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If we're going to have a constructive debate about how to reduce gun violence, it might be a good idea to set some ground rules. First rule: it's useless to frame this issue in terms of constitutional rights. The meaning of the Second Amendment is a legal question that is determined by the Supreme Court. Arguing about the meaning of the Second Amendment is not going to get anybody anywhere, unless somebody's argument is going to influence the Supreme Court.

The good news for proponents of gun regulation is that even though the Supreme Court has determined that individuals have a constitutional right to own firearms, the Court left a lot of room for all kinds of regulations of that right. Nearly all of the ideas being floated for stricter control of weapons would probably be permitted under the Court's interpretation. If some gun regulations are not permitted by the Constitution, that is going to be for the courts to decide anyway, so there is no use arguing about it.

My second rule for improving the debate comes from the mediation community. If we're trying to resolve a conflict, we need to ask participants to focus on their interests, rather than argue positions. Focusing on positions--whether we should or should not regulate guns more strictly--just drives people into opposing camps, and encourages them to assemble justifications for their views. That makes it nearly impossible for people on different sides of this issue to talk to each other without getting into an unwinnable argument. If we instead try to find common interests, we might have a more constructive dialogue about the most effective ways to accomplish that common goal.The only good thing that can be said about the Newtown tragedy is that it made us see our common interest: protecting the safety of children and other innocents. Any constructive discussion of the problem of gun violence must focus on that important interest.

Using that standard, we might have to recognize that there were parts of NRA lobbyist Wayne La Pierre's statement a couple of weeks ago that could be used to start a constructive dialogue. LaPierre did try to address the common interest we share in protecting the safety of children by proposing the ideas of installing armed guards at all schoolhouses, and also cracking down on violent video games and other media depictions of violence. A lot of people might think these are bad ideas, but if we're going to have a constructive dialogue and debate with the gun enthusiast community--which is a sizable community--then the right way to react to the ideas  LaPierre has proposed is to thank him for his contribution to resolving the problem of gun violence, engage him in a discussion about the effectiveness of his proposed strategies, and ask him whether he is willing to consider any other methods of promoting the same goal of protecting children.

That leads to my third proposed rule, which is that we should demand empirical evidence supporting any suggestion for dealing with the problem of reducing violence. So if Wayne La Pierre tells us that the only way of stopping a bad guy with a gun is to install a good guy with a gun in every school building (and presumably every shopping mall, every movie theatre, and every other public space), we should demand studies showing the efficacy of this solution. Is that really the ONLY way? What about counseling? What about reducing the bad guy's access to the arms stockpile that his mother might have been assembling? And how effective is one armed security guard standing at the entrance to a school if the bad guy shoots him first? Still, we don't need to rule out increased security as one possible solution to gun violence.  Lots of schools already have guards and gates, and maybe we should consider beefing up some of those protections as part of the solution. But if Wayne LaPierre wants people to be open to his ideas, he needs to be open to other ideas as well. Including ideas that might keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands, or restrict access to high volume magazines, or require that gun owners at least pass the kind of licensing and safety tests that we demand of car owners.

If this community is interested in helping pass stricter gun control legislation, it is going to take some persuasive power. Asking gun rights proponents to address the problem of gun violence in a constructive way, and showing them evidence that gun regulation is effective, may persuade some of them to accept some restrictions. Arguing about the meaning of the Constitution, or attempting to bludgeon the opposition into submission, is not as likely to succeed.

hopeandchange

Originally posted to hopeandchange on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:43 PM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  What's needed is a relentless public information (14+ / 0-)

    campaign about the dangers of guns similar to what was done for tobacco. This is a public health issue, and it should be treated like one.

    •  Amen, how many deaths are allowable for the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, Wayward Wind

      benefits - whether you are talking about cars, tobacco products, or firearms.

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

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:13:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes - as well as a cost benefit analysis (0+ / 0-)

      Having more armed guards at schools, malls, theaters, etc. might stop and/or prevent some gun violence.  What would the costs be?  It is a fact that highly trained police officers and military personnel have accidents with firearms with frightening regularity.

    •  bingo (0+ / 0-)

      PSAs can be highly effective, both in impact and cost.

      People will also be more receptive to the non-political message of safety issues.

