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What follows is a post from the blog of a guy I work for. It is being reproduced in full with his consent. If you are interested in reading what a chemical engineer who immigrated to Australia has to say regarding climate change, health care, economics, guns or other things go to Sgt. Hulka Uncut and have a read.

So, I think I have the gun control issue partly solved in the USA, if anyone is still listening, but possibly not.

I actually asked my buddy Otto whether or not we need to just admit that these kids in Sandy Hook Elementary just don’t mean that much in the overall scheme of things. Isn’t that right, and shouldn’t we just admit that and move on, unless you are really interested in seeing that this sort of thing gets reduced in the USA? Perhaps the statistics above prove that to be true, but direct discussion with gun advocates suggests otherwise. You see, my buddy Otto is one serious constitution reading libertarian, and he is not interested in giving up any of his guns at all.

And I am with him, to a point. But I see guns in America as another set of dangerous goods that must be managed. We could also have some discussions around just what is required to maintain a “well regulated militia”, how large a magazine, how many of them, and what rate of fire is required, but even if we don’t go there, I have a set of reasonable suggestions that don’t significantly impact on anyone’s 2nd Amendment rights, while making sure that everyone’s rights under the 1st Amendment aren’t jeopardised inadvertently in the move toward an armed camp in the USA. Because I honestly see it that way. I believe that my freedom of movement, association and pursuit of happiness are significantly diminished by having to worry if I am going to get shot trying to enjoy dinner and a movie, go to work, or school.

Through a bit of reading, and further discussions with Otto, I think I have an answer that appeals to the right, left, up and down in politics with a significant enough plurality amongst all that it works: personal responsibility. It’s always a good time in America to have a chat about personal responsibility, as it seems to be the answer to a number of the ills there, and everyone initially says they are all for it. The religious love it, despite the fact that they go all moral on you. The left can come to support it, because it finally gives them a chance to hold someone in power to account. And the right love it, because it has an emotional appeal to their both authoritarian and libertarian sides. The only people who couldn’t support it are the mentally defective, who by definition can’t be held personally responsible, so who give a shit what they think.

Here’s how gun control works based on personal responsibility. Guns are a dangerous good that (peculiarly) if used as intended or not can cause the death of people, animals and some potentially significant property damage. They are also required to be available in the population to allow for the forming of militias to overthrow a despotic government, should that come to pass. In order for the government to unsure the maintenance of this potential to removal of itself by force, we need to know what the numbers are, and ensure that there is sufficient distribution and numbers that they can be called to use (I assume by the States individually) to overthrow the federal government. So the States really need the information, but what we really want to focus on is personal responsibility, so we need not write much regulation, that way the law can be cost efficiently implemented, and also generate some friendly competition in service providers for the information.

The law will say this: If you want own a gun in the future, you will be required to register it’s storage location with your local police, and commit to storing and maintaining it in a safe and secure manner. You are personally responsible for the safety and security of your firearm to prevent its being used by anyone who cannot be held personally responsible for its use in the killing of any human inadvertently or with malevolent intent, or in the negligent or wilful killing or damage to any property, unless that killing or damage is found to be lawful through a jury trial. That’s it. It’s also pretty much already law in most jurisdictions in the USA, following the implementation of registration.

You are already responsible if your 7 year old child takes your car and runs down a grandmother during a joy ride, or uses your gun to shoot 10-15 sheep on your neighbour’s property for sport. The only reason I want to make sure you register your gun is so that I can hold you responsible in the event you don’t maintain your dangerous good in a fashion that is safe and secure, and you have tons of leeway in defining “safe and secure” in your particular situation, because there is going to be no “prior restraint” in the implementation of my law. No one is going to be around to check, and no standards are going to be published to define “safe and secure” for you. If you make your guns kept for home protection, hunting or whatever safe and secure such that they are never used in a killing by your children through education or sheer intimidation, great. If you use a trigger lock, safe or concealment to secure your guns, cool. Whatever you want to do, you decide. And if a person breaks into your house, steals your .45 from under your pillow and commits a murder later, we aren’t going to hold you civilly or criminally responsible for his criminal acts. But if you are going to raise a sociopath, psychopath or a person who cannot control their anger, and they get ahold of your gun and use it to kill a bunch of people, you will likel have to pay, and potentially be held criminally responsible for gross negligence. So, you might want to consider some disaster insurance if you want to own an assault rifle and a dozen clips of ammo, or even an automatic weapon, which by the way I am pretty much OK with under my new legal regime. Just be fucking responsible.

