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For the first time in a long while I am going to wade back into the Gun Control debate.

I do not do this lightly or wantonly, and I also realise that even among liberals, the natural constituency to discuss these matters, such discussion is fraught with pitfalls.

We have a group here called RKBA. It's members are somewhat loud, somewhat shunned and rarely engaged. That is mainly because of previous experience, mine and others, which has rarely been positive.

Yet I find most of the members of that group to be entirely friendly and personable outwith that one debate. The thing is, no one disagrees that we have a problem in America with crime, and the fear of crime. How we address those issues is the crux of the matter.

Cards on the table .... I do not like handguns. The members of the RKBA Group know this and we made our peace. I would like to see, one day, a complete ban on handguns, but it won't happen simply by trying to make laws.

More below.

I made my own declaration right there, upfront and unambiguous. I did so that no one reading this Diary has to work out my hidden agenda. It is not hidden.

No one who has been paying attention can fail to understand that citizens (and lawful permanent residents) have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The SCOTUS has said so, and short of them changing their minds, or a constitutional amendment, nothing will change this.

Arguing about the wording of the 2nd Amendment, about what constitutes a militia or any other parsing of words will make not one jot of difference. It doesn't matter any more how we choose to interpret the 2nd, because the SCOTUS has interpreted it, and that is that. If any of you has a case that might overturn Heller, then feel free to pursue it. Meanwhile, it is what it is.

In this Diary I have absolutely no intention of paying any heed to the rantings of those we might be tempted to refer to as "Gun Nuts". Responsible gun owners are not any kind of "nut", and such terms ought never be applied to the folk likely to comment in threads on this site. Indeed, in my own life I have a friend who is armed if he is awake. In all the time I have spent with him I have never seen a gun, and he has never discussed it. The other day he had to draw his weapon and point it at a bad guy. His badge, and handcuffs did the job in the end, but the whole episode disturbed him a good deal. He represents the finest of the responsible gun-owner.

Whether one supports gun-ownership or not, what is patently clear to all is that there are too many guns in our society, and too many are held by entirely the wrong people. This is a problem we have as citizens and residents. It affects us all to one degree or another. If you become a victim of a gun crime, or an accident, then clearly it affects you more than most.

Like all problems faced by society, we should be able to discuss it rationally, and find solutions. The control of guns seems to be unique among America's problems in that no side of the debate can muster an effective argument that is accepted by the other side.

So my first plea would be for us to stop trying to re-write the constitution. Quit telling our liberal friends that the SCOTUS got it wrong (even if they did), because that dog won't hunt any more. Equally, the supporters of gun-ownership would benefit from not simply re-stating their rights! We know you have the right to keep and bear arms. You do not have the right to walk the streets carrying a gun. You do not have the right to own any gun you take a fancy to, nor do you have the right to "stand your ground". There may be laws that allow you to do those things, but they are State and Federal Laws, which can be changed.

While we are on the subject of rational discussion, can we also agree that the NRA is little short of domestic terrorism? They are not advocates for the rights of gun owners. They are the sales arm of an industry that simply does not care how many Americans die, as long as they can sell more guns. This is not controversial. They operate by whipping up a climate of fear ... They sell their wares through terror.

We are oft tempted to blame the gun ... "guns kill people" ... predictably this is met with "people kill people", and we never get past it. Last time I checked "to kill" was a verb .. a doing word, and guns are inanimate objects that are not capable of doing anything. The truth is that "people with guns kill people". If it were the case that only the bad people were killed, then maybe the argument could end right there. As we all know, it frequently isn't just criminals who are killed, and even many of the criminals that are killed did not deserve the death penalty for what they were trying to do.

When we talk to our fellow liberals about guns the most common rationale for ownership, and concealed carry, is that of self-defense. I find it hard, even given my opposition, to counter this argument. Who would deny a person the right to defend themselves? It is not a reasonable position to take and it will never be accepted. Not by liberals and certainly not by anyone else.

My second plea would be that we refrain from statistics. There are no reliable statistics that serve to bolster either side of this argument. None. For every chart, link, authoritative source or any other statistic that I can find, those who disagree with me can, and do challenge them with their own charts, links and authoritative sources.

The only statistics that matter in this debate are that there are too many guns. Too many of the wrong people find it pitifully easy to get them, and too many people are dying. We would all like to see those numbers reduced. In the meantime, those wishing to protect themselves in this manner will continue to exercise their rights, and continue to oppose all those who they feel are not understanding their position.

Yet even though we hold these truths to be self evident, any attempt to discuss a rational approach to tackling the problem is simply met with obdurate opposition. In the way of political arguments since time immemorial, gun owners see any suggestion for control or regulation as "the thin end of the wedge", "a slippery slope". A slippery slope to where? Less guns? I'm okay with that yet we do have to recognise that cooperation is actually required. We have tried prohibition before and it lasted but a few years during which time the population basically turned criminal, and there was such chaos that we ended up amending the constitution ... because that can be done!

As with alcohol, gun ownership is too deeply buried in the American psyche to be challenged in this way. Banning something is rarely the best response, because governments govern by consent, and that consent will not be given however rational the argument.

What I suggest we do is approach this from the other direction. If we can tackle the reasons that people feel the need to be armed, then maybe they will feel the need a little less. If our population at large wasn't living in fear of violent crime, then there
might be less imperative to walk around our streets packing the latest Glock and Wesson.

I hear about "American Freedoms" quite a lot. Generally it brings an ironic smile which probably doesn't go down too well. Ironic because America is a society living in fear. Fear of a knock on the door, fear of being attacked, fear of government even though you elect them. Fear of crime and criminals. So fearful that people buy guns, which means that you also have to be fearful of a simple parking lot dispute. You are scared to let your kids out, or let them walk to school because it's a dangerous world. Don't try to tell me that you are not scared, because you are prepared. It isn't true. I don't believe you. You have given in to the fear and decided to meet it with more violence.

Politicians are guilty of trading in the fear, and the media is equally guilty for exaggerating the risks and perpetuating the myth. Our leaders will not even discuss the subject because they too live in fear ... fear that their jobs might be on the line if they dare to do the right thing. Those, by the way, are not the politicians that we need. We do not send them to Washington to get re-elected, we send them there to govern ... yet they too live in fear.

It would be reasonable to be scared if we lived in an apartheid South Africa, or Somalia, North Korea or any number of violent, oppressive regimes around the world. But we live in America, the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. And we live in fear. Where is the freedom to live free of fear? What happened to that? When did we give up the right to go about our business with the simple expectation of returning home unmolested? Responsible gun owners have taken a view on the society they live in, and chosen the path they are following. I don't have an argument with that, but I do think that they too are entitled to live free from the need to arm themselves to cope with a society that is either failing to protect them, or leaving them with a genuine concern whether well-founded or not.

We are not just letting down the victims of gun crime, we are letting down responsible citizens because despite several armies of law enforcement, prisons filled to bursting point and the wealthiest economy on the planet, we still are unable to make the citizens feel safe.

We need to stop blaming gun owners, especially the ones we most frequently discuss matters with because they are not the problem. The RKBA crowd here also needs to realise that we are not trying to take away your guns, we are trying to take away your need for your guns. If that is the thin end of a wedge that leads to taking away all handguns, it will not be a problem if the reasons you feel the need to own them has been adequately addressed.

This is no short term ambition but, like everything else in life, we do have to start somewhere because the consequence of not doing so is quite unthinkable. More death, more victims, more fear.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" Sure it's a cliche. It is oft cited because it contains the truth.

In my life many of you know that I ride a motorcycle. Sometimes I ride it one thousand miles or more in a single trip. Despite that being clear evidence of my inner insanity, people often ask how I manage to do it.

It's really simple .... I almost never think about the entire journey. I think about the next intersection, next traffic light. The short stretch of highway before the next gas stop. After a while, traffic light by intersection, the miles have piled up. Along the way I meet obstructions, diversions, construction ... lots of construction. Each of those obstacles is met, and ridden around.

When I started driving it was considered perfectly normal to go get falling down drunk then drive home. The carnage this caused had to be addressed, and it was. By a combination of carrot and stick, and education, attitudes to drinking and driving changed. What was seen as acceptable became less so, and ultimately society viewed that activity as criminal.

Violent crime is reducing, in this country with all of its guns, and in other countries without the guns. Guns do not reduce crime, even if they reduce the fear of crime. Whether that reduction in fear is justified is quite another matter. The money you spend arming yourself is little more than a hidden tax. You pay for law enforcement, and it is failing you so you pay again to defend yourself. That is completely wrong. The thousands of dollars many people spend on personal protection could buy your family a vacation, or boost your pension, or be put to any number of better uses if you were being appropriately served by the people you are electing to do just that.

Tackling the causes of crime, and the fear of crime is the way to address gun control. Sure there are measures that should be taken, regulations and laws that need to be passed, but that should go hand in hand with a concerted attempt to reduce the fear. We will not achieve one without the other, and the atmosphere of mutual mistrust will not be quick to dissipate.

That is no excuse for not trying.

-

7:59 AM PT: Here is a novelty .... We have a Gun Control Diary with a Recommended tag that has been recommended evenly by the RKBA Group members and those opposed to handgun ownership.

We have to start somewhere :) Thanks for the Recs!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can we please (143+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roseeriter, DRo, GoGoGoEverton, KVoimakas, kestrel9000, just another vet, Cory Bantic, Robobagpiper, Nadnerb in NC, ctexrep, billmosby, crystal eyes, 43north, MWV, cassandracarolina, happy camper, glorificus, rockhound, Neon Mama, Hey338Too, Thinking Fella, carver, Remembering Jello, Azazello, bibble, nominalize, MusicFarmer, jsfox, vcmvo2, gzodik, DrLori, Transactivist, lineatus, entrelac, peterfallow, FG, UFOH1, absdoggy, MKinTN, Sylv, Kristina40, Glacial Erratic, fijiancat, ejmw, JoanMar, Fishgrease, Norm in Chicago, dwahzon, Roger Fox, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, tardis10, mahakali overdrive, tapestry, J M F, luckydog, Batya the Toon, The Hindsight Times, KMc, BachFan, eru, Miggles, stormicats, No one gets out alive, winsock, ER Doc, jakedog42, Catte Nappe, Avila, marleycat, science nerd, coquiero, markdd, wordfiddler, Kentucky Kid, Empty Vessel, blackjackal, Smoh, James Kresnik, TokenLiberal, Senor Unoball, IndieGuy, pat of butter in a sea of grits, nickrud, roses, Dobber, RubDMC, gramofsam1, ColoTim, blueoasis, ichibon, statsone, petulans, rapala, Damnit Janet, gloriana, pioneer111, tofumagoo, greycat, Palmetto Progressive, ChuckInReno, Glen The Plumber, greatferm, SnyperKitty, dufffbeer, wdrath, JayRaye, Lorikeet, Susan from 29, Dave in Northridge, side pocket, Melanie in IA, TiredOfGOPLies, fuzzyguy, stegro, DavidW, i love san fran, rubyclaire, elkhunter, Alma, Carol in San Antonio, cwsmoke, LinSea, jared the bassplayer, DefendOurConstitution, surfbird007, matching mole, End game, Pistoche, uciguy30, eb23, Nova Land, Odysseus, blue in NC, oldpunk, Joieau, George3, PavePusher, Joy of Fishes, CA wildwoman, Trendar, Sailorben, AaronInSanDiego, splashy

    play nicely in the comments?

    Pretty please?

    :)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 06:43:16 AM PST

    •  Thank You (7+ / 0-)
      As with alcohol, gun ownership is too deeply buried in the American psyche to be challenged in this way. Banning something is rarely the best response, because governments govern by consent, and that consent will not be given however rational the argument.

      What I suggest we do is approach this from the other direction. If we can tackle the reasons that people feel the need to be armed, then maybe they will feel the need a little less. If our population at large wasn't living in fear of violent crime, then there
      might be less imperative to walk around our streets packing the latest Glock and Wesson.

      I hear about "American Freedoms" quite a lot. Generally it brings an ironic smile which probably doesn't go down too well. Ironic because America is a society living in fear. Fear of a knock on the door, fear of being attacked, fear of government even though you elect them. Fear of crime and criminals. So fearful that people buy guns, which means that you also have to be fearful of a simple parking lot dispute. You are scared to let your kids out, or let them walk to school because it's a dangerous world. Don't try to tell me that you are not scared, because you are prepared. It isn't true. I don't believe you. You have given in to the fear and decided to meet it with more violence.

      Politicians are guilty of trading in the fear, and the media is equally guilty for exaggerating the risks and perpetuating the myth. Our leaders will not even discuss the subject because they too live in fear ... fear that their jobs might be on the line if they dare to do the right thing. Those, by the way, are not the politicians that we need. We do not send them to Washington to get re-elected, we send them there to govern ... yet they too live in fear.

      We fear one another, so we don't trust one another. We need to build both trust and confidence within communities and between neighbors and citizens, as well as citizen and the state. Not only should we go after dangerous gun owners, we should expand anti-violence programs and re-emphasize community policing.
      •  Yes, this^. And in particular, (5+ / 0-)

        the second paragraph of the block quote.
        I've seen RKBA people go on about "my right to defend myself", and I don't quibble with that right.

        What I don't get- at all- is why they feel so threatened that carrying/possessing a gun becomes so important to their sense of security.
        I'd love to hear from some of them, perhaps they have very specific reasons for feeling this way, because I think many of us just find it puzzling.

        •  I don't either (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Kresnik, gramofsam1, George3

          And frankly I've been aghast at the level of self-justification going on.  One does not require a weapon to settle public disputes about loud music.

        •  1.5 million violent crimes per year. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kestrel9000, KenBee

          From the DoJ stats.

          Granted, that number is trending downwards, a trend of some 20+ years.  Meanwhile gun ownership has risen.  These trends may or may not be related, the data is unclear.  But what is clear is that a Citizenry armed for defense does not cause, or even increase, crime.

          But the reason for the defense?  The subject line.  Unless you are volunteering to provide security for me, or someone else?

          •  Thanks for responding- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Trendar

            just looked at the DOJ stats.  I guess it's a glass half empty, glass half full thing. When I see 16.9 victims of violent crime per 1000 people, and 11.3 of those crimes are simple assault (as opposed to aggravated assault), I don't feel personally at risk. I don't rule out the possibility but it makes me feel the odds are very much in my favor.

            If I were gonna take precautions, they'd involve trying to avoid situations like walking alone late at night in a high-crime area. But I wouldn't want a gun- I'm not even sure I could ever shoot another person.  The closest I ever came to being a victim was when I was sixteen and a football player gave me a ride home from a party and decided I really wanted to have sex with him. It was very scary and I'm quite sure he would have raped me if a couple of other guys had not come along, pulled him off me and proceeded to beat the shit out of him. Seeing that level of bloody violence was actually more upsetting than trying to fend off the football player from hell. I definitely wished that I were bigger and stronger, but I sure never wished I had a gun.

