an unsupported conclusion apparently based on the criminal use being larger than the justified use.

I'm not claiming though that the high number of murders is an acceptable trade off for the defensive use of firearms at the societal level in the USA. I don't really know one way or another and IMO you can't draw a conclusion one way or another from the linked report.

They also throw in a dig in their conclusion at a stereotype1 that people killed in justifiable homicides are strangers by citing the NCVS showing 31.4% are known to defenders. Which is, kind of weird.

[1] Is this actually a stereotype? Anyone ever heard of it before? I wasn't aware of it and my perception is that a lot of the justification of firearm self defense is women protecting themselves from rapists. Said rapists are almost always known by the victims. The cite for the stereotype is a link to the front page of an NRA publication harvested three years ago so I'm not chasing it down there.

PS: the study's time period of five years 07-11 was suspicious to me (why not 10 years to smooth out the trends more) considering the survey has been running annually since 1973. Investigation shows that the Bureau of Justice Statistics changed their methodology in 2006 so earlier years aren't directly comparable to later years. They also switch back a forth from the five year aggregate to random (to me anyways) individual years through out the report. I suspect they are cherry picking examples in these cases otherwise why not stick to the five year numbers.

posted by Mitheral at 1:31 AM on June 15, 2016


Given that the archetypical NRA "self defense" narrative is "armed robbers break into your home", I'd say that it would be logically assumed as part of that narrative that you don't know them.

Unless, of course, you happen to know a lot of robbers, in which case your experience may vary. /grin
posted by Archelaus at 1:35 AM on June 15, 2016


Not for nothing, man, but when morons like these jackasses are the public face of "open carry" laws, and pro-gun people stalk and threaten anti-gun moms with threats of murder and rape (for the record, I saw this happen in person), and those people are supported, funded, and encouraged by the NRA, then the nra has lost all legitimacy, and they and their supporters should be classified as a domestic terrorist group.

I am done tiptoeing around, trying to make peace with heavily armed extremists. I live in the country. I used to live in the really rural country. I've ridden 600 acres of fences, I've faced coyote and rattlesnakes and poachers. I don't personally hunt, but I make a damn fine batch of venison chili for friends who do, and I have seen wild boars up close and personal, so I understand why landholders in certain areas need certain guns, but there's not a damn reason in the world for anyone to have a gun that can kill 20 children in a school, or 50 kids in a club, or a dozen people in a movie theatre.

Enough is enough. I will say what most people are afraid to say; it is time to confiscate guns unless you can prove an absolute need for one. If you want guns as a hobby, they should be stored in vaults at the gun range, and nowhere else. I have, and will continue to walk out of restaurants and businesses where morons feel the need to carry their metal dicks to prove how manly they are. I'm tired of guns being used to intimidate me, my kid, my neighborhood, my country. Fuck this noise, melt them all down.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:49 AM on June 15, 2016 [14 favorites]






In case you need to use it, this is a particular comeback I just gave to a gun dude on facebook and it is still making me giggle -

The dude just posted "I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure'" in response to someone's posting stats about how infrequently guns actually are used for self-defense. I responded that "yeah, well Benjamin Franklin also said that people should 'fart proudly', but public opinion has changed on that one, so...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:52 AM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hard to speculate on what'll happen to the more common domestic violence mass murders if firearms were to go poof. I'd hope they'd go down, at least in the short term but it's whether rates would recover that is hard to project IMO.

The research we do have shows that firearms are one of the key drivers in domestic violence murders in the US (PDF):
Our iterative model-building strategy also allowed us to observe whether the effects of more proximate risk factors mediate the effects of more distal factors in a manner consistent with theory. For example, the 8-fold increase in intimate partner femicide risk associated with abusers’ access to firearms attenuated to a 5-fold increase when characteristics of the abuse were considered, including previous threats with a weapon on the part of the abuser. This suggests that abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse.

However, consistent with other research gun availability still had substantial independent effects that increased homicide risks. As expected, these effects were due to gun-owning abusers’ much greater likelihood of using a gun in the worst incident of abuse, in some cases, the actual femicide. The substantial increase in lethality associated with using a firearm was consistent with the findings of other research assessing weapon lethality. A victim’s access to a gun could plausibly reduce her risk of being killed, at least if she does not live with the abuser. A small percentage (5%) of both case and control women lived apart from the abuser and owned a gun, however, and there was no clear evidence of protective effects.
The net's favourite whipping boys the Nazis used the the 1928 German gun registration requirements in 1938 to confiscate weapons from Jews.

I really really hate this argument. As a Jewish American, this comes across as extremely condescending, not the least because it's factually incorrect:
As it turns out, the Weimar Republic, the German government that immediately preceded Hitler’s, actually had tougher gun laws than the Nazi regime. After its defeat in World War I, and agreeing to the harsh surrender terms laid out in the Treaty of Versailles, the German legislature in 1919 passed a law that effectively banned all private firearm possession, leading the government to confiscate guns already in circulation. In 1928, the Reichstag relaxed the regulation a bit, but put in place a strict registration regime that required citizens to acquire separate permits to own guns, sell them or carry them.
In Switzerland practically all males between 20 and 30 are issued a select fire automatic weapon as part of their mandatory army participation. They keep those weapons in their homes for ready accessibility and the government subsidizes the purchase of ammunition so people can afford to practice (up until 2008 the government provided a reserve supply for every rifle). After a person musters out they are given the option of keeping their rifle (though the select fire option is disabled). Just knowing that you'd think the mountains would be awash with gun violence but in 2014 the murder rate from all causes was just 0.49 per 100,000.

