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As we have learned from Obama’s hard-line approach on the fiscal curb negotiations, it can be very helpful and rewarding to take a stand at the left edge when you know you have the upper hand in negotiations. Can we take that lesson into the fight we’re going to have about gun control?

I am seeing everywhere that people are hoping for some kind of “reasonable” new regulation on gun and ammunition sales. That’s fine – but that is not a good starting point for our side. When we see that blue dogs and NRA supporters are coming into line with our way of thinking, we need to realize that we are too far to the right. Let someone else find the middle ground – this is a war and we need to stake our claim to the outer left in this debate because right now we have the upper hand. Seize the day.

Starting point: Ban all lethal weapons.

In this day and age, lethal weapons are not necessary. No one needs them. Not the police. Not the military. And not citizens. We have stun guns and we can develop alternative types of non-lethal or even less-lethal weapons (or arms) to defend ourselves.

I actually believe that the 2nd amendment is intended to put the citizens on the same footing as the government. Well that is not possible in today’s military world, so the solution is to disarm the government and the citizenry. Visualize that day and work toward it.

Secondary line: Ban the proliferation of lethal weapons. Start by not selling any more.

Last point: I know many people will consider hunters in this debate. Why? If you want to see yourself as some sort of courageous DIY outdoorsy Swiss Family Robinson cavalier, make your own fucking bow and arrow! I’m not impressed by your ability to kill Bambie with a rifle. It’s not necessary and it’s just not worth everything else that comes with it.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    Hey, I agree with Sarah Palin! Rahm should be fired!

    by simon551 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:03:04 PM PST

  •  So advocate an extreme response... I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, HipHopAnonymous

    ...because it is a better 'starting bargaining position'.

    No.

    If we advocate extremism in response, we validate it as well. Patriot Act ring a bell?  An overreach for sure. We need to be mindful of how we approach this so that we don't destroy our argument by overreaching on such a divisive subject.

    We need to be reasonable, and then stand firm on those positions. Period. Using the tactics you suggest might prevent any progress form being made at all.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:09:41 PM PST

    •  The "Extreme" Position Is What I Really Want (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      simon551

      Pushing for a total ban on guns, as an opening demand, is a good negotiating tactic.  But I don't think that  position is unreasonable, "extreme" or "overreaching".  I think it's what a lot of people really want, me included.  That's why it should be our opening demand -- you're never going to get what you really want unless you push for it.

       

      •  Completely agree (0+ / 0-)

        And it's nice to hear you say that! I think we are so used to being told that it's impossible that we don't even say we want it.

        •  simon - negotiating by starting in an extreme (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes

          position does not help more the point at which a deal can be made. It just makes people ignore you. Starting with the position of banning all lethal weapons takes you out of the conversation. Fortunately the people doing the actual negotiating have more sense.

          We aren't playing with a strong hand, regardless of the tragedy in CT. The 2nd Amendment advocates still have the negotiating leverage because if there is no agreement, they win, and they have a blocking position in the House.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:32:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What "actual negotiating"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            simon551

            "Starting with the position of banning all lethal weapons takes you out of the conversation. Fortunately the people doing the actual negotiating have more sense."

            So, who's been doing all of this wonderful "actual negotiating" you refer to?  And how's that going so far?  Because from what I see, taking your "sensible" approach has gotten us nowhere on gun control.

            •  matt - before the tragedy in CT (0+ / 0-)

              there was no support in Congress, even among Dems, to support stronger gun control laws. The conversation, and the negotiating, is just starting. The last time any serious gun control legislation was being discussed, most of the current incumbents were not even in Congress.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:48:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Those negotiators need me (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                simon551

                Look, I understand that right now, there's no chance we can get a total ban on guns.  But it's what I really want, and maybe more important, it's a useful position for gun control advocates to take.

                The other side has its "extreme" position -- no gun restrictions, on any types of guns, ever.  Our side needs vocal advocates for an equally "extreme" anti-gun position, to move the "compromise" position back to the center.