            •  I should add (0+ / 0-)

              that the more I think about this, even though the possibility never occurred to me at the time, I'm very grateful that none of those guys had a gun.  It was the perfect storm- 18/19 year old boys, peak testosterone levels, too much beer, and an apparent but very mistaken belief that whoever inflicted the most damage would get to be My Hero. Scary to think what a gun might have added to that mixture.

  •  If mankind STOPPED lying, cheating and stealing (10+ / 0-)

    there'd be no need for guns (which I despise as much as liars, cheaters and thiefs)  OY!

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:01:52 AM PST

  •  Twigg, thanks for an even-tempered diary. Re: (23+ / 0-)

    - The NRA - VERY few RKBA members will disagree with you on your NRA point, and the ones that will are not, let's say, 'highly rec'd'. That being said, why don't we keep down the RKBA = NRA comments to not confuse the issue.

    - No statistics: If we choose to keep statistics to the side, then we must also choose to not use flawed reasoning like "Of course everyone knows that..." and "I know a guy who.." and "It's obvious that..."

    - In general, not attempting to win the debate by using Republican tactics like questioning the 'manhood' of those who own guns will both lend more legitimacy to the commenter AND keep anyone on the RKBA side from getting angry about it.

    Thanks!

  •  I could use my standard South Park quote on (20+ / 0-)

    this part right here:

    "we are not trying to take away your guns, we are trying to take away your need for your guns"

    But I'll just say that won't hunt either.

    A gun hobbyist will always by definition have a need for guns.

    Speaking as a non-NRA, non-RKBA member, minor gun hobbyist.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:05:09 AM PST

  •  I have a feeling (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, 43north, kestrel9000, Smoh

    that the answer is no to your question. But I would love to be proven wrong.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:06:47 AM PST

  •  I can never fault someone (14+ / 0-)

    for being utopian or the desire to make things better.

    It's what challenges us to make the world a better place.

    I also cannot fault a person for being a realist - and having to do what one deems necessary.

    It is my hope that the realists and the utopians can peacefully co-exist and understand each others motivations.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:11:39 AM PST

    •  This .... (8+ / 0-)

      Idealism is a wonderful thing, ideal, one might say.

      But we live in the real world and have to be pragmatic too.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:27:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here is your problem twigg (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, quince, ScienceMom, Smoh, coquiero

        There is a reason there are no statistics. Because no real study has been made since the mid nineties. Because they is no funding for the study of gun ownership as a matter of public health. There are those of us who are tired of people from the RKBA refusing to engage in an honest debate. Instead we get accused of things we are not guilty of. And our arguments get ignored. The current state of research is exceptionally poor and the NRA keeps it that way.

        The Supreme Court has spoken but they do not get the last word. I have the right to work to amend the constitution to repeal the 2nd amendment. And encourage others to do likewise. The 2nd amendment is not sacred. The forces who oppose abortion have the same right to take their argument into the public sphere and argue for a constitutional amendment. This is not a dead issue. And to waive off the suffering of gun crime victims with a plea that we are powerless because of the second amendment is to admit that guns are more important than people.

        I am the victim of a gun crime. Someone in the RKBA accused me of being a liar. So I do not have respect for the RKBA because they do not respect me, a victim of gun violence. So do not expect me to play nice with people as reckless and dishonest as these folks. They do not play fair and they whine when they lose.

    •  I'm not sure understanding motivations is (7+ / 0-)

      enough. I can understand anti-abortionists' reasons for thinking no fetus should be terminated - but that doesn't mean I agree or respect them or their argument.

      Really, I do think gun ownership is such a minor issue in American life compared to MENTAL ILLNESS, poverty, ignorance, greed, racism, misogyny, drug abuse, alcohol abuse - I could go on and on, that I think too much time is wasted in arguments that change no one's mind and only create hard feelings.

      Yes, I have participated in RKBA diaries.

      In fact, I just read the 11-29 Open Thread KV did. Once the obligatory nastiness was disposed of, there was quite an involved and sophisticated (to me) discussion on reloading. Those in the discussion seemed knowledgable and extremely competent. The general miasma of fury was replaced by the pleasure of sharing techniques and learning.

      Of course, there is no way to leave politics out permanently. As long as citizens are getting killed in massacres by civilians or cops, people will focus on the most visible factor - guns.

      The "invisible" factors like MENTAL ILLNESS, fear, racism, ignorance, etc., etc., ad infinitum are more difficult to address and therefore ignored.

      This is a longer comment than I usually write so I'll stop now before tl:dr is triggered.

      Thanks, twigg.

      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

      by glorificus on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:45:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Motivation (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, James Kresnik, FrankRose, Smoh

        can be many things but a resonable motivation would be to limit access of firearms to mentally ill people.

        I think one can be pro-choice and want to limit the amount of abortions - not by legislation but by making birth control more available and accessable to  prevent unwanted pregnancies.

        On that topic - some are motivaed that abortion should be illegal and that the abrting Mom should go to jail - they will try to paint all people who get abortions as careless, morally degenerate people.  

        I think both are controversial topics that can bring out the worst in people.

        When discussing, we should always acknowlege that RKBA and Abortion are both legal and that by resticting those rights or laws will always be met with fierce resistance.  One will never get anywhere if there ultimate motive is to ban guns and then any step in between is looked upon as one step closer to that goal - that's when both sides usually become unreasonable.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:59:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not trying to be negative...but (20+ / 0-)

    what you are saying is exactly the gist of all the rkba diaries. Solve Poverty, Health, Drugs, etc, and a really high percentage of the problems involving violence will go down. That's not new.
    You come at it from a different point of view, but reach the same conclusions. Welcome to the dark side.

    "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

    by meagert on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:12:30 AM PST

  •  Doesn't matter that guns are "inanimate objects". (8+ / 0-)

    They are still designed to kill.  Their entire purpose is killing, and they make it far, far easier for one person to kill another person.  That, alone, makes them a problem.  Stating that "guns are just inanimate objects" is just a way of denying that guns are a problem.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:14:42 AM PST

    •  It would be considered "rare" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, chuco35, Smoh

      to find me being in denial about guns :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:31:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  cars make it easier to kill too (6+ / 0-)

      No, cars aren't designed to kill, but they certainly make killing easier.  In the Chicago suburbs a couple years ago a mother ran over her son's rival in a fight over a girl.

      Knives are designed to kill.  Pointy sticks are designed to kill.  Even a length of rope can be designed to kill.  You will never be able to wrap the world in enough bubble wrap to prevent one person from killing another.

      Murder didn't start with the invention of the gun, and it won't stop if guns magically vanished.  

      Cars, knives and ropes aren't problems just because someone misuses them to kill, and guns aren't a problem because someone misuses them to kill.

      The issue is the violence and the desire to kill another human being.  Focusing on the gun is just a way of denying the real psychological problems that need to be addressed.

      •  Yep, but 4 out of 5 murders are by firearm. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Palmetto Progressive

        All the others make up just 20%, which goes part of the way to explain why the homicide rate in the US is around 5 times that of the EU, where there is gun control of varying degrees depending on the country.

        Sorry Twigg - broke the no stats rule.

        •  You're making a logical fallacy (7+ / 0-)

          The gun control argument is, as you say, 80% of murders are with a gun.  Therefore, you say, ban guns and 4 out of 5 murders won't happen.

          Bullshit I say.  5 out of those 5 murders wanted to kill someone.  Take away the guns, and 5 out of those 5 people still want to kill.  If 0/5 murders are committed with a gun, but the murder rate doesn't change, did we gain anything?

          If you want to take away our civil rights, then the burden of proof is on you to show why 4 out of 5 murderers won't simply pick up the next weapon they find if they can't get a gun.

          Canada has more guns per capita than we do, and a murder rate closer to the EU.  I have proof that access to guns doesn't cause a high murder rate, and I have much reason to expect the murder rate to be unchanged in the face of a gun ban.  No, 4/5 murders using a gun does not explain why our murder rate is 5 time the EU.  That's why we need to work on the root causes of violence instead of just trying to ban guns.

          You aren't going to get the result you expect.

          •  Just read this weeks papers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dufffbeer

            No - you will not get a an 80% reduction because other factors come into play. But if you take this week with the sports guy - no gun - no death. Sure his girlfriend might have ended up like the lesbian who got beat up over thanksgiving, but would probably still be alive. If she had lived, he may not have felt the need to shoot himself.

            Or how about the guy who unloaded 8 shots into the SUV in a parking lot cos the (black) kids were playing the music too loud. If he had no gun in the glove compartment, you think he would have taken the Tyre iron to the guys in the SUV, or just driven away.

            How many examples do you  require to conclude that some reduction in the number of firearms is required?

            •  Civil rights don't work that way (6+ / 0-)

              How about this?  We take away the right of young black men to assemble and own cars.  That way, young black men won't be playing their music too loud in parking lots, and they won't be there to get shot at.  Sound reasonable?  No?

              What of the mothers who stab their children?  Maybe we need a law that says women aren't to be trusted with sharp objects?  Again, resonable, no?  Don't you want to protect the children?  Trade a little freedom for the illusion of security?

              But I have to ask, what does "reduction in the number of firearms" mean?  The 2nd Amendment says we're each allowed to own 1 gun at the minimum, and one gun is all that's needed to kill someone.  So I see no way to prevent the murders you listed without violating our Constitutional rights and disarming everyone.  It's not going to happen, so stop asking for it.
              And not a single legal gun control measure, no reduction of firearms can prevent murder if a legal gun owner with no priors just snaps.

              Sorry, but free and open societies have to solve these problems other ways.

          •  'murder rate doesn't change, did we gain anything? (0+ / 0-)

            but the murder rate does change.
            (according to those 'statistics')

      •  Sigh. This again. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1, cany, Joy of Fishes

        Cars, knives, and ropes all have uses completely unrelated to killing or maiming.  (Transportation, cooking, and hoisting come immediately to mind.)  The same cannot be said of guns.  Guns are desired for one reason -- they are a potentially lethal weapon.  Until people are willing to admit that they are therefore not analogous to products that are designed for other, nonlethal uses, we can't have an honest discussion of this issue.

        No, murder wouldn't stop if guns simply vanished, but mass murder would become a great deal more difficult to commit if they did.  One needs to acknowledge that one reason guns are prized is for their efficiency and effectiveness as killing machines.  People buy them to have an advantage in firepower over their presumed adversaries, and guns make possible the rapid killing of large numbers of people.  What's more, those people can be killed from a distance.  That simply isn't true of cars, knives, and ropes.

        Thus, when we discuss guns, we ought to be willing to admit that they are fundamentally different in nature from other types products that may end up being used as weapons.  Those other products have other uses.  Guns do not.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:12:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  feather dusters can kill. water can kill. (0+ / 0-)

        you lose.

  •  It occurs to me after watching the Lincoln movie (5+ / 0-)

    how we are still caught in the emotional aftermath of the Civil War.  

    The right to protect ourselves from our government with firearms reminds of us a  deep and yet unhealed national emotional wound.  

    Ownership regulation by the government of private property is still a bitter battleground.

    I can't help but wonder what our  nation would be like if a slavery war had not twisted our national soul.

    Guns without the anger are not nearly so dangerous.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:15:50 AM PST

  •  I have owned guns most of my life....... (10+ / 0-)

    and keep a handgun in the trunk of my car. I would have no problem with having to register said gun; nor would I mind having to take and pass a safety course (and background/mental stability checks) to be a licensed gun owner.

    That being said I doubt I will see either in what remains of my life time; I am 65.  The NRA has so successfully sold the "registration and licensing is the first step toward confiscation"  meme to the most rabid gun owners; that I cannot see how it can be countered in three or four life times.

    We need a group or confederation of groups that support RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP (including handguns) that can grow powerful enough to counter the NRA. Until then we are pissing into the wind.  

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:16:24 AM PST

    •  Here's a start (9+ / 0-)

      "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

      by meagert on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:18:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Odd isn't it? (4+ / 0-)

      Not a single one of my vehicles has been confiscated, nor threatened with such.

      However, if I were to use it to commit a crime, the chances are high that the Tag would help law enforcement catch me.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:33:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That parallel isn't quite right. (6+ / 0-)

        Cars aren't really all the concealable so people know you have them even if you don't have them registered.

        There's been no call for in-city bans of cars or calls for a ban on a certain type of car (like the AWB). In the case of the SKS over in Cali, registration did proceed confiscation. If there was no registration, confiscation wouldn't work nearly as well, to the point that I don't think it'd be tried.

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:38:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Part of the conversation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          just another vet, glorificus

          we need to have is what is considered appropriate protection, and what should not be permitted.

          The constitution doesn't address this, we have to work that out for ourselves.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:45:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, the Second Amendment reads as... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg

            "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."

            Perhaps two key points. One being a 'regulated militia' would fall under the domain and responsibility of the government. The government therefore has the right to determine what arms are admissible.

            And two, "being necessary to the security of a free State..." would suggest to me that individual self defense was not part of the granted right.

            Personally, I believe had the United States been limited to the original 13, then eventually arms would have been confined to armories where they could be dispensed if the state was at risk. That it was the constant push into frontier lands and the need for people to defend themselves that pushed the concept of the Second Amendment beyond the right it was originally conceived to grant.

            Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

            by Pescadero Bill on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:09:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I disagree a bit Bill. Way back Brits allowed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              twigg, oldpunk, PavePusher

              only the lairds & ladies & royalty to hunt.  This severely limited the diet of most poor folk commoners.  In these new lands, a poor guy could feed his family well without ending up in debtor's prison.     Food insecurity can be deadly too.   So even hunting is a type of self defense motive.  

              To other posters, militia was local defense of individuals joining together when facing an outside threat ---- such as attack by natives or by the armies of their official government from England.    

              Declaration of Independence made it pretty clear that we were  claiming a right to defend ourselves, even from our government, if & when it failed to allow our basic human rights.  

              De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

              by Neon Mama on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:59:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Arguably, individual self defense.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oldpunk

              is the cornor-stone of "the security of a free state".

    •  cazcee, I believe you're correct. (8+ / 0-)

      I also believe the GCA '68 blanket prohibition on "felons" as compared to persons convicted of crimes of violence, is in-error and targeted predominantly the African-American community, freshly franchised with rights in the mid-1960s.

      By crimes of violence, I refer to assault, rape, aggravated battery, robbery, and homicide.

      Compared to felony possession of narcotics, fraud, DWI (though I'd preclude a concealed carry permit based on DWI as you don't play well with others), SEC violations, etc....

      If we focus on those persons without an "off" switch, who lay hands and more upon others?  We may just jail those who need jailing, and let the others go.