      We're a long way away from solving the underlying basis of violence, but driving home the statistics of preventable injuries and deaths (that also means lifting the budget rider prohibiting the CDC from compiling and analyzing gun data) can have an immediate effect.

      I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

      by wretchedhive on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:28:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And what should this proposed propaganda focus on? (0+ / 0-)

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:34:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will consider Lapierre's suggestions... (7+ / 0-)

    About the same time this happens.

    The man is an industry mouthpiece, desperate to deflect attention away from the fact that he wants to sell MORE guns.

    Fuck the fucking fucker.

    And the "empirical evidence" weasel will only be fair when we stop banning real investigation of gun deaths.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:56:14 PM PST

    •  My diary was not written for you. Sorry. (8+ / 0-)

      I should have included a warning that it was only directed at people who might have an interest in talking to people with whom they might disagree.

      Those who just want to curse and call the other side names will have no use for my suggestions.

      •  Funny how being "Reasonable"... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atana, Wayward Wind, VeloDramatic

        Always ends up with the Right wing getting to dictate the terms of the conversation.

        Lapierre is not an honest broker and has no interest in reaching a compromise.  He will derail, attack the messenger, and use any trick he can in order to make certain that we talk  about "Modest, Reasonable" proposals which will solve nothing.

        He is not an adult in the room, and should be excluded from the conversation.  

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:26:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Taking a deep breath now... (0+ / 0-)

          Your diary.  Your rules.  You have asked me to leave, and I shall.

          I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

          by detroitmechworks on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:31:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He is not the only gun owner in this country and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          many gun owners have no use for him but still have a use for discussion of this issue.

        •  Compromise (0+ / 0-)

          Every time the left and the right do a compromise on this issue the left wins.  The right gave up automatic weapons, suppressors, and many other weapon types and accessories.  I think we should look at a compromise where both sides get something.  Perhaps we can discuss a high capacity magazine ban and get our suppressors back?  Or we can do psychological evaluations but since then we can agree that gun owners who passed are sane we can have fully automatic weapons again?  I would love to hear this compromise.  Sadly, whenever I hear gun control advocates talk about compromise, they are really saying give us some more of what we want and in return you can stfu and give us what we want.  The left pretty much gets what it wants.  If gun owners cave in the left will declare a massive victory, but then in three years they will determine that those bolt action hunting rifles with scopes are sniper rifles (Which they actually are, military still uses some hunting rifles for sniping, some marines still wear by the '03)  and will want to ban those.  I just feel gun owners have given enough at this point, and never recieved anything in any gun control negotiation.  I think that is why you anyone seeking more gun control is going to be in for the fight of their lives.  AR-15's are now on 14 month back order.  Virtually every AR-15 in America has been purchased off the shelves in the last 4 weeks.  You can't even buy a P-Mag for the rifle at this point, they too are all sold out.  Ammo is all sold out as well.  If you find a P-Mag it is a private seller who purchased it for $14 and is reselling it for $60 on Ebay.  The point is, these folks did not drop money on an AR-15 to turn it over.  That may help show the indication of where gun owners stand at this point.  I think you will find that most gun owners, or at least the ones who cleaned out the gun stores, are very unlikely to negotiate any further at this time.  I would say the better option for everyone at this point is to address the criminals who use these weapons for evil rather than the law abiding owner.  

      •  Some common ground (0+ / 0-)

        has to be found for a discussion to take place.

        If you think that Lapierre's 'arguments' merit anything other than withering scorn then this diary is not for me either.

        •  Agreed - isn't that what joemarkowitz attempted? (0+ / 0-)

          Of course Lapierre's 'arguments deserved withering scorn.  Why not take his asserted goal of "safety of children" and turn it around?  

          •  If anyone thinks this nationwide... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas, BlackSheep1, happy camper

            discussion can occur without all the stakeholders, they are likely to be disappointed.

            I left the NRA a few years ago because of their blatant lies and political crap, but they do have a big constituency and cannot be ignored. Like it or not.

            "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

            by RonV on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:27:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hold the phone (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranger995, Hey338Too, Miggles, BlackSheep1

        DMW would be an important voice in any discussion, particularly since he has direct personal experience with weapons that is sorely lacking in so many of those on the pro-gun side of the debate.