Janet Rosenbaum: Gun utopias? Firearm access and ownership in Israel and Switzerland
Gun advocates cite the Swiss Army as a Swiss government program to encourage citizens to use guns for self-protection. Swiss men serve in the army until age 35 (age 50 for officers). In spite of this universal service, the ICVS data find only a quarter of Swiss households reported having a gun in their home due to Army service. Media reports large numbers of households keep their guns, but the nationally representative survey data finds that only 2% of households opt to keep an army gun post-service. Some cantons allow reservists to keep their service-issued guns in local gun depots and unit arsenals rather than inside their homes
posted by zombieflanders at 4:58 AM on June 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Mitheral So over a hundred years ago some people "confiscated" guns (I note that you use "confiscate" in a way that no other human on Earth uses it), so therefore registration is all just a shadow plot to steal your guns.

Like I said, I don't see how we can communicate in any meaningful way. We're trying to talk reality and you're wanting to go into your fantasy about jackbooted thugs using a registration system to institute a reign of terror. WTF?
posted by sotonohito at 6:04 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nope. It's intended as a check against tyranny. Read the Federalist Papers. Basically, everyone is supposed to be armed so that we outnumber and can defeat the army.

This whole argument is based on 17th and 18th century British political arguments about standing armies as enforcers of tyranny. The world has changed greatly since 1790. It's highly arguable that the modern USA's heavily militarised police, with Apache helicopters and SWAT tanks and M4s, represent a far greater threat to general liberty than any standing army in the world 200 years ago. I don't hear anyone making the argument that you need guns to protect yourself from the police, though. And further the underlying argument was that state militias would provide a check on overreach by the Federal government and the regular army; that's an utter anachronism (the National Guard fulfil the role of the "militia", these days, and respective state governors are commanders-in-chief of their state national guards when those units are not in Federal service).

And the whole thing of "militias"? That comes from the colonists' collective historical memory of what happened in Britain; the last use of the royal veto was in 1708 when Queen Anne vetoed the Scottish Militia bill. The Second Amendment was never meant to ensure an individual right; it was a collective right, of the states, to a militia, which at the time was formed of the body of the citizenry in arms. It made sense at the time, when the fledgling USA was surrounded by potentially hostile European colonial powers on all sides, and when guarantees against an overly powerful Federal government were needed to get states to sign on to the new Constitution, but in the modern context it is an irrelevant and dangerous anachronism.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:16 AM on June 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


Let's also not forget that the Federalist Papers aren't uniform agreements. For instance, in FP29, Hamilton argues the following:
To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.
As Dalia Lithwick notes in the article I posted upthread, the idea that "a well-regulated militia" means "an individual right to bear arms" is very much a 20th-century fad, and it's not until cases like Heller that this notion had any serious support in federal law.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:30 AM on June 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Here's the long form for one reason why I don't think carrying guns is a good idea, and why I don't think counting it as a human right is reasonable in the slightest:

On guns and gun carrying

I'm not opposed to civilian ownership of firearms, nor do I think guns are some sort of scary evil thing that must be abolished. I have to say this at the beginning so that when people ignore it and claim I'm a “gun grabber” seeking to end civilian ownership of firearms I can at least point to the very first sentence here as evidence that they're lying about me.

That out of the way, while I'm not opposed to civilian ownership of firearms I am opposed to carrying guns, concealed or not, by people. I don't even like that the police are all armed and carrying guns everywhere.

A gun is a powerful tool, and for that power to be safe it must be respected. Carrying a gun should involve a degree of caution, a degree of awareness of the power it represents and the potential consequences of accident or misjudgment. I'm not saying that people carrying guns should be frightened of them, but I am saying that people carrying guns should have a constant, nagging, awareness that they are lugging around a tool that makes it vastly easier to kill people, so much easier that it can happen entirely by accident.

And you can't do that if you carry a gun every day and everywhere.

Cars are a good comparison here. When a person first learns how to drive they have a sort of nervous awareness of their surroundings, of where the car is and what it is doing, and a deep respect for the power and potential for things going horribly wrong that a car represents.

Then, as they drive more, they lose all that and take driving casually, contemptuously almost.

As a result, people die and are subjected to life altering injuries due to cars being used casually at a rate that would be terrifying if it weren't so common that we accept it without question. Most deaths due to automobile accident could have been prevented if the driver had been more cautious, more aware of the power that a car represents.

But drivers can't be more cautious and aware, because driving every day makes a person so comfortable, so casual, about driving that they get careless. It just plain isn't possible to keep up the necessary degree of caution and paranoia that is required for driving to be safe and at the same time drive very much.

We accept, without much or any discussion, the hazards of having people moving thousands of pounds of metal at speeds of over fifty miles an hour, because without that our society would collapse.

But people do work constantly to try and reduce the deaths, and ultimately people are working to eliminate human drivers entirely, which will neatly solve the problem of driving being dangerous due to human inattention.

Just as a person can't drive frequently without losing that hyperawareness of the risk driving entails, so too a person can't carry a gun frequently without losing the proper awareness and respect of the power a gun represents.

A few weeks ago a person I know online was upset at his sister in law. He carries a concealed handgun everywhere he's legally permitted to, and she has asked him not to take it into her house. He thinks she's foolish for that request, but acknowledges that its her house and that she gets to make the rules. What had him upset was that she was angry with him because he'd taken his gun into her house accidentally.

To the gun carrier, that was a perfectly legitimate defense. He said his sister in law would be justified in being angry if he'd deliberately brought his gun into her house after being asked not to, but since he'd done so innocently, because he'd forgotten that he had it with him, he thought it was unfair of her to be angry.

That, I think, is actually one of the central problems with gun carrying. The fact that it is even possible for a person to forget that they have a gun with them represents exactly the sort of casual, almost contemptuous, attitude towards guns that makes those of us opposed to gun carrying feel our opposition is entirely justified.

I work in computers. And on occasion it is necessary for me to log into one of our servers with the administrator account. The administrator account has no limits, it can do absolutely anything. If I mess up when I'm deleting files as the administrator and tell the computer to delete important files, it'll do that without question or hesitation.