      I believe there should be a "militia association", "firearms association" or some-such, which promotes firearms safety and competency for persons of all races and social status.
      If you're incompetent, the association revokes your firearms card, and perhaps the right to leave your house with that gun is taken by due process of law.

      I dunno, about the fine details, but getting closer to a Swiss system (re: social benefits and firearms) can't be a bad thing.

      •  The law often calls these "forcible felonies" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        43north, Smoh, fuzzyguy, PavePusher

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:13:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  But the Swiss are more mature than us. They have (0+ / 0-)

        proven they are mature enough to handle guns. We have proved that we are not grown up enough yet to be trusted with firearms. If you address all the root causes of crime and eliminate them you would still have 300 million guns floating around out there. And as 47% own guns it is pretty certain that some people feel the need to own more than one gun. Do you really need more than one gun? Oh yeah hunting. But why could you not use the same weapon to kill Bambi mothers as well as shoot kids listening to hip hop in the next car.

        Bitter, hell yeah. But that is because RKBA called me a liar about being a victim of gun violence.

  •  Not to change the subject too much (9+ / 0-)

    But this is similar to my belief in how conservatives need to reexamine their pro-life message and acknowledge that abortion will never be made illegal, and if it somehow is, it will never stop women from seeking them. But when such a hard line is taken, it makes rational debate all the more impossible

    a little bit of this, a little bit of that

    by MWV on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:23:40 AM PST

  •  At the risk (15+ / 0-)

    of being accused of using statistics, I would venture to point out that roughly half of all gun crimes are criminal-on-criminal activities, usually related to the drug trade and gang turf wars. Get rid of drug prohibition, and a goodly number of those crimes disappear. There was also a diary here recently about a city (Hartford, CT?) instituting a program of intensive surveillance of known felons and gang members that resulted in a huge reduction in murders and other gun-related crimes.

    Focusing our efforts on this low hanging fruit is more effective than blanket restrictions on guns, which tend to affect mainly the law abiding. Getting rid of criminals is a good way to convince people they don't need to worry so much about crime.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:41:53 AM PST

    •  When we remove the use of statistics (8+ / 0-)

      as a simple tool to counter the other side, we free ourselves to take a good, hard look at the figures and try to make sense of them.

      In this instance, I entirely agree.

      Most violent crime is young men on young men. Much gun crime is predicated on the complete failure of the war on drugs.

      Remove some of those features and not only does violent crime (and gun crime) plummet, but the fear of crime reduces too.

      Less of it = Less to worry about.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:49:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But if violent crime drops, shouldn't the fear (11+ / 0-)

        of guns also drop? If both part of the desire for the right to possess guns, and the desire for their regulation, derive from different responses to a fear of violent crime, shouldn't a reduction in such translate into a decreased call for regulation?

        After all, we're living in a country with half the violent crime rate of 20 years ago.

        I think those who are skittish about guns need to bask in that for a bit and learn to breath a welcome sigh of relief.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:53:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Probably (4+ / 0-)

          and if that were to happen, and the deaths reduced, we wouldn't need the discussion.

          There is no need to change any laws if the problem has gone away.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:55:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think there is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dufffbeer, twigg

          a straw man here that I see a lot from the RKBA side.

          The belief, or at least the strong implication here, is that the reason people object to guns is due to personal fear ("the fear of guns should drop", "skittish about guns").

          Personally, I am not afraid of guns or being shot. I live in a very safe community, and also I live in town and not out in the woods where there might be hunters, so I am not going to be shot either on purpose or by accident. There has been one shooting in the town I live in during the past 10 years that I have lived here, and that was between two acquaintances (the shooter didn't even live in town).

          So, I am not at all afraid of being shot, and fail to see any need to carry a gun. My problem with guns is that I don't like people dying of gunshot wounds. I hate the totally unnecessary death toll from guns just like I hate poverty and hunger.

  •  "Responsible" handgun gun owners are being used (4+ / 0-)

    by criminals and murderers. They support a market that produces millions of guns per year. It's that market that allows criminals and murderers to steal, scheme, or even legally obtain their weapons of choice. Until we get rid of the handgun market, the problem will always be there.

    I agree with some of your points. I think a good first step, for example, would be the elimination of all conceal carry permits.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:41:57 AM PST

    •  On what basis? Do you have evidence that (12+ / 0-)

      CCW holders are more likely to misuse a weapon, or commit a crime, than anyone else?

      Harm mitigation begins with identifying where the harm is actually occurring first.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:50:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think a good first step (11+ / 0-)

      would be to replace "stand your ground" with "back to the wall".

      Those currently using the stand your ground defense are probably the very first group who should never own a gun.

      I would expect that every one here would use a weapon as a last resort, not a first choice.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:51:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I strongly disagree; see my comments (7+ / 0-)

        here on why.

        Justifiable Use of Force laws aren't about society making a statement of what's a good idea. It's about what we demand someone prove before they can claim an affirmative defense in a criminal trial.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:02:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We will disagree with this (6+ / 0-)

          Because society very much DOES decide what is appropriate.

          That is why we make laws.

          Not everyone likes the laws that are made. They have a vote.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:05:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We make criminal laws to punish what we think (5+ / 0-)

            are crimes. Normally, the burden of proof is on the state to prove you did it.

            Sometimes, there are circumstances where you can't say "I didn't do it"; but are forced into "I did it... but...". Then you need an affirmative defense; but at that point, the burden of proving the affirmative defense shifts to you.

            When we create provisions for an affirmative defense, you have to lay out what conditions have to be met for someone to claim it. Otherwise, there is no standard for a court or jury to determine if the affirmative defense can be claimed.

            "Stand your ground" isn't about what you "get" to do. It's about what we no longer require you to prove you did, if you're on trial, to claim a particular defense. There is a huge difference.

            Virtually none of the complaints about SYG don't involve people likely to have a legitimate claim to it; or that police and prosecutors use it as a half-assed excuse for exercising poor discretion not to pursue likely criminals because of the races of the assailant and victim.

            The thing about those on criminal trial is that they'll try any defense they think will help their case, whether they're entitled to that defense or not. That has little to do with the legitimacy of the defense.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:29:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's too narrow a view (4+ / 0-)

              of why we make laws.

              Passing laws doesn't just define acceptable behaviour, it also sends out a message.

              "Stand your ground", especially when replacing "Back to the wall", sends out the wrong message entirely, and we are reaping the consequences.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:35:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And yours is too expansive; because it constrains (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fuzzyguy, 43north, oldpunk, PavePusher

                the ability to set legitimate extenuating circumstances for the innocent only to those that won't be misunderstood, or claimed to be misunderstood, by the malevolent.

                Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:47:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm confident that (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Robobagpiper, fuzzyguy, 43north

                  you and I could find a middle ground :)

                  I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                  but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                  by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:43:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Can we agree that people who start the fight (6+ / 0-)

                    should still be required to retreat?

                    If so, we're in luck.

                    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                    by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:44:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The old Castle Doctrine (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      coquiero, twigg, Neon Mama

                      that enumerates the right to defend your property and person. It was unambiguous and perfectly adequate for practically all self-defense models.

                      I think Stand Your Ground is far ambiguous to serve as a reasonable model of self-defense. SYG invites vigilantism and creatively self-serving interpretations of the law.

                      •  I think you misunderstand that one too. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        oldpunk, PavePusher

                        The "Castle Doctrine" refers to older, but similar, changes to justifiable use of force laws that remove the duty to retreat inside one's home, vehicle, or place of business. And when they began to be passed, there was the predictable and unfounded warnings of blood running in the streets.

                        In fact, Castle Doctrine is perfectly analogous to "Stand Your Ground", since the two are the same principle applied to different locations.

                        Justifiable use of force law is usually broken into multiple parts: one section for inside one's home or business or vehicle; one for everywhere else one has a right to be. There are other provisions (use of force against police officers, use of force by the aggressor, limited immunity clauses, etc.). In the case of the  former, one has to be present in the home when the intrusion takes place, the intrusion has to be forcible, and so on. In the latter, you have to have a right to be there, be acting lawfully, be attacked, and have reasonable fear that force is necessary to prevent imminent bodily harm to oneself, or prevent a forcible felony on another. What's ambiguous in either of these? If the state is not a CD/SYG state, you have prove you tried to run away before using force, or you're criminally liable for the use of force. If it is, you don't.

                        But neither section of law, when read, is ambiguous in any way. Both generally set out very strict requirements that must be met before force can be deemed justified, whether or not retreat is one of them.

                        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                        by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:12:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Ultimately it comes down to a burden of proof (5+ / 0-)

            Do we reconcile ourselves to incarcerating the occasional person who engaged in legitimate self-defense because he can not prove that he either retreated or was unable, or do we reconcile ourselves to releasing the occasional person who committed murder because he was able to set up conditions that made it look like the conditions of self-defense were met.

            I fall with Blackstone's formulation on this one.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:44:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  As a lawyer I would say it is a mix of both. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          43north, oldpunk

          It is a standard of proof which a jury is bound to follow. But how a jury interprets that standard of proof is indeed a statement of society as to what is allowable under the law.

          "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

          by chuco35 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:08:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Many of those (9+ / 0-)

        are likely to find their defense rejected by the court. SYG laws require "reasonable" fear , but "reasonable" is in the eye of the judge/jury, not some idiot who shoots at kids for being on his lawn and claims he was in fear of his life.

        The impetus for SYG laws is to remove the possibility of a person who defends themselves lawfully being the object of criminal prosecution or a civil suit, which even if unsuccessful may bankrupt them. It's a good idea, but the implemention has not gone well.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:37:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would hope this is true (6+ / 0-)

          Yet in recent headline cases we are finding that law officers are reluctant to even bring charges, so a judge and jury never actually gets to determine anything.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:42:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The self-defense laws(+) require more than that. (6+ / 0-)

          To claim that a use of force was justified (outside the home), you have to prove a lot of things: you had a right to be where you were, you were acting lawfully, you were attacked, and that you had reasonable belief that use of force was necessary to prevent imminent harm, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

          If you were in your home, you fall under a different section that requires that the intruder enter forcibly, among others. If you were the aggressor (or a prosecutor can convince a jury that you were), you fall under a third section where your right to claim self-defense is sharply curtailed, in which the duty to retreat is maintained.

          (+) Can we stop saying "SYG laws", because there really are no such things, not as meant by people using them. An SYG law is a law that amends the justifiable use of force section of an existing criminal code to remove the duty to retreat, when attacked outside the home. The law does not, in itself, establish or often change the other conditions necessary to invoke justifiable use of force.

          Similarly, though the limited immunity provisions have been often added at the same time as the duty to retreat was removed, they're a separate section.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:25:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  SYG is a handy label. People know what is meant, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            43north

            and if further clarification is needed, it's available.

            "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

            by glorificus on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:42:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, it's painfully obvious that most of its (5+ / 0-)

              critics do not know what it means.

              Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

              by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:43:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  People understand the concept and that it is (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Kresnik

                misused to allow white men to kill young black men.

                "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                by glorificus on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:58:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  People *misunderstand* such. (6+ / 0-)

                  Considering that both of the recent perpetrators of notorious incidents are under arrest and facing trial.

                  Which suggests that said law doesn't protect this behavior at all.

                  Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                  by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:26:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You haven't been paying attention. There have been (0+ / 0-)

                    other cases where that is not the case.

                    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                    by glorificus on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:17:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Don't overlook malfeasance on the part of (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      oldpunk, PavePusher

                      Prosecutors, and Law Enforcement officials unhappy with SYG becoming law.

                      You CAN engineer an outcome if you have a plan.
                      Exercising "discretion" against a reasonable cause for arrest CAN further your political aims.

                      I'll point to the parallel with recent changes regarding  marijuana laws.
                      Prosecutors, Chiefs of Police, the Feds and the Fraternal Order of (white) Police have all decried the end of the world as we know it.  All that's missing is a screening of
                      Reefer Madness.  

                      It's all about the cash associated with easy arrests and incarceration.  It's all about "we need more police", more ADAs, more prisons and more judges to send them there.
                      Hell, we need more lawyers too.  And funding.  Let's not forget funding.

      •  I could get behind this idea. nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  Twigg, I'll agree with you and Robo' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpunk, PavePusher

        I've stated elsewhere, the Florida Bar, Prosecutors, and Law Enforcement Associations came out against SYG becoming law.

        Scarface was going to gun-down cops, and walk away free.
        Didn't happen.

        What did happen is the media ran with the story... both stories.  
        1) You don't have to take anyone's shit.  Blast 'em, it's the law.
        2) We're all gonna die in a Wild West shoot-out.

        The Zimmerman investigation/prosecution was official malfeasance.  Undue influence, and prosecutorial politics.
        The desired outcome was public outrage, and an overturning of SYG either as case law or better yet in the Legislature.

        Law Enforcement has a credo:
        Our job is doing the shooting, the arresting, the jailing the prosecuting, and the imprisonment.  Your job is to be a good victim or witness.  You're not paid to do our job, and fuck-all if we'll just stand here and let it happen.

        Unless that's a faster way to make it never happen again.

        Robo's right - over zealous prosecution can be a problem.
        One the African-American community is keenly aware-of.
        Bogus cases against innocent young men have resulted in their deaths, appeals exhausted.
        The system's rigged to prevent disclosure of prosecutorial malfeasance.

        Round-up the usual suspects* has been used for years.  Those suspects are usually black, male, and young.  What's that tell the folks at home?

        *(toth to Claude Rains)

    •  CCW permit holders (6+ / 0-)

      are not causing any problems. Why burn political capital on measures that will not have the intended effect of reducing crime?

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:40:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But you have no right to eliminate hand guns (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      And SCOTUS agrees with us.  So here we are, exactly as Twigg said.  You say we can't address the problem of violence until we violate the Constitution, and that's a non-starter.

      So given that, what move do you propose next?  Just do nothing becuase hand guns can't be banned?  Is that reasonable?  You need to find another solution.

      •  No one said violate the Constitution (0+ / 0-)

        I do think we should amend it. And in the meantime, start with eliminating concealed carry permits.

        I think changing SYG laws is also a good step. At least making a jury decide the case rather then a Judge or the police themselves.

        We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

        by i understand on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:56:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  An amendment would never pass (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, fuzzyguy, PavePusher

          I don't even own a gun, but I would never sign a Constitutional Amendment banning handguns.  And I would ensure every single one of my representatives rejected it as well.

          A handgun fits every definition of a small handheld fire arm that every citizen is allowed to own.  Just because you don't like them doesn't mean you can ban them.  That amendment will never pass.  You have to let that fantasy go.

          As for concealed carry, I don't like that concept much.  But criminals already carry concealed, they just don't tell anyone.  What does disarming the law abiding accomplish?  Shooting someone is already illegal.  If they don't care about that law, why would they care about the concealed carry part?