        If you exclude those who "curse and call the other side names" from the discussion, then you have just excluded a number of the RKBA members on this site.

        I have owned and used a whole range of weapons for coming up on 50 years, have been licensed to carry a handgun for 40.  My sons both own multiple weapons, and as of Christmas my 10 year old grandson is the proud owner of a single-shot .22.

        Yet I am consistently met with hostility and name-calling when I suggest ways to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not be allowed near them, or challenge the more extreme positions that some of them advance.

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

        by Wayward Wind on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:57:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I just have three regulations I want (2+ / 0-)

    I have thought about this, debated with people on both sides, and I have come down to three regulations I think could be agreed to by both sides:

    (1) End sales of ammunition and weapons over the internet.    While most people say "more regulations won't stop anything" a regulation ending sale of ammo over the internet would be immediate and effective.   Why?   Because the only way to ship ammo in the US is through the USPS (FedEx and UPS will not carry).   A ban on the sale of ammo over the internet has a few positive benefits for both sides:
    * It prevents people from easily stockpiling tons of ammo; if someone goes into a local gunstore and buys thousands of rounds, the gunstore owner is likely aware and this makes the sell less likely.
    * As a benefit to gun-rights advocates, it means that it's more likely to keep locally owned gun stores in business.
    * As a benefit to states, it means sales tax revenue which is not being paid or reported now will start flowing into their coffers.

    (2) When you buy ammo, show proof of gun registration.   This does zip to stop real gun owners, but it prevents people from buying ammunition for illegally obtained weapons.   It also makes sure that people register their weapons.   If they don't want to register them, or if they are a collectors item, they don't have to.. it just means they can't buy ammo.   For people who are legitimate collectors, this is a non-issue...

    (3) The government should permanently offer federal ATF money to a buy-back program.   There should always, in every major city, be a buy-back program for guns of all sorts.   You're free to keep it, we aren't coming to get it .. but if you want a couple hundred bucks to turn in a weapon, the government will gladly do it.

    Why is this good?  Because there are a lot of people who may not be in the best financial shape who could use money more than a gun.  And society is far better off giving them money than having them with a gun.   Period.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:59:21 PM PST

    •  What about training and inspection? (3+ / 0-)

      There are lots of gun owners who talk about how careful they are with their weapons, and how well trained they are as marksmen. A lot of them already support stricter rules requiring gun owners to take safety classes, and keep firearms locked up.

      Considering all the guns already out there, it would seem we would need the help of the gun enthusiast community to keep those guns out of the hands of children and other irresponsible people.

      •  I'm in favor of this (0+ / 0-)

        But I tend to think that the most effective way to get to where most of us want to go is bit by bit.   Small movements that can be easily accepted and once accepted make real changes.

        As you go along, many other things become possible because you end up with less batshit debate.   Start establishing ground rules everyone can agree on, and move the debate a bit.   And then keep at it.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:14:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Couple of thoughts... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, oldpunk, ParaHammer

      Firstly weapons sold on the internet generally are transferred between FFL holders.  When I bought a pistol online, it was sold to me, I paid for it and then it was shipped to my favorite FFL.  He entered it into his bound book and then after MD told him I was not denied, I drove back and picked it up.  At that point he made another entry in the bound book and transferred it to me.  It took 7 days.  Ammunition sold online can be shipped Fedex.  Because I have done that numerous times.  When I have bought ammunition, I have had to send a scan of my driver's license to the seller.  I don't buy online to stockpile ammunition, I do it to get the the type of cartridges that I want at a decent price.  You try to locate non corrosive 147gr FMJ 7.62x54r in your local sporting goods store.  

      I want to require every firearms transfer to be background checked and to move to a system where in addition to transfers from FFLs being background checked, I want to provide a system where private citizens can be background checked in private sales.  Additionally, I want the prohibited persons list to be fixed at the federal level.  Fix the transfers issue, and many other problems go away.  

      Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

      by DavidMS on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:40:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My understanding (0+ / 0-)

        From several online dealers was that the rule allowing shipment of ammo meant that FedEx had either already, or was soon, discontinuing all shipments of ammo unless to a registered place of business.   No more residential, at least that's how I understood it.

