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I hunt.  Much of the meat that my family eats during the year comes from local wild game and I derive great satisfaction from the experience of hunting and the ability to feed my family locally sourced, organic, environmentally friendly game that I procure, butcher, and prepare myself.  In addition, my son and I enjoy shooting clay pigeons at our local shooting range.  My friends and co-workers are mostly hunters as well and in my community, wild game is little more remarkable than food from the grocery or the local farmer's market.  I have had extensive formal training in gun safety and rifle marksmanship.  My guns are locked in a safe when not in use.  I should be the archetype of an NRA supporter.  But...

I am a dad.  I am the husband of an elementary school teacher who works too hard and commits too fully to her students (it's a trait that good teachers share).  And I am saddened to my core by the shootings in Connecticut.  I cannot even imagine the pain that those poor families are feeling and I will pray for peace for them tonight.

I have never joined the NRA.  I have been invited many times but I was initially turned off by their absolutist position on gun regulation and I was later repelled by their politics and by the way that they try to conflate the good that is accomplished for conservation by hunting with their interpretation of the 2nd amendment.  I hope today is the beginning of the end for their influence in our country.

I have been skimming through the daily Kos commentary tonight and I can only affirm the anger and frustration and sadness expressed.  

So yes...lets have the national conversation about a more rational gun policy.  This country won't ban the private ownership of guns and I don't think it would be wise even if we did.  Similarly, it may be impossible to prevent a disturbed individual from procuring a gun if they are sufficiently motivated, but for the sake of these victims there have to be ways to make tragedies like the one in Connecticut today less likely.  Lets talk about making tactical weapons and high capacity magazines illegal for private ownership.  Lets talk about raising the regulatory oversight on those who may purchase and own small weapons like handguns that can easily be concealed.   Lets talk about proficiency requirements and regulations on the storage and registration of private firearms.  There are European countries with much stricter gun laws that also maintain rich hunting traditions.  Lets raise the penalties for crimes committed while using a gun and lets enforce the gun laws on the books.  I'm sure there are better ideas out there and I don't claim to be a 2nd amendment scholar but surely we can do better.  Lets get serious.

I have never felt that my sporting arms were threatened by those who were calling for tighter regulations on gun sales and ownership - particularly when directed at cheap handguns and guns whose value as sporting arms was marginal or specious.  The fear of a slippery slope leading from common sense gun regulation to the loss of hunting firearms is a fear that the NRA uses to sell its political agenda.  It is false.  A gun is a tool like a hammer but unlike other tools, guns are designed and optimized to deliver projectiles for the purpose of killing efficiently.  In the context of hunting, this efficiency is needed to ensure that an animal dies as quickly and humanely as possible.  However, this is also the reason why the "guns don't kill people, people do..." line of reasoning rings hollow.  One can kill another person with a hammer or with a car but that is not what hammers and cars are designed to do.  Guns are a special case and we should start by acknowledging that.  

As I left the house tonight, I kissed my son on the forehead.  Its a little unusual for us.  He's 13 now and I can still get away with it but it won't be long before I can't.  We ate venison from his deer last night.  I was sitting next to him a month ago on a bluebird crisp morning in the woods when he shot it and it was a high point for both of us during a time when I have this melancholy feeling that our relationship is changing. I also had the "there but for the grace of God go I..." thought in remembrance of the grieving families in Connecticut tonight.  What can one say?

There is much anger and sadness on DK tonight.  Its justified.  But don't direct it at gun owners who could be allies in the fight against the NRA  Here is a plea from a responsible gun owner (self-described).  I want rational gun laws.  If it inconveniences me, so be it.  There are other responsible gun owners out there.  Let's make a down payment on insuring that we prevent the next gun tragedy from happening.

6:42 AM PT: Wow.  Woke this morning to find my off-the-cuff diary on the rec list.  Thanks. And thanks for the kind words.  This discussion is encouraging.  Please remember the grieving families.

Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM PT: I've been overwhelmed by the response to my diary over the weekend.  Thank you.  This is my first on the rec list and only the second I've ever attempted.  

There's a lot in the comments but I humbly ask that you save some attention for Sandy Cook's comment near the bottom:" An appeal from another gun owner"

Originally posted to OldJackPine on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:48 PM PST.

Also republished by Hunting and Fishing Kos and Firearms Law and Policy.

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  •  This is exactly the discussion we need to have, (217+ / 0-)
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    Old Jack. Thank you.

    A question for you: How many folks do YOU know that own guns who you believe feel the way you do?  Do you think it is a majority, minority or ???

    Thanks for your very thoughtful approach.

    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 Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:58:37 PM PST

    •  Hard to say how many (206+ / 0-)
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      If I do a mental inventory, I come up with very few hard-core NRA types among my associates.  The problem with the gun issue and many other natural resource issues is that the hard-core types make the most noise and for that reason they command the most influence.

      Having just typed that, I guess I (and others who feel the way I do) need to speak up.

      I did have a conversation along these lines with a fellow hunter and friend who approached me tonight at a Christmas party.  Gave me some hope.

    •  I'm a gun owner. On my FB page last night (59+ / 0-)

      I invited a same discussion - and got one.

      My opinion is that we may be the majority of gun owners IF we recognize what's "possible" and not and be sober.

      One good suggestion was about raising (significantly) the cost of large magazines and high powered weapons through the institution of what amounts to a tax which might even be used as a fund of some sort.

      The consensus was that this doesn't interfere with the 2nd amendment (which is politically untenable, whether we like it or not).

      My own thoughts are that it can be framed in a way that wins support widely and moves the discussion in the right direction.

      Yes there was a lot of talk about mental health. Toys and video games. But in terms of doable right now stuff it was assessing fees on the types of ammo.

      Now, here I'll say this: this is not going to happen overnight. I think the left needs credible gun/2A advocates out there to be the reasonable voice for solutions. I don't believe we win by comparing ourselves to Norway. Or suggesting sweeping new federal requirements. Like every other political battle (and yes this is a political battle), we need to be smart. Look at how marriage equality and pot legalization have evolved. Or even health care. Lets not pretend this will be any easier or any different, horrible deaths notwithstanding.

      My opinion is the left needs to organize around this and the primary "public faces" of this cannot be someone screaming about banning guns. The public face needs to be liberal gun owners.

      •  Credible second amendment advocates (15+ / 0-)

        need to admit that the first three words of the damned amendment are, "A well regulated (trained) ...."

        And it applied to muzzle loaders only. It's overdue for an update.

        Reaganomics noun pl: belief that unregulated capitalism can produce unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources and we the people can increase revenue by decreasing revenue.

        by FrY10cK on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:10:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would have thought that 'regulated' implied (25+ / 0-)

          some sort of ... regulation.

          Obama - POTUS quondam, POTUS futurus The Once and Future President

          by French Imp on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:20:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gun nuts totally deny that... in a berserk way (9+ / 0-)

            they are as nit picking as a Jesuit or Scalia as they selectively beat the chosen faux-logic points and wall it off from any other wider common sense and logic. Parsing the finer points of history and law while ignoring how it all fits together.

            They often go into great detail and imagine that because we cannot read the minds of the framers we cannot know their intent at all other than the gun nut interpretation version... the strict constructionists become almost a parody of the "Good Soldier Schweik" who takes things literally to its logical and destructive extreme. Unbending adherence to a rigid interpretation that suits their emotional attachment to firearms regardless of what policies that follow from that that means to society.

            So once their doctrine is fixed all debate for them is a minefield of obstruction ignoring the wider truth that more guns, easy access to even more dangerous guns = more deaths. So they point to low gun death rates in showcase areas that are gun happy... usually rural and sparsely populated with low diversity as proof that gunning up cuts crime... and overall their use of statistics and data is like that of Tobacco-cancer link deniers or Climate change deniers... and totally convince themselves that the cherry picked and massaged incomplete data taking favorable snapshots proves what they already believe.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:46:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Mostly it implies a militia (4+ / 0-)

            That role is now taken by the National Guard.

            They are generally well-trained and capable of wielding guns safely.

            Hey, hey, NRA, how many kids did you kill today?

            by freelunch on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:21:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong. (2+ / 0-)

              Since 1903, it has been under National, i.e. Federal, control. Why do you think it's called the National Guard?

              The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

              by bubbajim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:03:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not quite, it was only under the Bush II (0+ / 0-)

                maladministration that the federal government could send National Guard troops overseas in peacetime without the assent of the State's commander in chief, that is, the governor of the state.  As provided in the US Constitution, the feds could and did provide standards for training, and organization, but the governors appointed the Adjutant Generals and other officers, but the feds determined the rank when federalized  

                Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                by StrayCat on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:11:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So under Bush II control was completed. (0+ / 0-)

                  But local control could always be taken away after 1903 by nationalizing a state's guard. See Arkansas, 1957.

                  The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

                  by bubbajim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:02:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Oddly enough (8+ / 0-)

              there were two militia laws passed by Congress in 1792. The second of these laws conscripted every able bodied (white) male into his state's militia and required him to arm himself with a musket, bayonet, ammunition, etc.
                 This act was very unpopular and many men refused to comply. But, it shows what the Founders had in mind when they spoke of a "well regulated militia."
                 If the gun nuts are willing to subject themselves to military discipline, with courts-martial for any offenses, and be prepared to serve if called up by the state govt or the President of the US, then they would have a point when they invoke their 2nd Amendment rights.

              BTW - Notice that Congress required men to buy a particular product from private businesses. AFAIK, that requirement was never challenged in court. It was assumed to be constitutional. So, take that, Obamacare critics.

        •  Something to this effect could be a frame. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          artmartin, Heart of the Rockies

          Like the NRA has the "Guns don't kill yada yada," a short phrase that's easily understood by our short attention span public:  "Aren't the first words a "well regulated militia . . ."?

          "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

          by Snarky McAngus on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:02:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not only that (8+ / 0-)

          Remember too that the constitution had a prohibition against a standing army. The founders didn't want a professional army, which was what Europe had, and led to wars that the people didn't support.

          The founders wanted it set up so that if the country needed to fight, everybody was involved. They thought that would allow us a defense, but not an army that would need something to do - and in their minds, that led to needless wars.

          So the 2nd amendment assured that a chunk of the populace had arms, and could be called on if the need arose.

          They WERE the army. Not just a supplementary force. And if they got called to fight, they were going to be using THEIR guns.

        •  No, it applied to the then-state-of-the-art (6+ / 0-)

          firearm employed by every national military force, world-wide.

          The Second Amendment did not cite: Right to Keep and Bear Arquebus as that was the then-200 year older version military armament.

          Nor did it cite: Canon, and Artillery.  Nor did it cite Halberds or Trebuchets.

        •  Militias (0+ / 0-)

          What would happen if we reconstituted "militias" in each state, regulated them, held them responsible for domestic safety supplementing police Only militia members could own guns.  Misbehave, get kicked out of your milita, and you have to turn in your guns.  

          I'm still mad about Nixon.

          by J Orygun on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:02:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who watches the watchers? (6+ / 0-)

            If we put them all into an organization with state sanction, who runs them?  

            How do we prevent giving a government green light to be as gun-crazy and conspiracy-fueled as they want to be?

            How do we prevent the subsidiary agendas of racism, sexism and classism?

            How do we prevent some guy with an agenda from seeing a way to build a private army loyal to him, rather than the state -- with the blessings and money of the state to help him?

            In the modern nation-state, citizen militia are as practical as quartering the troops with local families (also mentioned in the constitution).  It's an archaic idea that needs to bow to the modern realities of a clean separation between people who use guns for hunting and people who use weapons for the purposes of intimidating, threatening, and causing injury and death to other people.  Sure a hunting rifle can kill -- but it's not the weapon of choice for "suicide by mass murder" and if it's all that was available, the death toll would at least be lower when someone tries it.

            We are no longer a tiny country on the edge of a wilderness surrounded by hostile forces domestic and foreign.  We are the most powerful military force on the planet, and our non-enlisted citizens need to stop pretending they will ever be called upon to Save America.

            Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation -- Walter Cronkite

            by stormicats on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:13:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am already worried about the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            helpImdrowning, zett

            paramilitary nature that our police have take on post 9/11.  Along with citizen misuse of guns, we need to consider what has become of our police forces.

        •  "Train" and "regulate" are not synonyms. (0+ / 0-)

          The meanings are quite different.

      •  Raising the price is a "free market" (2+ / 0-)

        approach and that's a policy enforcement strategy that is just not nearly as effective as people think it would be or ever is.

        Having the kid who shot all those kids yesterday have to save up longer to buy ammunition would have only delayed the tragic event.  It probably would not have stopped it.

      •  I think the organization named after Brady (0+ / 0-)

        is quite reasonable.  Supporting them might be a start.

      •  Gun owners for regulation (0+ / 0-)

        sounds like a good idea. Wouldn't it be interesting if Kossacks started taking gun safety classes? Sort of like the Black Panthers posing with rifles in the 60's.

        Forty years ago I learned target shooting in a gym class. Haven't touched a gun since. Maybe I should brush up, join the NRA and try talking to people.

        Conservation is green energy

        by peggy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:13:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent points! (0+ / 0-)

        And another possibility, is that as teabagger wingnuts see more and more liberals armed to the teeth, their views on gun control are going to change radically.  As long as they see the landscape with only the members of one political party (theirs) being heavily armed, gun control is threatening to them.  

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:49:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And also we need to talk a out mental health (20+ / 0-)

      Issues.   Somewhere their had to be signs that the shooter was not well.  Did someone see it and didn't intervene?  No one is born a mass murderer.  We can talk about all the gun laws in the world but we must include a really intense look at the role of mental health issues and treatment in America.  

      I can't force you to do anything, I can just make you regret it!

      by restondem on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:02:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mother Jones (16+ / 0-)

        did research on mass murderers over the past 30 years after the movie theater killings in Colorado. They found that only 30% of the killers had shown previous indications of mental instability.

        If peace is to prevail we all have to become foes of violence.

        by spacejam on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:22:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, so far. (17+ / 0-)

          The studies which I have read use "clinical treatment," as the measure and definition of a person's stability or instability.  

          In other words, only mental health issues which have been addressed by a doctor, nurse, psychologist or other counselor are recognized as important to the debate.

          This may be the rub; that most mental health instability is not treated clinically in the US. Far too many Americans self-treat emotional pain, or try to ignore their instability issues, and to be effective, legislation on guns cannot be punitive, but incentivized by an offer of our health care systems to be more healthy in all aspects of life by teaching and understanding mental health.

          If this is true, that only a small number of people are thought to be suffering, the argument will be made that there is no link, or a weak link between mental health and gun "ideation." In fact, if larger numbers of Americans are suffering from mental health issues, we must address it in any future effective legislation. To be effective, our legislation must address reality.

          In the meantime, doen't it make sense to limit access to military weapons and ammunition? Australia has done exactly that, since the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996, and the results have been dramatic.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:45:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is such a social stigma attached to mental (3+ / 0-)

            health problems which inhibits many people from even beginning to seek help in this area.  Typically, people don't hesitate to see a doctor about getting antibiotics for a bacterial infection like a urinary tract infection or strep throat, and there are legions who go overboard and demand antibiotics for such things as a cold or the flu (which antibiotics don't mitigate), but many of these same people would never admit they might need medical help for what a qualified doctor would diagnose as a mental health issue.  The other big problem is access, both economic and simple availability, to quality mental health care.  IMHO anyone who seeks to kill another human being has some type of mental health issue.  

            There is so much great work being done today by many brain scientists to understand the human brain and its functions and dis-functions, it is truly amazing and hopeful.  Charlie Rose had a great series on the human brain on his show that is worth seeking out on PBS, with the worlds best brain scientists represented quite wonderfully and accessibly.  However, there is much road to travel and much needs to be done to make this information available to the public at large to educate us all about what could arguably be the most important organ in the human body, the brain and how to best exercise it, take care of it, and seek medical help for it when it is truly necessary.  Additionally, changing the perception of mental health issues from perpetually "crazy" and something to be ashamed of, to an illness that can be treated and, if not cured outright, be managed like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or low testosterone, could go a long way in making the tragedies of Columbine, Aurora, and Newton, Connecticut a thing of the sorrowful past.

            "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

            by helpImdrowning on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:13:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe that you have... (0+ / 0-)

              Hit the nail on the head with your comment....

              The Stigma attached to mental health problems inhibits the diagnosis and treatment from occurring...

              I believe that quite often friends and family will avoid pushing for treatment for someone suffering from mental health issues as it would be a black mark on their future viability...

              I firmly believe that this is why so many of these incidents are occurring where "No One" saw it coming...

              "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
              I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
              ~John F. Kennedy~


              by Oldestsonofasailor on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:56:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The "Stigma" is exactly the point. It shouldn't (0+ / 0-)

                be a stigma, but it is.  Mental health issues should be treated like any other health issue; diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc., instead it is treated like leprosy once was, as a disease or disorder to be avoided at all costs to one's present and future potential.  This is ridiculous since there are many very successful and amazing people who have suffered from some sort of mental health issue who rose above their "disability" and became heroes of human achievement.  I would bet my life that many scientists, musicians, artists, doctors, philosophers, etc. of the past suffered from some sort of mental health issue.  That should in no way take away, or contribute, to what they accomplished for humanity.  They did what they did because they could, because of who they were at a particular time and place.  It is what any successful person does or accomplishes because of his or her individual characteristics.  It is as simple as that.

                "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

                by helpImdrowning on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:15:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  A 30% reduction in mass murders would be great (5+ / 0-)

          There is no single solution to this problem, but if we could identify and deal with (how, I have no idea) these folks lots of lives would be saved.

      •  That's only part of it (12+ / 0-)

        These mass shootings get a lot of publicity.

        But there are a LOT of gun murders in the USA and the vast majority are not mass shootings.  They are either part of other crimes or, often, a case where two people start arguing, one has easy access to a gun, and he or she shoots the other.

      •  And these are psychiatric issues. (8+ / 0-)

        Not the emotional difficulties or minor personality disorders that can be addressed by psychologists.

        It's hallucinations that drive these psychotic breaks.

        It's true that only 30% of mass murderers are noted for extreme mental illness prior to the killings. But you can read it more as a measure of other people ignore signs of mental illness. It seems unlikely that we're seeing sudden or instantaneous breaks.

        Shared characteristics:

        These "psycho" killers collect up multiple weapons.

        They also like large-clip militarized weapons.

        You would think that a simple "data mining" statistical program could easily enough identify young men who start buying these weapons. Young men, because that is the typical age group for onset of schizophrenia and when you get schizophrenia mixed with paranoia, the mix is perfectly capable of opening the Gates of Hell.

        1. Psychiatry. 2. Not psychology. 3. Get busy building an appropriate support system that reports gun buys, same as buys of materials that can be used to make bombs.

        How hard is that?

        •  I bought a ring (6+ / 0-)

          and used my credit card.  The next day there were ads for jewlery on every site I visited.  If they can do that they can trace guns and gun ownership and habits.  Not doing so results in babies being murdered.  Unbelievable.

          Everyone! Arms akimbo!

          by tobendaro on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:01:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Politically impossible (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, bontemps2012, Skipbidder

          MDs face a 'gag law' in Florida that forbids them from asking patients about guns in the home. Since docs are patching up the victims they are quite aware of the dangers. Pediatricians merely wanted to gently encourage parents to make sure guns were safely locked away from children and the NRA got a law passed to prevent it.

          Conservation is green energy

          by peggy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:34:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Politically possible. (0+ / 0-)

            NRA shelled out a total of $719,000 last cycle.

            That's peanut shells.