                •  By extreme you are speaking in the third person (0+ / 0-)

                  You don't actually think the position is extreme, and neither do I. But you are reasonable enough to realize that some people will.

                •  matt - if you were a member of Congress (0+ / 0-)

                  and your view was that all guns should be banned in the US you would be excused from the discussions and your voice would be silenced. If no new legislation is passed the gun advocates win. What the Dems need to decide is what can be passed on a bipartisan basis. I think the the proposed Feinstein bill will likely be the best we can do in 2013. The bill will ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines, close the gun show loophole and make the background check system more robust. Two weeks ago those legislative items could not even be discussed. I would be very pleased if we could move that package, particularly through the House.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:33:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

                    Point is - if that's your starting point, it will only move further to the right. That is not the starting point on the other side. Democrats need to learn to negotiate like the other side because we've been getting hammered for decades.

                  •  If you agree with the goal of banning all guns (0+ / 0-)

                    Then stop undercutting your own position. Congressmen only ignore people like me because people like you keep telling them to ignore me.

                    And a ban on assault rifles wouldnt have stopped this guy. He had two legally purchased handguns that he could have used instead. We need to ban those too.

                    •  matt - I do not agree with the goal of banning (0+ / 0-)

                      all guns. On a practical basis it would not be possible to ban all guns without amending or repealing the Second Amendment, which isn't going to happen in my lifetime. We have a rare opportunity to pass some reasonable, national, gun control legislation. When anyone who has the ear of Congress starts with a position of banning all guns, our chances of passing any legislation is reduced.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:39:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Pardon me, but I started reading your (0+ / 0-)

            comment and it seemed so condescending and extreme that I will just have to ignore the rest and anything else you may write. Let me make a note here: "Ignore VClib." There that should to it.

            Have a nice day.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

            by hestal on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:13:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  its what very few people want. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, JayH

        and its politically stupid as all get out.  hopefully the GOP will sideline its nutballs and we'll sideline ours and we'll get some actual progress.

        •  I don't think I'm a "nutball" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          simon551

          I don't think I'm a nutball, or at all unreasonable, for wanting the same "no guns" policy that is in place in many developed countries.  

          I don't just want to ban assault rifles.  It's not assault rifles that are the problem.  It's not machine guns, or semi-automatic weapons, or concealed pistols either.  It's bullets that kill people.  So, I want to ban anything that shoots bullets, no matter how big, how small, or how large a clip it takes.

      •  Then I have to respectfully disagree further. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        I think we need reasonable laws and regulations. I do not concur with the extreme reaction that the second amendment should be repealed or total bans be enshrined into law

        To me, those who argue this extreme, also retroactively support bad law like the Patriot Act. That may be an over simplification, but the response is similar. I am sure many who voted for it and supported it, and support it now consider it good law as well. It's not.

        Maybe you're part of the group that drags us further left. I just don't drift that far to the left, and won't.

        -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

        by Vayle on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:27:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

          First - I'm not sure I understand the PA comparison. Meaning if we don't like guns we think the government should have more power?

          I also agree with reasonable laws and I don't think it's reasonable to have lethal weapons in anyone's hands, ultimately. I see no reason for it.

          I support the 2nd amendment but I interpret it to mean that I should be on the same level as the government in terms of my ability to protect myself. That to me means less lethal arms on both sides, not more.

          •  re: patriot act (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster, JayH

            3000+ people died and laws which trampled upon our rights/civil liberties were passed

            Gun Violence has killed far more people yearly, but while that is so, does that reasonably allow for removing/revoking our 2nd amendment rights? Does it?

            If so, then how can we complain when our speech is limited when some members of the populace abuse it? And they tell us we're safer because of this? Think it can't happen? Think again.

            How can we complain about privacy and 4th amendment rights when something extreme happened on September 11th, 2001, and people moved to ensure our 'safety' by passing laws to limit our rights and civil liberties?

            Any arguments against the Patriot Act fly out the window.

            I just can not advocate removal of any of our rights...and especially not the 'it makes us safer meme' we all got used to hearing constantly during the Bush Years.