As a result, when I log into any server as the administrator I'm undertaking a degree of power I don't ordinarily have. I can cost my employer many times my annual income with the wrong click of the mouse. So when I'm logged in as administrator I have a heightened awareness of what I'm doing, I'm not casual in my use of the computer, I pause briefly before committing to any action to make sure that's what I really intended. I'm not frightened, but I am respectful of the power that is represented by the administrator account.

And gun carriers, inevitably simply as a result of carrying a gun constantly, become less cautious, less aware, and more casual, in the power represented by their gun, the power to accidentally kill someone, than I am when I undertake power that, at absolute most, can cost a bit of money.

When police officer Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant in the back, his defense was that he'd merely intended to torture Grant with his tazer and in the heat of the moment he had mistakenly drawn his gun instead.

To many people this seemed preposterous, how could a police officer possibly confuse their gun and tazer? Obviously he must have meant to kill Grant and was now making up a totally unbelievable excuse, right?

Wrong. I think it is entirely possible that Mehserle was telling the truth. I don't discount the possibility that he did actually mean to kill Grant, but while its terrifying to imagine that he, or anyone, could confuse a tazer and a gun I do think its possible.

Because Mehserle, like all police officers in America, carries a gun everywhere. Any respect he might have once had for the power of his gun has long since vanished due to his familiarity with it. Contempt may not be the result of familiarity, but casualness certainly is. Rather than being aware of his weapon and the power it represented, Mehserle inevitably, unavoidably, became comfortable and casual with his gun. To him it stopped representing the enormous power to kill (accidentally even), and simply became an object he carried. Not essentially different from phone.

Even the power represented by atomic weapons can become a thing casually, contemptuously, disregarded by people who become overly familiar with them. In 1962 a Major at NORAD accidentally sent the wrong codes to the nuclear missile teams in Okinawa. This was a daily event, the codes were always to stand ready and not launch, and so the Major had gotten so comfortable, so casual, with the power represented by those codes that when the officer in Okinawa sent back asking for confirmation of the codes, he didn't even bother checking that he'd sent the right codes, he was a busy man, the codes were nothing to be really cautious or hyper aware of, so he sent back that of course the codes were right.

Fortunately Captain Bassett, the man in Okinawa actually charged with launching the nukes, wasn't willing to launch without a real confirmation, and sent back asking not if the codes were right but if NORAD really had meant them to launch nukes without shifting first to DefCon 1, and also why he'd been instructed to launch at targets that weren't in Russia. The Major, decidedly less casual, realized his mistake and sent the right codes, which were just another confirmation that today no one would be nuking anyone.

Given that it is all but impossible for a person to continuously use or carry a tool without becoming comfortable with it, and losing any cautious or careful way of thinking of that tool regardless of the actual power represented by that tool, then I argue that it is improper for us to casually carry tools that make it extremely easy to kill people.

Unlike cars, our society will not collapse if people stop carrying guns everywhere. In fact, our culture didn't permit most people to carry guns everywhere for most of our history. Myths about the Wild West to the side, it has never been common in America for civilians to go armed at all times, the few places it did become (briefly) common were lawless and often had a murder rate that makes the most crime ridden parts of modern America seem safe.

There is no good reason for people to carry guns, and I include most police officers in most situations in that. I can see keeping guns in a police car, just in case. I can see, in some circumstances, a police officer needing to carry one on their person as a precaution. But even in America the idea that police should be continuously carrying guns is dangerous and harmful. Civilians carrying guns everywhere is simply foolhardy and pointless.
posted by sotonohito at 6:48 AM on June 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Mitheral So over a hundred years ago some people "confiscated" guns (I note that you use "confiscate" in a way that no other human on Earth uses it), so therefore registration is all just a shadow plot to steal your guns.

I guess I'm with Mitheral on this. What purpose would a registry serve other than to facilitate control and regulation? Some of that is going to be to the good -- you could see that Person X just got convicted of domestic violence, and that they are listed in the gun registry, so you could mandate they remove those guns from their household (as is currently the law, but not necessarily followed). But gun rights people are not crazy to see that registration is probably the best tool available to later be able to limit access -- and that has been given repeatedly in this thread as a reason for registration.

One of the problems right now for proposing any kind of ban on, say, assault rifles, is that no one knows how many are out there or who owns them. (And with the 80% "ghost guns" that have been discussed in previous FPPs, there is not even a record of the initial sale, much less any other way to track them.) A registry solves that problem, which is precisely why it is a total red line for many people, including many who are not crazy gun nuts at all.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:48 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nope. It's intended as a check against tyranny. Read the Federalist Papers. Basically, everyone is supposed to be armed so that we outnumber and can defeat the army.

Like Fed. 46, wherein Madison says
Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.... . But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.
That's the one titled The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared, incidentally.

Or do you mean Fed. 29, where Hamilton says
THE power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy.
It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense.... What reasonable cause of apprehension can be inferred from a power in the Union to prescribe regulations for the militia, and to command its services when necessary, while the particular States are to have the SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS? If it were possible seriously to indulge a jealousy of the militia upon any conceivable establishment under the federal government, the circumstance of the officers being in the appointment of the States ought at once to extinguish it. There can be no doubt that this circumstance will always secure to them a preponderating influence over the militia.
(emphasis in original)

When the founders said "the militia", they meant the organized and temporarily mobilized militaries of the states as opposed to the organized and full-time military of the federal government. not "everyone who can hold a gun".
posted by Etrigan at 6:48 AM on June 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'll also add that a second reason is that transforming our society into one where guns are everywhere and armed people are everywhere (and it was a transformation, we didn't used to be like this), is that it adds ambiguity where we need clarity.