            Our one little tiny specialty shop tossed out almost $4,000,000. We think we "won" one Senate seat -- making the difference -- and a couple of states comfortable enough so there was no talk of recounts.

            We're tiny.

            They're bullshit artists.

            "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

            by bontemps2012 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:16:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, bontemps2012

            Absolutely insane.

            A ridiculous infringement on the FIRST amendment to try to stop something that is only with extreme mental gymnastics a possible infringement on the SECOND.

            Borders on practice of medicine without a license to my mind. (Nobody really shares this opinion with me, by the way.) It is a definite health issue that doctors should be asking and advising about.

            I say this as both a doctor and a previous NRA member. I own several guns, but I do not keep any of them them in my house, partially because we have a 10 year old in the house. I wouldn't keep them at home without a locking gun safe, and I don't feel the need to rush out to get one, since the locking gun safe at my mother's house is working out quite well for that purpose.

            The plural of anecdote is not data.

            by Skipbidder on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:59:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You think the NRA types are paranoid now... (3+ / 0-)

        just see what happens when you demand psychiatric clearance for gun purcahsers.

      •  Yes, we can't have this discussion without it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        How many people who aren't mass murderers kill others because mental health services in this country aren't ubiquitous? Getting counselling and more should carry no more stigma than going to the dentist or having your heart checked. Concern, yes. Stigma, no. But those who need it may find it hard to get another job or a promotion if it's public knowledge. Or housing. Some may find it difficult getting the best diagnosis. People who might recover from some strife simply by having a dozen sessions speaking with someone may choose not to because "what if someone finds out" that they needed a shrink or counselor?  How many don't go to the dentist because of their pride? How many fuses that bring about manslaughter charges, first degree murder charges, and yes, mass murders as well could be put out well in advance?

        Of course, I partly answer my own question in that where guns are concerned, we will see some wanting to regulate guns around those people. And in some cases, this is necessary. Even if some people do this voluntarily at least for a period of time. But there will be those who love their firearms who will not seek treatment for fear that they may need to submit to this voluntarily or not. But then again there are others who carry their responsibility with them no matter how deep their problems go and never use them on others. Sometimes, not even on themselves. But then, with a robust safety net, how many gun owners might not ever fear this dilemma should they have access to multiple sources of discreet mental health services?

    •  Seconded (21+ / 0-)

      I would second Jack's thoughts on gun owners I know, and I would go so far as to explain that most of the people  deal with on a daily basis are concealed carriers and carry every day.

      I can tell you that, while the NRA would do their histrionics, I and almost every one of the gun owners I know would happily support the following:

      Mandatory background checks on all firearm sales.

      Access for all state to the NICS crime system for their concealed carry background checks. Currently, several states do not have the program run out of a law enforcement agency so they cannot access the federal crime databases. Easy fix for a complete scan.

      An improved mental healthcare system (I know, but we're aiming big here) combined with some way to integrate that care into background checks (figure out how to avoid doctor client privilege and I'm glad I don't have to)

      A short (10-15 minute) safety refresher for each gun purchase. Covering the basics of gun safety and how the individual gun is broken down and put back together as well as features.


      Now, do I think any of this will stop crime? Maybe.  But I do know that I would support those four points and at the very least we've made it a bigger legal hurdle to buy guns if you aren't cleared through the database, we've got mental health checks in place, and we are doing safety refreshers to hopefully cut down on accidents.

      I don't know that there's much more I would support, but its not a bad list to implement and see how it impacts things over a few years.

      •  good to hear. The goal is reducing gun deaths. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PinHole, mamamedusa

        And that reduction done via a multi prong approach of which the prudent items you mention is a major component. Improving the economy, improving education, and as you also mentioned, better access to mental health, and beyond that ending the war on drugs and changing how drugs and users are treated will all work together with sensible gun laws and uniform enforcement and compliance to have a dramatic effect on the number of deaths from firearms.

        and on the gun control side... removing loopholes like gun fairs etc.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:52:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about a goal of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mildly Unsuccessful Lurker

          reducing crime?

          The number one reason given for gun ownership is self protection . . . and that comes from the almost universal perception that society as a whole has failed miserably at keeping burglars and robbers and rapists off the street.  The current "catch and release" policy encourages a desire for gun ownership.  If you want to get guns under control perhaps it would be better to address the reasons people want guns first . . . as long as there are good reasons you cannot dismiss all gun owners as "gun nuts".

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:12:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Doesn't make a difference (13+ / 0-)

            Statistically and in hard reporting of cases, crime has been going down for about the last 30 years.  Here's a handy little table I built from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting site.  For a quick summary, our violent crime rate is at a level not seen since 1971 -- when hippie kids blythly traveled by hitchhiking and slept in parks and on beaches for the fun of it, and never worried about being picked up by potential serial killers.  Kids rode their bikes to school and all over town and nobody thought anything of it.

            Property crime, overall, is about at the level last seen in 1967 -- when many people frequently left the garage door up and sometimes forgot to lock the house when they left  and wouldn't have bothered to lock their car while they ran into the post office or convenience store on the way home.  And that is DESPITE the proliferation of easily portable electronics in our homes.

            We are SAFER TODAY than we have been since the end of the Vietnam War, and you would never know it by the paranoia that's constantly being ginned up by 24-hour news cycles of "if it bleeds, it leads," and the most popular form of entertainments out there -- the horror movie, the crime drama, and the "war in the streets" video game.

            Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation -- Walter Cronkite

            by stormicats on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:31:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for saying that. Fear drives (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, PinHole, mamamedusa, peggy, zett

              this country. It's ruining us. OMG! Don't tell that guy to turn down his stereo, he might have a gun!  Exploding underwear!  Shoes!  Don't carry cash!  Keep a loaded gun under your pillow! The boogie man is coming!

            •  And how does that compare (0+ / 0-)

              to a civilized country?

              You may be content with the overall level of crime in America today, but many (I'd venture even most) of us are not.  
              If you want to put an "unarmed and unprotected" sign on your house feel free . . . but I doubt that you'll sell a lot of them on e-bay . . .

              Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

              by Deward Hastings on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:54:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am not at all content (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zett, ebohlman, IreGyre, Yamara

                I was born in Connecticut; my father grew up there.

                When I was sixteen, one of my closest friends committed suicide using the gun her mother had bought to "protect from burglars."  

                But what I am saying is that the people who are trying to defend gun ownership and a completely unfettered gun culture by saying what a dangerous, dangerous society we live in are working from inadequate information and an "infotainment" culture that is dedicated to showing us the darkest side of our behavior on a regular basis.  

                If all you ever saw of a person was when they were angry or frustrated, you'd find them pretty scary.  At the very least, someone you'd want to avoid -- and at the worst, someone you would feel compelled to protect yourself against.

                That is what the news shows us about the person known as the Average American Citizen. They are angry, they are scary, and they do bad things -- or have bad things done to them.  The prime entertainment on TV is vapid reality shows that really are dedicated to showing people at their crudest, and police and crime dramas.  

                When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, the TV shows were all about people who worked together to make things better.  Sometimes they had to fight and sometimes they even had to kill -- but it was not an everyday thing and there were consequences, both to them and to those around them.  We saw ordinary people who coped with life, and we saw extraordinary people -- like in Star Trek -- who basically told us we could be better than we were.  We didn't glorify people like Jack Bauer of 24 or have parades of endless murders, abductions, "special crimes units" and medical horrors.  

                I know we can't turn the clock back -- but we can and should stop pretending that what we see today is the way the world really is.  I am not content -- because we are better than this, if we would only let ourselves believe that.

                Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation -- Walter Cronkite

                by stormicats on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:17:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Catch and release? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StrayCat, TiaRachel

            Our prisons are overflowing.

      •  These are all reasonable suggestions. (0+ / 0-)

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

        by JayRaye on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:15:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I thought there were (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Belle Ame, zesty grapher, mamamedusa
        Mandatory background checks on all firearm sales.
        Although it is probably not real thorough.

        I have a brother that is the stereotypical NRA loving, rightwing, gun-toter. Last night we got into a discussion over the shootings and he started wailing about the gubnut taking our guns. I told him that if taking our guns would stop just one of these senseless killings I'd gladly turn in mine. That's when he started with the NRA approved talking point of gun registration and background checks. That when you purchase a firearm you have to have this "paperwork" and this still doesn't stop the killing - so see, nothing, including outlawing guns will work. I told him that as weak as our registration/background checks are, they have undoubtedly stopped people from being killed. I'm sure that every day, people trying to purchase a firearm with the intent to due harm, are turned down. If you were not raised or have been around guns and wanted one your first inclination would be to go to a sporting goods store and buy one. You would get checked. But on any given weekend all across this country, you can bet there is a gun show within 50 miles of you. This is where anyone can buy just about any gun their heart desires - no checks, no registration. This is usually done not by the dealers there but by the attendees bringing in their guns and selling one on one.
        As a gun owner I firmly believe that this is another issue that needs to be addressed. It's just too damned easy for ANYONE buy ANY gun they want if they know where to start.

        "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

        by fugwb on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:21:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We will never eliminate gun deaths, or guns (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But people who are not thinking straight might not be able to work through improved laws and checks. They'll get frustrated, they will quit before they get the gun, they won't be able to understand what they're supposed to do.

        Some will have guns they obtained before the illness. We can't stop that. But making it harder to buy a gun in a fit of rage, and harder to buy tons of ammo, and harder to buy multiple guns, and throwing up flags when someone starts buying lots of weapons or body armor would help.

      •  And so, yesterday's shooter's mom would (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        have been in the clear.  Her angry 20 year old son?  Not even touched.

        The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

        by Alice Olson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:16:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, the report is he was turned away (6+ / 0-)

          when trying to buy a gun at a CT sporting goods store this week.  So the law worked for him.

          What did not work apparently was how his mother, also reported by friends as a gun enthusiast, handled gun access. Especially as it has been reported that the son was known to have mental stability issues. Is this where education plays its role in a comprehensive plan? When someone with problems has access to your guns, you make quadruply sure that those weapons are secure, even if it means removing them from your home and giving up your "right to possess" without care at all times.

          •  Reporting requirement? (0+ / 0-)

            So you're a gun dealer, and a 20-year-old (underage? Is the legal age 21 in CT?) young man with at least deficient social skills comes in, tries to buy a gun, and when you explain that there's an age requirement, a background check, and a waiting period, he says "forget it" and storms out.

            There's at least one report (may or may not be accurate) of the Newtown shooter doing this within a week before the incident.

            Do you, as a gun dealer, have any obligation to report this to anyone? Do you have the option to report it, or is it confidential?

            Seems to me the "if you see something, say something" message that's up in the subways and buses is highly relevant here. Responsible gun dealers could do a lot more as a profession to keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people and people with an ax to grind who are intending to harm someone.

      •  JBDK: it's worth pointing out (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, Skipbidder

        that everything you've mentioned here (except the refresher idea, which is new and interesting) is very popular with the RKBA crowd here on Kos.  
        the same group that routinely gets called stuff like "baby killers" for trying to voice ideas like this.

        there are some issues with what you proposed, but a reasonable debate would involve attempting to address them.  I've been lurking these flame wars long enough to come to the conclusion that some people hate guns just as irrationally as others love them.  both extremes are equally to blame for our inability to address the underling problems that lead to violence, of which gun violence is just a subset.

      •  You forgot to add (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the reinstatement of the federal ban on assault weapons.

      •  However, without some regulation of magazine size, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        caliber, rate of fire range and load, the problem still remains.  Self defense never requires more than a 5 shot revolver or a standard 8-round magazine on a semi-autimatic pistol.  Rifles in private hands should have no more than six or eight round capacity, an limitation to bold action rifles might be a good thing.  Pump action shotguns should have no more than 5 shots in its holding capacity. Such limits would have no reduction in the capacity for self defense, no limits on sport shooting or hunting, and reduce the ability of the all too frequent mass murderers to inflict the kind of massacre carried out yesterday in Connecticut.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:25:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  apparently rank and file NRA members (5+ / 0-)

      are way ahead of the NRA leadership.

      a poll made up of 50 percent NRA members and 50 percent gun owners who are not NRA members found majority support for a lot of common sense reforms such as these:

      74 percent support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.

      75 percent believe concealed carry permits should only be granted to applicants who have not committed any violent misdemeanors, including assault.

      74 percent believe permits should only be granted to applicants who have completed gun safety training.

      68 percent believe permits should only be granted to applicants who do not have prior arrests for domestic violence.

      63 percent believe permits should only be granted to applicants 21 years of age or older.

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:01:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Feel the same way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stormicats, mamamedusa

      I am a gun owner, and I support increased regulation. My father is a rabid wing nut, except on gun regulation where he supports tighter controls and assault weapon bans on ALL assault weapons, sub machine guns and all high capacity magazines. It's weird that he is a birther too. I think most people support sensible regulations, but are not as vocal as the crazies of the gun cult.

      I also store my firearms responsibly and would never delude myself into thinking I could "defend my home" with them. I could never get to a gun locker, open the multiple locks, load and then successfully use a firearm in an emergency. I won't even delude myself into thinking I am competent to do so.

      I would even be ok, and fully supportive of restrictions on automatic handguns. Say a special license or registration, complete with extra checks and maybe a mental health evaluation. Most of my stuff is antique, so its not like I own them for use.

      I do not believe that the framers of the US constitution or the bill of rights ever foresaw a world where weapons held the capacity of destruction that modern weapons do. I do not think they would have supported personal ownership of assault rifles and sub machine guns. I feel reasonably confident that they would have relegated such things to the militia armory, kept under lock and key.

    •  My son is a gun owner and espouses the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      same thoughts on this subject as you.  I think there are many out there that do.

      I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

      by DamselleFly on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:50:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This diary could have been (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldJackPine, zett, Skipbidder

      written by me, except my wife isn't a teacher. I hunt and fish for all the protein my family eats, I shoot clay pigeons at the local gun club, I am a raving liberal who believes our gun laws are in need of changing. Not sure how many others feel this way but I sure a hell do.

    •  I'm a vegetarian, so I don't hunt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but I have a great deal of respect for those that do.  We got shotguns a few years ago because I found a new love for busting clays.  Neither myself, nor my husband grew up with guns but we both enjoy using them in a thoughtful and respectful way. We are not members of the NRA.

      With rights comes an awesome load of responsibilities!

    •  Opinion from another gun owner... (0+ / 0-)
      A question for you: How many folks do YOU know that own guns who you believe feel the way you do?  Do you think it is a majority, minority or ???
      We are the majority.

      The NRA--that is, the gun manufacturer lobbyist organization--among others don't want the two sides to realize how much we have in common. Because it's gonna hurt corporate profits if we ever do.

      Check this. Luntz, right wing d-bag, did a poll of NRA members. I'm sure he didn't like what he found:

      87 percent of NRA members agree that support for Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
      74 percent of NRA members and 87 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.
      79 percent of NRA members and 80 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring gun retailers to perform background checks on all employees – a measure recently endorsed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry.
      Also, another poll:
      A January 2011 poll conducted for Mayors Against Illegal Guns by the bipartisan polling team of Momentum Analysis and American Viewpoint found that 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy a gun or who they but it from.
      We already have enough in common to get started and make some serious headway in this problem. Without violating any rights of anybody.

      Myself, I believe gun owners should have licenses. Not just concealed carry, but all of us. If you're not willing to take training, safety classes, be tested at certified ranges, and such things to prove you know how to handle a gun, you shouldn't have one.

      In fact, handing guns, particularly handguns, to untrained people is not a "right", it's a cruelty. Handing guns to untrained people is to put them at risk, their families, their friends, their neighbors. They'd be safer not having a gun.

      I have a handgun. I believe in self-defense. I hope the only use that gun ever gets are trips to the range. But the world is still a dangerous place and a totally gunless society is not only unattainable, we're not civilized enough yet for it to work.

      But I do resent the kooks and the gun manufacturer lobbyists driving this train. I've put effort and my own money into being a responsible owner only to watch paranoid schizos (like "preppers" and "Obama's a Moose Limb Commie Kenyan") and corporate lobbyists (I'm looking at you NRA) run the "discussion" as if they represent the millions of us sane gun owners.

      Well, they don't.

      Sane gun owners are the majority. And a hell of a lot us are getting tired of the nutcases running the show.

      Giving tax payer money to subsidize banks and Wallstreet: capitalism. Giving tax payer money to provide health care for the payers of the taxes: socialism.

      by mkbilbo on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:15:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i think that's key (30+ / 0-)

    There really isn't much logic to much of the resistance to better gun regulation and control.  We're not talking about controls that would make hunting and clay pigeon shooting more difficult or anything.  We just want the senselessness of it all to stop.

    Reading another article earlier about how gun ownership is actually down in the USA gives me hope for sensible.  I just wish it all could have happened earlier.

  •  Count me in (94+ / 0-)

    I'm a hunter and recreational shooter.  The NRA has morphed from an advocate for marksmen, hunters and gun safety to being the lobbying arm of the firearms industry.

    How about banning civilian (and police) use of military-style firearms? I'm talking about stuff that looks like it belongs on the battlefield. The look of these may fuel unhealthy fantasies in unbalanced individuals. Military arms belong in the military.

    Everyone else should be restricted to traditional sporting arms with very small magazines, as many guns as they can afford. But no civilian should need more than six rounds in a clip. And if it doesn't look like something a civilian sportsman in 1959 would have owned, you don't need it.

  •  This Country Has Been Cowed By NRA Lobbyists..... (35+ / 0-)

    Our politicians are their chumps.  The NRA monitors their votes & tells them what's up.  They do as they are told.

    It sickens me to my core.  Our elected officials bow down to the NRA just like they do to Grover Norquist.

    When a poster tonight called the NRA they hung up on him after saying "we have nothing to apologize for".

    That is who we are dealing with in the NRA.  

  •  Thanks for this, OldJack (19+ / 0-)

    Thanks for your compassion for the victims' families and for identifying some common sense means of regulating gun ownership.

    I favor more restrictive gun control laws, but I'm not interested in restricting the ways that you use guns. Though I've never developed the palate for wild game, despite very good opportunities, I support your choices.

    I'm a city gal. Years ago I received a prized invite to an annual "Wild Beast Night" at a mountain home, a sit-down dinner for about twenty with various game on the menu -- moose, elk, and others I wish I could remember. To my dismay, the only dish on the menu that I could tolerate to eat was "Meadow Muffin Soup" (cauliflower, not those meadow muffins). Someone else should have had my seat at that dinner.

    The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

    by SoCalSal on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:16:30 PM PST

  •  Thank you. T&R'd /nt (12+ / 0-)

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:20:44 PM PST

  •  I grew up among hunters... (74+ / 0-)

    and became one myself. Gave it up in my late teens, I just don't have the stomach for killing critters. But that doesn't stop me from eating them or supporting responsible hunting practices.

    I know (and am related to) many folks like you Jack. I have long believed it is your demographic that holds the key to unlocking gun control debate in this country.

    If rural, red state America perceives that big city liberals alone are going to rewrite all the gun laws and shove them down their throats, it'll be a disaster.

    The rhetoric will become way uglier, the divide will spill over into every issue, and it will probably inspire some crazy people to do crazy things.

    However, if responsible gun owners began to engage in this debate in a thoughtful way aimed at results--it will change the narrative.

    I'm not naive, it's a really tough lift. But the stalemate won't be broken without some movement on all sides.

    Best to you and your kin.

    •  I agree, TEM. I have been wondering whether (6+ / 0-)

      the NRA actually still represents its members and I think responsible hunters might be better of representing themselves. They might be one of the keys of unlocking this situation.
      I am sure there are many ways to go about this.
      For example:
      How about responsible hunters protesting in front of NRA headquarters or in Washington, asking for stricter gun laws? That would really be something to behold and it might help tremendously.