          •  I'm sure you wouldn't (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coquiero, cany

            People said there was a zero chance to allows gay participation in the military so we ended up with DADT. The only time there is a zero chance of getting something is when you don't ask in the first place.

            And you make the point about eliminating concealed carry laws, and that is that it makes anyone concealing a gun a criminal. There is no question about whether the discovered gun is there legally or not and the police can act accordingly. Likewise anyone openly carrying a gun makes that known and so there is no chance to be surprised by it. When people see guns in public, they react negatively. I think if you required open carry, fewer people would actually do so. I, for example, would not associate with someone openly carrying a firearm. And I think more businesses would ban firearms from their premises if they were openly carried.

            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

            by i understand on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:10:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gays in the military expanded rights (7+ / 0-)

              You want to contract them.  So first, you have to take a hard look at what you want, and then ask if expanding rights to gays is a good model to restrict rights to all citizens.

              I support abortion access and gay rights because that is expanding civil rights.  And I reject gun bans because that is restricting rights.  So I maintain that there is zero chance that gun rights would be restricted.

              But on the point of concealed carry, how about this.  Pass it for law enforcement first.  Officers in uniform carry openly on their belt.  I want the same rules for undercover cops, FBI, secret service, everyone.  First take away concealed carry from ALL government officials, and then you can take it away from ordinary citizens.  Deal?

              •  I don't think we've ever had that right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coquiero

                I think the SCOTUS decision was wrongly decided.

                And we're not dealing. I'm expressing what I want and you can express what you want. Laws will change as enough people decide they want the same things, like less gun violence.

                We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                by i understand on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:25:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did you read this diary? (4+ / 0-)

                  You think the 2nd Amendment doesn't grant an individual right, and SCOTUS is wrong.  Great, that's your right to believe that, but I disagree 100%, so we're at an impass.

                  But look at what you wrote.  You want less "gun violence", not less violence.  So yes, if guns were banned we may very well have less gun violence.  But if knife violence increases by the same amount that gun violence drops (and it probably will), then what has been gained?

                  You think that eliminating gun violence and eliminating all violence is the same thing.  It isn't.  Stop worrying about the gun, and as Twigg said, focus on stoping the desire to kill, no matter the weapon used.

                  A woman in Naperville, IL stabbed two children to death last week.  But a gun wasn't used, so is that murder acceptable?  It wasn't gun violence after all....

                  •  Sorry... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    burlydee, coquiero

                    But do you really think knife violence will "fill the gap" left by the absence of gun violence?

                    And we will never eliminate all violence. I never said such a thing, nor would anyone.

                    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                    by i understand on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:42:59 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If a person wants to kill, they will kill (5+ / 0-)

                      With regard to that Naperville woman, I have no doubt that if she had shot the two kids with a gun, that you and others would claim with absolute certainty that if we had only banned guns, those kids would still be alive.   The exact same false argument Costas used.

                      But since the woman killed with a knife, suddenly it's "well, we can't eliminate all violence".  So be consistent and apply that same reasoning to gun violence.

                      Guns don't make people kill. People want to kill, then they go get a gun, or failing that, something else.

                      Unless you can explain why the lack of a gun didn't keep those kids alive, you don't have much of an argument.

                      •  Not a lot of "drive by knifings" (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        coquiero, cany

                        Or headlines that say "Mass murder with knife".

                        We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                        by i understand on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:52:09 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You must have missed the recent (5+ / 0-)

                          mass knife killings in China, or the Osaka School Massacre that was committed with a survival knife, or the Rwandan Genocide way back in 1994 where about 800,000 people killed with machetes.

                        •  Like I said, not much of an argument (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          rockhound, fuzzyguy, 43north, PavePusher

                          This isn't kindergarden.  You don't get to punish 300 million people for the actions of a few psychopaths, and I will not trade my freedom for the illusion of security.  I know you don't respect the 2nd Amendment, but I do.  My civil rights are non-negotiable.  

                          Yes I understand the points you make.  But gang members who commit drive by shootings already don't care about the murder laws.  They don't care about the gun laws either and most drive bys use guns that aren't legally owned.  Every single legal gun owner can be disarmed, and we will still have drive bys.  Address the root cause, or plain and simple you are not serious.

                          As for mass murder with a knife, are you familiar with serial killers?  Most don't use guns.  Yes, I admit that it is much easier to comitt a spree killing with a gun over a knife.  But it doesn't make spree killings impossible.  It doesn't make mass murder impossible.  And it still doesn't stop someone from having a gun illegally.

                          Any proposed solution to the issue of violence that starts with "First, take away freedom..." is dead on arrival.  You will simply create a large uncontrolable black market in guns, and those who want to kill will still kill.

                          Guns are not the root cause of violence, and as long as you keep this approach, you will accomplish very little.  First respect freedom, and work from there.

                          I have to go, thanks for the discussion.

                          •  Where did they get those illegal guns? (0+ / 0-)

                            And how do you know they're illegal?

                            The root cause is simple, there are too many guns in the United States.

                            I absolutely do see the incredible extent to which gun proponents will rationalize their position though.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:35:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My position is civil rights (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KVoimakas

                            You believe there are too many guns.  Fine, the problem is there's nothing you can do about it.  Our civil rights under the 2nd Amendment say that yes, each citizen is allowed to own at least one gun.  To be denied gun ownership we must be deprived of our civil rights via due process in a court of law.

                            So there's the rub.  If there are too many guns, and we're each allowed one, then to get rid of the guns, you must take our rights away.  (I know, I know, you don't recognize our rights, just like Conservatives don't recognize gay marriage rights.  Doesn't put you in good company)

                            Stop bashing your head against the Constitution, trying to make it go away, and find a different approach.

                          •  There is something I can do about it (0+ / 0-)

                            I can advocate changing the Constitution. And that is what I will do.

                            And the false equivalence of a wrongly decided SCOTUS case to marriage equality (with the "good company" jab thrown in for extra measure) isn't helping your argument.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:09:28 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't believe it was wrongly decided (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KenBee

                            I believe in the right to own a gun, the right for a woman to get an abortion and the right of gays to get married.  And I believe SCOTUS is correct when it affirms individual rights in all cases.

                            If gun rights can be taken away by changing the Constitution, then so can all the other rights.  ALL the other rights.  

                            I'm sorry, but your actions to deny gun rights put you squarely in the same company as those seeking the Personhood Amendment to ban abortions, and those seeking a defense of marriage amendment to ban gay marriage.  Then we have all the southern racist rednecks who want to overturn the 13 and 14th amendments and take away even more rights.

                            Don't think the 2nd Amendment is written on toilet paper but the 14th is sacred.  They're all equal, all equally vulnerable.  Sorry, but I like the Constitution the way it is.

                          •  That's nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                            You know, we've amended the Constitution quite a few times in the past to great affect. Even the 2nd amendment is, you know, an amendment.

                            Liking something the way it is because you fear change rather then seeking out improvement and progress is the very definition of "Conservative".

                            See, I can do that too.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:31:26 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't fear change (0+ / 0-)

                            I fear the loss of individual rights.  I don't want to be forced to join some fascist goverment militia made up of segregationists, just to be able to own a gun under your new amendment.  I don't care how "well regulated" it is.

                            This isn't about change, it's about a loss of civil liberty at your hands.  And that loss of liberty won't stop with the loss of gun rights.  If you succeed, other rights will fall as well.

                            Sooner or later, a right you actually care about will fall. Get it yet?

                          •  Did those amendment expand, or restrict rights? (0+ / 0-)

                            The Bill of Rights, and the other amendments mostly expand individual rights, not take them away.  You're on the wrong side.

                          •  Both (as you say as well) (0+ / 0-)

                            That said, I'm not talking about restricting any rights. I'm talking about changing the 2nd amendment. How about this for language:

                            The right of a well regulated Militia to keep and bear arms in defense of the State shall not be infringed.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:41:16 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So my right to keep and bear arms as (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Norm in Chicago

                            an individual would be still free and clear? I wouldn't have to be part of the militia?

                            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                            by KVoimakas on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:03:11 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't think you've ever had that right. (0+ / 0-)

                            Notwithstanding a recent wrongly decided SCOTUS decision.

                            So this change would not alter that one bit. If an individual right to keep and bear arms pre-dates the Constitution, then you would still have that right and you should have no concern. If it doesn't, then you wouldn't have that right, and good and proper regulation would be allowed.

                            Which do you think it is?

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:06:43 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Depends on who's enforcing it. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Norm in Chicago

                            Some people think that the government can limit anything that isn't explicitly designated as a right or freedom in the Constitution.

                            Others think the ONLY things the government can limit are the limits placed in the Constitution.

                            Oh, and you're wrong about the SCOTUS decision. The Founders meant for it to be an individual right to bear arms. If a part of the Constitution needs to change with the times, amend it.

                            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                            by KVoimakas on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:09:28 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't agree with you on the SCOTUS decision. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't agree it was ever an individual right. I think we've had this discussion before.

                            I agree we need to amend the Constitution in this case, and I have proposed (rough) language for that above to replace the 2nd amendment.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:17:32 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We've had the discussion before. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rockhound

                            I've not seen anything from contemporaries of the Founders or the Founders themselves that has disabused me of that notion.

                            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                            by KVoimakas on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:44:42 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do I get to find out ahead of time? (0+ / 0-)

                            Whether the individual right pre-dates the Constitution.

                            And "should" have no concern?  Please, don't make me laugh.

                          •  So you're not sure (0+ / 0-)

                            eom

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:55:48 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I meant in your opinion (0+ / 0-)

                            Since you're the one trying to take away individual rights, it does matter if you think that right existed before the Constitution or not.

                            But really, it's a trick question.  Once the Constitution was adopted, that became law of the land and what was law before doesn't apply now.

                            You're going to change the 2nd Amendment to remove individual rights, and then maintain those rights based on stuff before the Constitution?  On what legal basis?

                            You can't change the Constitution to take away a right but at the same time say we still have it.  Doesn't work that way.  I'm keeping my individual right, thank you very much.

                          •  I'm not trying to take away individual rights (0+ / 0-)

                            As I don't think you've ever had that right. I get how it helps your argument to keep repeating it though.

                            The Constitution is not an exhaustive list of your rights (read: Right to Privacy). If you have a right regardless of it being enumerated in the Constitution, you would still have that right if it is no longer enumerated.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:01:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Explain the necessity of the 19th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

                            Wouldn't the Right to Vote be something that would come naturally with a deomocracy?  Seems to me the right of women to vote would be something you would claim women have always just had.  I claim women have always held the intrinsic right of self-determination.  So why did that right need to be specifically enumerated?  Why didn't that right always exist?

                            But you're wrong, there is no absolute Right to Privacy, because it isn't specifically enumerated.  The Right to Privacy is inferred.  But my privacy can be violated repeatedly by legislation.  I can sue to get it back, but I will then depend on the judgement of SCOTUS to agree that I still have it.  The Right to Privacy is entirely subjective.

                            Fortunately the 2nd Amendment isn't.  My right is specifically enumerated.

                            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
                            It doesn't say the right of militia members, or military or police.  It says PEOPLE.

                            Which is exactly why you need to change the Constitution to take that right away.  Will you at least be honest with yourself?

                          •  Whether voting was a right or a privilege (0+ / 0-)

                            Was not settled when the Constitution was adopted. I understand there was much debate on it at the time.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:57:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Right..... (0+ / 0-)

                            So you'll understand why I choose to keep the 2nd Amendment the way it is.  No need to go back to debating what was a right or a privilege before the Constitution, and whether I do or do not still have said right.

                          •  Given your reliance on a wrongly decided SCOTUS (0+ / 0-)

                            case. I can understand it completely.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:34:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Think about it this way... (0+ / 0-)

                            If a sentence means the same thing to you even after you chop half of it away, you're probably not understanding the whole sentence.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:59:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope. I'm reading it right. You're wrong. (0+ / 0-)
                            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
                            The first part explains the second part, but does not qualify it.  It sets no requirements on the part of the people.  The first part does not change the meaning of the second part at all.

                            Where does the militia come from?  It is mustered from citizens who all individually own their own weapons.  Citizens who have their arms with them in their home.  Who have them at hand when and if the call to muster a militia comes.

                            The second amendment doesn't say the militia owns the weapons and keeps them.  It doesn't say membership in a militia is required to bear arms.

                            The 2nd Amendment says that a well regulated militia is necessary, and to be able to muster that militia, the free citizens who would make up that militia must be free to keep and bear the arms they would use.  The rights are given to the people, not to the militia or the state.

                            And that's it.  All your claims that gun rights belong only to the State militia are made up out of whole cloth.

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                            Every word must have meaning and force. There can be no large or small chunks of meaningless text. This means that the more excess words created by a particular interpretation, the less it could be relied on as accurate.
                            States had militias, what we now call the National Guard.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:31:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Then rights should have been given to the militias (0+ / 0-)

                            Your quote is exactly why I think the first part should be removed, but you're still wrong.  Let me make it clear, this is the way you read it:

                            A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the State Militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
                            But that isn't what it says!  The right to keep and bear arms wasn't given to the State Militia, it was given to the People.  Stop making shit up.

                            If the Founding Fathers wanted to give 2nd Amendment rights only to the militia, they would have done that.  Words do have meaning and force, and the right was given to the people.  There were many other ways that a strong militia could have been guaranteed.  But the method that was chosen was:
                            The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

                            Maybe some basic sentence structure would help?  A local zoning ordinance says:

                            To allow people to walk through neighborhoods safely, every house shall have a sidewalk along the street.
                            The first part of the sentence makes no sense on its own.  It states what goal shall be accomplished, but says nothing about how to accomplish it.

                            The second part of the sentence stands alone.  There is no need to state why sidewalks are required, in order to require them.

                            There is also nothing that says people must actually walk on the sidewalks in order to maintain the requirement.  Nothing that says only homeowners may use the sidewalk.  The first part of the sentence explains only why the requirement exists.  It imposes no conditions, gives no requirements of its own.

                            Why must every house have a sidewalk?  So that people can walk around safely.  But nothing says that is the only use for the sidewalk.

                            And why does the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms exist?  So that a militia can be mustered to defend the state when necessary.  But nothing says that gun ownership only exists for militia members, or that the militia must be mustered or well regulated for a citizen to bear arms.

                            SCOTUS agrees with me, everyone who understands the Constitution agrees with me, and you are dead wrong.  Give it up.

                          •  You're just reacting, not considering. (0+ / 0-)

                            Even looking at your example:

                            To allow people to walk through neighborhoods safely, every house shall have a sidewalk along the street.
                            Forget about how you're interpreting this using modern language conventions rather then the way it was used when the document was written. Forget that your wording does not even match the wording of the amendment.