Prior to the success of the open carry people you could feel reasonably confident that if you saw a heavily armed person they were up to no good. You could call the police in confidence that they'd take the situation seriously.

Today that's not the case, and I don't mean that hypothetically. Back in 2015 many people in Colorado Springs called the police about a dangerous person wearing tacticool gear wandering around with a great many guns. The police asked them to stop wasting police time and reminded them that open carry was legal in Colorado. It was only after he actually began shooting people that the police bothered to respond.

Normalizing the carrying of guns makes me nervous, and I don't think that's irrational. Right now we're in a situation of dangerous uncertainty. Is that person with the big gun a spree killer about to open fire, or are they just "exercising their 2nd Amendment rights"? We don't know until they actually start trying to kill us.

Unless, of course, they're black.

Another thing that deeply bothers me is that guns are yet another example of white privilege. Police murdered Tamir Rice because he had a toy gun. Police murdered John Crawford because he had picked up a BB gun in Wal-Mart (presumably to buy it).

White people can, literally, walk around with real, loaded, firearms screaming "LOOK AT MY GUN, YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!" and the police will ignore them.

Black people carrying toy guns are shot out of hand.
posted by sotonohito at 6:56 AM on June 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Relevant to the Malheur mentions upthread: it looks like 2A maximalist, Trump fanatic, Malheur rabble-rouser, and all-around wingnut Michele Fiore lost her bid for US Representative from Nevada. And not in a squeaker, either.

World's smallest violin, y'all.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:04 AM on June 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


Dip Flash A registry has any number of useful functions beyond jackbooted thuggery.

To begin with, it allows law enforcement to have some way of actually dealing with gun theft. Absent a registry any theft of guns is just a he said/she said situation. Person A claims Person B stole their gun. Person B says it was given to them as a gift (and thus exempt from any background checks or other government meddling).

This was one reason a car registry was set up way back when.

Another reason is to make tracking gun crimes easier. Right now straw purchasing, bad actors owning gun stores, etc all produce a flood of guns going to people who shouldn't have them and are legally prohibited from buying them.

With a registry you can track a gun used in a crime back to the seller, back to the original registered purchaser, and then ask them pointed questions. You can mandate that stolen or lost guns be reported as such immediately and track who "loses" hundreds of guns a year to find the straw buyers.

A registry automates all the background check stuff.

There's a huge number of advantages well beyond government agents kicking in the door to seize guns from law abiding citizens.
posted by sotonohito at 7:16 AM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, and note that the horror story of California using gun registration to "confiscate" guns is also just NRA propaganda.

California is using the registry to check with convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other people legally barred from owning guns to verify that they fulfilled their legal obligation to divest themselves of their gun collection. California is **NOT** using the registry to collect guns from law abiding citizens.
posted by sotonohito at 7:19 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Second Amendment was never meant to ensure an individual right; it was a collective right, of the states, to a militia, which at the time was formed of the body of the citizenry in arms.

I've said this before here, but I might as well repeat it: there were two active models for the civilian militia in late 18th-century America. One was the bottom-up self-organised militia of states like Jefferson and Madison's Virginia, constituted by mustering on a town and village level; the other was the top-down state-organised militia of Hamilton's New York. Virginia had an explicit individual right encoded in its constitution, New York explicitly empowered the state to determine what kind of militia it needed, and to pay for its arms and training.

The Second Amendment is a fudge. It is a sentence written by committee designed to ensure that both sides want away feeling their own model was backed up in the federal constitution, and that was okay, because those two models could co-exist in the 1790s. All of the Bill of Rights amendments are subject to jurisprudence, but none is as terribly written and ambiguous on its face as that one.

Frankly, I'm not convinced that piles of bleeding bodies are a price worth paying for an 18th-century 'meh, it'll do, let's go for lunch.'
posted by holgate at 7:33 AM on June 15, 2016 [21 favorites]


But gun rights people are not crazy to see that registration is probably the best tool available to later be able to limit access -- and that has been given repeatedly in this thread as a reason for registration.

Confiscation is indeed made easier if you have a list of who has guns. That does not need to be debated. However, that's a much different statement than saying that registration "almost invariably leads to confiscation" because of the introduction of causality. My point is that the registration is neither necessary nor sufficient, and that such a categorical statement is simply not borne out by the facts, as the weak quality of the citations shows.

It's also troublesome to have citations from decades ago in other countries coming from someone who was earlier chastising others for using comparisons to other countries because the US is special. You can't have it both ways -- if you're going to say the US is a special snowflake because of its unique history and cultural factors -- and I think valid points can be made there -- then you can't rely on comparisons to other countries when it's convenient. Either other countries matter or they don't.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:41 AM on June 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


It would be interesting to find out just how many gun owners are okay with registration. I'm one.

I have addressed the problem of carrying previously and how you can't just ban it completely. I believe you have a right to carry on your own property and can grant or refuse that privilege to anyone on your property. I believe others can do the same on their property, including businesses. I believe carrying in a public space is contextual and should not be allow in urban areas but for certain environments like wilderness or certain rural settings is permitted (I do not know enough to know what rural settings).

I believe a CCW is a serious responsibility and should be extremely strict when issued, and that in all likelihood 99% of current holders should not have that license.
posted by linux at 7:42 AM on June 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Honestly I don't know why people find this sequence remarkable. What is the point of requiring registration if it isn't so you can go in and remove specific weapons if the law or circumstance changes?

As a counterpoint to California, Hawaii has had gun registration for over 20 years, and AFAIK has never done this. And while you've provided some examples of gun control in other countries regarding confiscation, you haven't proven that registration being the catalyst is the rule rather than the exception.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:44 AM on June 15, 2016


sotonohito: "Like I said, I don't see how we can communicate in any meaningful way. We're trying to talk reality and you're wanting to go into your fantasy about jackbooted thugs using a registration system to institute a reign of terror. WTF?"