      The future is renewable.

      by KiB on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:57:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mamamedusa, peggy, zett

        I worked on Capitol Hill for eight years beginning in 1987. When I came in, I wasn't dumb about it, I knew the NRA was pro gun way beyond my views. But I grew up quick.

        I worked for a Member whose profile is pretty rare these days: a honest-to-God liberal representing a largely rural district. His red line was guns. He always voted the NRA line.

        In those days we were debating cop-killer bullets and plastic guns. Seems like a no-brainer, surely the NRA would flex on that insanity. Nope, they wouldn't and my boss compliantly voted with them.

        Guess what, the bastards still ran ads and sent out mailers against my boss. Why? Because they were in bed with interests that hated his 90 percent liberal voting record.

        Where I'm going with this is this: we need another gun lobby. One that represents gun owners who are not nut cases. Give them an alternative. Please. I'm convinced half the NRA members don't support their organization's full agenda and at least half of the other half don't understand that agenda goes well beyond gun issues.

        I don't know, The Sportsmen for Gun Rights and Safety Coalition, whatever. Someone needs to challenge these guys from a moderate position. Please.

        Thanks for your suggestion. It would thrill me to no end to see someone not named Ted Nugent waving the sportsman flag.

  •  i would love to see (18+ / 0-)

    a new constitutional amendment that renders the second as obsolete as it really is. the new one would encode strict regulations, ban certain types of weapons and magazines, and yes you responsible gun owners would have to jump through more and higher hoops- including very strict licensing and registering. but the new one also would explicitly guarantee the individual right, so you responsible gun owners would never have to worry that a subsequent supreme court will reverse heller, and a political pendulum swing lead to serious attempts to take away your guns. that would be the tradeoff- much more rigorous regulation for a permanent explicit individual right.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:24:50 PM PST

  •  The NRA pushes gun rights at expense of gun safety (21+ / 0-)

    They breed fear which is exploited by their organization to gain power and resources......

    So how does the NRA not fit the definition of  a"terrorist" organization?

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:28:12 PM PST

  •  Good diary (47+ / 0-)

    I come from a family of hunters. They are responsible gun owners. Yes, many of them own a handgun for "self defense," which I find silly, but I know they're just worried about the improbable.

    I don't want to confiscate guns. I don't want to ban them. I have a friend who feeds her family by hunting. It's not my style, but, hey, food is expensive, and she can feed her family all winter after one day out in the woods with a rifle.

    My uncle hasn't bought meat from a store as long as I've been alive. He has a freezer full of meat that he got himself.

    I'm okay with all of this. It's not my style, but I'm okay with it. I support them. I LOVE going to my uncle's house for dinner. His pheasant is delicious. Absolutely mouth watering.

    But I believe we can control guns without effecting the above mentioned people. I KNOW that we can. None of them own a gun that can kill multiple people in one fell swoop, nor would they want to. Nor would they be opposed to sensible laws that prevent people from being able to.

    This idea that all gun owners cling to the second like it's holy scripture is absurd. All of the above that I mentioned are also Democrats. They're gun-owning Democrats who think that senseless killing is a tragedy.

    And they aren't offended by the idea that high-capacity clips be heavily regulated or outlawed.

    They're gun owners who peacefully use their guns. Why would they be opposed?

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:30:20 PM PST

    •  Improbable? (2+ / 0-)

      Three home invasions in my neighborhood this year.

      Two of them were failures because the homeowner was armed. In one case, all three assailants were shot, one or two fatally.

      Been a few months since an invasion has been attempted, now. Glad the homeowner made his point. Still keeping my shotgun loaded, though.

      Welcome to life outside the gated community.

      The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

      by bubbajim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:26:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, gated can make you more vulnerable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mildly Unsuccessful Lurker, zett

        I lived in an open apartment complex between two gated ones. They had a rash of car robberies because people left cars unlocked thinking the gates were protection. In our community we locked our cars and did not have the problems.

        So that last statement was not helpful. I do not live in a gated community and I take security precautions but guns make me uncomfortable. Improbable doesn't mean it won't happen, just that the probabilities are against it happening. Each person has to judge for themselves what that means in their community and what levels of protection are appropriate.

      •  You don't know her family. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You don't know where they live nor the probability of incidence there.

        Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

        by Debby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:49:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  In some ways I have more respect for hunters (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, TiaRachel, peggy, zett

      who actually use their kill as sustenance. That's really not worse than buying butchered meat at the market. At least you have to face what your carnivorous nature really means. Though not a big meat eater I compare myself to my mother who grew up in the rural South and knows about having to killing dinner, whether wild or domesticated. I confess to being glad I don't have to do that and can pretend that ham just magically appears in a plastic wrap.

      It's the so-called sport hunters who have a truck follow them to the Outdoors and unload a bunch of critters  a few yards away to shoot at (and use to decorate their offices) that I find objectionable. (Another reason to despise Cheney.)

  •  I think that it's quite easy to tell gun owners (21+ / 0-)

    who are responsible and seriously opposed to the NRA from those who profess that position but avoid specifically discussing the issues and proposals that you have done here.  There's not only sincerity on the surface but you also use detail, language, and create tone which resonates sincerity.

    Very few people are opposed to hunting or recreation with the use of guns if there is sufficient regulation to help decrease the excesses and misuses and carelessness of ownership.

    Others have spoken in a similar vein to you in the past,  who have been lifelong owners and users, but unfortunately they are often attacked.

    •  I agree but I'd like to expand slightly (13+ / 0-)

      on a turn of phrase you employee.

      Very few people are opposed to hunting or recreation with the use of guns...

      While I have often engaged in both of those uses of firearms many, many times (hunting both in terms of recreation and in terms of putting food on the table) I would like to point out that while there is another use.  One that is often mentioned, but when done so often employed in such a ham-fisted manner as to be unpersuasive.  I am referring, of course, to defense.

       I am not speaking of home defense nor defense of my homestead from a government, be it foreign or domestic.

      Allow me to illustrate with three examples.

      I have, on a few occasions, successfully defended crops employing the use of a firearm kept our crops from being decimated by what my grandfather would term 'varmints'.

      I have, on several occasions, successfully defended livestock, employing the use of a firearm, from coyotes.

      I have, on two occasions, successfully defended my family and in some sense, perhaps, my community from a rabid animal. Again employing a firearm.

      On the farm, where I grew up firearms were a tool, first and foremost and only more rarely used purely for recreation.

       Heck, even most of the target and tin can shooting done, was done so as to improve one's proficiency with the particular tool at hand and/or to teach the safe use of that tool to the newer generations of the family.

      •  I hate guns (7+ / 0-)

        but have many friends who hunt and would NEVER want to restrict their right to a legitimate hunting weapon.

        Also, if I lived out in the country, as much as I hate guns I would sure as shit have a shotgun, for precisely the reasons you state above. Unfortunately, when my mom lived out in the country they had to deal with packs of feral dogs, who had been dumped and formed packs. They took down a horse and went after a farmer's kid on a tractor.

        We didn't allow hunting on our property, but when the local farmers banded together to find and shoot those dogs my mom was perfectly fine with them on our property.

        "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

        by zaynabou on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:29:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yes, that's valid also. (4+ / 0-)

        I think that it's just that I don't think of it in that way myself as defense but just lump it in with the "hunting category" from force of habit.  Also, with myself while growing up, neither I nor my family, friends, or acquaintances ever thought about firearms as necessary to protect ourselves from crime since it rarely happened in our area back then in the fifty and sixties; therefore, guns were rarely discussed in terms of invasion or crime.

    •  The guy who buys a handgun for its (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "stopping power" is probably not all that responsible.

  •  Thanks (15+ / 0-)

    No one is naïve enough to believe that gun regulations will prevent all gun deaths (it's a common straw man from the NRA types).  

    As much as I wish no one would ever be shot at school or the mall,  I would currently settle for this type of mass shooting happening only once a year in this country.  Hell, once a month, even.  That'd be progress.  

    And I wish fewer arguments and spats ended in heat-of-the-moment gunfire.  

    I agree that simple laws won't have much of an effect.  Prohibition doesn't lessen demand unless it's ridiculously draconian.  What we have to go after is the gun culture itself.  Not necessarily the hunting culture (where a gun is one tool among many to get the job done), but the I'm-John-Wayne bullshit paranoid culture that leads people to own a hobby arsenal of handguns and military-style guns.  This latter one has got to go.

    Maybe people feel there is a slippery slope because a lot of times, these cultures overlap?

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:37:01 PM PST

    •  Regulating the supply of guns would be easy (3+ / 0-)

      if citizens push back hard enough.

      Mass production is not possible in your basement no matter how expensive your multi-axis CNC mill.

      One-offs, sure. But not Walmarts full of semi auto killing machines.

      Reaganomics noun pl: belief that unregulated capitalism can produce unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources and we the people can increase revenue by decreasing revenue.

      by FrY10cK on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:27:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like going hunting with a camera. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobinson, recontext, uciguy30

    A gun not so much.

  •  Great diary. Although not a hunter, I could be if (6+ / 0-)

    the need arose. I was blessed with 20/10 sharpshooter vision, and gun skills.
    (my Boy Scout leader hated me for outshooting him at age 10 w/his own rifle)
    You couldn't pay me to own a gun or ammunition these days.  No way no how.

    "God bless us, every one!" ~ T. Tim

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:42:21 PM PST

  •  Finally (15+ / 0-)

    Yes, the gun laws for inner city Chicago should be different from the gun laws in rural Appalachia. The shitty Heller decision basically said one size fits all. And the all we are stuck with is Appalachia.

    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:45:46 PM PST

  •  I've been a gun owner for over 50 years (15+ / 0-)

    My folks gave me my first gun, a Mosberg .410 shotgun on my 12th birthday in January of 1951. It still shoots well.

    My wife taught elementary school for close to 40 years.

    I have never been a member of the NRA. The fellow members at my gun club grumble about having a dfh communist/socialist liberal asshole attorney as a fellow member. I like to talk progressive politics with them.

    I own a few semiautomatic guns. Some handguns, some rifles. I have never thought about committing mass murder.

    I like the idea of rational laws designed to prevent crazy people from getting guns and using them to kill others. Unfortunately the rational laws suggested often look like requiring me and everyone else to take off our shoes to get on an airplane, in response to one isolated incident.

    The sad fact about guns is that they are terribly efficient at killing. All guns. I own a six shot Smith and Wesson revolver in .22 caliber. It shoots real well. I have a few "speed loaders" for it, plastic holders that have six rounds ready to put in the chambers all at once real quick. I have a belt clip for each loader. I can carry a couple hundred loose .22 rounds in my pocket. I could walk into any school that would allow me access and start killing people with that .22 at any time. A school full of little kids, teachers and a couple of administrators would be easy pickings.

    Limiting the number of rounds available in semiautomatic pistol magazines has been tried. Pistol shooters buy more magazines and practice reloads. There really isn't much difference between 10 or 20 rounds in any one magazine.

    My .223 "assault rifle" isn't really more dangerous than my .308 or .300 WSM semi-auto hunting rifles. More smaller magazines with reloads isn't a real issue in a school setting with unarmed children.

    I'm not against the idea of needing a license to own guns. I need one to drive a car and to practice law. Same thing with insurance. Same thing with mandatory training. Well, I guess there isn't any requirement for continuing driver's training.

    We have laws prohibiting convicted criminals and mentally ill people from owning guns. I'm not sure how it would work to require a mental health exam to own a gun, but we do require references from responsible people on our applications for concealed carry permits.

    •  I hear what you are saying... (26+ / 0-)

      I just think we need to start somewhere and I think that we responsible gun owners ought to be willing to give some ground on this stuff if for no other reason than to begin chipping away at the NRA monolith.

    •  I've been trying to come up with a good (4+ / 0-)

      response to the arguements I've been reading today - those from both the "ban them all" groups and the "guns don't kill people" folks.  This is better than I could have done, thank you!

      Limiting capacity won't help for the reasons you cite. To be effective the control needs to begin with the owner, not the weapon.

      -7.38, -5.38 (that's a surprise)

      I lie to myself because I'm the only one who continues to believe me. - Vermin

      by 84thProblem on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:54:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eh (7+ / 0-)

        I shot an old British Enfield bolt-action that I think would be a very effective hunting rifle. Hard to see how one could turn that into a 'speed-loading' type of rifle.

        I have very little doubt that one could manufacture a handgun that would necessitate a long reload time if it was mandated by the government.

        Whether this strikes the right balance of gun usage vs. public safety is up for debate, but I don't think we should give up on hardware solutions just because some were ineffective in the past.

      •  Let's be true to the second amendment. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It starts with "A well regulated (trained) ...," and applies only to muzzle loaders.

        Go ahead and say, "You can't be serious," then wait for the next massacre.

        If mayhem is your goal, you'd be better off with a baseball bat or a hatchet.

        Reaganomics noun pl: belief that unregulated capitalism can produce unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources and we the people can increase revenue by decreasing revenue.

        by FrY10cK on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:32:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Politically I think you get less flack imposing (8+ / 0-)

      A tax on large magazines, for example, or military style weapons that any schumuk could mow down 50 people in 10 seconds with his eyes closed with.

      If you're of the opinion that we could somehow require mental health tests before a person can buy a gun, I'd suggest you rethink that. I don't see that happening. And btw, if I was treated for depression a few years back, or am taking meds for it today, where's that put me? And who's making sure I don't stop taking the meds? This would never work - and I'm not sure it should.

      These mass murderers are not marksmen who "will practice quickly loading another 10 round clip". At least it doesn't seem so when I think back on all the most recent mass murders. These are guys who squeezed off and would have killed with their eyes closed because of the weaponry and ammo they were using. Want a 100 rounder? $20,000. Btw there's nothing in the second amendment about ammunition.  Folks we needs to get smart about how we do this.

    •  As far as I remember, the shooter who shot (11+ / 0-)

      Gabriela Giffords was overpowered by a bystander when he had to reload.
      Thus, a magazine with fewer rounds could have saved a few lives.
      To me, that is not peanuts.

      The future is renewable.

      by KiB on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:16:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is one of the rare cases (0+ / 0-)

        where the shooter survived the incident as well.

        Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

        by Debby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:55:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hear you too. However.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, TiaRachel, mamamedusa

      it is perfectly logical, Constitutional and practical to have rational gun type and ammo type legislation which is effective without damaging the Second Amendment. That is the problem with the NRA and their hero Antonin Scalia. They collectively believe that ANY interpretation of the Second Amendment which is not an absolute individual right is damaging to the Second Amendment. This position is untrue on its face, when we read the entire Second Amendment.

      Legislation is always difficult, but when legislators are faced with death threats from individuals owning military weapons when even contemplating legislation, it is nearly impossible. That is why all previous gun legislation has seemed to be illogical and ineffective. It has been crafted at the barrel of a gun.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:56:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't make a distinction (9+ / 0-)

    between how you get your meat and how I do (thunk, dress, butcher, grocery store), and without such a distinction it's impossible to condemn you as just another gun nut. Which your post clearly shows you're not!

    Your way of life wouln't work where I live in the NJ NYC suburbs, and I expect that it won't work where you live in the not too distant future. My point is, you're an exception and becoming ever more so. Please do what you can to preserve a rural life for your area. Your way of life depends on it, and your way of life is archetypically American.

    In my neighborhood guns serve only one purpose, murder. Don't let your area become suburbanized! But if it does and the prospect of shooting dinner disappears, please recognize thet your weapons will no longer be suited to sustenance, and will be suitable only to murder. Which I assume you do recognize, and I do hope your lifestyle will persist.

    But it can't and won't in my neighborhood. There's no game here. Guns are only used for murder around here.

    •  They might also be useful for... (3+ / 0-)

      ...defense against murder.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:08:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Afraid of Lyme disease, I like deer hunters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Deer over run the Boston suburbs and I know people who've gotten Lyme. I'd be in favor of a controlled hunt. If some Canada geese went into a roasting pan, that would be even better.

      I have no idea how to hunt deer in crowded neighborhoods, but with bait stations something might be arranged.

      This is an impractical idea which will come to fruition the day after the NRA becomes pacifist.

      Conservation is green energy

      by peggy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:09:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes. This. A thousand times. (12+ / 0-)

    I did not grow up with guns but I married into a hunting tribe.  I don't like or use guns, but I'm not anti-gun.

    You are my ally and, I hope, my friend in this.  Let's work together.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:55:25 PM PST

  •  Wonderfully written, thank you! I have (16+ / 0-)

    no problem with hunting, although I do not do it myself.  The NRA long ago conflated owning an assault rifle with providing food for your family or responsibly hunting for sport.

    We can ban assault weapons, large ammo clips, and not touch hunters' rights.  Hunters are some of the best stewards of the land.  

    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:56:35 PM PST

  •  As a fellow gun owner - excellent. You could not (20+ / 0-)

    have said it better. Thank You.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:04:22 PM PST

    •  I agree, perfectly stated. Diarist's central point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit, Late Again, peggy

      is key:

      Lets talk about making tactical weapons and high capacity magazines illegal for private ownership.  Lets talk about raising the regulatory oversight on those who may purchase and own small weapons like handguns that can easily be concealed.   Lets talk about proficiency requirements and regulations on the storage and registration of private firearms.  There are European countries with much stricter gun laws that also maintain rich hunting traditions.  Lets raise the penalties for crimes committed while using a gun and lets enforce the gun laws on the books.
      I have been trying to say this in every argument after these shooting strategies, but have never been able to express it as succinctly and clearly.  If we boil it down to one specific action it would be licensing/registration as a way to achieve those goals above.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:22:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Think again! (11+ / 0-)
    As I left the house tonight, I kissed my son on the forehead.  Its a little unusual for us.  He's 13 now and I can still get away with it but it won't be long before I can't

    You just might be able to do that for many more years because of what happened.  You both are still alive, and NEVER forget that!

    It is an indeed sad day, and your words are well thought out and well stated.  Let us each hold a loved one just a little longer the next few days to remind all of us how precious their lives are!

    Warmest regards,


    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:13:23 PM PST

  •  Spot on (9+ / 0-)

    Tipped & Rec'd.

    Click the ♥ 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 Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:17:58 PM PST

  •  50 years ago I was a member of the NRA (19+ / 0-)

    That was when their mission was to teach gun safety and marksmanship.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:23:28 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Jack... (11+ / 0-)

    for the old familiar "men talk" I grew up with.
    Men who talked like my Grandfather.

    I took great pleasure in listening to their conversations about politics and when to or not to plant and deer hunting among all sorts of things.

    My Grandfather and his sons, my uncles, went deer hunting every year. The meat was processed and packaged nicely and we thanked the deer for feeding us.

    You've the very same gentility as my home people...nice meeting you.

  •  I've made a similar argument for many years... (11+ / 0-)

    It is possible to be both pro-2nd Amendment and in favor of common sense gun control.   The two need not be mutually exclusive.

    •  Agreed but where is the left in the public (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, Wendy Slammo, theboz

      sphere on this?

      Just like the right has co-opted the entire "people of faith" thing, the NRA is the only public face of "the second amendment". That has to change.

      We're now seeing more "religious lefties" represented in public - from nuns on the bus to groups like faithful America. Just by Their existence they highlight the hypocrisy and mean spiritedness of the "values" set on the right. They're sensible.

      We must do the same with the NRA. We'll need to recognize this as a long term political battle, because it is. Winning back the narrative will, sadly, take time but we can't start unless we present a credible public face of leftist 2a advicates amd gun owners to counter the only organization anyone really knows - the NRA.