        And while your local store may not keep in stock, part of that is because demand has switched to the internet.   Seriously, if you want it, I'm betting any gun store or facility could order the ammo of your request.  :)

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:13:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I shop ammo via UPS. You just need (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, ParaHammer

      to know how to do it.

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

      by KVoimakas on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:32:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have an issue with this, tmservo433: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, FrankRose

      our family includes the owner of an 1894 Argentine Mauser that's been (beautifully, IMO) sporterized.

      Genuine antique. Also a nice firearm, and exempt under a fair amount of the current firearms law. But ...  It's an odd caliber and none of the local firearms suppliers carry the 7.65 ammunition for it.

      The owner's dad left it to him, along with about 20 rounds of empty brass. He's not a reloader and nor is he interested in becoming one (that would be me, as I have a serious yen to borrow it for an outdoor-range day....and the price of bullets for it on the Internet is jaw-dropping, before you start talking shipping costs).

      Under your rule that firearm owner's right to keep and bear it is infringed.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:36:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How? (0+ / 0-)

        How would it be infringed?   If he currently has the weapon, and ammo, then where is he infringed?

        More than that, we live in too instant of an age.. just because none of the shops local carry it as an in-stock item doesn't mean that they couldn't obtain it or order it for him.

        I guess I grew up in a different era, hell, I remember going to a record store to 'special order' CDs, etc. or imports because they didn't stock them.  

        There is nothing that stops the local store from ordering in.  I'm not sure how his right to bear is impinged in any way because of that.

        Now, if you mean because longterm I expect the ammo to go out of production, that's fine.. but again, that in no way infringes on his right to own and bear, it's market forces.  If it's not profitable, it's not profitable.  There is no constitutional guarantee every single gun ever made will always have ammo available.   If there were, people would be clammoring why their vendors don't offer musket packing :)

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:37:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ah, you misunderstood me. He has the weapon. NO (0+ / 0-)

          ammunition for it.  Empty brass is exactly that. No bullet. No propellant. No primers (some of the shells he has retain the primer hulls), either.  

          About this:

          There is no constitutional guarantee every single gun ever made will always have ammo available.   If there were, people would be clammoring why their vendors don't offer musket packing :)
          I can go to three different stores where I live and get powder, ball, and patches ("musket packing").

          There are about a dozen different arms-and-ammunition providers here in town, and a third of 'em are blackpowder specialists. Cap -and- ball is no problem, either, and (thank FSM, Ceiling Cat and all the gods!) I can even get smokeless powder. It's less corrosive and damaging to rifle/musket/pistol  barrels, let alone the shooter's eyes, sinuses and lungs.

          I'm so damn old I remember the formula for gunpowder (sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal) kinda the same way I remember my times tables -- I saw it referenced in Daniel Boone and Star Trek, for catsakes, just to name a couple places. I think it might even be in the MacGyver repeats somewhere.

          What I can't get is 7.65 Argentine (aka 7.65 Belgian).

          Now, if you mean because longterm I expect the ammo to go out of production, that's fine.. but again, that in no way infringes on his right to own and bear, it's market forces.
          It has gone out of production in the USA, (remember, I said antique? his rifle was made in 1894. That's a certifiable antique) as far as I can find; the last producer of the caliber (Hornaday) no longer lists it as current. My mail-order suppliers' catalogs both list it as back-ordered. I suppose I ought to make time to check around in El Paso ... the police chief where Son1 works found a source, he says.

          Overseas makers like Privi Partizan and Sako, I believe, still produce it ... but how to import it, affordably and legally? I don't know.

          Let me give you an example of the kinds of encroachment such rules promote.  Last session Congress addressed more than three dozen measures aimed at overturning Roe V. Wade the way a knapper creates a stone blade: one tiny chip at a time. Not all completely failed; some entirely passed.

          Occurs to me that elements of that strategy, applied to your proposal, would expand it to prevent the shipment of powder, primer, bullets, brass, or the private retrieval of same (GMO-seed-companies now have patents and legal rights that drove farmers out of the business of saving cottonseed for next year from this year's crops, destroying the delinting industry, as one example here in the USA of this kind of creeping state-industrial-corporate alliance against the people) for reloading; a ban on reloading equipment being shipped via the mail or being available without special license; (ISTR gunpowder already can't be mailed as it is an explosive and therefore banned from air-freight too) might be a step we see.