                            It would seem pretty clear that if putting a sidewalk along the street did not allow people to walk through neighborhoods safely, the sidewalk mandate would not be serving the purpose of the amendment and not be required. Indeed if putting in the sidewalk actually made walking through the neighborhood even more dangerous it would be quite reasonable to determine it would be contrary to the amendment to put in the sidewalk.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:48:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, and here's my proposed Amendment (0+ / 0-)

                            I do think you're right though, the 2nd Amendment could use a change.  How about this:

                            The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
                            That way we can dispense with all of your militia nonsense.  It is free men using their individual rights to bear arms who make up the militia that defends the free state.

                            But once the only ones with guns are the militia members?  Then the state is no longer free.  It is owned by the militia and the politicians who control it.  Turn away from facism and embrace individual freedom, I beg of you.

                          •  Great, you propose your version (0+ / 0-)

                            And I'll propose mine. At least we agree now that an amendment is needed.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:56:25 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't want to join with neo-nazis (0+ / 0-)

                            Who do you think is going to be in this Militia defending the State?  And defending the State from what?  From who?  Well regulated by who?  For what purpose?  Have you even thought ahead to what a South Carolina or Alabama militia would look like?  That's your gun control plan?  Disarm everyone but the crazies who join up?  And who ensures that this militia respects civil rights?

                            You say you don't want to restrict rights, so answer this question.  When I take posession of my grandfather's handgun, will I be required to surrender my weapon if I refuse to join the neo-nazi skin head militia?  Or is that just the price of freedom to you?  What if I don't want to be a militia member defending just my State?  I'm a citizen of America, not of Illinois.

                            Are you going to restrict the number of militias and militia members to get the reduction in the numbers of guns you want?  Or does every gun member automatically join one militia or another, thus accomplishing none of your goals?

                            Well regulated militias are required to be equiped and train.  Who pays for that?  Are you really going to set up a system of taxpayer funded shooting ranges and ammo supplies?  Are you going to make us all pay to train the secessionists to be better shots, and buy them better guns?

                            No, I will not surrender my individual right for a group militia right.  You are trying to steal a right that does not belong to you, and will make America worse in the process.  You are leaning dangerously close to facism now.  I will not live under the tyranny of armed State militias and whatever "solutions" they choose to pursue.

                            You would trade the lone gun nut for a militia full of gun nuts, who can go crazy all together.  And then what?  Your amendment accomplishes little and has the potential to do grave harm.

                            And P.S.  Under your amendment cops will still shoot unarmed teenagers.  Off duty cops will still shoot their kids sneaking in through bedroom windows.  Kids of cops will still find loaded guns and shoot themselves.

                          •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

                            I have no idea why or how a neo-nazi skin head militia would qualified as a "well regulated militia".

                            And why do you think this change would surrender any rights? Do you believe the only reason you have this right is due to its presence in the Constitution?

                            And your "PS" arguments, all of that is completely up to the People to decide and regulate. We can make those choices. The 2nd amendment has wrongly taken that choice away.

                            We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                            by i understand on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:47:43 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Of course you don't (0+ / 0-)

                            You're completely clueless as to the reality of what you propose.  After the citizenry is disarmed, and gun ownership is restricted to the "well regulated" militia members, what prevents that militia from abusing its power and taking rights away from minorities, gays, women?

                            Rights not in the Constitution get taken away.  But maybe this will explain it to you.  If individual gun rights existed before the Constitution then surely individual freedom and self-determination existed as well.

                            So after the Civil War, why was an Amendment needed to outlaw slavery?  If men were free before, then they were always free.

                            #1) Explain then how slavery was ever legal to begin with.

                            #2)  Explain why Congress didn't just pass a law outlawing slavery.  Why was a Constitutional Amendment necessary to return the individual rights you saw we've always had?

                          •  Look up the Michigan "militias" (0+ / 0-)

                            Look at the crazy right-wing nutjobs who are trying right now to create their own militias to defend the state from everyone not white.  Right now they're marginalized crazies.  You however want to give them sole gun ownership rights and real authority.  And who would qualify a skin head militia as "well regulated"?

                            Oh I don't know, how about Gov. Jan Brewer (R), Gov. Rick Snyder (R), Gov. Rick Scott (R), Gov. Scott Walker (R), Gov. John Kasich (R)?  Do you want to trust those people and give them more power?

                            They won't even have to try anymore to disenfranchise voters.  You'll give them their own personal State militias to use.

                          •  And don't forget who controls the militias (0+ / 0-)

                            Militias organized to defend the State (from minorities) will be organized by the State, and run by the politicians in control.

                            So how would you feel to be living in a Red State, when the GOP controlled legislature, under the power of your new Amendment, announces the creation of new militias, with membership of course limited to white Christian males who vote Republican.

                            One of the duties of the militia will be to guard poling places during elections and "True the Vote".  The other duties will be rounding up brown skinned people for deportation.

                            And who's going to stop these Republican controlled State militias?  The federal government?  Congratulations, you just started Civil War II!

                            How about you just leave America if you hate it this much?

                    •  One need only look at the increasing... (0+ / 0-)

                      knife violence in Great Britian to know that it can happen.

                      And likely would.

                  •  Technically, the Constitution does not "grant"... (0+ / 0-)

                    any Rights to Citizens/Residents.  It delegates certain powers to government, and enumerates a number of pre-existing Rights of the People that are (theoretically) inviolate.

                •  Concealed carry (6+ / 0-)

                  has not led to increased gun violence. Getting rid of it will not decrease gun violence.

                  "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                  by happy camper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:09:46 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)
              When people see guns in public, they react negatively.
              Where do you live that the Citizenry is so fearful and misinformed and poorly trained?
              •  That's precisely the reaction people would have (0+ / 0-)

                where I live if people open carried: yikes. And I am in CA.

                202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                by cany on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:52:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah. I see my assumptions were correct. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                  •  I cannot say for SURE they are, but I sure think (0+ / 0-)

                    so. I personally don't like concealed carry. I would prefer to know who is carrying and make a judgement for myself as to whether or not I feel safe in those circumstances.

                    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                    by cany on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:36:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Some comments (6+ / 0-)

    I agree with most of what you have written here.  I do not agree with the "refrain from statistics" part.  You say we need a rational discussion about guns.  Any rational discussion needs to be based on facts, not just opinions.  Statistics are some of the facts needed to have that rational discussion.  Simply saying, as you do, that "there are too many guns" IS a statement invoking  statistics.  It is not rational to have a discussion about the number of guns without involving statistics.

    You are correct that for every argument against guns using statistics, there can be found someone making an argument for guns using statistics.  This does not mean statistics are meaningless.  It means that statistics, like guns, can be aimed in both directions.  There are statistical arguments to be made that show seat-belts can be dangerous (but rarely), and that aspirin can kill (it's true).  Policy can still be made, even in the face of such facts that go against the grain.

    I agree with you that fear drives some of the impetus to carry arms.  Fear of an armed attacker is one of the best sales points made by gun and ammo manufacturers, and gun retailers, to pump up the sales and therefore profits.  Our TV broadcasters know that fear keeps the viewers glued to the tube.  Politicians know that voters cast votes based on fear.  So much fear is intentionally manufactured for personal and/or commercial gain.  In my opinion, us citizens are unlikely to ever feel safe as long as someone is getting rich by scaring us.

    Lastly, I want to emphasize that we have the gun problem we do because we have evolved a system of government that allows the wealthy and corporate interests to buy the laws and the law-makers they want.  Our law-makers depend on the money from the gun industry to get in and stay in office.  So our law-makers have a financial interest to write laws exactly as the gun industry wants.

    Until we free our law-makers from the need to curry favor with the gun industry, we will never have gun policy that does anything beyond generating greater profits for the gun industry.  In order to free out law-makers from the inherently corrupting need to get private donations from wealthy and corporate interests, we should make all our elections funded entirely by public, not private, money.

    Thank you for your thoughtful and well-written article.  

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:43:24 AM PST

  •  I don't believe a reasonable (11+ / 0-)

    discussion about gun control in the US is impossible; I'm not sure, however, that it would be productive until you have a truly open and difficult discussion about what guns have come to mean in the US, and the different forces at work trying to game those definitions (because there are multiple ones).

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:48:44 AM PST

  •  No matter one's view on guns, it's obvious that (15+ / 0-)

    for the foreseeable future any sort of legislation is a big election loser.

    I can't imagine any sort of rule or law that would gain one votes.

    Twig I'm not a big fan of handguns either, not a very useful tool in my estimation. And being a rural type they just aren't the thing that most people have. That said other than some friendly ribbing about lack of walnut, I don't look on handguns or their owners as affecting me one way or another, certainly not enough to make me assume to decide for someone else what they need to do for their own protection.

    There's probably a certain number of votes lost nationally when anything like this hits the news. Health care, income inequality, global warming, many important issues out there, guns ain't one.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:51:12 AM PST

  •  On the subject of crime and gun violence: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, 43north, PavePusher

    Have you read "Don't Shoot", by David M. Kennedy?

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    I urge everyone to read this book. It offers real and practical solutions.

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:02:34 AM PST

  •  Actually, you're wrong about the SC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, emelyn

    You say: "No one who has been paying attention can fail to understand that citizens (and lawful permanent residents) have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The SCOTUS has said so, and short of them changing their minds, or a constitutional amendment, nothing will change this."

    This SCOTUS, the same SCOTUS that said that handed down Bush v. Gore and Citizens United and whole raft of other really wonderful decisions, said that citizens blah blah blah. This SCOTUS handed that decision down overturning two centuries of precedent.

    •  Parsing .... SCOTUS ruled! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      just another vet, fuzzyguy, 43north

      They are, in their ruling, the supreme law of the land and they cannot be challenged other than by a constitutional amendment, or impeachment (and even then the decisions stand).

      It doesn't help to argue this but yes, you are free to work for change and I would support your efforts.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:16:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  'Overturning precedent' seems wrong because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robobagpiper, KVoimakas

      there was no SCOTUS precedent that contradicted Heller directly, right? It was just that there wasn't a clarifying ruling and so cities/states were doing there own thing.

      •  United States v. Miller (1939) eom (0+ / 0-)
        •  Miller established very little (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, KVoimakas, 43north, oldpunk

          The Court did not cite a thorough reading of the 2nd, and they returned it to the lower court to be re-examined. This did not happen because Miller died.

          Miller is a very narrow judgement that has been used by gun advocates because THEY interpret it that way.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:25:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Miller has been used by anti-gun advocates (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldpunk, PavePusher, KVoimakas

            to establish the right of the Government to ban, regulate, tax or otherwise impede the ownership of certain firearms and by incorporation with the GCA '68 of certain classes of persons.

            US v Miller was a hand-picked test case by the Justice Department, in an era of expansion of Federal powers.

            As you correctly stated twigg, not much was said in US v Miller as only the US showed in Court, and the justices rendered the precise verdict Justice (and several States) sought:  
            Guns can have a permitting system, an associated relatively high fee, and an issuing authority who can't really be questioned - as the SCOTUS said so.

            Miller would be gunned-down by .38 caliber bullets, common to both criminals and police.  His associate, hearing of this, decided against further Court actions, and took a plea.
            The US Attorneys sought the max, the Judge who originally ruled the NFA '34 unconstitutional, sprung Miller's associate on Probation.

            Of note, the "public outcry" against automatic firearms (Thompson - The gun that made the Twenties Roar) ended when the violence ended:

            Repeal of Prohibition.

            Once there was no bootleg alcohol, there was no gangsters peddling bootleg alcohol, no gunfights between gangsters, no repeat of the St. Valentines Day Massacre.
            Prohibition ended in December of '33, and the NFA '34 passed a half-year later.
            Needed?  Probably not, but it helped the Coalfield Wars go in-favor of the mine Owners and Pinkertons - who could have automatic weapons - and against the Miners and Organizers.
            Same for the docks, as the strike breakers had all the right connections, and the Stevedores had the broken bones and bullet wounds.

    •  What "two centuries of precedent"? (0+ / 0-)

      Got citations?

  •  I Would Say (0+ / 0-)

    Any crime that is committed, the registered owner of that gun does let's say... 10% of the sentence.  So if you buy a gun, and someone steals it, and commits a murder with it and does 25 years, you do 2.5 years in prison.

    Force people to get serious about securing their weapons = less stolen ones getting into the wrong hands.

    Of course, that's only one tiny facet of the problem.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:10:07 AM PST

  •  Excellent discussion, twigg-- (8+ / 0-)

    Thank you for starting it.

    Like many of us, I live in deep-red gun-totin' country and know many kinds of gun owners.  Most folks are quiet about their guns, not wanting to attract the attention of potential thieves (firearm break-ins are not uncommon, and the thieves almost always fence the stolen weapons).  

    Then there are the "cold dead fingers" type of gun owners, also not uncommon.  Their motivations strike me, not as self-defensive, but more like a "screw you" response to society in general, rather like the kind of people who go out of their way to offend so as not to appear pc.  They scare me.  They're the type to pull out their guns and wave them around because they enjoy the intimidation and the response they receive.

    For the records, I'm custodian of a large collection of military weapons, most of them antique.  As twigg wrote, it's not the reality of gun ownership that's discussable, but the motivations of gun owners.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:11:04 AM PST

  •  Thanks for (13+ / 0-)

    a rational diary on guns.

    I own a shotgun(for many, many years) and a long gun(simply because I can.) Since moving to the sticks, I have purchased 2 handguns. I got one, but found it a little large for my hand, so I bought a second smaller frame handgun. Which brings me to a point I make over & over...

    The urban-rural divide on gun ownership is vast. When I lived in a metroploitan area, few people I knew owned guns. Here in a rural area, everyone owns a couple guns. Everyone. Liberals & conservatives alike...

    My opinion: In a (big) city, there is nothing to shoot except other people. When people read about guns in a city, it always, always involves either a person getting shot or being threatened with a gun. In a rural area, many folks make a living using a gun legally--hunting, guiding hunting parties, or protecting themselves in the absence of law enforement.

    When I lived in the city, I would never have thought about carrying a handgun. Never. But now I live in a rural area where people are no more sane than in cities and law enforcement is a long time in arriving. When I lived in a city, I believed(rightly or wrongly) that if I needed help/protetion, it would be there very quickly. I KNOW that is not the case here. A wait of 20 minutes wouldn't be out of the question here--and what shall I do in the meantime? Further, I hike almost daily in very remote(in regards to law enforcement) areas. There is no cell phone reception so I couldn't call for help even if I wanted to-not to mention it would be an hour or 2 in arriving... So, off I go into the woods, and I carry a handgun. The example I use is...should I be set upon by something as small as a rabid squirrel, without a gun all I could do is scream like a 7 y/o girl, which probably wouldn't be effective even against a squirrel. Throw a rabid coyote or a hungry mountain lion or even a bobcat, and I desire to be armed. Fwiw, I also carry 'bear spray'. It is the only thing I can use on an actual bear, which are somewhat common around here. But on a windy day, my spray is worse than useless--it can blow back on me!