      •  For starters (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The entire country has to be made aware of polling showing that NRA membership actually supports reasonable, sensible gun control DESPITE what NRA leadership claims.   I think there are plenty of NRA members who share OldJackPine's (and mine) concerns, but NRA leadership isn't lobbying for them - they lobby for the gun industry - and that's another distinction that needs to be shouted from the mountaintop - that the 2nd amendment guarantees the right of American Citizens to bear arms, it is not a protection racket for the arms industry.

        I think what will happen is that responsible gun owners will realize that they'd better work to tweak/strengthen gun laws before public opinion shifts against them and the matter is taken out of their hands entirely.  Self-police lest someone else write rules which you really won't like.

  •  "If it inconveniences me, so be it." (10+ / 0-)

    That is exactly what a very lot of American gun owners have to say tonight.

  •  You are the first person (19+ / 0-)

    I've seen today have this approach. I have been told all day today it is not the time to discuss this, but that dismissal has only come when a counterpoint could not be made.

    This diary gives me hope. We all need hope. Please, do be a vocal voice. You have an authority that those of us who do not hunt, or use guns for recreation do not have. Because of that, your voice, in ways, is more powerful than ours. And in ways, your voice is more powerful than the reckless NRA soldiers. Please continue to speak out as you have done here. If others hear your perspective, they, too, might add their voice.

    •  It is never a good time for 2A fetishists to talk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about gun control.  That is probable the number one talking point the NRA spreads, then they try to switch the conversation to "preventing mentally ill from owning guns" and to "enforcing laws in the books," yet when any specifics ever come up they scream: "Constitution!"

      The NRA loves the mish-mash of laws because it clearly cannot control the flow of weapons.  A national/federal system is needed as that is the only way that the pretty easy gun flow in the Country will ever be controlled.  (BTW: I am against totally banning weapons - I am for the sensible ownership of weapons by those who choose it: IMHO, sensible includes training/licensing/registering and, of course, banning high capacity weapons/clips/magazines.)

      Of course the apologists will wait a few days and then come out with their drivel, stuff like:

      Clearly the only wise thing to do is to arm every school age child with a loaded semi-automatic weapon (an Uzi would be good as it is small and easy for kids to shoot away with). This will ensure that any shooter that shows up at their school will be immediately taken down and casualties will be lower at these school shootings. Who cares about other adults, like the UPS man, that enter their school might end up dead? Who cares that some of these kids will kill each other?
      Ridiculous as the above satire I wrote is, there is already a petition in to have " a gun in every classroom."  (I am sure that would really help reduce gun violence, especially when kids figure out where the guns are hidden.)

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:53:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good post. This stands out. (13+ / 0-)
    The fear of a slippery slope leading from common sense gun regulation to the loss of hunting firearms is a fear that the NRA uses to sell its political agenda.  It is false.
  •  Thank you! (10+ / 0-)

    I own two guns -- a 20 gauge pump action shotgun that was my first hunting gun (other than a BB gun) and a 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun that I inherited from my father.  I've shot plenty of pheasants and quail, and the occasional rabbit, but have never felt that my hunting success could be improved by having an assault rifle, or any large-magazine gun.  And for home protection, a 20- gauge shotgun is going to be a lot more effective than any handgun, but it's a lot less likely to be used to murder someone in the same household.

    To me, there is ZERO legitimate reason for anyone to own an assault rifle, or any gun with a magazine that holds more than six or so shots.  Those guns are useful ONLY for killing lots of people quickly, and should be the exclusive province of the military.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:36:21 AM PST

  •  Sir... (7+ / 0-)

    This is about the most sensible thing I have read today.  Thank you.

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:56:11 AM PST

  •  Shooting guns and killing stuff is the problem (0+ / 0-)

    You have your rationales for killing (for fun) and this kid today obviously had his rationale too.  

    What binds your acts together is the shooting and killing of stuff with guns.  

    We can pretend your gun violence is not part of the same paradigm because it takes place in the woods, and is considered legal.  But stuff that gets shot and killed feels pretty much the same way about it.  

    •  Carrots are killed by vegetarians, while (12+ / 0-)

      said vegetarians congratule themselves that they are not killing - vs apologizing to the carrots and being thankful that living things die so that they may live.

      In other news, your argument is way off base.

      This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

      by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:02:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conflating dead kids with carrots (0+ / 0-)

        is why there is no conversation possible with jackasses in the US.  And why countless more people will die before most people are willing to even acknowledge they are part of the sacred Gun Cult in this country.  The only hope is that it's Darwinian.

        •  Cleary you don't understand "Darwinian" (0+ / 0-)

          - hunting deer and pheasant, fishing, and so on for food - it's as Darwinian as it gets. We are omnivores, and evolved as omnivores.

          Freedom to choose vegetarian or vegan eating habits is a personal choice and for some a luxury.

          You are the one who equated hunting deer or duck for food with some paradigm of your imagination.

          The only hope is that it's Darwinian.

          For this to serve you're fantasy, gun owners would have to die BEFORE they are of child-bearing age, before they have children to feed. Get it?

          Gun ownership is not an inherited trait, and imposes almost no reproductive selection on the those who own guns.

    •  So you're a vegan. Bully for you. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper, Debby, bevenro, peggy

      Or are you just a hypocrite who pays someone "lesser" to do his killing. You know, like our all-volunteer army of working-class kids who "volunteer" when they can't find a job.

      The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

      by bubbajim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:41:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, fuck that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa, peggy, zett

      See, this is why we can't have nice things.

      I find this diary very heartening, bringing lefty gun owners into the conversation and seeing that many of them do support common sense restrictions. A dialogue is happening between people who agree and disagree. And then someone comes along and says that Old Jack is just the same as the school shooter.

      I'm sorry Bambi dies--really I am, I'm a vegetarian. But it's Bambi or the CAFOs because I'm not under any illusion that our whole population is going vegetarian.

      I would also be fine with getting rid of every gun on the plant but realistically, I know that's not going to happen so we have to dialogue and see what we can do about the situation. You have not been helpful.

      Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

      by Debby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:06:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just logged in and saw this post (29+ / 0-)

    and first let me thank you - tipped and rec'ed.

    I live in an area of NY where many of my neighbors hunt to put food on the table. Some of them poach too - on my land. As long as they remove the offal I look the other way (they field dress the meat). We are overrun with deer around here.

    I have a very fierce dog as my first line of defense, but need a gun to scare off critters that go after my chickens. Coyotes.  

    I grew up in a family that had a long tradition with guns.

    My mom's uncles hunted to feed half a neighborhood in Philly during the depression. But they were armed, not just for hunting, because they had come up north from the south and had at times had to face down lynch mobs in the only way they could - armed.  

    They were strong Black men with guns.  Great Aunt Martha was a crack shot too.

    Great uncle Joe carried a revolver with him when he went out on house calls.  He was a doctor - during the time when doctors carried their "doctor bag" and were targets for those who thought to steal his bag for whatever drugs or money he had on his person.  He had little faith in being protected by police.  More worry about being shot by them - as a very tall jet black man, traveling around at night.

    I learned gun safety. Guns were locked up in a cabinet.

    As I got older we had no guns at home. I had a severely mentally ill brother who had violent spells who was at home when not in a mental hospital.

    I loathe the NRA.  I support much stricter controls, and licensing - and don't see any reason people should own guns, as you stated  " tactical weapons and high capacity magazines".

    Yes - the NRA manipulates people with fear.  From my pov a lot of that fear is racially motivated.  

    Somehow we have to have a rational national discussion about all of this.  

    Thank you for starting it here.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:48:11 AM PST

  •  Good points. No hammer, knife or any other tool (9+ / 0-)

    killed this girl and many others except a gun which is made for one thing only > KILL.  A family member is a professor whose friend's little girl was killed by a gun held by a sick man.  

    "Please pray for the family of Jimmy and Nelba Greene. Their baby, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene is identified as one of the victims."     Pic from Jimmy Greene's fb.

  •  I agree, and anyone screaming "thar gonna take (7+ / 0-)

    ma guns away" should be subjected to additional inquiry and a proficiency test.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:29:54 AM PST

  •  A friend commented (7+ / 0-)

    at a party last night when everyone was discussing this horror that that is how the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other countries that are experiencing war feel every day.
    Hit home in a big way.

    If peace is to prevail we all have to become foes of violence.

    by spacejam on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:28:07 AM PST

  •  What I don't understand is we have training and (9+ / 0-)

    testing to gain the right to a license that says we are certified to drive a car --- and nobody screams that that means they're going to take their car away.
    So why isn't there a state by state or federal system where anybody who wants a gun must first take and pass a legally-certified training course, then demonstrate all the necessary skills -- like drivers do on their driving test -- before they are allowed to buy a gun license? And they must carry hunter's insurance for accidents or malicious acts, and carry both the license and the insurance card any time they are carrying their gun or  face fines and imprisonment?
    Gun license applicants at time of testing then must take an eye exam to determine their eyesight quality, show how to correctly hold a gun, demonstrate proficiency of aim by shooting at targets, be able to disassemble and reassemble their weapon, the proper way to clean it, etc. If they fail any of these tasks it's no license, no gun, go get more training and try again later.
    Is this a common sense solution, or is it a crazy unconstitutional idea?

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

    by fourthcornerman on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:32:11 AM PST

  •  My husband as you (7+ / 0-)

    all know is a combat disabled vet.  100 percent.  He has PTSD.   He believes no one with a diagnosis of ptsd due to service connection needs to be in possession of a firearm.   He is a marksman.  Awarded as such.  He also believes a person has to accept responsibility for not only their mental health when feeling somewhat normal but the responsibility of safety to others.  

     It was not always that way.   When I met him, he had many many weapons.  There is something to be said about the company one keeps.   For veterans and be ever so sure they are as homeland security said a target for the gun militia types.   The paranoid types who don't trust anything.  When some of these folks come home from military service, they are on guard all the time and feel they have to be armed.  Yes I know, the shooter was not a vet.  Was he a gamer?   Was he unable to tell reality from 3D?   The key is mental health and  support outreach .  I do not think anyone can pre determine who is going to snap and kill.   Most of the time there are no signs,  Why did the Mother buy all of those weapons?  I have that buzzing in my head.   She was a teacher.  Why did she feel the need to register and buy all of those weapons?   I think shutting up the voice of hatred from the wingnuttery is a first step.   I believe in PSA's on gun violence.  I believe in stricter gun laws and forget this stand your ground crap.  I believe in having a swat team but the average cop should be revered as protect and serve and dress as such.
    The gun lobby has got to go.
    Mental Health Facilities have got to be improved.
    The economy and jobs is key.
    There are so many aspects to this argument it is unbelievable but it comes down to common sense.
    If you know you are suffering...Don't cling to your guns.
    Cling to support.
    Don't listen to ugly and hate
    Get to know your law enforcement
    Contribute to making the country safe
    If one owns a weapon they must pass tests like a drivers test and secure them.  Outlaw concealed weapons.   Outlaw semi automatic.  
    This discussion is long overdue.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:57:22 AM PST

  •  interesting to watch the reaction (7+ / 0-)

    From here in the UK I see suddenly there is more talk in the US of real gun control  - is it the smallness of the children involved, or the number of them? Or the fact that this is the last in a run of gun incidents..... But yes, there seems to be a change in public opinion on access to guns, thanks be.

    We had (regulated) access to handguns here until the 1980s, until a legal gun owner (reportedly unhappy at no longer being a Scoutmaster, after allegations of impropriety) shot up a school - google Dunblane massacre for details.  No handguns allowed any more!

    I recall at the time several US pundits visiting and proclaiming that 'we were no longer free'.  Free to do what, was asked - and never answered.

    and yes, what can we say but feel for those who can't now kiss their small children.  I can't imagine how empty they must feel.  

  •  There is another organization other than the (8+ / 0-)

    NRA.  It's called the American Hunters and Shooters Association.  You can go to their Facebook page (although it appears kinda sparse) or to their activist website,
    Stop Handgun Violence.

    It's gotta be pretty good, since the NRA has slammed it repeatedly.

    "There's something fundamentally wrong with a a system where a handful of people have more than they'd ever need and the mass of the people have less than they always need." -- Rev. Joseph Lowery

    by caul on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:03:03 AM PST

  •  I own a handgun and a rifle (6+ / 0-)

    and I support sensible gun laws. No civilian needs to own an assault type weapon or a handgun with extended bullet clips. Shooting a bizillion bullets in 10 lickety-split seconds is not sportsmanship and should be outlawed.

    We need a national database for required background checks on anyone and everyone wanting to purchase a gun--with severe penalties for dealers selling firearms w/o first doing a background check.

    We also need to outlaw assault-type weapons and extended bullet clips. If you can't bag game in one shot, too bad. Try again another time.

    This morning, I sent my congressman, Jeb Hensarling (TX-05-R) an email to this same effect. Please my fellow Kossacks, send your congress person a similar message demanding that we get sensible gun laws to start to stem the tide of the current outrageous gun situation. We can do this if enough Americans demand action.

    the Republican brand is totally bankrupt.

    by vlyons on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:22:42 AM PST

    •  Background checks are a great start, but what if (0+ / 0-)

      a person passes a background check because their latent mental illness has not shown?  More likely most of us would easily pass a background check, but will eventually get so angry and have a fit of rage that we would hurt people.  I am not saying that no one should have a gun, rather that as part of some training/licensing process we need to weed out those who are likely to do something awful.  Even if we could weed out all the mentally ill, we would still have a fair share of these senseless killings.

      Of course your first point about the speed of delivery with semi-automatic weapons and high capacity clips/magazines would be a tremendous start.

       Here is where the Second Amendment fetishists among us jump all over me for trying to violate their constitutional rights.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:31:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is entirely on gun owners. (6+ / 0-)

    It isn't up to non-gun owners to lead the fight for gun control.  It is up to those who own them to make it clear that the paranoid, ammunition-hoarding, cold dead hands, black helicopter group that currently runs the NRA and all gun control policy discussions in the US is a minority.

    If you don't want anger, then talk to those who stand at your shoulder, opposing any and all sensible gun control legislation.  We can't convince them.  They won't listen to us, because we aren't armed.  

    Once you get that done, then you can come back and try to calm our anger.

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:29:46 AM PST

  •  It's kind of like cars (5+ / 0-)

    I mean, no one that I know of is for banning cars.

    But no one I know of is for eliminating the driver's license.

  •  Beautifully written (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, CroneWit, mamamedusa

    And sage advice.  

    It's high time we give equal weight to a five-year-old's (or a 13-year-old's) right to the REST of the Constitution as is given those rabid ranters to a single Amendment.

  •  Thank you so much for this. I agree completely. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, swampyankee, mamamedusa

    I have always supported the right to keep and bear arms, but I also support sensible regulation. I have always opposed the absolutist stance of the NRA.

  •  The NRA left you long ago (4+ / 0-)

    Couple decades ago I taught NRA Hunter Safety and felt perfectly comfortable with my fellow members. I can't stand the sight of their bumper stickers any more.

    I tried to research one time. Their main funding are right wing gun companies. The next big, big funding source is sale of mailing lists to even farther right-wing organizations. (Join and see what you get.) They threaten every politician with primary challenges if they violate a vote.

    They are already advertising. There is absolutely no relationship between hunting or hand gun rights and the possession of automatic weapons and high capacity rounds among people who do not need them.

    •  A gun in every hand is all they care about ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cazcee, sethtriggs

      It is interesting that the "chicken in every pot" used during the Hoover campaign in 1928 came from the Republican National Committee, the same that are completely in the bag for the NRA.  Sadly way too many Democrats are also in the pocket of the NRA.  We have done a good job at exposing Grover Norquist for what he is and we still have a long way to go with lobbyists in our Government, but the NRA is certainly the next entity we must target.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:37:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't thank you enough for this badly needed (3+ / 0-)


    I hope this conversation continues and grows. It will be people like you stepping up to call the NRA and their political lackeys out that will make change happen.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:43:50 AM PST

  •  Former NRA member (10+ / 0-)

    As a recreational target/skeet shooter (non hunter)  I joined the NRA back in the 80's because of the training courses. No other organization offered firearms safety training. Then noticed how political the organization was...and the fall-out w/ President Bush (the 90's) I was not into the "politics" of guns and just wanted the safety/education courses. NRA "lost" me in the early 90's.. too wacked on the political agenda.

    The NRA does NOT speak for me on issues. Firm believer in training, safety, back round checks and licensing of gun owners/sellers.

    My heart breaks for the families in CT. Prayers.

  •  An offshoot to consider ... (7+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this statement / discussion.

    The majority of Americans want rational gun control. And, at the end of the day, this likely would include a large portion (if not majority) of hunters.

    There is a huge gap between someone who goes into the woods before dawn to hunt for the table and the fetishist collected an arsenal more appropriate for a military unit.

    Something to consider:

    they try to conflate the good that is accomplished for conservation by hunting
    The NRA is, in fact, quite anti conservation. The NRA 'party line' is global warming denial.  In the face of that, any noise about 'hunting promotes conservation' is an absolute absurdity.

    Hunters/anglers actually are majority in terms of understanding that climate change is real and wanting to do something about it. Yet another case where NRA is counter to the beliefs, interests, and concerns of those it professes to represent.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:47:20 AM PST

    •  You make some key points about the NRA (4+ / 0-)

      You are absolutely right. The leadership of the NRA cares about one thing, and one thing only. Maintaining a flood of money from their members that will allow them to maintain their extremely wealthy standard of living. They are not conservationists, they are, as you say, deniers of science and global climate change.

      Worst of all, their primary technique is the spreading of lies, disinformation, and FUD (Fear and Doubt) among their members. They are responsible for the constant litany I hear from friends and acquaintances on the conservative fringe, all of whom insist constantly, despite any factual evidence to support their assertions, that Obama is coming to take away all of their guns. It is a myth that ranks right up there with Birtherism and Muslimness of Obama, all the insane lies and myths the ignorant and violent right wing have perpetrated for years now.

      It is sickening. It is time to put a stop to it.

      "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

      by HeartlandLiberal on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:09:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  20 Innocents Dead. NRA Has Blood on its Hands (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, Debby, zesty grapher, sethtriggs

    Twenty six people, 20 of them children, shot down in an elementary school in Connecticut, by a young man who is reported to suffering from Asperger syndrome. How did a person come to be in possession of these weapons?

    I own handguns.

    I have a permit to carry in Indiana.

    But there is no place for assault weapons and weapons designed for war and rapid fire in private hands. I believe every American has the right to own hand guns, shot guns, rifles, for hunting and personal protection.

    I also believe that the Federal government must put legislation in place to forbid the private ownership of assault weapons and weapons of war; and legislation must be enforced nationally to insure that no one with a criminal record or a history of mental illness can legally purchase and own and carry a gun. There must be national rules put in place, and enforced.

    I do not belong to the NRA, although I have owned guns my entire life, because that group is composed of evil, absolutist fanatics, who have perpetrated a great wrong on the citizens of this nation, mainly by lying constantly to their members about the threats that all their guns will be taken away. They are scum, with blood on their hands.

    It is time that this nation put an end to the influence of the NRA and gun manufacturing lobby, had actually confronted this issue.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:05:42 AM PST

  •  2nd amendment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, mamamedusa, LilithGardener

    I know that there are plenty of responsible gun owners. I know that hunting is part of our culture and still provides food for some. And I've generally supported the right to own guns in the past--though never assault weapons and the like.

    But the destructive side of gun ownership and availability permeates our society. It results in thousands of deaths every year, and increasingly, mass murders like the one in CT.