Well on that I agree, we can't communicate. I have no fantasies about thugs jackbooted or otherwise. I'm not sure where you are getting the reign of terror bit from; maybe you've pigeon holed me as a stereotypical NRA style gun enthusiast but I'm not. I support the confiscation of weapons from people who have to shown to be a risk to others. Saying that registration makes that easier for law enforcement doesn't mean I'm opposed to the confiscation.

I believe that the USA has too many guns stored improperly. So many people take less care with firearm storage than they do with their lawnmower.

I can't believe carry, open or otherwise, is a thing anywhere there isn't a risk of bear attack.

Anyways I'm out; people keep putting motives in my mouth and I don't even have a pony in this race.
posted by Mitheral at 9:06 AM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


zombieflanders: "Relevant to the Malheur mentions upthread: it looks like 2A maximalist, Trump fanatic, Malheur rabble-rouser, and all-around wingnut Michele Fiore lost her bid for US Representative from Nevada. And not in a squeaker, either.

World's smallest violin, y'all.
"

Well that just frees her up to be Trumps VP nominee.
posted by octothorpe at 9:11 AM on June 15, 2016




Good for him. Hold their damn feet to the fire.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:46 AM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've recently come around to the idea that we need to repeal the second amendment. Like the 3/5ths rule and prohibition it was a bad idea. There are better ways to safeguard our rights than expecting an unknown number of citizens to have an armed uprising.
posted by humanfont at 12:26 PM on June 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Good for them, yeah

Senator Murphy and Senate Democrats are holding the floor because they will not accept inaction or half measures in the face of continued slaughter
...
Until private sales at gun shows and over the internet also require stringent background checks and unless suspected terrorists on the no fly list are prohibited from legally purchasing guns, our lax gun laws will continue to allow terrorists and criminals to amass a weapons stockpile

other things that I would like to see him pushing for:
- universal registration
- self defense not being a valid reason for owning a firearm
- all handguns must be single shot muzzle loaders
- all rifles must be bolt/lever/revolver action (yeah, the 1 shot per 15 seconds of straight pull bolt actions that have a box clip is noted. I still think it is a huge gulf with .223 centerfire semi-autos)
- lift the ban on public spending on gun violence reseach
posted by jonbro at 1:05 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


and you know what else while I am asking for ponies:
Repeal the second amendment.
posted by jonbro at 1:10 PM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Connecticut!

Sometimes I am really proud of my birth state. We're like that quiet guy at a party who doesn't say much, and spends most of the time just hanging back and listening, and then when everyone least expects it they suddenly say something that blows everyone away.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:11 PM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


GOP(notquite)Lifer: Dark matter skews the gun control equation
Being raised in deep East Texas granted your author many legacies, including a rich collection of racist friends. During the protests in Baltimore over the killing of Freddie Gray, one of those friends shed a depressingly candid light on his and others’ passionate interest in firearms.

And there you have it, pretty much the only honest argument for mass unregulated gun ownership you’re going to find. I must arm myself to remain safe from marauding Negroes.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:16 PM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


[Guys, it's time to deescalate the rhetoric and name-calling if you want to continue in the conversation.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:47 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Filibuster still going on, and you can even weigh in -

1. Call the toll-free number 855-331-8593.
2. Listen to a five-second recording from the Jim Brady Foundation to prevent gun violence.
3. Give them your zip code, and you will be connected with your senators' office.
4. When THEY pick up (or when you get the answering machine, like I just did), tell them that you are supporting the filibuster.

They are keeping track of how many such calls they get.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:14 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]



I've recently come around to the idea that we need to repeal the second amendment. Like the 3/5ths rule and prohibition it was a bad idea.


The problem I have with these analogies is that these were passed to restrict rights. Prohibition especially shows that this does not work. An amendment repealing the 2nd would be like Prohibition, which was passed during a period where alcoholism was rampant and causing major social issues and violence.
posted by linux at 8:45 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I should say restrict access not rights. Alcohol wasn't a right, but it was accessible and an amendment was passed to make it not accessible.
posted by linux at 8:47 PM on June 15, 2016




I've been specifically avoiding this thread for most of this week because I really has no desire for more "Grar" in my life.

Regarding repealing the 2nd amendment - nope sorry not going to happen any time soon, even stuff which has widespread public support like the stupid "Flag Burning Amendment" Republicans tried to use in the 80s and 90s were politically impossible to do and even if by some miracle an Amendment managed to get through Congress the chances that the states would ratify it are approximately zero.

So the only real solution is to hope that getting a liberal on the SCOTUS sometime soon will allow for opportunities to revisit the 2nd amendment. Even then there is probably going to be some degree of deferring to established precedent and the current SCOTUS precedent clearly goes with a very expansive reading of the 2nd Amendment.

Regarding militias and "resisting tyranny"- Hahaha, the reality is that jackasses that want to assume that they could pull a Red Dawn and "Go Wolverines" against a well trained military that is not an external occupying power are deluding themselves. Yes Guerilla warfare has been used successfully to resist occupying forces but for the most part even if some external group were to provide material assistance vs a tyrannical US government there isn't really feasible way that a plucky band of rebels would be likely to succeed.

Tyranny in the modern age is avoided by maintaining democratic institutions and maintaining civilian control over the military because let's be honest military coups aren't exactly uncommon in some parts of the world.

A rag tag force of rebels composed of your garden variety gun nut has basically no value anymore. Even with almost everyone buying AR-15s because "MUH FREEDOMS" there are just so many logistical challenges involved in using civilians as a military force that they are honestly do more harm than good. Hell even using national guard units for any extended period of time is incredibly difficult to maintain and these guys actually have training, equipment and logistics.