Unless they refuse to register their guns, the only time the average gun owner is going to have any brush up against the law is forensically in the investigation of homicide, just like they are now, and even identification of the recalcitrants will be through forensic investigation, as there is no need for proactive audit or inspections. 2nd Amendment supporters are often quick to site how rare the cases of a person who cannot be held responsible is responsible for significant killing, so there should be almost imperceptible impact to those people. If you fail to register your guns and they are identified forensically, but not in relation to a killing or significant damage incident, you will be required to register them at that time and face some administrative penalty. In the cases where an unregistered gun is identified in the course of a criminal investigation, it will be forfeited, registered by the police and recycled for some beneficial use or materials.

For those paranoid of registration, let this be some comfort. Any incremental damage done by this perceived encroachment on your 2nd Amendment Rights is far offset by the benefit of the elimination of incidents like Sandy Hook, Aurora, the temple, Virgina Tech and Columbine. Because those incidents all involve damage to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of all those involved as victims. And in my world 1 comes before 2, especially if I can prove no significant reduction in 2 through regulation of my well organised militia.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?

    by oldpunk on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:50:34 PM PST

  •  I prefer gun operator licensing over registration (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk, FG, KVoimakas, glorificus, fuzzyguy

    I'd like to see something happen similar to what we do for driving a car.  To be able to use a gun, I should be trained, tested, and licensed.  With my drivers license (and if I wanted a special license for a large truck or motorcycle I have to do more things) I can drive any car.  If I am caught driving a car without a license it doesn't matter who owns it, I'm in trouble.

    To me, if we take the NRA slogan at face value, "guns don't kill, people do", then we need to focus on the people that wish to use guns in some way.

    •  Thanks. (5+ / 0-)

      Admittedly I am not a fan of registration but I see the value in training and in being proficient in the use of a firearm.

      Nevertheless, I thought what Sgt. Hulka had to say should be given a broader audience.

      You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?

      by oldpunk on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:12:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every year in Chicago they catch people buying (6+ / 0-)

      guns legally and selling them to people who are not allowed to purchase them. They are caught because they are required to register the firearms.

      Cars, trucks, and motorcycles all have to be registered and in many states inspected to insure the driver is maintaining a safe vehicle.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:53:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that is one of the features of registration. (0+ / 0-)

        To be able to forensically identify where the gun used in a crime came from. I'm still not a fan of registration because I don't believe the information garnered from registration would only be used for criminal investigation.

        As for cars, trucks, motorcycles etc. There is a reason motor vehicle registration falls under the purview of the department of revenue and I don't believe it has anything to do with safety.

        You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?

        by oldpunk on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:12:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why not both registration and licensing? n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:36:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not registration? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpunk, rockhound, KVoimakas, fuzzyguy

        All kinds of reasons, including this one.

        "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

        by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:06:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two Counties erred in releasing the information: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpunk, kestrel9000, fuzzyguy

          I've placed applicable sections in Bold, not found in the original.
          Excerpt from the NYS Freedom of Information Law:

          Accessible records
             FOIL is based on a presumption of access,  stating that all records are accessible, except records or portions of records that fall within one of eleven categories of deniable records (§87(2)).
             Deniable records include records or portions thereof that:
             (a) are specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute;
             (b) would if disclosed result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;  
             (c) would if disclosed impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations;  
             (d) are trade secrets or are submitted to an agency by a commercial enterprise or derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise and which if disclosed would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise;  
             (e) are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which if disclosed would:
               i.    interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings;
               ii.   deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication;
               iii.  identify a confidential source or disclose confidential information relative to a criminal investigation; or
               iv.  reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures;  
             (f) could if disclosed endanger the life or safety of any person;
          http://www.dos.ny.gov/...
        •  And exactly what damage was done by this? (0+ / 0-)

          Not nearly as much as was done by Adam Lanza, Gerald Loughner, etc.

          I do not think gun owners have the right to privacy regarding their killing machines.

          Since men are by far the largest threat (numbers-wise) to women I see no reason gun permits aren't public. In fact, the more women with them the better.

          Men regularly show themselves unable to exercise self-control. Why should they be able to hide their guns?

          **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

          by glorificus on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:28:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That map (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            was a field guide for burglars who want to steal guns, and for ROBBERS wanting to commit home invasions - it tells them who's defenseless.

            I do not think gun owners have the right to privacy regarding their killing machines.
            Gun owners have the same rights to privacy as anyone else, and if you want to talk to me, don't talk like a spoiled child who wants her way.

            Mmmm kay?

            "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

            by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:42:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Believe or not, any house is a target for (0+ / 0-)

              burglars. In certain neighborhoods there are always sellable goods.

              Why do the gun owners have guns? For personal protection they should be carrying, as you do. To keep their house safe, they should have good locks and a good security system anyway.

              For 2 weeks of deer hunting? That gun should be tightly secured.

              And since "rights to privacy" for women have been shredded over the past 2 years, bad example.