    I'm sorry, but for me, things have gone too far. I respectfully disagree with the responsible gun owners. I  favor a repeal of the 2nd amendment. I do not think gun ownership should be a right.

  •  got my first rifle before I got my drivers license (10+ / 0-)

    Most everyone I know owns one or more guns.  I was born, raised, and live in Texas.

    I don't see any reason for anyone who is not part of the military or National Guard (the modern, well regulated militia mentioned at the beginning of the 2nd Amendment) to have an assault rifle or high capacity magazine.

    There is no reason for anyone to own a handgun.

    Look at the stats.  These are the weapons that kill our fellow citizens on an all too regular basis.  We need to bring them under control.

    I get my share of discussions with hard core NRA/GOA and you know what their last argument always is?  That citizens have to have these weapons because someday, the people may need to stand up to the government.  They have this sick fantasy that they will one day stand shoulder to shoulder with Kurt Russel and Arnold Schwarzenegger behind an overturned car at the end of their block and defeat the gub'mint.

    It is that ridiculous, sick and irrational fantasy that prevents rational gun control.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:25:42 AM PST

    •  Yeah, Red Dawn and such nonsense (5+ / 0-)

      A few thousand nutjobs with Glocks and Bushmasters against Abrams tanks and helicopter-mounted chain guns. Uhuh. Yeah, they'd end up taking down some copters and tanks and last a few months, maybe years in isolated cases. But they'd lose in the end, making their point for owning such guns pointless.

      Guns aren't what keep us free. Citizen vigilance in the political arena is.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:01:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  those + (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        drones and these 6 weapons, most of which can't be used in battle, but are OK to use on citizens

        If we ever have to "battle the gub'mint" we'll do it the way Tiananmen tank man, Occupy, Walesea and Havel did, not the way the Syrians and Egyptians are.

        We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

        by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:13:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

    My feeling is most gun owners think like you. My husband is one of them. You have expressed the case for sensible gun regulation beautifully

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

    by onceasgt on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:36:03 AM PST

  •  I have a doe hanging (17+ / 0-)

    in the garage even as I type this.

    My .30-.06 is locked away in the basement with the five or six rounds I have left over after gun season locked away in a different drawer. I also bow hunt.

    My husband and I too feed our family on what we hunt-just had a venison roast in Marsala marinade last night.

    I do not own a handgun and I foresee no reason to ever do so.

    I have had both military and hunter's safety training. I am a markswoman.

    I would embrace any level of registration of my firearm, insurance requirement, restriction on ammo and magazine, and proficiency testing enacted in this country.

    I am not worried about anyone taking my rifle away.

    I guess I am a responsible gun owner.

    And after every single one of these instances of mass murder, accidental death of a child due to firearm, domestic violence death, or random gun death, I remember that I am the owner of the instrument that did it. Not the specific instrument, but an instrument that can and does kill. I never forget that. Never.

    Almost 10 year old Daughter: "Boys are pretty good, but daughters have sentimental value." Me: "I don't think that phrase means what you think it does." Daughter: "None of them do, Mom. More's the pity. Words have to be flexible in today's world."

    by left rev on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:45:03 AM PST

    •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Mywurtz, LilithGardener

      Obviously, you are secure in your confidence as a responsible and law-abiding gun owner and user that no amount of prudent regulation will lead to your guns being taken away, and I believe that you're right to feel this way, because few non-gun owners such as myself have any intention of trying to do that (and we'd fail if we'd be foolish enough to try, and deserve to).

      Now if only there were a lot more like you.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:57:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hunters like you need to stop allowing... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cazcee, stevej, kovie, mamamedusa

    ...yourselves to be used as poster children for the NRA. This diary is fine, but there has been far, far too little of that expressed by people like you.

    I am not aware of any efforts by gun owners to organize to tighten regulations on gun ownership. If there have been, we should all try to support and publicize them as much as possible.

    What have you done to support stronger regulations on firearms?

    •  Well, for starters, he wrote this very (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, sethtriggs, mamamedusa, peggy

      articulate diary speaking to the very issue you'd like him to. If I'm misreading the tone of your post, I apologize, but I think the diarist did a very nice job NOT allowing himself to be used as an NRA poster child.

      OldJackPine, perhaps you could send your diary to your local newspapers to help pop the myth that gun owners are all against any form of gun control.

      •  There have been 14 massacres in the past year. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And how many years has it been since Columbine? So yeah, this diary is nice, but it's a pretty paltry effort and it's pretty late.

        All "responsible" gun owners, the diarist included, owe a little more to the rest of us whose children are collateral damage to their fun little hobby of shooting animals.

        Make no mistake: The laws that allow them to pursue their hobby are one reason those children were murdered.

        Franky, I don't think the trade-off between recreational hunting and mass murder is worth it. YMMV.

        •  Kos is a place to launch a responsible gun owners (0+ / 0-)

          group. Expat is unreasonably expecting a private citizen to overcome the NRA all on his own and to personally police a hundred million gun owners.

          All of the democratic politicians (Kerry comes to mind) have given up on the issue.

          I'm tempted to HR, but I won't.

          Conservation is green energy

          by peggy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:34:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Reading isn't your strong suit. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Expat is unreasonably expecting a private citizen to overcome the NRA all on his own and to personally police a hundred million gun owners.
            Where did I say that?

            As for your notion to HR, knock yourself out, Peggy. Expressing an opinion isn't HR-able, as you would soon find out.

    •  What I've been thinking (0+ / 0-)

      is that if responsible gun owners won't regulate their own, we'll have to do it for them. It's their choice. Although, I think they've already made it.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:53:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant commentary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Mariken, LilithGardener

    Thanks for this post.  I am not a gun person, at all, but my grandfather was a hunter and had a cabinet (locked!) full of guns, and I was taught to respect them.  As with you, most hunters, sportsmen and collectors that I've run into, from my grandfather to others I have met, are advocates for responsible gun ownership and reasonable controls.  What we have now is the NRA pushing an extremist position and putting a lot of money into political threats.  That is something we need to push back against, and the leadership of responsible gun owners like you will go a long way.

  •  I don't own guns myself... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, LilithGardener

    ...but I live in central PA where guns and their ownership is almost a religion - and I can heartily agree with this statement.  As I explain to my right wing coworkers, their right to own guns will never be in jeopardy in this country, though my right of choice already is.  If you need a license to drive a car, something that could kill people, what sane person could not support common sense regulation on something that was designed to kill?  

    Even someone who doesn't own guns believes in other American's right to own them.  Having some control on who gets them and what kinds of weapons we can get will only legitimize the cause of those who use their guns responsibly.

  •  We can start by changing the terms (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie, Catte Nappe, LilithGardener, Shuruq

    I don't know how many to change, but "assault weapon" is one of them.

    Do you cringe when you hear the Right refer to the "Democrat Party"? Or did it annoy you when the MSM embraced the anti-abortionists' recrafting to "pro life"?

    Well, "assault weapons" is in precisely the same mold. And decades before it was "Saturday night specials". They're emotional terms designed to create a visceral reaction and they don't belong in sincere discussions of widely divergent views.

    Unlike the diarist, I was a member of the NRA once—back in the late '60s, early '70s. I became disturbed at content in The American Rifleman that arrived every month—not articles or editorials, but advertising content. It had ads for products that didn't belong in a firearms advocacy journal, in my view. So I left.

    I'm also not a hunter. I find it personally horrifying, but then I also think a bolt in a cow's brain equally horrifying. Nevertheless, I love steak, so I've found a way to resolve my hypocrisy as I do with hunting.

    I think the issue that would be easiest to address initially would be magazine capacity. There is just no reason for Joe Citizen to need 14 rounds in a pistol nor more than a half dozen in a rifle. Magazine plugs in shotguns have been required for most of my life—how is that any different?

    I also believe we need to dial back considerably the notion that open or concealed carry is any sort of good idea on any level. I've discussed it before. Carrying a  weapon serves principally to elevate the possible outcome of any altercation to an unacceptably terminal level.

    I am more than willing and eager to start the needed dialogue there. Unfortunately, it won't be enough to quell the zealotry from the Right, but maybe it can help quell the zealotry from the Left and energize the framework a bit.

    •  I think we need to regulate the purchase (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, Shuruq

      of bullets. With gazillions already out there this would have little initial impact, but over time, as people depleted their supplies in legitimate usage, it would. Sure, there would still be black market sales and underground manufacture, but it would be bound to make it harder for unlicensed people to obtain them.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:52:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have owned guns most of my life........... (6+ / 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.The only thing that can get such a group powerful enough is the fuding and support of responsible gun owners and progressive allies.

    Until then we are pissing into the wind.  

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

    by cazcee on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:04:28 AM PST

    •  I bet that people said the same thing (6+ / 0-)

      about segregation in the late 40's and early 50's. Things have a way of not changing much for many years, then changing suddenly, seemingly almost overnight. This has been building for decades and may be coming to a head, like the overthrow of the conservative era.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:48:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your are right Kovie.............. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie, mamamedusa, LilithGardener

        the Civil Rights movement reached a "tipping point" in the late 50's and early 60's wherein  recognition of the injustice inherent in segregation and "separate but equal" became widespread throughout the majority of the nation.  I hope we are close with respect to the issue of gun violence and I know we are at least closer today than we were a year ago.  

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

        by cazcee on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:03:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think this can be said of pretty much (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cazcee, LilithGardener

          anything associated with the era of conservative dominance. It's ending, and so it follows that everything that it propped up will weaken and likely fall. E.g. the war on abortion and gay rights, the war on science, evolution and global warming, the mantra of endless tax cuts for the rich and cuts to entitlement and other benefits programs, the financialization of our economy and the destructive effect of such, the retreat from keeping our country's infrastructure and schools able to meet our present and future needs, etc. I believe that these and everything else is on the verge of experiencing a turnaround and renaissance.

          Look at the recent evidence. Who would have thought 10, even 5 years ago, that gays would be allowed to serve openly in the military and get married, that pot would become decriminalized, that wind turbines and solar arrays would be put up nationwide in such numbers, that our wars would finally be winding down, that we'd be on the way towards national health care, and so on? And these are just the start. I expect much more great things to come over the next few years as the conservative edifice designed to prevent them comes toppling down.

          And one of these will be prudent gun regulation.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:22:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for your sincere comment (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure you had reasons to own a handgun, that made sense at the time you acquired the handgun. And your reasons may still make sense.  That's your business.

      This part of your comment made my heart sink:

      and keep a handgun in the trunk of my car.
      You do realize that the trunk of any vehicle is not a secure location for any firearm, right? My intent is to ask you to sincerely think this through.

      If a determined person somewhere in your day to day life were to steal your vehicle and use your handgun in a violent crime, perhaps to murder one or more people in your community - where would your responsibility end, and theirs begin?  What do you see as your responsibility for preventing that potential outcome?

      The mother of the shooter considered herself a responsible gun owner. I'll assert the facts outweigh her former opinion. (May her soul rest in peace).

      No one plans to have their own weapon stolen and used for murder, yet it happens, all too frequently.

      •  While I appreciate your concern................ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        short of a bank vault there is no place to lock up a gun that is absolutly secure. Homes are burgalaized everyday and gun safes stolen or broken into. I could get mugged and the gun stolen as I take it to the car.

        The gun is no less safe hidden and locked in the truck of my car, to which only I have the key, than it is in the house where multiple adults live.  I have been a shooter most of my life and still enjoy it on occasion. I own property out in the countryside where I can shoot safely but getting there, of course, requires travel by automobile.  

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

        by cazcee on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:48:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do I understand your approach? (0+ / 0-)

          I hear you - that guns stored in a safe or locked cabinet at home can be stolen when someone breaks into the home.

          Do I understand correctly, that you keep a handgun in the trunk of your car when you are driving your car, but when you are not in your car, the hand gun is with you, on your person?

          And when you're at home, the hand gun is with you inside the house?

          That seems pretty reasonable to me.  

          I know there are hypotheticals - and yes, one can have a property stolen off one's person. I live in New York and no longer keep a weapon at home (or in my non-existent car).

          Part of my decision was indeed that difficulty of truly securing a weapon in an apartment in NYC.  The risk of the weapon being stolen or being used against me was too high for the marginal value of having it in the event of a riot, or some other kind of crisis.

          •  OK, Let me try to make this............. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            perfectly clear to you.

            This handgun stays hidden and locked in the trunk of my car 24-7. I do not carry the gun on me as I have no illusions that carrying a handgun somehow makes me safer. In addition, it is not a "self-protection" gun; as it is a 22 Cal 9" barrel pistol used for target and varmit shooting.

            I haven't tried to get, nor do I want a concealed carry permit for this or any other gun; although I would have no problem with having to be "permitted" just to own the gun.  The gun will remain in the trunk of my car until I die, quite driving or sell the gun; all of which may not be that far away as I am 65.

            I really don't appreciate someone, no matter how well intentioned or with whom I share progressive views,  who does not know me or know my background, education, traing,  history,  intellgiece or living situation thinking they have the right to sit in judgement of my actions or lifestyle.  It is just this type of "know-it-allism" that make many of us, including me at times, undbearable and counter-productive to out causes.

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

            by cazcee on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:28:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did not mean to offend - (0+ / 0-)

              I am certainly not a know it all, and have made different choices about firearms at different times in my life.

              I support the right to keep and bear arms, even though in my current living situation, I don't keep or carry a firearm, because I decided it was impractical. That was my personal choice.

              Learned to shoot a 22 at age 10 - (grew up on a farm, miles from the nearest neighbors).  My mother shot ground hogs from the kitchen window. (Don't laugh). I have no idea where the rifle was stored most of the time, but I highly doubt that it was locked up in any way. My parents didn't lock anything. But that was a different time and place, than what we have today.

              You're right that I don't know you, or what makes sense in your situation. You don't owe anyone an explanation. Thank you for sharing in detail what makes sense for you.  Reasonable people can see the same set of facts and disagree about interpretation.

              I'm sorry that my comments about what makes sense to me came across as judgmental of you and your choices.

  •  I come from the back woods of No MN (13+ / 0-)

    And have been trained in the use of guns since I was young. That included safety training. We were not even allowed to point toy guns at each other.

    I also have more formal training which I paid for myself.

    We ate a lot of venison. Still do. Some of my family get their deer every year with bow and arrow. We also learned that on the farm. We had a practice range set up and that is where all the training took place.

    The values up north are that if you kill an animal, it better be for food.

    I have never joined the NRA because the NRA is really just a Republican organization whatever they may claim. They are out of step even with their own members. They shut down the conversation that we need to have. That is because they really don't represent their members, but rather gun sellers and gun manufactures.

    I have been against assault rifles for a long time. You don't need an assault rifle to kill a deer. One big problem is gun shows where no back ground check or waiting period is required. This needs to change.

    The conversation needs to take place. And, the power of the NRA over politicians needs to be broken.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

    by JayRaye on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:09:23 AM PST

  •  The firearms are said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to have been registered in the name of the Mother. What is a kindergarten teacher doing owning Glocks? The pathology in this family may not have been limited to the gunman.

  •  An excellent diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, LilithGardener, Shuruq

    Now it is up to you and people like you to really start making a noise and come out against the NRA and those who think like they do - including those who use this site.

    I will believe that you are serious when I see you taking up the argument with RKBA members here who obviously feel very different than you. The ones who do utilize the NRA's thin end of the wedge and guns don't kill people lines.

    Again excellent diary - now time to think about the next step.

  •  It's obviously about much more than guns (5+ / 0-)

    We live in a society obsessed with violence and militarism and excessive outward displays of toughness. Look at the best-selling video games year after year--Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Red Dead Redemption. Look at how easily we got into and stayed in the Iraq and Afghan wars. Look at all the top-grossing violent movies and TV shows about violence and crime. Look at the sheer orgiastic glee we displayed when Bin Laden was killed. Look at how popular militaryesque SUVs were until very recently. Look at all the gun crimes committed each year. Look at all the domestic violence. Hell, flashlights are being sold as "tactical", whatever the hell that means. We're obsessed with violence and it's killing us.

    We also live in a society that is in many ways broken, economically, socially, emotionally. The economy is still depressed, unemployment is still high, people who have jobs often work several of them or overtime for barely enough pay to live on, and these jobs are very unsatisfying and often without benefits, people feel disconnected from each other, chain stores have homogenized the country and destroyed regional traditions, we've been divided over social and other issues by a party that has deliberately sought to divide and conquer us, and as a result there are millions of unhappy and angry people who don't feel rooted and don't know where things are headed, and some of them are bound to snap.

    But it's also about guns, obviously, both our perverse fascination with them, and our excessive purchase and ownership of them to an extent clearly not warranted by their various intended uses. I'm not talking, as the diarist did, about guns owned for legitimate purposes, such as hunting, target practice, self-defense, family heirlooms, etc., but about certain kinds of special purpose guns intended for military or law enforcement use that no civilian needs to or should own or use, like machine guns, automatic pistols with 30 round clips, sniper rifles, etc. Don't tell me that you need to own such guns because you simply don't, unless you're in one of these fields or own a gun range or museum where everything's safely locked away when not in use or on display. Stop lying to me and hiding behind "FreeDumb!" and all that other neo-Jeffersonian crazy talk. You're an insecure and quite possibly crazy person in need of therapy, not a Glock.

    Not the diarist, of course. I'm referring to those crazy NRA fanatics he's talking about. We need to stand up to these crazy and irresponsible bullies already. The 2nd Amendment wasn't intended to let me own a freaking Bushmaster!

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:45:55 AM PST

  •  Good of you to write Jackpine, (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see much in the way of solutions, one sides is fearful of often the wrong thing and the other side is worried by the rhetoric of extremes.

    Besides that I can think of only a couple senators who are life long gun users.

    Hope you have a merry Christmas and your boy is rightly proud of bringing home some meat.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:52:59 AM PST

  •  Tipped, rec'd, & followed. Repeatedly if I could. (5+ / 0-)

    You just became my favorite Kossack, OldJackPine.    

    I hunt and live in an area (northern MN) where hunting is a way of life and I know plenty of progressives who hunt and there are great arguments for harvesting game being more humane and sustainable than meat from large-scale farming.  

    But I HATE that any time I put on an orange vest, I give the impression that the fascists and whackjobs at the NRA in any way speak for me or the hunters that I am willing to associate with.  I do not see any of the ideas you propose as a threat to my legitimate use of a firearm as a tool and I'm so damn sick of the right-wing nutjobs wanting to play word games and muddy the water between guns used for hunting and reasonable recreation vs guns only intended to intimidate and kill humans.  

    Thanks for this diary.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:07:49 AM PST

  •  Terrific diary ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is the starting point and your experiences should ring true for many gun owners. When peopl can see themselves in the argument, they tend to respond more positively.


  •  Screw hunters...well 99% of ones near my ranch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, tommymet

    Let's see....leave gates open,have shot back from Little immigrant canyon and hit my barn twice this year,shot my donkey 5 years ago "looked like a deer dude",shoot up locks on gates,litter,take rack and leave the deer,drive drunk on atv's on the way to get more beer,shot my local bear because he could..fuck him I really liked that bear,spot light game,get lost or break down and expect me to help their hillbilly or city asses.I really don't know which type are worse...methed out Anglos,Mexican Americans from Tucson or the hunters rights guys that are always pushing for access....go home and take your damn guns with you. On the other hand...I met a respectful 80 year old bow huner with a perfectly set up old school camp next to his 1969 Chevy apache pickup.He had taken a deer with a old Fred Bear bow,hiked back with it on a aluminum trailer he welded himself and harvested ever bit of product from the deer...he was reading Orwells Homage to Catalonia too...he gets the gate combo to the high country from now on...the rest of you guys...well shoot yourselves in the face

    •  Those people aren't hunters (6+ / 0-)

      they're slobs.  There are slob drivers, slobs in the grocery store checkout lines, even slobs in online comment sections...but yeah, I feel your pain--hunting is a vocation that seems to really attract a disproportionally-large group of slobs and rednecks.  I'm a hunter and I'd never dream of doing any of the things you listed in your comment and I cringe every time I hear those stories because most of them are true.  Some rural areas seem to have little enclaves of absolutely disgusting rednecks, who also happen to like to treat guns like toys.  Fuck THOSE people....but not hunters in general.  