          Since I believe you are not actually trying to do an end-around, stealth-version all-private-firearms ban, I am not trying to beat you down, here.

           I'm asking you to consider the unintended consequences should your proposal, which is not without merit, gain legislative traction.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:45:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't get leaded gas to power my 62 chevy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmservo433

            Mandated obsolescence of my beautiful antique ride.
            Sure, I can use unleaded gas, but it will burn the valves, So then I'll have to rebuild the engine with stainless valves and adjust the compression ratio and timing to compensate for the different formula. And I'll lose a lot of performance as a result.
            But that old leaded gas was poisoning people, poisoning the planet. Should I kick and scream that my prize Bel Aire is being infringed, just to satisfy some government mandate?
            And BTW it will cost several thousand dollars to do the work to bring that machine into modern spec, isn't that a good enough excuse?
            Sorry no.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:06:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you know you can get additives to let you run (0+ / 0-)

              that car on modern hi-test at any parts store, right?

              Sorry. Nope. Not buying the equivalence.

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:21:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Handling of commerce (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            Goes all the way back to one of our founding fathers... George Washington in a thing called Shay's Rebellion.
            Were we pretty much staked out the right of the government to determine taxation and transport of goods.

            We've followed that up repeatedly since then, including the Federal Highways Act, which dispenses money only if you meet federal highway speed limits and controls.   We did the same with funding for seatbelts, etc.

            We have to realize this is in no way an end around to a private arms ban.   There were, in fact, ways to get things long before the internet ;)

            In some ways, I would argue that a little like Shay, the internet has become a means by which people bypass paying taxes.. sure, you are legally obligated to report your "use" tax, items you acquired without paying sales tax on your state income return.. did you or yours do that with the ammo you purchased?

            It's for that reason that many states prevent shipment of alcohol.   Federal law prohibits shipping of controlled substances, subject to felony offenses, as the receiver must have a DEA Control #.  

            If you want that ammo, I have no problem.   Go to a local gun store who has a control # and let them order and get it for you.

            Not everything has to go straight from the internet to the end user, because like you, I'm old enough to remember a world with no internet ;)  We didn't all lose our rights when we didn't have email :)

            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

            by Chris Reeves on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:43:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  another poster here today said the (0+ / 0-)

              anti-gun agenda needs to advance via the anti-choicers' model: baby steps.

              I shuddered.

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:52:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Fedex delivers Ammo n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas

      "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

      by ParaHammer on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:09:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, answered (0+ / 0-)

        See above.  It was my understanding from something else that they were stopping in 2013.   This may be in error.  But it would also be easy to resolve.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:34:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the well-reasoned diary. We weill need (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    detroitmechworks, atana, Wayward Wind

    to persevere and use reason.  The interests I'd like to see addressed are, in conjunction with the research you propose (I presume it includes research into causes and number of gun deaths), we have a conversation to define how many annual deaths are acceptable versus the number of regulations?  Case in point, we are in no way close to considering outlawing motor vehicles because so many people die every year - rather we have been making efforts to significantly reduce the risks with reasonable regulations (e.g. seat belt requirements have saved many lives). Total motor vehicle deaths are down almost 50%  in the last 40 years in spite of significant increases in numbers of both vehicles and drivers.  As a society we have determined that we are OK with 30k plus annual vehicular deaths, but also that we must do more (airbags, drunk-driving limits/laws, stricter driver's ed courses in most states to teach about safety, and many more) in order to reduce the risk of deaths while driving.

    As a matter of fact, it is predicted that gun deaths will surpass motor vehicle deathswithin a couple of years.

    The benefit of motor vehicles is enjoyed by a great majority of Americans (I don't know if it is 70-80% or what, but it is up there - and close to 100% enjoy the benefits of vehicles even when they don't drive, for example mail or other deliveries), while about 1/3 of the population avails itself (and because of that I presume they benefit) from guns.

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

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:05:53 PM PST

    •  Exactly. Vehicle accidents are something we try (4+ / 0-)

      to minimize, and there is no hot-rod lobby trying to weaken traffic regulations or highway improvement bills.