            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

            by Vayle on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:42:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  2nd amendment is already dead (0+ / 0-)

              Sorry, I'm coming from a different perspective on 2nd amendment. I actually want to strengthen it/revive it in my proposal. I must not be communicating that well.

              I am not in favor of the patriot act and never will be. I don't see the equivalence. I see the application of the 2nd amendment today as more of an infringement on my rights than a protection. The 2nd amendment is not about protecting yourself from robbers or mall mass-murderers. It's about protecting yourself from your government. Is it working?

              •  You want to strengthen the right to guns (0+ / 0-)

                by banning guns?

                I had been using "nutball" in a loose sense, but.........

                •  Copying my earlier comment in case you missed it (0+ / 0-)

                  "I support the 2nd amendment but I interpret it to mean that I should be on the same level as the government in terms of my ability to protect myself. That to me means less lethal arms on both sides, not more."

                  Stun guns are arms.

              •  It's quite simply actually. (0+ / 0-)

                9/11 happened and we lost rights - re: the Patriot Act

                You advocate banning all guns and effectively stripping people of their 2nd amendment right. Maybe you don't consider it valid, fine, but many many more do than don't. That's not going to change right now or in any immediate future.

                Your view that we don't need 2nd amendment rights is equivalent to those who think we need less privacy and less protection of 4th amendment rights to 'keep people safe'.

                Both extremes move toward fewer rights, and while you may consider your goal worthwhile and noble, those who truly support the Patriot Act also consider 'giving up a few rights' worth people's safety.

                I do not and will not advocate giving up rights in exchange for safety. Regulating those rights and enforcing proper reasonable law in relation to those rights is the correct path...not giving up rights in exchange for perceived safety.

                -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                by Vayle on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 03:24:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I can't say this enough times (0+ / 0-)

                  The second amendment gives me the right to bear arms ostensibly in order to take up arms against my government. If my government has nukes I should have nukes. ETC.

                  My position is that the government shouldn't have lethal weapons and that we should both have arms of a modern, non-lethal variety.

                  •  And that's not going to happen. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    simon551

                    The government will have lethal weapons.

                    The military will have the most lethal weapons of all.

                    Your position is not going to change reality.

                    The reality is, we have gun rights and we need to put laws in place which protect those rights, and which also make ownership, and access bear the responsibility of the right we have.

                    If we don't approach this argument reasonably, we'll lose this opportunity to make any common sense gun law reforms.

                    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                    by Vayle on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 03:32:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Banning all civilian guns is not extreme. It is a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattoqp

      good idea.

      I know some people who have wished many times over many years that their dead loved ones had never been able to own guns.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:11:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't be for it. (0+ / 0-)

    But if you think that's a good idea go for it with all your might!

  •  Heaven Forbid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    simon551

    Literally.

    Here comes the bullshit...

    http://news.yahoo.com/...

    what the? I hope not.

  •  This is why nothing is going to change. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    A very large majority of the right wing is dead set against any sort of reasonable gun regulations and at least a sizable minority of urban liberals wants an outright federal ban on all guns. You claim guns have no place in a modern society and in an urban setting, you're right. But a large portion of the country is still rural and believe it or not, there are still millions of people who actually depend on hunting to feed their families.

    Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

    by Tim D M on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:57:26 PM PST

    •  Okay, I'm reasonable (0+ / 0-)

      People need guns for hunting?  Then let's ban all guns except for single-shot hunting rifles.  No handguns -- they aren't used for hunting.  No multiple-round-firing guns either -- hunters can reload between shots without fear that their quarry will fight back.

    •  I don't believe it (0+ / 0-)

      I have plenty of friends and family in rural areas and no one depends on hunting for survival. It's just not true. People hunt for sport.

      •  He didn't say "survival" (0+ / 0-)

        He said they depend on the meat to feed the family- saves a lot on grocery bills to put 100 pounds of meat in the freezer.  I know plenty of people like that.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:25:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Granted (0+ / 0-)

          I think there are other ways to help support that family - The tradeoff isn't worth it.