      Sorry those things happened, corvid.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:00:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's typical behavior around here too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Drunken men with guns in the woods at night, poaching deer and elk, killing bears for kicks, setting dangerous traps for coyotes, target practice with automatic weapons... It  terrifies us to hear them. Until we get rid of the poachers, we can't give permission to decent people to hunt here.

  •  Very well written level setting. Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

    by kck on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:16:28 AM PST

  •  Responsible adults. (0+ / 0-)

    Here is what I consider a very important statement in your diary:

    I am a dad.
    In the reporting I've read so far, no mention has been made of the boy's dad.

    I think, ( not, a firm opinion, just an inkling), this may be an important fact.
    I'm not making a case for traditional marriage, or against single mothers or same sex parentage, etc., but I do believe a child (boy or girl) needs a strong reliable father figure and a strong reliable mother figure.

    I'm also not opposed to hunting, gun sport, gun ownership or collecting or appreciation for arms as technological or artistic creations.
    I think gun responsibility is an important requirement of civilization which begs for bonding such as your diary expresses.
    In any case, we need a definition of manhood which is about responsibility rather than the brandishing of a weapon.
    I think your voice is an important one in that direction.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:18:20 AM PST

    •  Seriously? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, zesty grapher

      You're making the suggestion Mitt Effing Romney did at the town hall debate when asked about Equal Pay for women - "single mothers indirectly contribute to kids engaging in gun violence". There is no excuse for these kinds of backwards comments. And would you think the prospects of a kid living in constant emotional turmoil and fear because their dad physically and/or verbally abuses their mom (and maybe them as well) regarding violence are better than kids raised by women who sought to protect their children's lives and their own by leaving the abuser? Or are you really that naive that growing up in an environment that is aflame with resentment and constant fights will help children grow up to be more mature, stable, responsible people?

      Do you feel women are cattle inasmuch that it's normal to set requirements for them when they have kids (like they are the only ones involved in the process) that they should marry the first available non-volatile looking man? Don't they sacrifice themselves enough for their kids as it is? That's the kind of rhetoric you are using. It's absolutely telling that none of this talk centers on trying to educate the tens of millions possible future deadbeat/runaway dads and spousal abusers before it's too late (nor does it ever center on punishing those of them who have already turned into these types of scumbags) but the blame needs to be put on the person who is actually much more of a human being than many of these guys could ever aspire to be.

      •  No I didn't. (0+ / 0-)

        You're totally misrepresenting what I'm saying.
        I expressly said I'm not making an argument against single mothers or same sex parentage.

        I am not setting any requirements for any single parent, man or woman.

        I think any single parent should recognize that a boy or a girl needs, somewhere in their life, a strong male figure and a strong female figure. It might be a teacher or it might be an uncle or aunt, grandfather or grandmother.

        I think there is currently an epidemic of immaturity in American adult males.

        I think there is a degree of immaturity among too many parents in our society.

        Not every single parent will be able to provide the optimum circumstances for their kid, but if there are more trustworthy, responsible adults out there in the world we will have a better society for those kids to thrive in.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:36:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  His parents divorced just a few years ago. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have seen an article or two about his dad just emerging. New cycle. The shooter had those figures in his life as he grew up. Fat lot of good that did us. Kids need people who love them, whatever the situation. I know gay couples lovingly raising kids. I know single moms doing the same thing. And sometimes that is not enough. This has little to do with parenting except for the fact that this troubled young man was allowed access to his mother's guns--and what the hell was up with that anyway? Mom and her Glock?

      Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

      by Debby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:23:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your rational and thoughtful words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    “When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun'.” ― Groucho Marx

    by Sam Sara on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:19:09 AM PST

  •  NRA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz
    But don't direct it at gun owners who could be allies in the fight against the NRA
    Let me ask this: If it's a firefight, will you bring your guns? Guns are good tools, but not in the hands of the insane. The NRA leadership is comprised wholly of the evil and paranoid — precisely those who would fail a sanity test and thus should have their guns taken away. They have vowed to use those guns to prevent this. If it should come to this, will we have substantial numbers of gun owners, the sane ones, on our side?

    As Lincoln knew, there are times when civil war against organized traitors are necessary and just, despite the terrible cost. Such great losses can be required to secure a better future. Isn't it time to take the NRA at its word, it's fervid paranoid word, judge them what they are — too insane to own guns — and take those guns from them?  Free speech is one thing, even when it's contagious and paranoid. Those who succumb to the contagion of clinical paranoia should not be allowed arms. Yes, the action of taking their arms will "justify" their paranoia and some will start firing. So be it. Isn't this, and not the threat of gun nuts voting, what the politicians are really scared of? What do we maintain our expensive armies and police swat teams for if not to remove these active terrorist threats from our midst?

  •  The gun nuts' argument that taking away... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, tommymet

    ...their AK 47 or semi infringes on their right to keep and bear arms falls on its face if one then asks: "well, by that logic, should you be allowed to harbor a nuclear weapon"?

    Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

    by msirt on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:23:49 AM PST

  •  I saw 3 Thompson machine guns (0+ / 0-)

    or Chicago typewriters for sale on auction recently.  I think they were all fully functional.  I can think of no reason the average person would have for owning a fully functional Thompson (acknowledged that collectors may have an interest in a decommissioned one)

  •  I agree with the diarist wholeheartedly. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, Wood Dragon, tommymet

    As a man who agrees wholeheartedly with the legitimate need for firearm ownership, I believe a a compromise needs to be made, and the Diarist shows the best way to do that - a way that is better for everyone involved. Count me in, noble OldJackPine.

  •  Thank you for saying exactly what many of us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz

    believe, too. I am thankful for responsible gun owners like you.

    Liberal (from Webster's Dictionary): tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded

    by 50sbaby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:30:20 AM PST

  •  I just can't figure out (7+ / 0-)

    Why gun ownership can't be licensed like a car,boating in many states, motorcycle, etc...   All of these activities require a training class, hours behind the wheel and a test.  I mean you need a license to fish.  

    That would be where I would start in this debate.  If you have a gun you need to be required to stand behind it.
    I would also add an insurance requirement based on state and location.  That extra money would pay to support the new gun program.

  •  Hunting and guns are as common in the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, zesty grapher, Shuruq

    midwest as trees and lakes.    Assault rifles need to go.   Huge magazine clips need to go.   Killer bullets need to go.  There is no reason a sport shooter or a hunter needs any of that.   We use to belong to the NRA.  Quit 20 years ago because they were such idiots.

    If money is speech, then speech must be money.

    by dkmich on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:44:56 AM PST

    •  I agree with all except for "killer bullets." (0+ / 0-)

      If I'm defending myself with a rifle or handgun, I want a hollow point that won't pass through my target and wound a neighbor.

      The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

      by bubbajim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:49:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's truly apply the Second Amendment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If we really want to respect the true meaning of the Second Amendment, then we should respect the right of the people to bear muskets. Those were the 'arms' that the Founding Fathers were referring to. They didn't say anything about automatic weapons, revolvers, or multiple-shot weapons, so those aren't covered by the Second Amendment.

    •  Let's truly apply the Commerce clause of Article 1 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shuruq, tommymet

      and limit trade to wagons and sailing vessels.

      The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

      by bubbajim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:51:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your concept is sound but (0+ / 0-)

        The definition of trade does not include the means of transport, so the Commerce Clause is not out of date. You have a better argument with respect to television, radio, and the Internet, none of which involve "speech" or "the press"; accordingly, the First Amendment does not, in a strict reading, apply to those media.

        My real point here is that a strict reading of the Constitution necessarily leads to absurd results.

        •  And, in fact, there have been discussions about (0+ / 0-)

          the first amendment in re these media.

          I was being deliberately absurd. Yes, I know that I wasn't making a good argument. I just think that incremental improvements to firearms aren't the same as the advances in communication.

          I will agree that it is good that fully automatic weapons and rockets aren't in the hands of civilians.

          But I like having a pump shotgun under my bed or couch. If someone tries to invade my home, I'd like to get off more than one shot.

          There is a vast area between an AK 47 and a musket. I think the answer is somewhere in that area.

          The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

          by bubbajim on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:21:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have no problem with hunters (0+ / 0-)

    who use the meat to feed their families.  That is the original purpose of hunting.  As a meat eater I cannot be squeamish about that.  When I was a small child I lived in an extended family home and my uncle used to hunt and bring meat home to my aunt who would cook it for all of us, although I was reluctant to eat it (saw Bambi at an impressionable age).

    Sport hunting, killing things for the pleasure of killing them and bragging about it, disturbs me.  But anyone who is hunting and eating, or wearing the skins to keep warm in a cold climate, that's probably deep in our DNA.

    thank you, OldJackPine, for speaking out and for being willing to have a rational discussion of where we should draw the line with respect to tactical weapons and high capacity magazines.  

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:53:04 AM PST

  •  a gun enthusiast in the office yesterday (4+ / 0-)

    said: "The NRA is all about gun sales."

    And that's what I believe. Families have been pitched these expensive (non-hunting) guns as a purchase that will keep their families "safer." although gun proponents claim the studies are bogus, there are many studies that say families with (non-hunting) guns in the home are at higher risk of gun violence; certainly true in this case.

    Canada is full of hunting rifles, and they have orders of magnitude lower rates of deaths by gun violence than U.S. does. I'm talking about the kind of guns, if reports are true, that the shooter's mother had in the house, including the gun the shooter used to kill her.

    No, the country is not going to "ban guns." It's a big country. Who would come take them all away? (just like what I used to say to those here who thought Bush was building FEMA concentration camps for dissenters).

    We didn't ban cigarettes, did we? But we've reduced rates of smoking, and deaths from such, even though it took a long time.

  •  The fact is (5+ / 0-)

    If there were zero guns there would be zero shootings. Look at the madman in China who went berserk and stabbed 20 children. None died.
      Or the case in Wyoming. You're pretty much limited in how many people you can kill in a bow and arrow shooting spree.

      If extended magazines for pistols didn't exist, the type of close up massacre we saw in Ct. and in the Gabby Giffords case would be much more difficult if not impossible.
      That wouldn't stop the well hidden sniper, but it would cut way down on a particular type of crime.  
      A good start would be a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines, and a ban on the possession of such a magazine.
      It's true that a practiced murderer can change magazines quickly, but he would have to carry a bunch of magazines and he would have to be practiced.
       There could be a reporting requirement for the purchase of extra magazines.

       The type of body counts that we've seem recently require
    semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines. Ameliorating the carnage is probably the best we can do. A restriction on magazines wouldn't inconvenience legitimate hunters or sportsmen at all.

    •  Question (0+ / 0-)

      What happens when some madman decides to drive his SUV through a crowd of children (with likely a high death count) when he no longer has access to a gun or other weapon of choice?

      Do you then want to ban ownership of all cars and SUVs?

      While we're at it...let's also ban alcohol since there are 11,000 deaths yearly caused by drunk driving. Oops, didn't we already try that? How did that work out for us?

      •  let's not make anything illegal then! (0+ / 0-)

        that's the logical end of your reasoning, right?

      •  You missed the point (0+ / 0-)

        Dallas called for restrictions, not blanket illegality.

        For instance, we regulate who can buy SUVs and require them to pass certain tests. We also heavily regulate what kind of vehicles you are allowed to drive on the roads in the first place (notice there are no dragsters on the freeway).

        Suggesting the same kind of approach to guns is perfectly reasonable.

    •  And ban semi-automatic handguns. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
  •  Starting point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you for setting out a place where  discussions could start.  The continued insistence by the NRA and the gun lobby to refuse any and all limits has brought us to a place where guns are revered by too many.  I am no expert but as the wife of a hunter (who also enjoys local game much of the year), I see no reason for the high capacity magazines, armor piercing ammunition (outside the war theatre) or the high velocity assault style weapons.  There are some things we can do and I thank you for your ideas.

  •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and have for awhile, we really do need to start talking about this issue. The NRA not withstanding. I saw on one of the cable news shows last night that over 70% of the NRA members think we should have this conversation too.

    In the case of what happened yesterday, that may not have had any effect on what happened though. Like was stated, anyone sufficiently motivated will get weapons anyway. That's what appears to have happened in this case, the weapons belonged to his mother.

    I don't understand why most of these tragedies are perpetrated against schools or just people in public venues.

    Keep moving. Its harder to hit a moving target.

    by KatGirl on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:23:10 AM PST

  •  Good Guys With Guns - Good (0+ / 0-)

    Here's one possible solution implemented in my home state:

    “Good guys with guns — good,” he said. “Bad guys with guns — bad.”
  •  An unsuccessful shoe bomb attack (7+ / 0-)

    resulted in nine years of inconvenience for every flier in the country. It would be nice to think that a diabolical act resulting in the deaths of so many vulnerable innocents might lead to some similar inconveniences.

    •  I hope it's okay with you (0+ / 0-)

      that I'm using your post as my sig. I had to pare it a little for character count so if you don't approve, let me know. We flew a lot (for us) last decade and Oh My Gawd, shoes off every damn time, be at the airport three hours before your flight, my toddler was led away to be specially wanded because something in her jacket or something set off the detector. But we can't even say the "R" word (regulated) after all this. No, thanks.

      An unsuccessful shoe bomb attack resulted in nine years of inconvenience for every flier in the country. It would be nice to think [this diabolical act] might lead to some similar inconveniences. --mrblifil

      by Debby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:38:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why doesn't the NRA regulate itself? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    The NRA should offer to regulate itself.  Have them implement licensing requirements including background checks and training and allow them to maintain their own database.  They could require all members to have a gun safe before they are licensed to purchase guns.  They could then feel comfortable that they control their own database without intrusion from the federal government, and can reduce or eliminate these type of tragedies.  

    Also with all of the technology available today shouldn't we be able to implement a gun lock that would only allow it to be fired by its owner?

  •  Time to recognize the NRA for what it is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's a lobbyist for the firearms industry, a cash cow for lobbyists and the politicians who suck up to it, and a political machine for some real nut case leaders. Protecting 2nd amendment rights is just a fig leaf to disguise the gravy train they've got going.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:46:51 AM PST

  •  Wow, thank you for this thoughtful (0+ / 0-)

    well-reasoned diary.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:49:37 AM PST

  •  Well stated. We are similar. I agree. (0+ / 0-)

    Mix the blood and make new people!

    by Yonkers Boy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:59:31 AM PST

  •  I hate the NRA BECAUSE I like guns. (8+ / 0-)

    I don't own a lot of guns, just a couple.  I keep meaning to buy more, and eventually I will.  But I'll do it responsibly, and I'll use them responsibly.

    The NRA is no friend of mine.  I feel about the NRA the way a lot of sincere followers of Jesus must feel about televangelists.   They're not representing me, and their paranoid idiocy is not representative of my viewpoint.

    Guns are great.  But they're also dangerous, and wide open to be used irresponsibly.  So, I'm in favor of gun control.  I'm a law-abiding citizen, so I trust that I'll still be able to buy guns... and I'm reasonable about what guns I have a use for.  While assault-type weapons can be fun to shoot at targets, they're not actually that useful in civilian life.  You'd be an asshole to go hunting with something that sprays bullets; you should work on your marksmanship if you'd need that.  And, for home protection, a shotgun is more than enough.  Anyone who needs a 50-round clip has more than a burglar problem, and that's a "Red Dawn" scenario that's just not going to happen.  So, while I do like guns, I'm okay with limiting the kind I have access to, because I don't want psychopaths to have access to them, either.

    Gun control doesn't mean "no guns."  The idea of banning all guns is ridiculous.  In all truthfulness, I personally know more people whose lives have been ruined by alcohol, drugs, and religion than by guns.  All of those things can be fine if used responsibly, and devastating if misused.  But you'll never remove them from society.  I fucking hate alcohol, because some of the people I love most have suffered incredible things due to drunks.  But the fact is, we tried prohibiting alcohol once, and that was a total disaster that did the most to start organized crime in this country.  Instead, we have regulations on alcohol.  Are they working?  No... but they're helping.  Drugs can be miserable things if misused, but the "war on drugs" is a failure, too.  It, also, creates more crime.  Religion can be a wonderful thing for some people... for others it's a cause of hate, violence, misery, and self-defeat.  But you couldn't stop religion even if you tried, because there's no way to regulate what's inside people's heads... and nor should there be.  And you cannot deprive the responsible of things due to the actions of the irresponsible; it's not only unjust and unfair, it also just doesn't work.

    So, guns are like many other things in our society -- dangerous in the wrong hands, beneficial or enjoyable in the right hands.  It's important to make sure we're doing as much as we can to ensure that only the right hands hold them, because we are all sick of innocent people being killed by these sick, psychotic fucks.  

    And the NRA is not doing that, at all.  The NRA has its head in the sand and refuses to confront the problem -- they're not willing to compromise, and they're too paranoid about "having their guns taken away."  No one's going to take our guns away.  I'd fight back if that were to happen... but, I know it's not going to -- it's a paranoid scenario.  The NRA is nothing more than a business - they're trying to jack up gun sales.  That's why they scare-monger people about "taking away your guns" to get them to buy more, stockpile ammo, and raise sales.  They're working for gun-sellers... not gun-owners.

    And their bullshit is, in fact, detrimental to gun owners, because they make us look unreasonable... when most of us are not.  

    Any responsible gun owner is in favor of gun control, because regulation keeps the rights we cherish from being used to enact atrocities we abhor.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:01:00 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peggy, Calamity Jean

    I'm not a hunter, but I appreciate what hunters do to limit the deer population in my area. (I just wish the DNR would issue more licenses). There are many ways to reduce gun violence that would not interfere at all with hunting. No hunter needs a semi-automatic handgun. No hunter needs to have more that three or four rounds loaded in a semi-automatic shotgun or rifle.

  •  Thanks OJP. I grew up in a hunting community (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wood Dragon, Calamity Jean

    and a hunting family. Most of my relatives still do hunt, and I know they'd be standing shoulder to shoulder with you today. We've had this conversation more than once, and the one thing that drives us crazy is the gun show loopholes that allow sales of just about anything to anyone. Glad to wake up today and see your diary at the top of the Rec list.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:34:20 AM PST

  •  Thank you. I agree completely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wood Dragon

    Started writing something similar yesterday but didn't finish it.

    I too live in a rural community where hunting is a part of life. Most homes around here have guns in them. Most folks around here are reasonable, responsible gun owners... and it's just not a problem.

    But I can't think of a reason in the world why anyone in this town would need weapons designed for war rather than hunting. Sure, they might be fun to fire off at a range but there is no actual need. Nor frankly is there a need for hand guns. Sure, we're rural and police patrols can take some time to get here but we don't have much of a crime rate beyond drunk driving either... and no, that's not because people own guns. Lots of people don't and they aren't victims of crime either.

    There are legitimate reasons for owning and using the tools known collectively as guns but that doesn't mean they can't be regulated in a reasonable fashion.