Limiting Firearms- There are already a ton of restrictions on civilian ownership of firearms, for instance you cannot generally buy any sort of support weapons, and the transfer of select fire or fully automatic machine-guns of post 1986 vintage is extremely limited. So for instance private citizens cannot actually by actual M4s in the US. However it's relatively easy to "build" one using modular AR-15 components and get one in all but name.

So it seems like there is a clear example of how the government can restrict ownership of some firearms types and I don't think the SCOTUS would be willing to rule otherwise (although you never know because "original intent" jurisprudence).

My suggestion would be to expand the limits on sales of select fire and fully automatic weapons because let's be honest people don't need them. Even 3-round bursts are pretty much absolutely useless for any sort of hunting application and really are exclusive used in killing people. Full automatic spray and pray mode is also extremely limited in application (select fire was developed because emptying your magazine in a second or two is absolutely awful outside of suppressive fire and even then that should mainly be the role of the person using the squad automatic weapon in most battlefield situations).

Of course you still have the issue that it's a fairly easy tinkering job to convert most semi-automatic weapon to fully automatic (this is basically the strategy that every single mass shooter seems to follow with their AR-15s because it's easy and assures more casualties) so you eventually need to decide what to do with semi-automatic weapons.

If we accept that guns are here to stay at least in some limited forms then I think it's probably best to actually create a target point at removing civilian access to semi-automatic, select fire, and automatic rifles and shotguns. I really doubt that anyone can actually come up with a legitimate use for any of these weapons that can't be handled by a bolt-action rifle or slide-action/pump-action rifle or shotgun. For handguns there pretty much is almost no reason to have anything more complex than a revolver because seriously how many shots is a civilian going to need?

Hunting- Seriously if you semi-automatic weapons to hunt with you should be fucking ashamed of yourself, even if you are hunting bears or moose or other "dangerous game" (and seriously why) a large caliber bolt-action or slide-action rifle is absolutely what you want and it's way way better than what the flint-locks that were available in the revolutionary period were able to offer and they managed just fine

Home Defense- pump action shotgun is absolutely the right weapon for this application, chances are it's dark and you are barely awake and probably don't have your glasses or contacts on so you should be firing shot instead of slugs anyway because it's about the only way you are going to hit someone and the number of home invaders that are going to stick around when someone starts shooting shot at them is pretty small. Plus even if you hit someone it's not necessarily lethal which helps reduce accidental gun shots when the "intruder" is your teenager trying to sneak back in after going to a party.

Handguns- I'll be honest handguns suck, suck, suck so much. Outside of gun range shooting their effect encounter range is abysmal and for the most part their stopping power is extremely limited. They really only offer advantages in terms of portability and concealability which is why they are heavily marketed to civilians for self-defense even though they are generally awful at it and as people have mentioned tend to be used against people in the home much more often than they are ever used in self-defense.

Let's be honest even law enforcement types with active shooter training tend to be at best mediocre with handguns outside of controlled situations and cops will almost inevitably go to an alternative weapon if they feel there is a distinct chance that shit is going to go down. It's just that for most police functions handguns really are the only possible weapon other than tasers that are generally practical. Even then I suspect just the presence of a weapon actually tends to cause many police situations to go worse than they otherwise would be. Yes there is probably a deterrent effect but how often to UK police get shot at by civilians?

Handguns are lethal but they are also pretty much garbage at doing their advertised function. In many cases it actually would be preferable for people using handguns for self-defense to be using revolvers. Yeah you can get more capacity in a semi-automatic magazine but seriously why do you need more than 6 shots for self-defense?

I still wouldn't carry or own firearms myself but I would feel a lot safer about the likelihood of being involved in firearm situations where the only weapons being brought to bear by civilians would be revolvers, bolt action rifles and pump shotguns. In general I still would prefer more expansive restrictions but that would be a good start.

I am also completely unmoved by the idea that if guns are banned then only criminals will have guns because that is the situation in most of the world and civilian dying in gun violence are significantly reduced in those situations because criminals using guns against civilians is generally bad for business.
posted by vuron at 7:50 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


On the subject of firearms related crime, a sitting British MP has been shot and stabbed to death today and campaigning for the referendum has been stopped as a result.

I mention this as no matter what a nation does to reduce the availability of firearms there will *always* be the possibility that events such as this takes place but that doesn't mean you shouldn't at least try.
posted by longbaugh at 10:10 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fiore was a huge Cruz partisan, though.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:41 AM on June 16, 2016


I mention this as no matter what a nation does to reduce the availability of firearms there will *always* be the possibility that events such as this takes place but that doesn't mean you shouldn't at least try.

You can't eliminate 100% of the risk, because there's always crazy people out there.

You CAN manage 80% of the risk. It's about time we START doing that.
posted by mikelieman at 10:56 AM on June 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yep, I don't get why people get so focused on the idea of creating a perfect solution when often a 80% solution will dramatically improve people's lives.

Yes the 20% that will still be victimized in some way are being penalized by the lack of a bulletproof solution but for the other 80% there are people that will still be breathing and loving and living.
posted by vuron at 11:35 AM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Of course you still have the issue that it's a fairly easy tinkering job to convert most semi-automatic weapon to fully automatic (this is basically the strategy that every single mass shooter seems to follow with their AR-15s because it's easy and assures more casualties) so you eventually need to decide what to do with semi-automatic weapons.

Yes, but it is much harder to convert something from one ammunition type to another. Hence, my thinking including the ammunition type in conjunction with non-manual actions might make this manage the risk in part through finally defining what constitutes an assault weapon. The other part would be the regulation bit: license, registration, education, training and insurance. I think this is where I lose a lot of gun advocates and owners when discussing this topic with them, particularly those who are far to the Libertarian side of things. I still think a compromise can be found even with that group as on the whole they do believe that certain guns like an AR chambered in 5.56 should be restricted from public sale -- they just have a lot of FUD about registration.

