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View Diary: Gun-trafficking case in Charlotte may have exposed loopholes in gun laws (129 comments)

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  •  I call my approach "gun security." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax, oldpunk

    I want to secure guns from the black market, buyers and sellers from unwarranted search and seizure, and the right to keep and bear arms from unnecessary infringement.  

    So I propose a decentralized background check system.  A buyer would present a seller with a key generated and irrefutably signed by competent authority within say the past hour authorizing receipt of a firearm.  A record of transfer would be kept by both parties, which could further be held in trust by a third party both to preserve the record and safeguard their privacy.  That record would be made available to authorities when either party is presented with a valid warrant or if either party chooses to cooperate.  Criminal and civil penalties attach to failure to maintain the chain of custody.  This will achieve everything that a registry-based universal background check possibly could.

    Additionally, I want to encourage a revival of competitive shooting for young people.  Declining participation in these sports tracks with gun owners' declining share in the population and increasing hostility in the coastal regions particularly.  Kids are exposed more often to depictions of violence in media and gaming, but have fewer and fewer opportunities to learn about firearms under competent and moral guidance.  

    •  Why is it so important for kids to learn (6+ / 0-)

      how to use guns in this day and age?

      I'd venture to guess that the decline in gun ownership tracks roughly with the decline in family farming and ranching as well as the flight from rural America.  I live in the city.  We don't and should not be shooting varmints in our backyards - too much potential for hurting our unsuspecting neighbors.  I really have no use for a gun in my day to day life.

      In any case, the base is shrinking because guns no longer an integral part of the day to day activities with respect to work, survival and procuring sustenance for most people.  That's not really a bad thing.  

      As for your registry concept, I don't see how it could really stop illegal trafficking and dealing if it is that segmented.  I think we should be concerned about exportation of our lawless gun philosophy as much as what it does inside of our own country.  The mess in Mexico is being made worse by the flood of American guns in the hands of the drug cartels.  That's not okay and it is creating problems for us for a whole host of reasons.

      Anyway, in some article I was reading recently a TX sherif was quoted saying that when he was a kid there was a three chamber rule for hand guns - the other three had to be sealed.  He thought that was a reasonable limitation on ammunition rounds.

      I have a farm.  I can't really think of an instance where I'd want/need 30-100 rounds of ammunition - well okay water moccasins maybe - but still you're better off running from them than you are trying to confront them even if you think you can shoot them into pieces...  My grandmother just used an ice pick - for WMs - and a shovel for the copperheads and cotton mouthes.  She was fearless and always triumphant without every using a firearm to the best of my knowledge.

      •  I believe I explained why. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax, oldpunk, Kentucky Kid

        Hunting isn't the only recreational use for a firearm.  There are a variety of competition shooting sports to choose from.

        My concept is no registry.  Its a system designed to protect the privacy of owners while preserving a chain of custody for law enforcement to follow.  And it reduces (let's be serious, you won't bring illegal trafficking to a halt) transfer to the black market by imposing the same duty on private sellers as we do on licensed dealers.  If you discover a break in the chain, then you've either encountered a timely reported theft, an illegal transfer, or data error that your suspect will be very motivated clear up.  As with all laws, people will try to circumvent this one.  The question is whether or not they can do so successfully, and so far I can find no way this solution trails use of a registry in catching bad guys.

        It does not deal with the issue of theft, but then again neither does a universal background check backed by a registry.  That's a matter of secure storage, which is something everyone on both sides needs to think about more deeply (the NRA doesn't and the gun control lobby's ideas are as laughably easy to defeat as they are dangerously inhibiting to the owner).

        •  You should know that I am sensitive (4+ / 0-)

          to the concept of privacy and have concerns around the issue of government lists - BUT having said that - there is no privacy right now since the government is spying on people without warrants.  A more sophisticated approach might be to create  state licensing systems that would meet a federal minimum standard where the feds and other states would need judicial approval to access a given state's lists.  You hate that idea, I'm sure, but the more you talk about how easy it is to cheat the current system, the more you convince me that stronger licensing and permitting laws might be the only way to get closer to a safer civil society.

          It is funny how I am actually really interested in a more moderate approach in part because I do not believe that prohibition is a very effective or helpful response to problems, but some pro-gun arguments do push me towards much stronger regulation and oversight.  If I were you, I'd think about how people react to statements like "we can't stop people..."  Many people will instantly make the leap to prohibition in the face of that kind of argument.  FWIW

          As for the competitions with high capacity magazines, why isn't that something that could be worked out as something that can be done in certain settings?  NASCAR races take place at designated tracks where it is legal to drive over 100mph.  Is there some reason why high-capacity super-fast weapons could not be limited to authorized shooting ranges? I am assuming you're not practicing your shooting in the middle of some neighborhood or down at the local public park.

          •  Your conflating a few issues. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slothlax, oldpunk

            I've never suggested that it's easy to defeat a registry.  It's certainly easy not to comply, given the large number of firearms out there and inherent dangers of launch a massive confiscation scheme.  And the depth of mistrust for firearms registries after historical attempts at attrition and confiscation has and likely will ensure non-compliance.  However, you'd still be able to prosecute damn near anyone you found to be in possession of an unregistered firearm.