              As for the "defenceless" homeowner, don't RKBAers continually say people can be killed with many things besides guns?

              Baseball bats, cars, chairs, pencils?

              Since the names were released, can you specify who has been harmed by the information release?

              **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

              by glorificus on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:59:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hope (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                oldpunk

                I never have to.
                By the way, there was retaliation: a blogger ran down, and published, the home addresses of that paper's top staff.
                How do you feel about that?

                "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

                by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:09:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not too bad, since Dr. Tiller and others have (0+ / 0-)

                  been SHOT dead, and names and addresses of other abortion providers made public.

                  Although it does show gun owners and their sympathizers to be very petty.

                  You forgot to tell me how those homeowners can be defenseless without a gun, since so many other objects can be deadly per RKBAers.

                  **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

                  by glorificus on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:15:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In the eyes of some criminals (0+ / 0-)

                    when THEY show up with a gun.....

                    "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

                    by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:33:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Managing to dodge the whole issue. (0+ / 0-)

                      As expected.

                      **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

                      by glorificus on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:35:40 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Not at all. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        KVoimakas

                        Home invader type wants to know who doesn't have a gun,  so he checks that list, and brings his OWN gun to one of those gunless houses.
                        And I promise you one thing: HIS house isn't on the list, because his gun isn't registered.....what with him being a criminal and all that.
                        I dodged nothing. If you want to continue dialoguing with me, I require that you be less confrontational and hostile.
                        I'm reaching my saturation point.

                        "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

                        by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:22:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Also (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KVoimakas

                    there is no morally acceptable reason to brand law abiding people with a scarlet letter. That alone, demonizing gun owners, is bullshit.
                    Next, will we have them wear spiffy identifying patches?
                    Can you suggest a color and shape for these patches?

                    "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

                    by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:34:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Now you are just copying from other posters. (0+ / 0-)

                      Usually you show more originality.

                      Why do you characterize identifying gun owners as "demonizing", since they are presumable law-abiding?

                      Nice way to follow through on the 'woman as slut' idea with the scarlet letter. I never thought morality was a big factor in all that.

                      **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

                      by glorificus on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:39:05 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

                        if you're referencing what I think you are, (identifying patches) it's the other way around. That was a discussion I started in an email list.

                        Why do you characterize identifying gun owners as "demonizing", since they are presumable law-abiding?
                        Presumably, my ass. they ARE law-abiding. If they weren't, they wouldn't be on the list.

                        So tell me. What public interest is served by identifying them in the paper?

                        "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

                        by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:57:52 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, from what I've seen in comments on here, (0+ / 0-)

                          some parents don't want their kids to go houses containing guns.

                          If you want to tell others how to raise their kids, go wild. There's enough friction between me and my sister over that I'm not getting involved with anyone else.

                          Also, if someone did have a weird neighbor knowing they had access to a gun might prompt increased wariness.

                          By the same token, knowledge someone may have a gun in the house may prompt better behavior. Parents would be very highly motivated to keep their kids off that lawn.

                          **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

                          by glorificus on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:32:42 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  exactly... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            glorificus

                            it tells me which people/houses to stay away from and which to keep my children out of.

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

                            by a gilas girl on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:41:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Geez, why not just take responsibility (0+ / 0-)

                            for yourself and ask the parents if they have a gun? That would be the honest thing to do. Before your kids go over to a friends house have a chat with their parents, tell them how you feel. If you were that honest with me I would be thankful. I wouldn't tell you if I owned a firearm and would say as much. I would then finish our conversation by saying I don't want my child exposed to such bigoted people as you.

                            You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?

                            by oldpunk on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:53:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  So, bar public release. I used to be against... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpunk

          ...gun registration and licensing. I've changed my mind. If what you are saying is that you foresee a day when the government will come confiscate all handguns based on one of these registration lists, I don't buy it any more than I buy the diarist's domestic Red Dawn scenario.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:09:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas, oldpunk
            Gun owners in California and Connecticut have discovered that it really CAN happen here.Advertising has been strong here in San Diego recently, urging all owners of the SKS "Sporter" to turn them in for a $230 reimbursement before January 1, 2000. "If you own an SKS Sporter, you can’t sell it and you can’t shoot it. You MUST turn it in before January 1 or face criminal charges and confiscation" goes the ad which has been run on local radio stations.

            This particular problem started with passage of the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act in 1989. At that time there were two available models of the SKS rifle - one with a fixed magazine, and one designed to accept a detachable magazine, the "Sporter" model.

            The Roberti-Roos law banned sales of the SKS Sporter rifle, but owners of the gun were able to keep them so long as they complied with a background check and had the gun registered. Apparently, most records of long gun sales were not retained, but the Sporter was treated differently. Ownership was actually registered, and the records kept.