      In fact, I predict that in a few decades we will have smart streets and smart self-driving autos that communicate with each other and with the traffic control system in the streets, which will basically end all collisions in urban areas. I can imagine it becoming illegal to drive cars manually in urban areas in the future. If an NRA like lobby controlled cars, that would be impossible -- and we would all have to suffer car accidents to protect the right of a few people to race their hotrods.

      •  oh, no? I doubt this to be the case ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpunk
        there is no hot-rod lobby trying to weaken traffic regulations or highway improvement bills.
        I myself am aware of serious hobbyist efforts to get exemptions for hot rods and antique muscle cars w/r/t emissions / pollution control equipment requirements. I have yet to see a ticket for lack of seat belt in a car that didn't have them originally (Texas law has a specific exemption for cars so old they didn't come with taillights, never mind seatbelts), but the first time some nutjob tries to force my neighbor to put seatbelts in his '63 'Vette, the fur will fly.

        For one thing, there's no place to anchor seatbelts in that thing...
        and if we try to bring back the 55mph national speed limit, the howl will make the T-Bag fests of 2010 look like very well-mannered children's pretend cookies-and-drinks gatherings indeed.

        (I myself would go for a national speed limit of 60. Tickets for anything over that would be used for one purpose and one purpose only: road repair/upkeep. It's the biggest positive step we can make to stop Big Oil.)

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:44:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think a lot of us that are supportive of (5+ / 0-)

    firearm ownership --and the rights and responsibilities thereof-- have demonstrated a willingness to engage constructively; I feel I've tried. But there's an extreme element to some anti-gun voices that is difficult to work with.

  •  I think it naive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate, atana, Miggles

    to believe that the current leadership of the NRA and several of the other gun owner organizations can be engaged in a fruiful dialogue.

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

    by Wayward Wind on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:13:24 PM PST

  •  I try hard to follow this advice.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman

    I would also recommend not expending so much hatred on gun owners.  I think it isn't something I want to do, but there should be some acceptable reasons for gun ownership.  There are a lot of gun owners who will accept both registration and background checks.  I strongly support public service announcements and funding for research.  I support targeted buybacks and insurance.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:16:15 PM PST

    •  Every polluting industry calls for "more research" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too

      The really rich ones, like the pesticide industry, even pay for "tobacco science" research to make it look like there are thousands of factors other than their product doing the harm their product is doing.

      Of course the gun manufacturers want us to spend money on "more research".

      Let's tax them like cigarette manufacturers and use the money for violence prevention programs.

  •  might help if you defined language (7+ / 0-)

    you say "gun violence" and then you talk about school shooting.

    Most "gun violence" is suicide, of that fraction left over they are mostly minority guys in the city without hope or money.

    Any of the three would be well worth pursuing, but they'd all take very different approaches.

    Sounds like you are just interested in mass murders of our kids. Maybe switch the expressin "gun violence" for "school shootings by disturbed people"

    I'd like to work on at least those young fellas in the cities too. I think that fixing the reasons guys have to join gangs would go a long way towards curing lots of societies ills. They might be a little older but they seem like kids to me, worth saving.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:41:52 PM PST

  •  I liked your second rule from mediation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk, FrankRose

    However, there may be a step that precedes all of your rules in order to have a 'reality-based" discussion about gun violence.  That is, define the problem.  There are three distinct categories.
    1. Homicide
    2. Suicide
    3. Accident

    Within those three broad categories there are sub-categories.  For example: within homicide there are personal "anger" homicides and impersonal "random" homicides.

    Solutions to one category of gun violence don't necessarily fit another category.

    Also, personal values may affect what is considered an unacceptable event of gun violence within each category.  For example, I personally do not share society's (US) opposition to suicide.  Hence, I see no compelling reason to restrict private ownership of single shot firearms.

    YMMV

    •  Thanks, the second rule is the most important. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk

      It's the only rule, really. The key to resolving any conflict is to stop talking about positions, and dig down to interests. That is where you start to find common ground.

      As far as guns, you are of course correct that there are different considerations for each kind of misuse of firearms. Our interest in all three cases is still the same, however, the interest in preventing needless deaths and injuries. Once you identify that interest, you can talk about lots of ways to reduce death and injury in each situation. And that's how you get people of different views all working together to solve the same problem.