    I don't carry a gun when I'm around folks in town. I don't feel the need, although many here do. Never once have I heard or seen a report of a person using a gun irresponsibly in town(excepting the 2 or 3 murders/year in town). But in a bigger city, simply wearing a gun on one's hip would be considered irresponsible. Why? Because there is nothing to shoot except other people in a bigger city. So...I go hiking. I take my gun. I decide to stop at the store on the way home. Is it responsible to leave a loaded gun in my truck while I'm shopping? I think not-so I wear it into the store. No one bats an eye.

    Guns provoke terror when they have no use other than shooting people. If there is a reasonable use for guns--protection from predators like wild animals--people are ok with it. I don't see these 2 disparate ideas ever being resolved I'm sad to say.

    "The better I know people, the more I like my dog."

    by Thinking Fella on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:17:56 AM PST

  •  I'm not sure gun owners really see (4+ / 0-)

    Their purchases of guns as attempts to protect their families.  Some may, but many gun owners own more than one gun.  There is a certain feeling of power (real or imagined) one gets from owning a gun.  I think that is why it is such an emotional issue with some gun owners.  They see gun control as an attempt to take away their personal power--Making them impotent.  

    No doubt "protection" is the excuse.  

    I sometimes wonder if better mental health services, provided for free, would be a better solution.  

    •  Some people also just like guns (13+ / 0-)

      in the same way that some people like cars, or guitars, or Legos, or horse grooming, or jewelry-making.

      One ex of mine (see my comment below) collected guns because he was obsessed with the machinery of them, retooling them, etc.

      This didn't seem tied up with power at all. And he was definitely not an impotent-sort of man! Not sexually and not in terms of his security or whatever since he was an ace ex-military fighter.

      Nah, he just liked them.

      So did my previous ex, who was incredibly mechanically inclined and liked to spend his time welding everything imaginable out in the shop. Guns were one of those kinds of hobbies for him. Neat. Lots of parts.

      I kind of like them for the same uber-geeky reasons.

      Click the <3 to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:14:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. Still, I wonder if your ex worked (4+ / 0-)

        for the government on Solar Cells... if he would be out in the garage inventing new solar cells.  

        Somehow, doesn't seem as sexy -- in a purely Hollywood way.  (Seems sexy to me.  I'd love an inventive solar cell designing guy.)   But... there is a power issue around guns that may be so ingrained in our society that it is difficult to recognize... especially in a kick-ass, ex-military ex.  

        •  He was a plumbing contractor (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg, ruscle, fuzzyguy, 43north

          and exceedingly productive with his time. He also had been an auto mechanic before that. So he had a lot of hobbies. He invented a lot of stuff. Made his own tools. Took apart car engines for fun. That sort of thing. I should have been more specific here because this is sort of both exes. The military guy wasn't quite as intelligent as the first ex, but he was an enthusiast too; he had a friend who owned a gun shop, and so he knew how to tool these pretty well.

          I was not clear enough to delineate one from the other here, sorry!

          I think both were very confident in their sex appeal since both were, well, conventionally very attractive!

          Click the <3 to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:25:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well-written hitpiece insult comment. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher
  •  I think a certain level of government (4+ / 0-)

    say, municipalities, should be able to restrict or deny handgun ownership. They can fracs, and I think that's a good idea as well.

    But there's a problem. SCOTUS has said clearly that municipalities cannot restrict or deny handgun ownership.

    So it's not just a matter of legislation. This is in the Judicial branch, along with choice/right-to-life, marriage, marijuana and campaign funding.

    And the entire George W. Bush Presidency, of course.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:32:34 AM PST

  •  GUN Control NOW (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    meagert, happy camper, 43north, PavePusher

    is a pretty broad comment, pretty open ended.
     Google 'national academy sciences' & 'gun control study'
    Im busy, otherwise Id look for the link myself

    If you find something thats proven to be effective, gun owners will get behind you, till then its a highly charged slippery slope.

    Kenyan Socialism today Kenyan Socialism tomorrow Kenyan Socialism forever May his reign last 1,000 years

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:36:10 AM PST

  •  I support gun ownership (10+ / 0-)

    for a strange series of reasons, I suppose. Not the usual constitutional argument, and not really because of safety or security. I support gun ownership because I see no reason to not support it.

    Let me explain.

    When I was a kid, both of my parents were hippies, and they were radically anti-gun, anti-war, and anti-violence. When we got our first television set, around when I was five years old, if Loony Tunes or Tom and Jerry came on, I wasn't allowed to watch them because they were "too violent." I wasn't allowed to see R-rated movies for the same reason. And if a friend's house had video games with guns in them, I couldn't play with them. So I grew up being terrified, literally, of guns.

    My teenage years were wild and wooly.

    When I was twenty years old, I moved in with a man who lived in a ranch, and he had a shotgun behind the door. In the main house, where his grandparents lived, there was a huge gun rack. Everyone who came onto the property had guns too. I was very scared at first! I thought I would get hurt somehow. The man I lived with, he'd been shooting on that ranch since he was FIVE years old. He assured me that no one had ever died. We'd go camping, and he'd show me how to shoot skeet and targets and stuff (I don't hunt; I'm a vegetarian). I came to be a good shot and thought it was fun.

    I lived with him for over five years, and one year, for Christmas, bought him one gun he wanted -- I don't remember now what it was.

    Fast-forward. I started dating a guy who had been in the military. He had dozens of guns, literally, because he'd been a sniper and had won awards for his marksmanship. He slept with a gun under his pillow. I asked why, who was going to shoot him in the night? He said no one. He said he just got into the habit, and it helped him sleep, like a book or a nightlight or something. So we dated for maybe eight months or so, gun under the pillow. We regularly went out sport shooting with friends of his. It was fun! Very fun.

    When I started working a rather dangerous job, he made sure I was properly armed. I'm a small woman. I don't want to get into this too much. It was after I was attacked.

    Now, in all of this time since I was twenty, I have spent almost two decades around people who had guns and friends with guns, and all kinds of guns, and yet... here's the kicker... I don't know anyone who has ever been shot?

    I've had friends die in car wrecks. Stabbings. Beatings. Drug overdoses. Natural causes. Suicides (most by pills or hanging). I haven't had one friend even wounded by a gun.

    So it's hard for me to have a bad opinion of them any more than I do of like... forks or something. Despite my parents' fears, I'm a tiny person, a pacifist, a vegetarian, not much of a Constitutionalist, but at least here in my rural area, and yes, maybe it's different in urban areas, I have not seen any evidence of a problem. Even when I moved to a barrio neighborhood fabled for its gang violence, I never heard of or saw anyone get shot, although every did have handguns there, violence was more likely from ICE or stabbings.

    It is, however, imperative to keep guns away from kids, and to teach young kids what to do if around guns. Also, drunks. And anyone on meth. That's a common issue around here.

    Click the <3 to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:01:23 AM PST

  •  Well, it was good for a laugh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, twigg, FrankRose
    While we are on the subject of rational discussion, can we also agree that the NRA is little short of domestic terrorism?
    The unintentional irony of this line is killing me.
  •  Gun control the right way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, KVoimakas

    I think the gist of what is considered gun control is heading in the right direction. It is changing from something we expect government to do into something we expect gun owners to do.

    The primary responsibility is on the gun owner. The ultimate responsibility is on the government. Fail to control your guns appropriately and the government holds you responsible, taking away your rights including jail time if warranted.

  •  Many of us have been affected by gun (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rigcath, megisi, twigg, glorificus

    violence in one way or another, which colors our opinions FOR or AGAINST, as you know. My family has experienced the impact of multiple murders. There are many layers to the story and I won't begin to explain. Many people should not have access to guns. Period.

  •  We can begin by closing ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, glorificus

    ... the gun show loophole in every state. Gun shows are a fertile source of guns and other weapons for criminals. This infringes on no gun owners' rights.

    Campaign to Close the Gun Show Loophole

    Currently, a gun show loophole allows unlicensed sellers to sell guns without conducting a background check. There are approximately 5,000 gun shows every year across the United States and 40% of sales at these shows are by unlicensed sellers who are not required to perform background checks. The ATF says that gunshows are the second leading source of crime guns. Although 17 states have taken action to partially or completely close this loophole, 33 states have not! It is time for ALL states to close it.
    •  It's not a loophole per se... (6+ / 0-)

      The deal is, most states do not regulate private sales of used firearms between individuals. That is true whether the sale is at your house, or at a gun show--which is really nothing more than a swap meet or a flea market. The problem of extending the requirement for a background check in private, non dealer sales, is how do you make the information available to the seller? If private sales are only covered at shows, where dealers are in attendance and are already set up to run checks, some people will just complete the sale elsewhere. Enforcement of the check requirement is problematic too. Without a registration database, there's no way to know who is supposed to own a given firearm, and there are millions of unregistered guns in the US. How do you track them?

      The logistics of all this are daunting. My state, MI, appears ready to move to using the federal NICS system for private sales. We'll have to see how that goes.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:30:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  An odd need for a gun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    I have a friend who will eventually need to put down his dog.  A gun shot is a fairly humane way to put down an animal, although violent. There are laws restricting who can dispatch an animal medically. Right now the dog is healthy and happy enough, but has a tumor that could cause a need for urgent action. He is afraid that such a thing (knowing his luck and Murphy's law) will happen during non-business hours. He has limited mobility and can't drive to an emergency clinic. It's hard enough arranging for regular vetrinary care.

    Since this diary is about reducing the need for a gun, any constructive alternatives would be appreciated. (BTW a gun is not really an option for this friend for the same reasons that limit his mobility).

  •  Motorcycles are dangerous. They kill... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, PavePusher

    ...thousands of people each year. If we can tackle the reasons that people feel the need to ride motorcycles, then maybe they will feel the need a little less. Whether one supports motorcycle riding or not, what is patently clear to all is that there are too many motorcycles in our society, and too many are being ridden by entirely the wrong people. Sure there are measures that should be taken, regulations and laws that need to be passed, but that should go hand in hand with a concerted attempt to reduce the need to ride these death machines. We will not achieve one without the other, and the atmosphere of mutual mistrust will not be quick to dissipate.

    That is no excuse for not trying.

    Republicans. Like Romney himself, they have so much and always will, and yet they resent those who have so little and always will.

    by wishbone on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:14:12 AM PST

  •  Why handguns vs. shotguns? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    megisi, 43north, PavePusher

    That makes literally no sense to me.

    I support concealed carry if it's needed due to job or other security concerns which are valid. It should be very tightly regulated IMHO.

    But whatever one conceals, you do realize I've had friends -- when I was a young punk chick -- who would conceal machetes and stuff like that on their personages.  

    Both shotguns and handguns shoot bullets. What's the difference here?

    Click the <3 to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:19:25 AM PST

    •  I think ... and I'm guessing ... that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, Catte Nappe

      shotguns are more closely associated with hunting.

      •  Okay, I guess so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        43north

        There's not much to shoot around here since the deer, you aren't supposed to shoot them, if I recall, and I personally don't support shooting animals (as a vegetarian and a pacifist). Hm. I guess in some areas, that's different.

        We don't have any other big animals here but the occasional coyote or mountain lion going for someone's chickens, other birds, or sheep, and here and there maybe a racoon for the chickens, and people do shoot these. That's more like self-defense though, since they raise these livestock for money.

        Otherwise, just deer.

        Click the <3 to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:29:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is simple (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel, megisi, 43north

      The climate that promotes the prudence (to channel K9k) of handgun ownership, is driven most by the unlawful use of handguns.

      I know that rifles, of various types are used in crimes, but they are not the principle concern.

      I'd settle for dealing with handguns, if that leaves any residual issues, we can pick them up later when the picture is more clear.

      Many countries, including Canada have very high rate of ownership of rifles and shotguns, and very few gunshot deaths.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting article in the Atlantic (6+ / 0-)

    The Case for More Guns (And More Gun Control) by Jeffrey Goldberg.

    Goldberg's argument is that there's little that can be done to prevent further gun violence with the kind of additional gun control measures that are often suggested as ways to deal with the problem of gun violence. In particular, Goldberg points out that the United States has so many guns that restricting their ownership would be extremely difficult, and that politically, it doesn't appear that Americans want that. He suggests that gun ownership may actually reduce crime and that the way forward on guns is for 1) gun control advocates to accept that guns can be used to stop crime and that most people who own them don't commit crimes, so more people owning them isn't a bad thing and 2) gun control detractors to be willing to accept that not every regulation of gun ownership (such as more stringent concealed-carry permitting procedures) is a violation of the 2nd Amendment.

    I'm not fully sold on Goldberg's arguments, but I do think that he is right in pointing out that the guns are there, and so we have to deal with that as it stands. I do think that the problem of violent crime in the United States is linked to other social problems and that the more these are addressed, the more likely that someone may decide she/he doesn't want or need a gun, and if she/he does want one, it may be less likely to be used on someone. I also think that the problem of violence in our nation is also partly cultural, but that will be a much harder issue to deal with.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:55:14 AM PST

  •  As a pacifist with a gun, some views of solutions: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby, 43north, oldpunk

    One massive ongoing slaughter in an African nation was done almost entirely with machetes.  

    A slingshot propelled rock “won” a war in David vs. Goliath tale.  (Despite my contention that nobody really “wins” a fight or a war.)

    A Brit visitor told me about an epidemic of unarmed purse theft which targeted Moms whose natural instinct was to protect the child vs. their property.

    And the year folks were in a hubbub about some German tourist shot in Florida, one writer claimed that stats proved more vulnerable American tourists were harmed in Germany --- adjusted for per capita and such.But, statistics are for arguments and are mostly useless if your goal is solutions.

    My partner saved my life with my handgun.  But, we almost certainly do not have accurate statistics on how many lives are saved by guns.  I know the only time I was forced to point my weapon myself – I knew it was pointless to report the incident.  Long story short regards an abusive spouse angered by our sheltering his victim, who’d already shot at our home, and been duly reported for repeated stalking.  Further detail would only derail us from the real subject here.

    I’m in total agreement with the goal of eliminating the need for self defense weaponry.   I’m a pacifist, against death penalty, and for contraception and abortion on demand under the right to defend my body from unwanted pregnancy risk.   I taught my three wanted children my views on responsible defense of their right to life.

    I try to stop sibling wars of my grandkids with this catchphrase --- “World peace starts in our home.”   It isn’t an empty slogan and it is just a reminder of the rest of the picture I try to paint for them.   I was trained, and trained others, in a number of hippie dippie forms of peaceful dispute resolution including Management by Objectives, I’m OK-you’re OK, small group interaction, ……..yada yada…… during forced desegregation of schools.  

    I’ve used all the above to help others work out less drastic ways to fix the stuff of life that was making them desperate enough to seriously consider violence to themselves or others.  