Hunting- Seriously if you semi-automatic weapons to hunt with you should be fucking ashamed of yourself

A lot of small game hunters use semi-auto at shorter ranges, so I do agree about big game but still push on including ammunition type as part of the equation.
posted by linux at 1:51 PM on June 16, 2016


I loathe hunting in general but it should at least have some degree of skill involved. I'm not sure that anyone really needs to be going after small game with a semi-automatic as it doesn't seem particularly sporting. Why can you no just use a slide action rifle, faster than bolt action, completely reliable and honestly probably better for your aim.

But I also fail to see how setting up a blind within a easy shot distance of a fucking salt lick that you set out early in the year is in any way a decent "sport". You are basically paying a ridiculous sum of money for the privilege of freezing your ass off, drinking beer with your buddies and making a ridiculously easy shot at what is basically a sitting duck.

Stupid stupid pastime but muh heritage or something and it's big business so gotta support it I guess.
posted by vuron at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2016


I've never in my life known anyone who hunts deer or elk with a semi-automatic. I'm sure it is done, but just not in my direct experience. But people who hunt non-food animals (predators, varmints, etc) seem to like low-recoil semi-automatics, and I've heard of people preferring them for hunting feral pigs. I guess where I'm going is that you could ban or highly restrict semi-automatic rifles with close to zero impact on game hunters, but there would be a lot of fuss and push-back from others, who might even be numerically greater. Fewer people hunt every year, though it remains a hugely important cultural touchstone.

But right now the supreme court explicitly acknowledges self-defense as a valid part of the second amendment, and there is a limited set of ways you can restrict gun types and availability before you start legitimately impacting self-defense uses (vanishingly rare though actual self-defense appears to be). A lot of the design features that work for police and military applications work well for self-defense situations (or more realistically, imagined self-defense situations), unsurprisingly. Reliability, excellent form factors, and superior design make pistols like Glocks and rifles like the AR obvious choices for gun shoppers, just as they do for police departments and the military.

But, and here's the conundrum that I'm not sure how I personally feel about, the exact same attributes that make those guns good for self-defense and good for paramilitary and military applications, make them perfect for these nutjobs who intend to commit mass violence. There is a bit we could do to have better background checks and so on, and we should, but those would be unlikely to catch more than a few of the people who have committed these attacks, so you are back to regulating overall access, which immediately runs you into millions of normal, law abiding people who will resent that their rights are being impinged because of these edge case terrorists.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 AM on June 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Hamiltonian state-level militia concept versus the Virginian minuteman model is very interesting, and sheds much light for me on the confusing wording of the second amendment. Thanks for that!

That being said, I'd like to address something which hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread. Every right or power in the constitution that is meant to be a state-level collective right is listed as a right or power "of the states." For those who claim the state-level collective right interpretation of the second amendment, can you explain why that right is specifically enumerated as the right "of the people," and is there any other right enumerated as "of the people" which has ever been interpreted as anything other than an individual right?
posted by MoTLD at 3:19 AM on June 18, 2016


Of course you still have the issue that it's a fairly easy tinkering job to convert most semi-automatic weapon to fully automatic

Perhaps so, for one with sufficient gunsmithing/machining skills and a semi-auto platform that is amenable to conversion, but not for joe average using drop-in parts like you make it sound.

(this is basically the strategy that every single mass shooter seems to follow with their AR-15s because it's easy and assures more casualties)

Um...no? Has any, ever? Careful not to buy into the misleading "assault rifle" media hype, which sure makes it sound like every mass shooter has a machine gun and every AR-15 is minutes away from being one.
posted by MoTLD at 4:27 AM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Perhaps so, for one with sufficient gunsmithing/machining skills and a semi-auto platform that is amenable to conversion, but not for joe average using drop-in parts like you make it sound.

A $99USD 'bump stock' can bring a civilian AR up to military M rates of fire. Plenty of youtube videos showing them rocking and rolling.

Semi-automatic rifles with high capacity magazines have no legitimate civilian use, and exceeding the design limits is trivial these days. It's past time to start getting them out of circulation by requiring a federal firearms USER license to own, and requiring EVERY transfer to go through a FFL.
posted by mikelieman at 8:07 AM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I understand your misconception, because they look very impressive on YouTube, but a bump stock is a gimmick. Tell that to the gung-ho types who think they're going to fight off a zombie horde with one and you'll get in quite an argument, but in practice they are very finicky and dependent on positioning and technique, so they don't work very well outside of a controlled environment and don't work at all without considerable skill. To my knowledge, there has never been a shooting involving one.
posted by MoTLD at 10:02 AM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The Truth about Assault Weapons" is a viral website that I keep on seeing making the social media rounds. Has anyone seen it? Is there a rebuttal to it anywhere, yet?
posted by Apocryphon at 12:12 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


For those who claim the state-level collective right interpretation of the second amendment, can you explain why that right is specifically enumerated as the right "of the people,"

From a textualist perspective, I think it's worth teasing out the rights model in contemporary state constitutions for the sake of comparison.

There's usually a standard rubric about standing armies being dangerous, and that military should be subordinated to civil power. For Pennsylvania and Vermont, "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state", which seems like a clear individual right, though constrained by those two purposes. Virginia's Declaration of Rights says "[t]hat a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State", which to me reads as an implied individual right. Maryland's constitution says "a well-regulated militia is the proper and natural defence of a free government", omitting the bits about "body of the people". Massachusetts reads "The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence", and North Carolina's reads "the people have a right to bear arms, for the defense of the State", both of which invoke "the people" but declare a more constrained right subject to the state's authority over the militia.