          I know plenty of people like that too and they'll be pissed but I really don't give a shit right now. Give them something back after we agree on the basic tenets that people shouldn't be allowed to walk around with lethal weapons.

          Maybe we have a park ranger give the gun out for the day when they go hunting.

    •  An urban setting is where guns are most needed. (0+ / 0-)

      No one has ever tried to carjack me or mug me in a rural area. That has only happened to me in big cities.

      I'll keep my guns and my gun rights thank you very much.

      BTW you are counterproductive. Every time a nut like you calls for action like this, the gun lobby disseminates it far and wide to PROVE that the left wing radicals want to take all the guns. Nice going.

      •  Somehow I knew... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        simon551

        ... that it wasn't just about hunting.  

        "I'll keep my guns and my gun rights, thank you very much."  Dude, you can't complain about the gun lobby -- you are the gun lobby!

        •  Smart boy (0+ / 0-)

          It has never been about hunting. If you think that you are missing the point.

          •  Yeah, I guess (0+ / 0-)

            It's about protecting yourself against scary "urban" types, right?

            •  Have you spent any time in "urban" areas? (0+ / 0-)

              Now that I live in fly-over country, I don't carry a weapon at all, pretty safe out here. But in the big urban centers the crime rate is high. I have used a firearm to defend myself from car jacking, mugging and assault with a knife. I would probably not be alive with my firearms.

              I don't hunt, but I would like to stay alive.

              •  I live in NYC (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                simon551

                I have lived here all my life. I never felt like I needed a gun. And if I was afraid for my safety, I'd buy a stun gun.  It's a non-lethal weapon that will incapacitate any mugger or carjacker.  

                •  I left Park Slope 2 years ago (0+ / 0-)

                  miss the city
                  living in Red State central now
                  learning to have compassion for my neighbors
                  I disagree with them on almost everything, but we can talk guns, breaks the ice, makes them think I am a regular guy

                  •  I live in north portland (0+ / 0-)

                    It's supposedly a high crime area. I don't even lock my doors.

                    But yeah - hey loonie gun lover if you're reading - I'm a hard core liberal from Portland who wants to take your guns away. There are plenty of us. I'm sure you see the middle of the road democrats as the whimps they are - they don't want to do anything that would offend you, but just know if they can't get something done, there will be a backlash from people like me who actually want to do something even more "extreme".

      •  So we're supposed to keep quiet in fear of (0+ / 0-)

        right wing lobbyists? The terrorists have already won :)

        •  The right to defend ones self (0+ / 0-)

          has never been a right/left issue.
          Some of you are confused about that.

          In fact it was liberals who initially brought about our right to self determination. Ironic now that so many on the left have lost that basic tenet.

  •  The Second Amendment is not sacred, nor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    simon551, mattoqp

    is any part of the Constitution. If it makes sense to change it or eliminate it then that is just what we should do.

    Just after the proposed Constitution was submitted to the states for their consideration, George Washington, who had been the President of the Constitutional Convention and who therefore had a better understanding of the Constitution and the intent of the Framers than anyone living today, wrote a letter to his nephew and heir, Bushrod Washington. He said (emphasis in the original):

    The warmest friends to, and the best supporters of, the Constitution, do not contend that it is free from imperfections; but these were not to be avoided, and they are convinced if evils are likely to flow from them, that the remedy must come thereafter; because, in the present moment it is not to be obtained. And as there is a Constitutional door open for it, I think the people (for it is with them to judge) can, as they will have the aid of experience on their side, decide with as much propriety on the alterations and amendments which shall be found necessary, as ourselves; for I do not conceive that we are more inspired—have more wisdom—or possess more virtue than those who will come after us.
    There was no warmer friend to the Constitution than George Washington. He wanted it to be a force for good, not evil.

    His position is clear. If there is something in the Constitution that produces evil, it should be expunged. Evil flows from the second amendment every day. Every single day, and there is no, I repeat "no," offsetting good that ever flows from it.

    The second amendment is not sacred, but the lives of little children are. It is time to stop the killing. Getting rid of civilian guns is the right thing to do.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:28:30 PM PST

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