    In my 71 years I’ve watched us be taught fear by our clerics, politicians, and military industrial complex – to gain for themselves money or power or both.
    The person or thing to be feared changes, the goal remained the same.  

           So, do you want to limit discussion to handguns or do we veer off into number of folks dead from too many cars vs. statistically much safer mass transit?  Do we want to listen to President Carter’s wife and her decades old campaign to end stigma of seeking mental health treatment and fund it like other medical needs? Or do we keep Reagan’s tactic of dumping mentally ill on the streets to be arrested & incarcerated rather than treated?

         Do we fight back against clerics who teach a god who only loves his children who pick the right brand of faith – and it is okay to harm the rest as heathens?

         This is a good week to consider world peace.  December 10 marks anniversary of first signing of International Declaration of Human Rights.  Here’s the shortest list I could find distilled from the long declaration which is said to be the most translated document in the world:

    Article 1    Right to Equality
    Article 2    Freedom from Discrimination
    Article 3    Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security
    Article 4    Freedom from Slavery
    Article 5    Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
    Article 6    Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law
    Article 7    Right to Equality before the Law
    Article 8    Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal
    Article 9    Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile
    Article 10    Right to Fair Public Hearing
    Article 11    Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty
    Article 12    Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence
    Article 13    Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country
    Article 14    Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution
    Article 15    Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It
    Article 16    Right to Marriage and Family
    Article 17    Right to Own Property
    Article 18    Freedom of Belief and Religion
    Article 19    Freedom of Opinion and Information
    Article 20    Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association
    Article 21    Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections
    Article 22    Right to Social Security
    Article 23    Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions
    Article 24    Right to Rest and Leisure
    Article 25    Right to Adequate Living Standard
    Article 26    Right to Education
    Article 27    Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community
    Article 28    Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document
    Article 29    Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development
    Article 30    Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights

    If we spent just our “defense” budget on the above goals, think about how many less guns we would think we needed by the end of even one year?  This set of agreed goals is officially over 60 years old. If we really dedicated ourselves to it, what would it take?  One generation?

    How many of us are willing to start using every December to push for individual peace on earth thru real concern for life?     Inner peace for all would eliminate, IMHO, the need for all forms of violence.    

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:00:13 AM PST

    •  Speaking of non-gun violence, this from Wyo... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, oldpunk, PavePusher

      yesterday:

      "Bow and Arrow Murder-Suicide"

      Being a Fox story, they left out one detail, the suicide and one murder was by knife. The other murder was via compound bow and knife. That victim saved his room full of students by continuing to struggle with the murderer with an arrow in his head. The murderer was his son....

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:21:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  great "to-do list" Neon Mama! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, Neon Mama
    •  There seems to be an important one missing there. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      Can you figure out what it is?

      •  ?? Doesn't specify gun right?? Piqued my (0+ / 0-)

        interest tho.   What do you find missing?

        Could it be the lack of specific expression of gun rights?
        I consider gun rights as included subset of right to life --right to preserve life for self & others.

        The long form details of this universal declaration are plentiful online.
        Loads of good educational materials online also if teachers are interested in exploring goodwill to all mankind -- rather than divisive religious holiday trappings -- as solstice month themes.

         Perhaps I just need more caffeine to solve your query? Or shall you grace us with solution to your puzzle profer?

        De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

        by Neon Mama on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:54:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not so much "gun rights" per se.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama

          as a Right to Self-defense.

          That always seems to be missing from those lists.

          I find that to be somewhat suspicious.

          •  Our US Castle Doctrine -- stemmed from (0+ / 0-)

            rather old British law on granting defense of self & others.  

            Their original version was that you not only had a right to self defense from, for instance, an attacking "highwayman" -----  you had a legal duty to try to apprehend or kill him/her/them ------- to prevent unknown others down the road being attacked.

            De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

            by Neon Mama on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:14:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my two cents towards a possible (4+ / 0-)

    policy.

    End concealed carry.  Make it an automatic 5 year prison sentence for carrying a concealed weapon--10 years if used in another crime.

    Open carry would still be legal.

    As best I can tell, is only one reason to carry a concealed weapon...so that other people don't know you have one.

    There are only two motivations for not wanting other people to know you are armed

    1) You do not want to face the social scorn or ambivalence of other people who disapprove of carrying a weapon.

    2) You plan on doing something illegal.  That something might be drinking in a bar while carrying, going onto private property that prohibits weapons, or it might be robbing someone, or killing someone.  

    As to the first motivation, I have one simple answer...if you can't handle the social censure, then leave your gun at home.  If you are embarrassed when other people know your beliefs, perhaps you should question your beliefs.

    So there it is, The supremes have ruled that people have a right to bear arms, but they have never said that people have a right to conceal the weapons they bear.

    Concealed weapon...5 years in prison.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:00:47 AM PST

    •  John Lennon: alive today if he'd been armed? (0+ / 0-)

      I think his chances would have been better if his killer had been forced to approach him on a NYC street carrying a rifle.

      Gun advocates argue for the deterrent effect of not knowing who's armed and who isn't. Perhaps this does deter armed robbery where concealed-carry is prevalent... but I doubt that it has any effect on murder.

      Many unarmed innocents are killed because the shooter "thought they saw a gun".

      Long arms are appropriate for defense of home and business. Modern materials make them light enough for the ladies to handle.

      I'm willing to go ahead and ban the private ownership of concealable firearms.

      We can still carry mace, concealed or otherwise.

      Have you noticed?
      Politicians who promise LESS government
      only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 10:43:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, if you want to help me make open (5+ / 0-)

      carry as socially acceptable as wearing a shirt out in public, I'm all for it. I conceal carry because certain people think that MAN WITH A GUN is always a bad guy and I don't have time to deal with the police every time I go out in public.

      Open carry is so much more comfortable than concealed.

      I'm not embarrassed by people who don't agree with me. Their loss. I'm annoyed by people pestering me and calling the cops.

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:29:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another devilish detail... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, 43north, PavePusher

        Once everybody got used to open carry, we would still have the problem of sorting the rare person about to open fire from the benign background of everybody else just going about their business armed.

        There's a college campus (U of Utah) about 3 blocks from my house where, as in all college campuses in Utah, concealed carry is allowed. I'm a lot more wary of people using longboards for transportation than of anything else on that campus. It's in the Wasatch foothills and has a few hundred feet of elevation change and those riders are fast movers. One can hear them coming but not necessarily know just which way to jump, lol.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:58:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Students+Beer+Guns (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Empty Vessel

          not a good mix.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:19:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They do have to abide by the usual concealed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rockhound, 43north

            carry laws; for one thing, be 21 or older. So the usual beer-swilling adolescent image doesn't fully apply, as much as one might like to dwell on the Bluto with a Bazooka image. There's much more to fear from those with mental illnesses than the usual student.

            I always feel safer on that campus than I do at Trolley Square, even though it's been what, 5 years since the mayhem there. Once in a while that incident crosses my mind while I'm working out at the potential basement abattoir that is the  24 Hr Fitness Center at Trolley corners across the street. Luckily if anybody was carrying anything at that place you'd see it. lol. But there's only an elevator and a long, straight stairway up and out of the place. Both Trolley Square and Trolley Corners are "gun free" zones.

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:59:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Neither are keyboards and tautology. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  NY State requires all handguns under Permit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, PavePusher

      to remain concealed.  Showing a gun is menacing, and will get your permit revoked, and perhaps you arrested.  

      Now if the wind blows and your jacket flashes your holster to someone?  You'll likely be stopped and interrogated by the police, who may - if they have a hand on their hat - see the reasonable circumstances and give you only an admonishment.

      This has been the law since the Tammany Hall days - 9 decades ago.  No NRA, no ALEC, just the Tammany Hall Democrats working The Machine.

  •  Definitely worth doing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    even if it takes years to work.  And it will take years.  

    We are off to a good start by teaching children, in schools and through literature and TV, etc.,  that brown people are not bad people just because their skin has a higher concentration of melanin.  There is less need for violence if you believe the person walking down the street is a person and not some hyper-criminal out for your blood simply based on skin color.  Unfortunately, we have a long way to go in that regard.  I grew up in Wyoming.  There are no brown people in Wyoming (OK, not quite; where I grew up, there were 2 black people and one Native American family, out of ~6,000 residents.  But they are few and far between).  Yet my father, my brother and their neighbors fear the brown people, that they will invade their homes and steal their belongings and make off into the night--despite the fact there are no brown people to do so.  Such fear comes from not knowing someone from another race, so all the scare stories are plausible.  This fear will take decades to dwindle, especially since I doubt places like Wyoming are going to be hot-beds of immigration for anyone not lily-white.

    The second fear, the one that is even more terrorizing for my family and their neighbors, is harder to fix.   You see, they fear the government.  They truly believe they need weapons, as many as they can stockpile, to battle the inevitable crack-down on God-fearing people by the communist/fascist/socialist government liberals are putting in place.  To be able to keep all those guns, they need to make certain that the gun laws remain in their favor.  They fight for concealed carry because you never know when a communist/fascist/socialist government enforcer is going to try to kill you--and if you get to take out a criminal or two on the side, bonus.  Trying to salve this fear usually only stokes the fire, and ends with my father accusing me, and the government, of trying to take away his grandfather's hunting rifle--which, really, is the ultimate fear, that of losing one's history.

    While I have direct experience with Wyoming (and Nebraska through my husband's family), I cannot see beliefs being much different in other mid-country states.  Some will say that these beliefs can only be held by the deranged, but I know too many who do hold them to disregard their impact in that manner.  I believe getting better legislators into local, state and federal positions will go a tremendous way into solving the second problem.  If one shows, time and again, they work for the people's interest, it will slowly turn people's opinions.  But again, while worthwhile, that is years in the making.  And considering who Wyoming voters elect into office, it is going to be a REALLY long time in the making.

  •  I agree with Empty Vessel's comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    upthread. In my view, there is no rational justification for concealed carry. A concealed gun has no deterrent value - if you want those who would do you physical harm, or forcefully rob you of your possessions, to be dissuaded from the attempt, take that gun out of your handbag or out from under your coat and wear it visibly. Concealing a weapon is far more beneficial to those individuals with criminal intent than to those law abiders desiring to protect themselves.

    A few more thoughts on the gun issue. (Just spitballin' here - haven't had my morning java yet.) ...

    First of all, I don't hold SCOTUS in particularly high esteem. I've been kicking around for 60 years, and I've come to realize that "settled law" is anything but settled. The law of the land is whatever nine currently serving individuals want it to be, regardless of so called precedence. Given that, we should never give up on our responsibility to bring pressure to bear upon SCOTUS to modify or reverse bad decisions.

    Secondly, when it comes to gun laws, I reject the idea that what makes sense in New York City doesn't make sense in Podunk. Gun violence, whether criminal or accidental, is just as tragic, and, theoretically, just as preventable, in either location. We shouldn't let statistics on frequency of incidents hamstring our efforts to develop universal safeguards.

    Thirdly, some of my java-free thoughts on curbing gun violence entail mandatory terms of incarceration. To those who would sneer, "Great. Throw more people into our overcrowded prisons. Just what we need," let me posit that there'd be plenty of room for those who should be incarcerated if we were to empty the cells of people who shouldn't be there. Decriminalize the non-violent possession and sale of drugs. Unprivatize the prisons - remove the state's profit motive for locking people up. Toss out the "three strikes" laws. Many other prison reforms merit consideration, but I respectfully ask that my comment not be derailed by that discussion.

    So, here's my thoughts ...

    Outlaw concealed carry. (See above.) Mandatory incarceration.

    Have in your possession a gun during the commission of a violent crime (any violent crime), you lose your right to possess a gun for a set period of time, scaled to the severity of the crime. Robbery, road rage fight, domestic violence, simple assault with no previous convictions, whatever. Felony or misdemeanor - doesn't matter. Whether you brandished the gun or not, if you had one in your physical possession (or had easy immediate access to it) during the commission of the crime, upon conviction you would temporarily lose your right to possess a gun. If the conviction has a sentencing range of 25 to life, you lose the right to possess a gun for life (regardless of how much time you're actually sentenced to serve). Penalty ranges from no time to maximum 5 years? You lose the right to possess for 5 years.

    Found to be in possession of a gun during your 2nd Amendment "time out," mandatory, lengthy prison sentence. (This is not an excuse for law enforcement to conduct illegal searches. The law I'm envisioning would still require probable cause justification.)

    So there it is. All you law abiding gun owners -  stock an armory. Walk down the street loaded up like a cartoon bandido. But, step across the line and become a law violator, you lose that cherished right. And I won't shed a single tear.

    "And this is definitely no time to negotiate a “grand bargain” on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory." - Krugman

    by WisePiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:59:48 AM PST

  •  my problem's not so much guns... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    ...or those who own them (would never own one myself, though), but with people who enjoy killing for fun. You know, killing living creatures, just for the "sport" (i.e. fun) of it, who don't need to do so to eat,  but do so just for..."fun," and of course those sociopathic criminals who also get their jollies off killing their fellow human beings for fun.

    Killing for fun. It's an odd thing.

    Having a gun for protection sounds reasonable to me, under the right circumstances and assuming you're a responsible adult.

    But killing living things for fun...that's what should be outlawed.

    And, especially the type of killing for fun involving those sharp dart-like objects projected into deer and other creatures, so they can be tortured and tracked. That, most definitely is the sign of an uncivilized being...torturuing for fun.

    So...we should make torturing for fun and killing for fun illegal, in my opinion.

  •  How do you manage to get so much wisdom in so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    few paragraphs.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:05:07 PM PST

  •  As a working woman who had to go & come (6+ / 0-)

    from work on the bus &/or on foot early in the AM and late at night,  I will say this:

    a hand gun saved me from assault on more than one occasion. Thank God, I never had to pull the trigger.

    Every nurse I've ever known, knows another nurse who was raped and or beaten going or coming from work. I know one nurse who survived, and another who did not.

    Women are US Citizens and should travel freely anywhere and at any time they so chose. And if that means needing to go armed, then so be it.

    I did tip & rec your diary because I think it is well written.

    I agree that many in the RKBA group should try to be more thotful and civil. I have to say that, even as a member of that group.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

    by JayRaye on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:10:04 PM PST

    •  I do understand your position (0+ / 0-)

      I would simply point out that women travel alone in most western nations, and they do so without the benefit of a gun for protection.

      Violent crime against those women is rare ... maybe we need to work out how we get to that place.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:14:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sheesh, talk about insensitive. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neon Mama, PavePusher, 43north

        Your patronizina comment is completely insensitive to a woman who has been raped, knows many women who have been rape. One who was raped and whose brains were bashed in but miraculously survived tho disabled for life. Another who was raped and then strangled to death, Another who was raped and battered but not murdered, he murdered her 14 year old son instead. He knew that would hurt her worse than being murdered herself.