  •  Any proposal that requires me to prove (8+ / 0-)

    to the government that I am worthy of exercising my rights before I may do so is an absolute non-starter.

    With rights, the relationship works, and should always work, exactly in the opposite direction.

    The State must be able to prove, in an adversarial process, in front of a jury of my peers, that I am, by my own actions, no longer able to exercise my rights before they can be taken away from me.

    Any other construction is inherently totalitarian, no matter how narrowly the right in question is defined.

    And, while the precise dimensions of this particular right are stil being defined by the Courts, (we'll have a much better understanding five years from now than we do today,) any scenario that turns the ability to be armed into a privilige granted by government is going to require either outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment, or a long and sustained campaign through the Courts, sarting with appointing a shitload of Federal judges who buy into the "collective right" interpretation of the amendment as written, nd followed by a long series of carefully crafted cases designed to overturn the existing precedents, since they are overwhelmingly in the direction of expansion, rather than contraction, of the right to be armed.

    Neither is likely.

    --Shannon

    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:21:01 PM PST

    •  A question for you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too

      Do you believe that your "rights" exist independently of the society that bestows them upon you?

      •  Here's the problem with that one... (6+ / 0-)

        Society hasn't "bestowed" the right. It is an Amendment to the Constitution recognizing the right. The Bill of Rights still exists. That's apparently a hard concept to some people.

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

        by meagert on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:59:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But society does have rights which do not... (0+ / 0-)

          ... need to be "bestowed", correct?  Those of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" - those are inalienable rights which don't need to be in the Constitution.  The issue is where my inalienable rights conflict with those that are granted to you by the country in which we all live.  ImpactAv's point is a valid one.  Which rights are more important?

          I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

          by Hey338Too on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:08:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We are probably getting too deep (0+ / 0-)

            into esoteric philosophical nuances, but I would argue that there are no "inalienable rights" separate and apart from what society construes them to be.

            Think back to when those words were written.  Did they apply to poor people?  Black people?  Women?  Native Americans? Prisoners?  The list goes on.  If you exclude 80% of the human population of a geographic area, exactly how "inalienable" are those rights?

            •  We can't actually do that... (0+ / 0-)

              ... unless we consider the times when the 2nd Amendment was written too.  Were there semi-automatic weapons available for sale to the public?  Were there even weapons capable of firing more than two rounds without having to be reloaded?  100 round magazines?  Weapons that can accurately fire a bullet hundreds of yards?  The list goes on in this realm too.

              And through the course of time the Constitution has been amended to allow for the rights of many of the peoples you refer to in your post.  Yet the same cannot be said of the 2nd Amendment despite the changes in technology or population or need for certain types of weapons in a mostly urban and unarmed population.

              I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

              by Hey338Too on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:48:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So the 1st doesn't apply to modern (5+ / 0-)

                newspapers, the internet, Mormonism (or any other religion post 1789), and more, right?

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

                by KVoimakas on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:03:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My argument is that the date the document... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... was written does not mean that the inalienable rights are not still valid.  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were considered to be fundamental rights which belonged to our citizens (even though at the time they were exclusively for rich white guys).  Through time the Constitution broadened the the definition of citizens to which those "inalienable rights" were accessible.

                  The First Amendment seems to be holding up pretty well over time, from your comment I would guess that you agree.  The Second Amendment is where we disagree, obviously.  

                  My argument would be that if you walked into the Constitutional Convention with a semi-automatic AR15 and fully explained its capabilities to the delegates (since there were 55 delegates it would be possible to eliminate more than half of them in less than a minute before reloading), and told them that you believed that everyone in the nation should have the right to own one (since they would cost significantly less than a year's salary), once they were over the shock of the weapon's capabilities (and ordered a shitload of them for their army), they would have worded the 2nd differently.

                  I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

                  by Hey338Too on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:56:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  See, I think exactly the opposite, Hey338Too (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theatre goon, KVoimakas, FrankRose

                    I think they'd've said something along the lines of, "if this is what the common soldier carries in your time, what other wonders can you show us?"

                    We might have explicit rights to far more exotic weapons than a Bushmaster ...

                    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:54:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  double-barrelled derringers & shotguns (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theatre goon, KVoimakas, FrankRose

                existed; over/under or side-by-side, by the mid-1780s.