    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:36:47 AM PST

  •  We could start with gun insurance and a buyback (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I posted this is another diary as well, but here is my idea for starters:

    Require gun owners to buy insurance, and then require proof of insurance to buy ammunition. Break it down into calibers -- if you have a 9mm handgun with proof of insurance, you can buy 9mm ammo but not .45. Proceeds from insurance go to victims of violence and offset health costs. And a requirement for insurance still satisfies the "right to keep and bear arms." It hasn't been infringed.

    Combine the insurance requirement with a gun buyback program, so that people who don't want to pay for insurance have a legal way to get rid of the guns. And keep the buyback program in effect long-term, so that people who inherit guns (which is where a great many people get them, me included) have a way to get rid of them without just putting them in a closet.

    I realize this would lead to a black market in ammunition. End the stupid drug war and reassign those police to the new black market.

  •  the POTUS doesn't have the cojones (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to stand up to the NRA. Doesn't matter how many innocents die. Could be your best friend or child next, nothing's gonna change because the NRA is more important than our safety.

  •  Thank you for different perspective. I believe it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    time  politicians to listen to non-gun owners for a change.

  •  I'm not allowed to have a firearm (0+ / 0-)

    And I don't miss it'
    There is nothing a gun will do that a swift kick in the nutz won't accomplish.

    Either you're wit' us or a Guinness -- Brilliant!

    by Unforgiven on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:56:39 AM PST

  •  The most rational discussion of gun ownership (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psnyder, billmosby, Wood Dragon, peggy

    that I've read on this site.  Thank you!

    I avoided yesterday's diaries and the flame wars that inevitably erupted.  I was disgusted enough by what was on my FB feed.

    This is exactly my position on guns as a non-owner of any weaponry.  When I lived 100% of my time in NYC, I was knee-jerk anti-gun.  But 18 years ago, we bought a house in upstate NY and many of our neighbors are hunters. We began to understand the concerns of hunters and to admire how responsible our neighbors were not only about their guns, but about their communities and the environment.  

    We need a rational national discussion about guns, one that can only be accomplished if the loud extremes on both sides of the issue -- the NRA zealots and the anti-gun zealots -- are moved aside (or at least their volume turned way down) and the voices in the middle figure out a workable solution.

    "Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex." - David Frum

    by Glinda on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:01:49 AM PST

  •  Another thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Reel Woman, Wood Dragon, OldJackPine

    Hi Jack - Thank you for posting this. It is a most thoughtful post . . .  and I am pleasantly overwhelmed with the support you have gotten for it. As they say in Oz:  "Good on ya, mate!"

    I have been wrestling with this whole thing myself, and had decided that when I got my thoughts in order, that I'd post something myself. I may, still, but to a large extent, you have brought into focus much of what I had been thinking about.

    I grew up in the rural South. I lived on a farm. Hunting was as much a part of the rhythm of life as were the seasons, fishing, etc. I don't want to make this sound like some New Age gas or a BS pseudo-justification, and, yes, on the part of some people, going out hunting was just an excuse to get away from the house and drink a bunch of whiskey . . .

    But . . .

    My father was in the Navy in WWII. He had been shot at, dive bombed, and, during the landings on various islands in the Pacific, had dragged many a sailor and Marine out of the water during landings.

    He had seen death "up close and personal." So when we went hunting, he brought with him, and passed on to me, an awareness of what it's like to be on the business end of a weapon. Without having to be told, I understood that this wasn't just about taking another pull from the bottle. When you pulled the trigger, it was for keeps . . . on both ends of the barrel . . . When you pulled the trigger, you had to understand that it was with the intent of ending the life of a fellow journeyer on this earth.

    It was solemn, then, but later, I ended up in Vietnam. And, at one point, at the same end of a sniper's rifle that, in my not-too-distant past had been deer and geese and ducks. If he'd been a pro, I wouldn't be here to tell the story. His job was more to keep us pinned down than to add to head count.

    The point to this long introduction is to try to provide enough background that whatever I say on this topic is said through the filter of having kissed my ass goodbye as the result of being on the wrong side of rifle.

    I have been through the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" thing in my head to the point that I'm not even sure what it means anymore. At one level I am absolutely, completely in agreement with the sentiment. If a person really wants to kill another person, it will happen. The mechanism, be it gun, knife, garrotte, thrown off a balcony, whatever . . .Where there is a will, there is a way.

    A response to that is, well, OK, but at least let's take the "gun option" away. To which I reply: During Prohibition, it was illegal to sell alcohol. What was the response? Speakeasys, bathtub gin, bootlegging, rum running . . . and on and on. Did Prohibition stop drinking. No. Did it encourage drinking? Yes. Why? Because it was illegal.

    Consider the "war on drugs." There are a bunch of Class A drugs . . . heroin, cocaine, X, LSD . . . I tuned in, turned on and dropped out in the '60s and '70s . . . they were available everywhere and the nearest candy man or Dr. Robert could fix you up in no-time. I'm way past being in the scene, but I have no doubt that with in 12 hours of the time that I decided I'd like to score, I could do so.

    Same with guns. It might be able to take a bit longer . . . maybe even a week, but if I decide that I want an AK-47 or a Mac 10 or an RPG for that matter, I am confident that I could get my hands on one . . .

    The point is this: In the absence of complete, rigid and absolute enforcement, laws are more like guidelines for people who more or less agree with the law. The speed on the Interstate that runs through the city in which I live is 60 mph. In various places it is 3 or 4 lanes in each direction. Anybody who drives 60 mph in the slow lane is lucky they don't get rear-ended. Average speed in the "fast lane" is 75.

    Laws aren't the answer. They are, at best, statements about it would be really nice if people would just do xyz. Or not do xyz. People will find a way to do what they a
    want to do. The most one can expect from a "law" or a "ban" is to say that if you're dumb enough to get caught doing this, "Daddy's going to take your T-bird away."

    In the end, every decision a person makes, every choice a person makes is a function of their cost-value matrix at the time the decision is made. If a person is hell-bent on doing something, laws, rules, convention, what Momma says . . . none of those matter. It is the inverse that matters. It is what the individual has decided to do that matters.

    Laws work much better on people who would obey the law anyway. Not so much on crazy people. It's crazy people who do things like that. Sometimes they give off tells. Other times, he's the guy next door. Getting some who sick some help before they go off is much better for everyone than waiting until after they've done something. Some are going to get between the cracks. But they would get between the cracks with or without the law.

    Now, I'm not saying that I think that there is any good reason for people to AK-47s and MAC 10s lying around the house. But I know that if someone is serious enough to go the effort of getting one, they're not going to let a little law get in the way . . .

    My experience with "thou shalt not" laws is that, more often than not, they end up creating an environment that is worse than it was before the law was passed. Prohibition and the "War on Drugs" come immediately to mind.

    I will publicy take the position that I can see no reason whatsoever having automatic weapons around the house. I am not "for" the idea. Having said that, I am highly skeptical that having a law against them will have  the desired effect. I believe it could very easily have and undesirable effect. If someone wants badly enough to drop a hit of acid, they will go to the effort of finding someone to sell it to them. "Thou shalt not" laws have very little effect as deterrents. They do, however, result in the establishment of a black market infrastructure to support trade in that which the law was intended to ban.

    Just as with it was with 9/11, the key to preventing tragedies is having good intelligence.  Given what we know about the effectiveness of prohibiton laws, and how much money is spent enforcing it and prosecuting "the war on . . ." I would much rather see the money spent on that to be used instead on trying to head off tragedies like this. They are going to happen law or no law.

    We already have laws on the books against assaulting and killing people. They don't seem to have any deterrent effect. We already have laws about the possession of illegal firearms. They seem to be of no value as a deterrent. If we are going to do something to address this issue, and I am 100% for doing so, I'd rather spend the money that would be thrown at it trying to proactively keep things like this from happening rather than finding out too late.

    My $0.02

    "The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

    by lartwielder on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:09:53 AM PST

  •  Well said, thank you! Completely agree. (0+ / 0-)
  •  High capacity magazines (0+ / 0-)

    should be banned.  Anything over 3 rounds.  I'm just saying.  Banning assault rifles doesn't really do anything but make us feel a little better and perhaps lay down a stepping stone to meaningful reform.  Assault rifles account for a tiny percentage of gun violence in the whole scheme of things, including mass killings.  Don't get me wrong, I think they should be banned.  I'm just not sure it's addressing the core problem of gun violence.


    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:17:17 AM PST

  •  If this is an off-the-cuff diary, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wood Dragon

    I can't wait to see what you do when you're really trying.

    Thanks for a thoughtful and persuasive diary that hits exactly the right notes.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:24:33 AM PST

  •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

    anyone thinks that guns will be banned.  The point is we have to have a conversation about what kinds of guns are available and what people should be allowed to have access to them.

    There's really no need for automatic weapons to be available for hunting/recreational purposes.  There's no need for clips that hold more than 6 rounds.  We don't allow citizens to purchase bazookas, why can't we limit sale of certain weapon types AND require that people have a license and proper insurance, etc.

    The time for discourse on this issue is long overdue.

    We also need to address the fact that access to mental health care is severely limited in this country.  I have excellent health insurance but it does not cover ANY mental health treatment (aside from antidepressant meds).  We need more than Prozac to fix what ails us.

  •  Forgive me... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...but teddy bears, flowers, candles won't prevent future child murders by gunman; let's try gun control.

    We should definitely include conversations that involve precisely what OldJackPine saying.

  •  Not the NRA, a Union. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mamamedusa, zett

    Jack, you describe a familiar world; mine as a child.

    An old photo proves I sternly patrolled the edge of a stock pond with a little .22. Still have it, over a half century later.

    I was 5, and Dad was God Almighty as far as I was concerned. By that age he had burned gun safety into my head and the very thought of letting a gun point somewhere unsafe is unthinkable. The idea leaving a gun loaded is unthinkable.

    The extended family and friends were all the same way. "Hunting accidents" were no more possible than carelessly "oops" dropping an infant. Dad was raised that way too, reinforced by a lot of time in Guam, Saipan, and Okinawa.

    This was not a "gun nut" culture. Guns were not owned to just feel all Billy badass macho. It was just a tool for food, culling rabbits and convincing coyotes there were better places to be, an incredibly dangerous tool with zero margin for carelessness.

    I have no problem with a shooting hobby, let alone hunting. Self-defense too, but the odds of that event is vanishingly small. What is missing is an effective way to exclude people who are mentally unsuitable, untrained or simply clueless, and the NRA is failing bad at that.

    Instead of the NRA on a mission to just sell as many guns as possible, a gun owner's union seems like a better idea. Membership and training required for gun ownership, and acceptance by the union to screen out unstable types, and the local held at least financially responsible if a member goes nuts. It is quite possible that could become a strong self-governing body when it has to vouch for each person and their behavior.  Not to mention it would have all the  political power it might need.

  •  Was Nancy Lanza in NRA or (0+ / 0-)

    the National Sports Shooting Association (whose headquarters are in Newton, CT)?  I'm very eager to find this out.

    What kind of fucked up mother buys guns for her disturbed children and teaches them how to shoot them?  Nancy Lanza might be a victim, but she's still looking very bad in this.

  •  Step one, stop blaming the gun. (0+ / 0-)

    Every time a bad guy does something with a gun, the first thing that gun-control activists do is call the good guys with guns (i.e. police etc.). If guns are really the problem, why do gun-control activists keep calling those gun-totin’ good guys to come to their rescue? The root cause of the problem is that bad guys with guns outnumber good guys with guns.
    One real-life example is Virginia

    From 2006 to 2011, the total number of guns purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent, while the total number of gun-related violent crimes decreased 24 percent over that period. And when adjusted for population growth, the number of crimes further decreases to more than 27 percent, with 79 gun-related offenses per 100,000 in 2006 dropping to 57 by 2011.
  •  You sound like the poster person (0+ / 0-)

    for responsible gun ownership; you handle your guns responsibly, use them appropriately and I would wager you don't hunt w/ assault weapons and as non gun, never will owner, I salute you. This is what our society should be about. I don't necesarily like or understand what you do but as you are not harming anyone, you have a right to do what you need  to do, like feed your family.
    Grew up in So Cal, caught the car culture gene but the gun thing just bypassed me, I guess.
    So when can we start this dialogue about what should we do about the tolerance for gun violence?

    What do we want? Universal health care! When do we want it? Now!

    by cagernant on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:46:34 AM PST

  •  So, the debate will rage on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but the fundamental problem is a weapons industry that wants profits.  They don't mind at all who owns the weapons, and profit all the more from a fear-ridden society.  They pocket the profits, and the rest of us get to shoulder the resulting burden.  It's not all that much different from toxic chemical polluters.

    Tax them, and tax them hard, especially on big badass weapons and ammo sales.  Use that money to pay for guards in schools.  Make the weapons manufacturers fund an insurance pool to pay for the mayhem that descends on innocent people's lives when guns are used in crimes.

    Nobody can whine about taking guns away, but you know the manufacturers will scream to high heavens about unfair taxation and regulation.  Tough bullets for them.    

  •  Common sense is what is needed... (6+ / 0-)

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

    by rclendan on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:06:30 PM PST

  •  My suggestion to gun owners, and I am one, (0+ / 0-)

    is to start yesterday to force the NRA to stop using guns as a means of political power and money raising.  

    I suspect, that with this latest incident the NRA will have finally begun the inevitable result the will cause guns and ammunition to come under very tight federal government control.

    The federal government does have the responsibility to protect the public from the public and to protect the majority from being intentionally injured and killed by other members of the public.  It cannot watch citizen terrorists kill innocients and remain passive forever

    I don't kill anything for fun, profit, anger or anything else, though I would for self protection.  That is the only acceptable reason to own a weapon whose only purpose is to inflict injury and death.

    The ball is in the court of those who fire weapons in ways that do not injure others and who are NRA members.
    You are part of the problem and if you want to keep your rights to hunt and target shoot, they you will have to make the changes happen.

    I no longer have any sympathy for NRA members who use guns.  That moment has past.

  •  Thank you - perfect tone/perspective .. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I grew up with a hunter father (in an urban environment, no less) and we had/have guns. We also have the education and training, and, fortunately, had no mishaps through our lives. I do not hunt but enjoy shooting as a "clear the mind" activity. The handling of firearms focuses (and refreshes - which some do not appreciate) the mind like few other activities.

    The NRA was a sore topic. My father drank the kool-aid and is not interested in any restrictions. "It'll be the beginning of the end of gun ownership" would be his entire contribution to this topic.

    His position?

    If the mother owned the guns: There should have been trigger locks installed. Improper education/training - her fault.

    If the shooter owned the guns: He was unbalanced. Society couldn't know he'd do this - his fault. Guns don't kill people..

    I wish I could get him to read your comment - but he won't.

    I am confident that, eventually, we are going to get there. It will just have to be without him.

    It is doubly tragic that an incident such as this one in CT is seemingly the only thing capable of prompting change. As a representative said yesterday, "The time to have the gun regulation conversation is years before anything like this happened."

    I also believe mental health assistance is a large part of the gap in national (and rational) services, regulations and practices that allows this sort of tragedy to occur regularly. This, of course, ties back to our flailing, inadequate health-care system in general, and specifically the stigma of asking for help to treat what many see as a "weakness" in this "Can Do" - "Everybody for Themselves" - "Just Toughen the F* Up" society. Rachel M.'s show had Dave Cullen, the author of "Columbine", on last night, who made this point eloquently.

    Let's hope that this horrible event starts the winds of change blowing., where did I leave my torches and villagers?

    by FrankSpoke on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:23:05 PM PST

  •  Still open to ideas but came to this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I grew up around guns.  There were many types of guns in the house and as a kid I knew how to respect them.   I also was firing them at an early age.  I have been for background checks for gun purchases for quite some time.  This latest tragedy has made me think a little deeper and I have come to a change I could support.

    Currently, automatic weapons are illegal unless you have a federal license.  I think that all semi-automatic weapons should also fall under this same strict requirement.  This would include not only assault weapons but many handguns too. There is absolutely no reason for these to be in the hands of the general public.  This would leave revolvers and bolt action rifles (as well as some others) as the main weapons available to the public.  I think these should then require background checks and waiting periods as well as restriction on sales to certain individuals.

    You will not stop the sale of guns unless you overturn the 2nd Amendment and that's not going to happen any time soon.  By restricting access to semi and full automatic weapons it still leaves weapons for hunting, home protection and target practice available to the general public.

    This may not stop this type of tragedy from happening but it may stop the higher number of deaths that occur from the use of these weapons.

    Like I said, I am still open.

  •  Responsible gun ownership (0+ / 0-)

    I do most of my hunting with a bow, but good on ye for this diary. I fully share your notions that we need to talk about guns, gun-control and gun violence, and move to some reasonable regulations -- especially of the military style and rapid-fire weapons, big magazines, and so on. Real attention to mental health help for those that need it is also a good idea, and a step to keeping guns away from the troubled. And think how very, very troubled was the young perpetrator, to do what he did ...

    We'll never "understand," because the act isn't rational. About all we can say is that he must have been in a world of hurt and anger, far out of control. If only we could truly see these troubles before the catastrophic consequences!

  •  Jack, I know you love your gun. (0+ / 0-)

    And the hunting.  But maybe it's time to give it up.  

    Did you ever see The Yearling?  Penny Baxter knew full well that Jody was attached to the baby deer, but the deer just caused too much damage.  Something had to go.  

  •  Firearms in America... (0+ / 0-)

    Like almost every issue, this lies on a continuum with positions being held from one pole to the other and everywhere in between.  The one thing that has been too often lacking is calm, measured discussion of the issue.  For your excellent contribution to this rarity, good sir, I applaud you.  

    You are my brother, my sister.

    by RoCali on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:06:50 PM PST

  •  OldJackPine could keep his guns in Australia.. (0+ / 0-)

    After the Port Arthur massacre Australia changed gun laws in 1996, and it was the conservative party that pushed the laws through.
     A shooter like Old Jack would not even notice the laws, unless he wanted assault weapons.

     Wikileaks link shows the laws introduced

    Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture

    by nezzclay on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 02:08:40 PM PST

  •  I don't know what to say about your diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Drobin

    Think about this: the mother of the man who killed all those little children and about nine adults was somewhat like you describe as the model gun owner.  She, like you, loved her guns.  She learned how to use them well, and apparently used them in an enjoyable, safe way, and she, too, shared their operation with her son.  

    This may sound impolite, but I don't mean it that way.  Why do you need to own a gun?  If it was in a locker owned by the police, and you had the right to take it out and hunt for ex number of days, would that work for you?  And the same for your son.

    You know, part of the reason I chose my husband is he did not like killing deer.  He did not like killing anything.  I think he occasionally hunted, but something about it was just not him.

    We can have a national conversation but it will go no place.  You are among the best, and possibly so was the mother whose son just killed and killed and killed people, little tiny people mostly.  Guns are designed to kill.  That is the bottom line.

    •  Fair questions, I'll try... (6+ / 0-)

      I don't love my guns.  They're tools.  They are a necessary part of hunting.  Hunting is important to me personally because it fits my worldview for being a more intentional and contentious consumer of the planet's resources.  I also believe that regulated hunting serves an enormous societal good in North America by funding conservation and providing a means for reducing populations of overabundant wildlife.  But, also, it isn't for everyone.  I get that.

      For me, owning a gun is associated with being familiar enough with it (through practice mostly) to be efficient and humane when I kill an animal.   I am willing to accept the responsibility for the killing part associated with the meat I feed my family but that places ethical and proficiency requirements on me in terms of killing the animal humanely and operating safely for the sake of other people who may be nearby.  I fundamentally believe that if I choose to eat red meat, pound for pound locally procured venison is a better and healthier choice for living on this planet than feedlot beef that is trucked into my local grocery store.