            If what you are saying is that you foresee a day when the government will come confiscate all handguns based on one of these registration lists, I don't buy it
            I don't regard it as impossible at all.

            "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

            by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:13:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The law: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dogs are fuzzy, oldpunk
              Penal Code 12276
              As used in this chapter, "assault weapon" shall mean the following designated semiautomatic firearms:
              (a) All of the following specified rifles:
              (11) SKS with detachable magazine.

              Penal Code 12281
              (f)(1) Any person, firm, company, or corporation that is in possession of an SKS rifle shall do one of the following on or before January 1, 2000:
              (A) Relinquish the SKS rifle to the Department of Justice pursuant to subdivision (h).
              (B) Relinquish the SKS rifle to a law enforcement agency pursuant to Section 12288.
              (C) Dispose of the SKS rifle as permitted by Section 12285.
              (2) Any person who has obtained title to an SKS rifle by bequest or intestate succession shall be required to comply with subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision unless he or she otherwise complies with paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 12285.
              (i) Notwithstanding paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 12276, an "SKS rifle" under this section means all SKS rifles commonly referred to as "SKS Sporter" versions, manufactured to accept a detachable AK-47 magazine and imported into this state and sold by a licensed gun dealer, or otherwise lawfully possessed in this state by a resident of this state who is not a licensed gun dealer, between January 1, 1992, and December 19, 1997.
              (j) Failure to comply with subdivision (f) is a public offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail, not exceeding one year.

              So, yes. If you kept one past the turn-it-over or get-rid-of-it date, it was subject to confiscation.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:26:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see the value in it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpunk, KVoimakas, fuzzyguy

        Car registration makes sense since we operate vehicles on shared public roads.  Guns are in a different category altogether, so while some form of.registration may be ok, I see no value in forced registrations especially if they require renewals like cars do.  I also am not sure that any gun control measure could pass if it triggers fears of gun seizure.  By registering gun operators and turning a blind eye toward the actual guns, you could make the argument that the government can't seize what it doesn't know is out there.

  •  Its never too late. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk
  •  Why not? (8+ / 0-)
    And if a person breaks into your house, steals your .45 from under your pillow and commits a murder later, we aren’t going to hold you civilly or criminally responsible for his criminal acts.
    Anybody who leaves a handgun under their pillow when they are not at home and controlling who has access to the bedroom is a damn idiot, legally negligent,  and should be held accountable for any subsequent use.

    Add a requirement for mandatory insurance coverage as most folks don't come close to having the resources necessary to cover the damages that their weapon can cause, and what your friend says makes some sense.

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:29:41 PM PST

  •  Lost me here: (7+ / 0-)
    They are also required to be available in the population to allow for the forming of militias to overthrow a despotic government,
    Because we can't have a sensible conversation while we keep indulging this kind of fantasy thinking.

    There are no constitutional bars to enacting strict, enforceable gun safety legislation. The only bar is political will.

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

    by twigg on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:57:46 PM PST

  •  "cradle to grave" liability (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bhut jolokia

    We just need to pass a single law requiring the government to enact whatever regulations are necessary to ensure that every gun at every moment has someone (person or corporation) with unlimited liability for it, and with enough guaranteed resources to cover any plausible expense it incurs.

    Virtually every proposed regulation would logically follow, either by state or private actions.

  •  I just happen to have a 7 year old (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk, annecros, 43north, KVoimakas, fuzzyguy

    and I stick my keys on a post where I can find them, or sometimes on the counter in the kitchen, other times I just leave them on the consol between the seats of my truck.

    My 7 year old doesn't do things like go joy riding in my truck, and I don't reasonably think that if she did I'd be responsible.

    My grandfather used to keep elsie (L C Smith) behind the door, I've no idea if it was loaded, we didn't fool with guns, I usually keep the same gun up on a rack up high, or in the boiler room, or when visitors are by with kids I stick it up high in the back of a shelf where they'd be pressed to get it. Amo's in the barn.

    My kids are taught not to mess with some things, guns and cars particularly, just like I and my dad were taught, but I don't know that I'd make rules about responsibility, or location registration. Most the time I know where that elsie is, same with my car keys, but not always.

    I see people bringing up their kids in ways I don't like all the time. Entitled little disrespectful rude brats, often they make it all the way through adulthood, now if we could make a law against that I'd be all over it.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:08:14 AM PST

  •  Best idea yet! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk

    I could personally support this idea 100%.

    All these nonesense assault rifle bans won't do a damn bit of good.  They will only piss off the hunting and shooting community.

    Your idea however has merit.  This is something the leaders in Washington should consider.

  •  How does registration help forensics? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, oldpunk

    I don't know whether they're right, but I've seen sharp criticisms of "ballistic fingerprinting".

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