                I believe pepperboxes would have been available, if not common.

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:51:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  impactAV: read again the 2d amendment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon, FrankRose

              it says "the people" ... not "the militia" or even "the citizens".

              It SPECIFICALLY DOES NOT EXCLUDE poor people or women or Native Americans or black people (perhaps because of Crispus Attucks). Prisoners during incarceration, yes; but I suspect no blanket denial of rights for them followed release or completion of sentence.

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:50:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  And yet the "Amendment" was bestowed (0+ / 0-)

          by our society adopting it.  Right?  So, in that sense it is a right bestowed by society.

          My quibble with Leftie Gunner's comment is in the apparent assumption that rights can exist independent of "a privilige granted by government".  If government is equated with society, I think that's erroneous.

          •  No, it wasn't. (4+ / 0-)

            There was not going to be a Constitution without an enumeration of those things called the Bill of Rights. There were those that thought the Constitution did not recognize the rights the People inherently held. Therefore they were enumerated so as to be specifically understood.
             According to the Supreme Court their are reasonable restrictions that can be voted into law concerning those rights. But those restrictions cannot place undue burden on the basic Right.

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

            by meagert on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:22:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Undue burden (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Miggles

              Therein is the crux of the matter.

              What is an undue burden?  Registration of all firearms in your possession, is that a burden?

              What bothers me greatly is the fact that those who cannot pass a background check have easy access to guns, say criminals and gangbangers and these  weapons are either stolen or bought in the secondary market.

              Lets say you buy a gun legally from a dealer then you walk out of the store and then decide to sell it to someone else without a background check.  

              It's like "fast and furious" gun walking is done everyday via "straw purchases."  How can this ever be stopped?  

              And how can so many guns be stolen?  I don't get this at all.

              •  Democracy ain't easy. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theatre goon, KVoimakas

                With 300,000 million guns out there, criminals will get guns. The horses have left the barn.
                 (And don't forget, anyone who is involved in a straw purchase is breaking an already existing law.)
                That's why I suggest quicker, more effective and easier solutions. Better funding for  Mental Health, single payer, liveable wages,end the drug war, yada, yada, yada. Lots of People don't want to hear that. They just want to do something NOW, hoping to make this all go away. I don't believe they are right.

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

                by meagert on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:58:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  I wrote the following comment for another diary (5+ / 0-)

    but it applies here so I will include it:

    I am a Progressive who happens to own guns.  I enjoy them, I hunt, I target practice and I feel I have the right to defend myself and family from harm.  I am a firm supporter of the 2A and wish it to stay intact.  I am being cautious in my support of further regulations but with great thought, here is my opinion on the matter:

     I am ok with reasonable regulations that actually
    have purpose and will stop mass murders.  However, I stop at taking my rights away as a law abiding gun owner who indeed has the right to bear arms.  Period.

      When the regulations and restrictions are aimed at law abiding gun owners, and this is the case in a lot of suggestions floating around on DKos and by legislators, then the purpose is no longer just to stop/lessen mass murders but to lessen the rights that law abiding gun owners have too.  

    When we talk about completely banning them, or repealing the 2A, or counting bullets with government auditors, or making it a crime for me to own more than a revolver, or making bullets and guns so expensive with fees and insurance that only the rich would have the 2A right or things of this nature....then we are no longer discussing preventing tragedies such as Newtown....the discussion has then turned to disarming the population, in general.

    I am more than happy to join any discussion that would consider both the need to stop gun crime and mass murders but also and equally have at the forefront of that same discussion, the absolute need to protect the rights that law abiding gun owners are granted by the Constitution.

    I appreciate this diary, in the sense that it addresses dialogue and debate but with listening as well.   There are a lot of us who are totally on your side politically as 40% of gun owners in America are Democrat. So we need to remember that the discussion has to flow in a way that protect everyone's rights.

  •  "But if Wayne LaPierre wants people to be open..." (0+ / 0-)

    "... to his ideas, he needs to be open to other ideas as well"

    Well, that's the thing. He doesn't want to be open to other ideas. He just wants everybody to follow his ideas. End of discussion. Or whatever passes for one to a right-winger.

  •  My interest. (0+ / 0-)

    No guns. Access = use = tragedy.

     

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:50:46 AM PST

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