New York's 1777 constitution is, like I said, focused on the state's organisational role and individual duty to serve (unless for religious objection):
And whereas it is of the utmost importance to the safety of every State that it should always be in a condition of defence; and it is the duty of every man who enjoys the protection of society to be prepared and willing to defend it; this convention therefore, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, doth ordain, determine, and declare that the militia of this State, at all times hereafter, as well in peace as in war, shall be armed and disciplined, and in readiness for service. [...] And that a proper magazine of warlike stores, proportionate to the number of inhabitants, be, forever hereafter, at the expense of this State, and by acts of the legislature, established, maintained, and continued in every county in this State.
Pretty much every state constitution is clearer than the federal one here: they declare a right to bear arms for certain purposes, but disagree with each other on what those purposes should be. That in turn provides a different context for "of the people" compared to other rights that make their way into the federal constitution.

That the federal version had multiple state templates to draw upon but introduces ambiguity not found in any of them -- and it clearly does, with those parallel clauses hanging out, not quite stitched together grammatically -- suggests that the primary intent of those drafting the federal militia/arms amendment was not to privilege one state model over others. If the federal right were identical to the Pennsylvania right, it would use the Pennsylvania language; if it were identical to the NY right, it would use the NY language, etc.

Instead, it's a fudge and kludge. It's a riddle with a right and a rationale. It is technical debt incurred by people who had other things to ship. That leaves it up to the courts to conjure up meaning and limits. A country that was a bit less inclined to treat its constitution as immutable holy writ would have dealt with it one way or another.
posted by holgate at 12:43 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The Truth about Assault Weapons" is...

more "You don't know specs so you aren't qualified to discuss gun control" obfuscation, with some "Criminals will just swap magazines, so we shouldn't bother regulating those either."

It can't be rebutted, because it's making a moral argument at its base -- the definition of a word isn't really what this person is arguing; this person is arguing that because there is an individual right to keep and bear arms, then any particular firearm should be legal.
posted by Etrigan at 1:05 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thank you for that, holgate, it's very interesting and informative and sheds much light on the reasons why the 2nd is so ambiguous and confusing in general, but it doesn't answer my question directly. Are there any other rights "of the people" in the constitution about which there is any controversy whatsoever as to their interpretation as an entirely individual right? Are any of them similarly inconsistent between contemporary state constitutions?

For instance, I've read in passing that the fourth amendment is sometimes interpreted as a collective right by those who don't believe in individual privacy, though I haven't dug deeply and don't understand how it could be read so (and unfortunately can't even find where I read that), but perhaps it's a starting point for a comparison.
posted by MoTLD at 2:51 PM on June 18, 2016


"The Truth about Assault Weapons" is...

more "You don't know specs so you aren't qualified to discuss gun control" obfuscation, with some "Criminals will just swap magazines, so we shouldn't bother regulating those either."


Reads to me more like "the term 'assault weapon' is meaningless, but here is how it was used to ban cosmetic features on weapons indistinguishable functionally from these other common but not scary-looking weapons, and here's how the Assault Weapons Ban did nothing and in fact hurt Democrats politically." There was no reference to specs or who is or isn't qualified to discuss gun control. The brief mention of magazine capacity, however, was exactly as you described.

Both of these have been discussed upthread, so there's probably not much new to add, but it is an interesting presentation.
posted by MoTLD at 3:25 PM on June 18, 2016


I also posted this in the other gun-related thread, but - The House dems are holding a sit-in right now to force a vote on guns.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on June 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd agree with MoTLD about that "The Truth about Assault Weapons" site. Yes, it's argument against limiting magazine capacity is weak, but..

I'd think that banning the cosmetic features used to define an "assault weapon" sounds like useless grandstanding by Feinstein, et al. and gun control advocates should focus on measures more likely to have a real impact, like improving the background check and record keeping for gun sales.

We could try a psychological evaluation before obtaining a gun license for example. I'd think making first time gun buyers answer a bunch of mental health questions might be profitable. It'd run up the cost of the license too.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:40 PM on June 23, 2016


A single, national gun OWNER'S license would go a long way to making America safer
posted by mikelieman at 10:08 PM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd imagine a federal gun owner's license would be unconstitutional for mundane reasons, not related to the second amendment. Instead, you want federal gun buyer's and seller's licenses because regulation of commerce is well established.

At that point, we could attach any restrictions that seemed relevant, like criminal record, waiting periods, psychological evaluations, etc.

Also, one should not prevent people from making their own stuff, so if you really want to own a gun the federal government has less authority to regulate, then make your own.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:41 AM on June 24, 2016




Rohan Smith: Texas mum who killed two daughters before being shot by police was a gun advocate
On Facebook, Fort Ben County Sheriff’s Office wrote the girls’ mother refused to lower her weapon when police arrived and was shot and killed by a Fulshear officer.

Fort Ben Sheriff Troy Nehls posted an update on Saturday afternoon.

“As everyone is certainly aware, we had a terrible incident last night that involved the deaths of three people,” he wrote.

“An unimaginable tragedy that it seems we see too often.”
[...]
In March, Christy wrote on Facebook: “It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away, but that’s exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semiautomatic weapons.”

In January, she shared a post with the following message: “I have 10 guns. Obama wants eight of my guns. How many guns do I have? That’s right, I have 10 guns.”
posted by zombieflanders at 12:48 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


BREAKING: Supreme Court Just Ruled that Domestic Abusers Can't Have Guns

Why Did Clarence Thomas Defend the Gun Rights of Domestic Abusers? Or, as he put it, "intentional nonconsensual touching."
posted by homunculus at 4:21 PM on June 28, 2016


Note to Justice Thomas: the aim of a euphemism is to conceal how awful a thing is - not throw it into incredibly sharp relief through the ghastliness of your circumlocution...
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:25 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]




A Note from Mike Davis about the Second Amendment

So what he's saying that the original intent was that there should be a militia to fight off foreign invaders, rather than the US government itself?

(Yes, I know and you know that Native tribes are not foreign invaders, but the founders would totally have seen them that way in this context.)
posted by suelac at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2016


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