        None of the women listed above, including me, live in "most western countries" and your patronizing lecture about "most western contries" are of no benifit to us. We live here and we live her right now, not in some golden future when we can "get to that place."

        Violence against women in the US, where we live right now, today, is the leading cause of death for women 15-44. 1 in 5 women report being raped at some time in their lives. That is the reality that we & our daughters face right now, today.

        I recommend this book to every woman I know:
        Armed and Female
        by Paxton Quigley

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

        by JayRaye on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:06:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where does that comment say you were raped? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          43north

          My comment was perfectly reasonable in the face of yours.

          I'm sorry you are not able to see that.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:18:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  your comment is insensitive to the one out of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher

            five American women who have been or will be raped in our lifetime, and to every American woman who has the fear of rape on her mind every time she walks out the door, or every night when she goes to bed alone in her home or apartment.

            I am not one of those fearful women, because I go out armed.

            None of us need your patronizing lectures about the conditions of women in some other Western country, we don't live in some other western country, we live here.

            And lucky for us, our ability to own and train with handguns is not up to you.

            WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

            by JayRaye on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 02:15:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You choosing to take offence (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              43north

              does not make my comments offensive.

              I'm done now.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 02:20:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Typical response of a mansplaining (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher, 43north

                man who has no idea what women face each day, living and working in the inner city and trying to get to get by.

                Doesn't want to hear what the woman is saying and so begins to lecture her with his vast knowledge of "western countries,"

                And then she's so irrational that she "chooses to take offense."

                Here are some more memories, some women from my past whom I forgot to mention. And more will probably come to me. I will add them as they do.

                My upstairs neighbor, 80 years old, tied hand an feet to the bed post and raped. This happened right over my bedroom. She was brave enuf to go into court and testify against him.

                My co-worker who was raped with a knife pressed against her throat. He was 6'2", she is about 5'4". I was working with her the night it happened, and went with her to the ER. It could have been any one of us.

                A friend who was kidnapped and taken with a knife pressed against her ribs, into a hotel, up an elevator, to his room and held captive and raped for several hours. He had her wallet and her address, and said he would find her and kill her if she reported the rape. She never did.

                Rare? No, not in American, which as I said and in spite of your little lecture is where we live. Should you be interested in listening to women rather than lecturing them, you might try talking to a few American women. Ask them if they've ever been raped. Ask them how many women they know personally who have been raped.

                But that would mean you'd have to be willing to listen rather than lecture.

                WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

                by JayRaye on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:06:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  PS & ask them if they wish they had had a (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PavePusher

                  hand gun loaded and ready just before they were raped.

                  WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

                  by JayRaye on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:19:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  JayRaye - I have. (0+ / 0-)

                    A counselor I knew brought 12 assault* survivors to a basic handgun class - as the level of understanding was gleaned from afternoon (Lifetime® network style) movies.
                    Guns have a evil talisman aura corrupting all who touch them.

                    This was the very PC early '90s, and 100% of the class were Clintonites.  Getting no where, I offered a simple exercise.
                    I'll place a (empty) gun on a chair, and a knife on another chair.  Pick a chair to sit upon.

                    One question:  "The gun is empty, right?  Can't shoot?"
                    Correct.
                    11 women sat with the gun.  1 woman refused to sit anywhere, and addressed the others:

                    "OK, I get it - you can't unload a knife.  But HOW can you bring yourself to sit with a gun?  You're WOMEN for Godsake, victims of violence, and you embrace the tool of violence??  Have you heard nothing from our elected leaders?  How can you betray your convictions so?"
                    Seven hours later, five of ten women chose to pursue pistol ownership and licensing.  Five others thanked me for dispelling the myth of handgun omnipotence.  

                    One joined the woman above, in refusing to participate.  The Counselor indicated they were natural allies in Group, one being a dedicated pacifist, seeing resistance as emboldening, feeding, threatening the attacker.  
                    The other (who initially refused to participate), held a heartfelt: "women are nurturers, and should be protected by the Village" as "it takes a Village" was a popular theme at the time.  

                    "It is encumbent upon the Government to remove guns from society."  Comments from the White House, Senate and Congress re-enforced this message.
                    "Further, the ability to own a gun, is what makes good men do bad things (to women).  We're saving men from themselves.
                    You
                    (me) should thank us, and stop being an arrogant prick "helping the fearful little women".

                    Which is why twigg's comment has validity.  Where there IS a Village to protect women, they need-not be armed.  

                    Where the Village is indifferent, absent, or hostile towards the women?  
                    It's upon the woman to be her own protector.  Your point, JayRaye.

                    *I believe the group included domestic violence, rape and random assault survivors.  I didn't ask the particulars.

      •  I lived in London as a young (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpunk, PavePusher, 43north

        woman, and I would have to go home through Hammersmith in the dark in winter.

        I always carried a knife.

  •  twigg wrote... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej
    ...we are not trying to take away your guns, we are trying to take away your need for guns.
    One way to take away your need for guns is to, well, take away your guns. Not all of them. But there's nothing wrong with drawing a line. Even pro-gun proponents agree that the individual right to bear arms doesn't give them the right to build nukes in their basements or own anti-aircraft missiles. The debate is where do we draw a line.

    One place is start is where we ended. By reinstating the assault weapons ban that expired a few years ago. We can also start by closing the gun show loophole.

    There. We just reduced the need for your guns by taking some of them away.

    Quit telling our liberal friends that the SCOTUS got it wrong (even if they did), because that dog won't hunt any more.
    I also vehemently disagree with the notion that we should shut-up about the Second Amendment. It's interpretation changed because pro-gun advocates worked for decades, up hill, to make it an issue and get it changed. We should do the same to get it changed back.

    Guns kill. More often than not, they end up killing the people who they were meant to protect. If more people were aware of that simple truth, perhaps Bob Costa's dream of changing the gun culture could come be realized.

  •  I just don't get it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north

    I don't get smoking.
    I don't get getting drunk.
    I don't get needing guns.

    I'm not any of you, though, so I don't judge.  For my sake, however, I wish that far fewer people smoked, drank to excess, and carried guns.  

    Therefore my sig line, from Jean-Paul Sartre:

    (-7.62,-7.33) l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:18:57 PM PST

  •  Living in fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north

    Tackling the causes of crime, and the fear of crime is the way to address gun control.

    Since the sale of guns and ammo went through the roof after Obama was elected, and again after he was re-elected, it seems to me that tackling the fear of government is also required in order to address gun control.

    •  Lets start with ending the Government fear (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pete Cortez, KenBee

      of it's citizens.  We're doing a damn good job of copying East Germany these post-9-11 days.

      Eliminate the PATRIOT ACT provisions which vacate the 4th and 5th Amendments.

      Eliminate this: "never before has America faced" and "the American people DEMAND action" bullshit.

      A message I WATCHED originate the afternoon and evening of 09-11-01 BY the news anchors addressing whoever they could seat before the cameras.

      The tail wagged the dog.

      In the late '60s and early '70s we had airline hijackings, domestic and international.  We had foreign agents, working for a maniacal leader (uncle Leonid), and Soviet submarines off the coast of Long Island, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.
      I watched while fishing offshore, US fighters meet Soviet long-range bombers, and escort them south beyond the 12 mile limit.

      So dear Government, don't hand me a bag of bullshit and tell me it's a Happy Meal®.

  •  Thank you for a thoughful diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north

    I am not a member of the Kos RKBA group, but I am a gun owner.

    I like guns. I think they are fun to shoot, I think they are interesting examples of engineering, I think sometimes they can be beautiful machines...I also think they are scary.

    Let me explain: I have owned at least one firearm for over twenty years since I received my first Ruger 10/22 for a birthday present when I was 13 years old.

    I am not a hunter, in fact I am a lifelong vegetarian (now vegan for 13 years) who has never fired a weapon at a living thing (well...my brother and I shot each other with BB guns a few times).

    I believe that the language of the Second Amendment makes it clear that individual ownership is what was intended because in the legal parlance of the time the word "right" could only be in reference to an individual, that is why the Constitution distinguishes between rights of people, and powers of states (groups can be granted privileges under Constitutional law, but there is no such thing as a 'collective right').

    That being said, just like there in no absolute right to free speech (ie Time, Place, and Manner restrictions) regulation of firearms does not impinge on the right to own weapons.

    I think that background checks are great. I think waiting periods should be mandatory (and longer!)

    I BELIEVE THAT THE GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE NEEDS TO BE CLOSED IMMEDIATELY!!!! Holy god! How is that even a debate?

    I think that trigger locks and gun safes should be required in any home where there are children, and most importantly, I think that mandatory, intensive, rigorous, and strictly regulated gun safety courses should be required of anyone who wants to buy a firearm.

    None of these impinges on Second Amendment rights (no more than a driver's license impinges on the right to travel freely, or an FCC license for a radio transmitter impinges on the right to free speech).

    Unfortunately too many people have been brainwashed by the NRA (who now solely exist to protect gun manufacturers' profit margin) into thinking that reasonable regulation that would be below the minimum level we require of automobile drivers is somehow a tyrannical abrogation of fundamental rights.

    Those people are wrong, and as a gun owner who loves shooting his weapons at the range, I will happily fight for the rights of citizens to be safe from incompetent d-bags buying guns unchecked and with no regulation.

    Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
    Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga! Eala þeodnes þrym!

    by Alea iacta est on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 02:09:01 PM PST

    •  rec'd for Amendment discourse (0+ / 0-)

      I disagree with the waiting period - as that whole "cooling off" thing?  Never really happened.

      Ferguson, Cho, Loughner - none bought the gun, came out of Walmart® blazing a trail of death.  Each bought the gun, evaded meaningful intervention, and then weeks to months later, went on a killing spree.

      Gun shows?  I perhaps differ with some of my friends and believe the NICS should be run for transactions, all transactions - as a means of eliminating further/deeper restrictions.  
      A total ban on semi-automatic firearms as an example.

  •  Some debate over whether guns reduce crime. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PavePusher

    No debate on whether they increase crime; no serious scholar since Ayers-Donahue reviewed Lott makes this claim anymore.

  •  Great Diary! (0+ / 0-)

    And I would agree completely----what kind of country cannot guarantee the safety of its own public in a public setting?

    Why are we so unsafe when we choose to attend a Congress on the Corner----a stroll across campus----walking the hallways of the local high school--walking home at night----going to a mall---listening to music---loud or otherwise--standing in line to see a film?

    Shouldn't a country this big---this powerful---this wealthy---at the very least be able to protect their citizenry?

    Aren't they required to protect us?

    We pay taxes---don't we?

    These are huge questions---and we do need the answers.

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:31:21 AM PST

    •  Uhm, all the countries. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101

      You can't guarantee public safety.

      And no actually, the LEOs aren't required to protect. No matter what it says on their car. There was a court case that said the police have no legal duty to protect the citizenry (Castle vs Gonzales or something like that).

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:07:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shameful. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Response-

        As this case is the latest in a lineage of high-profile cases, such as DeShaney v. Winnebago County, in which lawsuits against governmental entities for failure to prevent harm to an individual were dismissed, it has also been used by gun rights advocates in the United States to add additional weight to the self-defense argument for private gun ownership. [1]

        The National Organization for Women has argued the Supreme Court's decision reduced the utility of restraining orders and "effectively gives law enforcement a green light to ignore restraining orders."[3]

        "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

        by lyvwyr101 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:49:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, finally read this diary all the way through. (0+ / 0-)

    And I must thank you profusely for writing it.

    How good of you to refrain from calling into question the faculties of other members, despite your lack of relevant credentials.  How awesome of you to free of us of the need to address matters of law and fact.  After all, you don't think you can win on the first and you just plain don't believe in the latter.  How amazing you are for wanting to free me of my need for guns; I didn't even know I needed to ask.  I had no idea I was wasting money and time on such a needless, terrible implement that you so don't want to take away.  All that despite your dream of a complete handgun ban.  You're downright Christlike with all you're willing to surrender on my behalf.

    Again, thank you.  But no thanks.  Instead, I would prefer to help you get over whatever hang ups you have about firearms.  I'd love to show you that the "gun nut" of your nightmares is about as real as voter fraud.  I'd love to renew your excitement about a world in which facts matter, in which law doesn't require jumping through linguistic hoops, and in which you never have to misdirect your outrage for tragedy again.

    •  Dude, this was uncalled for. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, rockhound

      Twigg has been around and yes, we might not agree but this comment doesn't help the situation any and gives those who are anti-RKBA an example to point to when they talk about the behaviour of our members.

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:47:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you've got a plan, let's hear it. (0+ / 0-)

        But hey, I maybe wrong.  Maybe it's progress that twigg thinks:

        1. not all gun owners are nuts; maybe not even most.
        2. it's too hard to argue the constitutional issues.
        3. RKBA isn't the NRA, which is good because the NRA are just about domestic terrorists.
        4. "people kill people."

        If twigg doesn't like guns, that's fine by me.  But I'd love to know why he felt the need to writing such a patronizing piece.

  •  I finished reading all but the very last comments (0+ / 0-)

    last night at 3am or so. Interesting discussion and, generally, fairly civil.

    It hasn't changed my feelings on much, but I did learn a bit here and there and it did cement my understanding of a couple individuals on both sides of the argument.

    There doesn't seem to be anything we agree on, so I guess my take on that is that everyone will have points they disagree with along the way. Will that allow for some solution, eventually? I dunno.

    Like you, Twigg, my main objection is hand guns. My second objection is concealed carry. Just as one can chose, in some places, whether to conceal carry or not, I can, where I live, chose not to be around guns if only I knew they were there. I don't know that with CC so I cannot make a very objective decision about my own safety.

    I don't know how--or if--these things can ever be resolved, but I suppose talking about them is the first step.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:50:01 PM PST

  •  Shameful. (0+ / 0-)

    Shameful.(1+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/....

    Response-

    As this case is the latest in a lineage of high-profile cases, such as DeShaney v. Winnebago County, in which lawsuits against governmental entities for failure to prevent harm to an individual were dismissed, it has also been used by gun rights advocates in the United States to add additional weight to the self-defense argument for private gun ownership. [1]

    The National Organization for Women has argued the Supreme Court's decision reduced the utility of restraining orders and "effectively gives law enforcement a green light to ignore restraining orders."[3]

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:29:48 AM PST

  •  Stopping the war on drugs (0+ / 0-)

    Would lessen the fear a lot.

    Between the government arresting people for something that isn't harming anyone, making people fear law enforcement, while neglecting going after the violent, to creating more violence by getting the criminals involved in drug trafficking which leads to violence, it is a win all around.

    I'm thinking it has done more harm to our relationship with law enforcement than anything else. If you had no fear of getting thrown in jail for having drugs, then you could get help with violent people around you.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 11:17:11 AM PST

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