      Being a vegetarian is an obvious choice and I respect it but my family is not prepared to make that jump. My closest friend is a vegetarian and I choose vegetarian frequently when I am traveling.  I also try to prepare more vegetarian meals when its my turn to cook - again to reduce the amount of commercially sourced meat we consume.

      Could I live with my guns kept for me in a locker down at the local police station? Possibly.  Probably - especially if it were part of a package of measures designed to prevent a disturbed person from having easy access.  In the interest of preventing another tragedy I am willing to put my interests as a gun owner/user on the balance.

  •  I hope you don't feel besieged (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by the surge in gun control talk after yesterday. As angry as I've been, when I really think about the policy I would enact it would be tailored pretty much the way you describe: to limit the ownership (especially in urban areas) of handguns and semi-auto rifles. Hunting, by and large, involves bolt-action rifles and shotguns. While these weapons are sometimes used to commit crimes they certainly are not the weapon of choice for those trying to create a mass-casualty situation.

    Furthermore, the focus should not be on gun ownership alone. Mental health funding and practices need to change as well. Schools need better ways to identify troubled students and better ways to help them. Even our overprescription of psychotropic drugs needs careful examination.

    In short: thanks for stepping up and again I hope you don't feel like you're being attacked. Thanks for the diary.

    •  Mental health is a seperate issue (0+ / 0-)

      and yes gun ownership, or to be more specific, access to a gun, should be the focus.

      •  The focus of what? (0+ / 0-)

        Mental health is in my opinion a central issue. There has to be a reason why Switzerland, where I believe all men up to a certain age are members of the Reserves and allowed to keep their service revolvers at home, has a much lower homicide rate than the US. Please correct me if I'm operating on outdated stats.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:48:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They can build, identify frames of ethics, behavio (0+ / 0-)

          This is some pseudo transactional analysis, psychology, but those reservists build, gain an adult ego-state not just the parent-child ego-states of the killer and his mom. Those reservists unable to exhibit the proper levels of stability don't get to run around with military weapons.

          The frame of ethics is equally important to the model of psychology. Assuming these stories of his mom are true, the kid was exposed to a horrible, weak, non-existent frame of ethics and we have those households all over the United States. National Geographic made television content celebrating those nuts.

          •  I think I get your meaning (0+ / 0-)

            You're saying the problem is that the mere fact of being a reservist makes you stable. But all Swiss men below a certain age are reservists (with perhaps some exceptions who are mentally unstable). Do you think if there were compulsory military service followed by reservist status for all American adults, there would be a precipitous decline in homicides and accidental shootings? If so, why?

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:11:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks. I don't feel attacked. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ccasas, zett

    I've been checking in as time allowed today and I've been grateful for the discussion.  

  •  Your opinion should be the mainstream gun owner's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Your reaction should be the common reaction.

    Thanks so much for expressing yourself this way. We need more people like you making this argument.

  •  I reject your argument and its reasoning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No. I don't buy your half measurement. Logic like that gets us things like civil unions. Because you're a church goer, but you believe that religion is sacred, but you hold nothing against them. It might not be your position but it's the same logic applied to another issue.

    You should be able to view a gun in a museum or if you're in the military or a police officer. That's it. You don't need to hunt. You just do it because you sickly like to see animals die that you killed yourself. Because it beats eating vegetables or something.

    So no. I reject your gun ownership. I reject your hunting. I reject that someone like you is any better than the NRA. You have no reason to own a gun or to hunt other than that you want to and that you think you can get your hands dirty and still wash them clean. I reject it. Japan has 11 deaths by gun. We have just over 8750. It belongs in a museum and so do you, Doctor Jones.

  •  I think guns should be like treated like cars (0+ / 0-)

    You have to take a test before you get a driver’s license. You have to buy insurance and a license plate. If you have teenagers, you don’t let them drive the car until they’re ready. You can’t drive if you’re drunk.

    I don’t have a problem with people owning and using guns, I just think they should be regulated to some degree. Permits and licenses and rules about using them when you’re drunk. And so on.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:35:13 PM PST

  •  What a wonderful example (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, OldJackPine

    of those who respect life and know the power of a gun to take a life.  I have a grown son who has a rifle. It's under lock and key and he alone is the only one who knows where it is.  His fiance recently told him it might be a good idea to share this info with her once they're married.  He has no patience with those who scream about the right to bear arms yet take no responsibility for them.  He and my son-in-law are taking my 13 year old to a gun range as he expressed a wish to hunt with them. The first lesson is gun safety, over and over.  The incomprehensible tragedy in Newtown  is a call for all of us to take action NOW. privately and as a nation.
    The NRA is a has a powerful presence in DC. that abuses the 2nd Amendment.  The Constitution outlines our rights in this country.  Far too many twist their words and meaning to justify their selfish, irresponsible behavior and motives.
    The key word is "rational", a word the radical right runs from, the same reality challengedl people who preach about God, yet lack morals and compassion for others.  They, like certain politicians, are only as powerful as we allow them to be. Time for a HUGE can of whoop ass!

    Grover Norquist is a boil on the right butt cheek of humanity.

    by bluebuckeyewmn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:15:41 PM PST

  •  Why do you hunt? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

    by dov12348 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:02:27 AM PST

    •  I mentioned this briefly up thread (3+ / 0-)

      So let me simply copy from that...

      Hunting is important to me personally because it fits my worldview for being a more intentional and contentious consumer of the planet's resources.  I also believe that regulated hunting serves an enormous societal good in North America by funding conservation and providing a means for reducing populations of overabundant wildlife.  But, also, it isn't for everyone.  I get that.

       I am willing to accept the responsibility for the killing part associated with the meat I feed my family but that places ethical and proficiency requirements on me in terms of killing the animal humanely and operating safely for the sake of other people who may be nearby.  I fundamentally believe that if I choose to eat red meat, pound for pound locally procured venison is a better and healthier choice for living on this planet than feedlot beef that is trucked into my local grocery store.

      Being a vegetarian is an obvious choice and I respect it but my family is not prepared to make that jump. My closest friend is a vegetarian and I choose vegetarian frequently when I am traveling.  I also try to prepare more vegetarian meals when its my turn to cook - again to reduce the amount of commercially sourced meat we consume.

      I feel like this should get a fuller treatment but I also feel like now's not the time because people's emotions (including mine) are so raw. I started this diary to focus on rational gun regulations.  Hunting is related but its another discussion.  Perhaps I will do another diary.

  •  I learned to shoot when I was 7. Had a rifle all (0+ / 0-)

    through my teen years and shot a little. Went to war in VN and have not touched a weapon since, except on two occasions when folks goaded me into target shooting. The last of these was 41 years ago. Have no desire to touch a weapon or see more blood again

    IMAO ban all weapons for virtually all people virtually al the time. Full stop.

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:49:00 AM PST

  •  for every one of you, (0+ / 0-)

    how many gun fetishists are there?

    And what on earth can be done to stop their lunacy?

    Sorry to be negative, but 20 kids dead, and nothing will change.

    We are a failed nation.

    And we deserve to perish.

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:01:17 AM PST

    •  "We deserve to perish" (0+ / 0-)

      That's just crazy talk. I guess you're depressed right now, but don't go off the deep end.

      We didn't perish in the 1980s when there were a huge number more homicides per year than now. Now, there are some sensational crimes in white communities, and that's why they get a lot of media coverage, whereas thousands of murders in the hood got none. So while there's a real problem in white America, it's really unclear that things are getting much worse.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:52:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  a very sane, reasonable diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and i agree with pretty much everything you said. what i don't get are the numbers of people, some of who i know personally who are getting high on what i see as extremism. if you look at some pages, blogs , groups, lthey are right now saying liberals are calling for the murder of the NRA officials, that the principal should have had an assault rifle loaded and ready, on and is so far outside the normal, reasonable sense of reality to me.

    it is almost how the extreme version of christianity has muffled the moderate, compassionate version.or how extreme RW republicans have taken over the GOP, at least the in noisemaking anyway. in these cases i have always thought that it is the sane, moderate members of these groups who need to take back their religion or their party, to redefine it.

    so in this case i wonder if it is moderate, sane , reasonable gunowners who need to speak up and speak out about this?
    extreme gun fanatics think that non gunowners  and liberals are the same thing and are puny disgusting examples of humanity. these folks  are paranoid and puffed up about it, and there are plenty of  media  and interest groups who like to keep them that way.

    so they won't listen to a non gunowner. but maybe the voice of reason will come from those who do come from  the middle, people such as yourself. i also consider myself part of that middle , as do many others. i agree with  your talking points.

  •  Amen, to that. (0+ / 0-)

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:58:46 AM PST

  •  You wanna talk? (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Lets talk about making tactical weapons and high capacity magazines illegal for private ownership.

    You wanna talk about that?  OK, let's talk.

    Fuck no.

    Conversation over.

    There's nothing "liberal" about a government monopoly on force.

    by 45superman on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:55:55 PM PST

  •  You are the kind of gun owner (0+ / 0-)

    ...that my grandfather was. He was, in his younger years, a hunter, and later on also a deputy sheriff. He lived and breathed responsible gun ownership and never missed an opportunity to preach it to his grandchildren. My father never owned a gun; neither did his father. We kids were just not around guns, except at grandfather's, where they were under lock and key. But we knew that you never pick up a gun without making sure whether it is loaded, and you double check to see that it's not loaded before you put it away.....and you never, under any circumstances, point a gun at another human being unless that person is trying to kill you, "Which," grandfather would say with a twinkle, "is highly unlikely on an ordinary day."

    I don't think my grandfather would have minded in the least having to register his guns. He also voted Republican all his life.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:30:40 PM PST

  •  This target shooter absolutely agrees with you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm not a hunter, though I did a bit of that in my teens. But I've been a fairly serious target shooter in my distant past (Navy expert pistol and rifle shot; shot on multiple pistol and rifle teams, in and out of the military). I didn't do it for many years, but recently inherited three pistols from an uncle who fought in WWI, and I and my three adult sons are all interested in them. I think I'm going to start shooting again, perhaps with one or more of those sons. So I'm another person who likes guns, and doesn't feel threatened by their existence, or by other appropriate folks in our society owning appropriate weapons. But our current gun laws are CRAZY, and it's past time to have a serious conversation about saner laws. And I, too, have always chosen not to join the NRA, for the same reasons.

    BTW, we lived in Newtown, Connecticut for 11 years, and we are friends of at least one of the families who lost children there. This was a terrible event, and we're feeling a bit of the loss there ourselves. All the more reason that we would agree this conversation should occur, after an appropriate interval, but soon. And we need it to be an open conversation, with no silly demonizing or us-versus-them rhetoric. Like most things in life, any program of gun regulation has both advantages and costs. We all need to try to understand them both, and seek an appropriate balance.

  •  I'm so happy to see this diary! (0+ / 0-)

    Until we can split responsible gun owners from the (current leadership of) the NRA, we're going to have a very hard time turning this around. We've got to figure out how to raise the profile in the conversation of responsible gun owners who support sensible gun regulation. Thanks for giving this a boost by speaking out!

  •  An Appeal from another gun owner (14+ / 0-)

    It’s always some portion of the top 1%!

    Some portion of the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the US control our economic and financial policy.

    Some portion of the top 1% of the leaders of the defense industry control our military procurement policy.

    Some portion of top 1% of the pharmaceutical industry control our prescription drug policy and the price we pay for those drugs.

    Some portion of the top 1% of the leaders in our medical insurance industry control our medical care policy.

    Some portion of the top 1% of petroleum producers control our energy policy.

    Some portion of the leadership of the approximately 1% of our fellow citizens who belong to the NRA control our gun policy.

    Restrain the trained and let loose the ignorant!

    We train our soldiers in the proper and safe use of firearms and we especially train them when NOT to shoot. Even so, we don’t allow our soldiers to have rounds for their weapons while they are in garrison, and allow live ammunition only on training ranges.

    Yet any nut job in the country can buy any weapon he or she wishes at a gun show without restriction. Any whacko can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition. We turn a blind eye toward so-called militias who get their jollies running around in the woods, armed to the teeth, pretending to shoot down the UN’s black helicopters.

    I am a retired soldier who is better trained in the use of weapons than Wayne LaPierre, yet no politician cares what I think about the control of weapons. Amazingly, every politician cares about what Wayne LaPierre thinks!

    It is time to amend the 2nd amendment!

    The founders would want us to, else there would be no need for Article V of the Constitution. The 2nd amendment was included in the first block of amendments to the Constitution for only one reason, and that was to have an armed and organized militia in the event of an attack by the British or anyone else. It was not included so that nut jobs could run around shooting anyone they disagreed with, government official or not. The founders believed that they were establishing a government by the people (albeit only some people at that time) and that they were forever abolishing the evils of a royal government backed by a standing army.

    They knew that these attacks could come without warning, and without a standing army the government would have to call up able bodied citizens who needed to be armed, trained, and well-regulated.

    The founders were against having a standing army, thus a well-regulated militia was essential to the defense of the fledgling nation. They reinforced this decision with the Militia Act of 1792.

    Once the Congress established a permanent standing army after the War of 1812, the 2nd amendment was moot. There was no longer a need for a well-regulated militia.

    Regulation is essential!

    Some want to outlaw private ownership of guns. I do not. I own a gun and do not pose a threat to the nation or to my neighbors. But if we can regulate the use and care of weapons in the hands of our most highly trained defenders, we ought to have the courage to impose sensible regulation on ourselves.

    Here are just a few suggestions:

    •    No citizen needs an assault rifle or an automatic weapon of any kind. I don’t care if he or she wants one, just their having one threatens me and my neighbors.

    •    No citizen needs hundreds or thousands of rounds of ammunition.

    •    No citizen needs 30-round magazines.

    •    No citizen needs a weapon, even for hunting, above .30 caliber.

    •    The government needs to establish a manufacturing code for privately held weapons and outlaw all but the safest of weapons—we do it for many other products nationally. If the manufacture of refrigerators and candy bars can be controlled, why should guns be exempt? “Saturday Night Specials” should be confiscatable as contraband.

    •    All citizens need to register their guns, and to re-register them at regular intervals, with registration being deniable to felons, the legally irresponsible, and the mentally ill.

    There are many more reasonable ideas that can be enacted in law. None of these suggestions violate my rights or my Constitutional privilege.

    Finally, really “restore” America.

    I want to live in America, not Somalia or the Sudan. Give me some honest American regulation that makes me and my family safer, and which does not step on the legitimate and supportable rights of my fellow citizens.

    My American dream does not include arming teachers to protect school children.

    My American dream does not include whacko legislation that condones my fellow citizens gunning me down if they don’t like my music, or if they “feel threatened”.

    My American dream includes fixing what is wrong with the country, not cowering in a forest somewhere waiting for an opportunity to gun down the government.

    My American dream includes making Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, and yes even Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, safer for my grandchildren.

    My American dream includes being listened to once or twice in my life, instead of having to earn a huge fortune so that I can buy some politician’s attention.

    And by the way, let’s stop underfunding mental health programs. Stopping just one Lanza, Hinckley, Kaczynski, or McVeigh would be worth all of the money we can spend on mental health.

    My American dream includes being allowed to criticize when I think that my country is going wrong without being accused  of being unpatriotic.

    As Major General/Senator (MO) Carl Schurtz said, “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: "Our country, right or wrong!" They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." (emphasis added)

    Sanford D Cook
    LTC USA (Ret)

    Fighting for those who have borne the burden

    by SandyCook on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:09:49 PM PST

  •  Thanks for your post, OldJackPine (0+ / 0-)

    Nice to see one from a liberal gun owner and hunter on Dkos.

  •  I applaude this diary... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I own several guns, I have hunted and target shot, for over 35 years now...

    The message of the NRA has never met my approval so I've never joined...

    I believe there is a lot of wisdom in this diary and its comments which could provide a basis for meaningful gun control legislation and we should forward it to our elected representatives in the house and senate for their perusal...

    "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
    I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
    ~John F. Kennedy~


    by Oldestsonofasailor on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:46:40 AM PST

  •  Firearms sanity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bravo!  This essay is exactly the kind of informed and sane discussion about firearms that we need.  I own sporting rifles (and a couple of vintage WW2 pieces).  I have never joined the NRA and neither have my hunting friends for the very reasons cited in this essay.

    No one needs an AR-15 or AK-47 with a 30 round clip. For what purpose?  These are anti-personnel weapons, built for no other purpose than to kill human beings.  Undoubtedly, there is a macho mystique surrounding such deadly weapons, but these are 'military grade' firearms and civilians simply don't need them.  

    We need sensible talk about gun laws.  We need to think about why it is easier to purchase a rifle than get a license to drive a car.  We need to think about better background checks, licensing after mandatory saftey courses, and the insurance and registration of firearms before anyone is allowed to purchase them.

    Thank you, OldJackPine for putting things in perspective.

  •  I don't hunt and couldn't do it, but (0+ / 0-)

    if you lived near me and offered me some venison I'd be delighted. I have a cousin in the UK who hunts regularly and into the freezer it goes. My grandfather was a hunter just for sport, which seems less ethical to me than hunting for meat and to cull the herds.

    I have no problem with people for whom a gun is a tool. I don't know enough to know how we differentiate that from the gun being a means of revolution, terrorizing people who look different from you (or family members), or shooting up the neighborhood. I appreciate you and other gun owners weighing in on how to draw those lines in a useful way.

    And from what I see, the "take ALL the guns away from everyone" is more an invention of the NRA, as a bogey-man, than a real platform of any liberal group I know.  

  •  This is an excellent post. I am wondering what (0+ / 0-)

    you thinkd of the semi-automatics and automatics that shoot 10 or more bullets rapidly.  Are such arms used to hunt deer, etc.?

    •  Hi BB (0+ / 0-)

      My deer rifle is a standard bolt-action (not semi-automatic) and it holds 4 bullets in a non-detachable magazine in addition to 1 in the chamber.  I have killed  many deer with it.

      I have only rarely (!!) ever needed more than one bullet and never more than 2 to take a deer.

      I practice and I am patient when I hunt and I am conservative about the shots I attempt.  For me, restricting high-capacity magazines are the low hanging fruit.  Automatic weapons are already illegal.  Semi-automatics are a gray area because there are many out there that are legitimate hunting weapons. That said, restricting magazine size would go a long way towards making even these leass deadly in the hands of a madman.

  •  Read diary two days running --- PLEASE --- (0+ / 0-)

    Edit Sandy Cook comment into the diary-



    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:11:37 AM PST

  •  What sort of gun do you use? (0+ / 0-)

    It's very admirable that you hunt to provide food for your family.   Since there have been claims that many sort of firearms are suited to hunting, what sort of firearm do you use ? I would like some reference points for future conversations with people.

    •  Here's my list (0+ / 0-)

      I have a single-shot bolt-action .22 that I almost never use but I got it as a kid and I taught my son gun safety with it.  I have a bolt-action deer rifle (.270) with a fixed (non-removable) magazine that hold 4 shells.  I (and my son) have 12-quage pump shotguns that we use for turkey and grouse hunting and clay pigeons.  These are "plugged" such that they only hold 3 shells at a time.  I also have a .54 caliber muzzelloader (a primitive musket-type)  that I bought from a friend to extend my deer hunting opportunity (I've never shot anything with it though - have not needed too).  

      No semi-automatics.  No pistols.  Nothing fancy.  All are locked in a heavy safe in the back corner of my bedroom closet.  

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