            My scheme, at least, provides an incentive for gun owners to participate.  For one, it provides them with protections above and beyond what they have today; irrefutable proof a valid transfer and knowledge that public agency cannot breach these records.  For the law enforcement to physically access these records, they're going to need your consent, and privilege attaches to whomever you choose to hold records in trust.  This is not a network, the records are physically isolated and in your sole legal custody.

            That said, if presented with a warrant you must produce these records.  If you fail to do so, you face the same penalties a licensed dealer would.  

            "We can't stop people" is an argument right from Senator Feinstein.  It's an acknowledgement that no effort is a silver bullet, and a segue into the argument for why the effort is worthwhile anyway.  And I'm saying my scheme is just as good as a registry and background check.

            As for magazines, it's not going to happen.  It's immaterial to the discussion entirely.  Same thing with gun control lobby's ridiculous attacks on modern sporting rifles and certain types of ammunition.  I'm sorry, but a fears born out of technical misunderstandings are not reason to acquiesce to arbitrary restrictions.  And if we're going to consider how people react to things, you might think about how gun owners perceive the motives of people who ludicrously argue that restricting magazine capacity and ammunition types saves lives.  We've seen what bargaining does in New York, and we're not going to accept it nationally.

            •  You lost me at the "confiscation scheme". (5+ / 0-)

              We can't have a serious conversation about this issue if you keep going to something that is simply not going to happen as long as the Constitution stands.  The 2nd Amendment isn't going away and the Supreme Court has affirmed that fact.  The Supreme Court also affirmed the right of the state to place reasonable restrictions on ownership.  You can understand and accept that responsibility and participate in an earnest attempt at striking a better balance, or you can play inflammatory games ginning up fear that some drone is going to come and attack you if the government finds out you have a gun at your house.

              Obama is no Ataturk.  DiFi isn't going to succeed for a whole host of reasons. And if you really are so concerned about anonymous gun ownership, I'd get off of the Internet, if I were you.

              •  Confiscation AND attrition. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And are you arguing that the Constitution prevents the confiscation of any firearm?  If so, that's a move in the right direction.  Freezing the market for new buyers and relying on attrition is equally offensive; I draw a distinction between that out of politeness, not out of any serious attempt to draw a new category.

                "Reasonable restriction" appears nowhere in the decision for Heller.  I believe you're referring to this blockquote:

                Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.  It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any   manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment   or state analogues.  The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast  doubt on longstanding prohibitions  on the possession of firearms by  felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or   laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of   arms.  Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those   “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition  of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.   Pp. 54–56.
                No one will disagree that the Second Amendment is limited, just like every other enumerated right.  But the specific tests and/or standards of scrutiny that must be applied is an issue that has not been addressed by the Courts.  Obviously, I would prefer the strictest standard of scrutiny possible for determining "reasonableness" (which comes with the presumption in favor of the right).  It may turn out to be a lesser standard than that.  And I would also concede that certain schemes, including a universal registry, would pass constitutional muster under intermediate scrutiny.  However, I'm also in favor of taking proactive, statutory steps to preserve rights.  In this case, I have an alternative to a registry that serves the same purpose and achieves the same results.  Under strict scrutiny, a registry would be tossed out immediately because of the presence of such an alternative.  However, it would be far better for us just to agree to use the least invasive measure that gets the job done.
              •  I know Obama's no Ataturk. (0+ / 0-)

                And I know Senator Feinstein's effort is going to fail.  But if this is cover just to sneak in a registry, I should warn you that effort will also fail.  So the question is what do you want to do?  Is your objective the registry, or the reduction in gun violence you hope to gain by tracking firearms transfers.

                I'm not concerned with being outed as a gun owner.  I'm concerned with government agencies keeping tabs on precisely what I own and where without cause. And not for any doomsday prepper reason, but because I want a firewall against official acts of discrimination.

                •  Your firewall was erradicated (3+ / 0-)

                  during the Bush era - and the worst part is that the way things are done now - in secret without any government accountability - they can make shit up about you, me or anyone else without consequence.  It is really too bad that the NRA didn't join the fight against warrantless wiretapping or help to devise reasonable measures to prevent gun sales to terrorists.  Instead, we are all caught in this bullshit dragnet and that's largely because the government and law enforcement can make the claim that the door is basically wide open to criminals and terrorists under the current rules.

                  The people who threaten your gun rights the most are the criminals, madmen and terrorists.  Focus on figuring out how to isolate them and you're going to find your rights to be much more secure and under far less scrutiny.

                  Suggesting that school children be indoctrinated through the public school system with gun-love isn't helping your case, either.  That will sound creepy to a lot of people.  If you want to open a kids' gun school, that's your deal and that of the parents' of the kids, but government programs like that evoke certain historical imagery for some of us - and for others its just not what they want their kids learning in school.

                  •  It's a shame there's such a cultural gulf (0+ / 0-)

                    on this issue.  We're at the point where we're now arguing personal perceptions and taste, which isn't doing anything to further the discussion on what to do about gun violence.  I'd just point out that it's not written in stone that gun owners are doomed to be stigmatized, or that a healthy culture that appreciates firearms can't return to its apex.  Beyond that, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

            •  Of course restricting magazine size saves (0+ / 0-)

              lives. It's terrible that you're using VaTech to try to make that point, since there were several other problems with that event that the vast majority on both sides agree on.

              Not being willing to budge on magazine sizes is imo the HEIGHT of selfishness. It doesn't restrict your ability to target shoot, at can shoot any gun you're allowed to still.

              I see what you did there.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:23:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it doesn't. (0+ / 0-)

                And the evidence bears that out.  I'm unaware of these "several other problems" you mentioned.

                There's no selfishness here.  A seven round limit is three double taps and a single round.  So what?  You require gun owners to change magazines after engaging a single intruder?  In close quarters?  No, it's selfishness on the part of the gun control lobby, because its sole motivation is to spite gun owners.

                •  Maybe you shouldn't have referenced (0+ / 0-)

                  VaTech then if you're unaware of the plethora other issues.

                  Yes, there is. As a gun owner, you have a responsibility not to suck at guns. And if you can't fight off an intruder with 7 rounds, get another gun or learn how to change a clip really fast.

                  7 was a stupid number; I think 8 would've required a lot less guns be modified.

                  I see what you did there.

                  by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:41:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe you should raise those other issues. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kentucky Kid

                    As far as I'm concerned, I'm very well informed of the circumstances behind the VA Tech incident.

                    If I can't fight off an intruder with 7 rounds, why should law enforcement get to carry standard mags and carry around spares?

                    •  Because law enforcement has to be able (0+ / 0-)

                      to engage multiple people at times.

                      The VT incident exposed issues with campus security protocols, mental health as part of background checks, a failure of Tech to deal with an obviously disturbed individual on its campus, and you could also argue it brings up again whether or not public college campuses can or should ban firearms beyond what is currently allowed by state law. All of which we could get enough consensus on to help.

                      I see what you did there.

                      by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:57:55 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And civilians don't? (0+ / 0-)

                        I hope I don't have to comment on the wisdom of planning for the best case scenario.

                        Oh, I thought you were referring to mishaps that rendered moot Seung Hui Cho's limited magazine capacity.

                        •  I don't believe civilians do, no. (0+ / 0-)

                          There are many more civilians than police. So you're only talking about one-person vigilantism against an oppressive armed horde of ::insert badguys here::.

                          I don't think it's a violation of the 2nd amendment, on the individual right to keep and bear arms, to not be able to shoot 20 people before changing the magazine.

                          Cho had lots of guns and planned his attack so he could trap people.

                          I see what you did there.

                          by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:06:26 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Cho had two pistols, and seventeen magazines. (0+ / 0-)

                            And there's no indication that he planned anything other than acquiring weapons.  He went after targets of opportunity after his first victim.

                            I'm still not following you on the ratio.

                            Magazine limits may not be a violation of the Second Amendment.  That issue needs to be addressed by the courts.  But I'll say if the courts do find that the state has to tread carefully before impinging on a citizen's capacity to defend himself, then magazine limits--at least as you envision them--may truly be suspect.  A ban on 100 round drums may survive under any circumstances, though I would still consider their banning an immaterial and spiteful act unrelated to security and safety.

                            Also, if you're not taking fire--as is too often the case with these monsters--what does it matter if you have to change magazines?  Seung Hui Cho did.  In any case, within a few years the issue of magazines will be moot.  Anyone who wants one will be able to DIY.

                  •  and note (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    GoGoGoEverton, lyvwyr101

                    that cop's even with their extensive firearm training have a consistent 17% record of shooting criminals. Now ask yourself this - if a cop can't do much better than 17%, then how good would you be in an assault situation? Would you miss all of your shots and, in the process spray the walls, maybe  shoot through walls, maybe hit an innocent bystander, with your bullets? Are you so well trained that you can dive for cover and hit a moving target at the same time? So if you have an assault rifle, and extended magazine, etc., face this fact: All you are going to do is to risk killing innocent people, or destroying property, by having the ability it spray more bullets. You want a defensive weapon? get a pump shotgun.

                    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

                    by azureblue on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:16:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The extension of the right to outside the home (0+ / 0-)

                      is the biggest reason I think we should take a strong look at clip and magazine sizes. If you want to blast your home to smithereens, be my guest, but not in public.

                      I see what you did there.

                      by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 03:34:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Just who is this "we" you claim to speak for? (0+ / 0-)
              We've seen what bargaining does in New York, and we're not going to accept it nationally.
      •  Also, you may not want or need 30-100 rounds (0+ / 0-)

        of ammunition, but that's your choice to make.  Some one else may arrive at a different conclusion.  I'd also point out that those other people include public officials and retired law enforcement, who for some reason are granted special exemptions in both the New York SAFE Act and Feinstein's proposal.  I'd also note that it would be trivially easy for one of these "constitutional sherriffs" to circumvent even those exemptions by simply handing out permitted status to anyone who applies.

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