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This morning's Charlotte Observer has a front-page story that may be one of the strongest arguments yet for reforming our gun laws.  Late last year, employees of Carolina Sporting Arms in south Charlotte told authorities that one of their customers was buying an unusually large number of AK-47s.  It turned out that customer, Michael Beas, had sold dozens of assault weapons without a license from June to November at gun shows in the Carolinas and Georgia.  He'd also made a large number of trips to Bolivia, a haven for gun trafficking.  Facing decades in prison, Beas is due to plead guilty on Tuesday to one count of dealing firearms without a license.  He faces up to five years in prison, or a minimum of two years and eight months under sentencing guidelines.  And yet, prosecutors say Beas' case highlights several weaknesses in the current scheme.

Prosecutors said they caught Beas only after Carolina Sporting Arms alerted them.

And that, they argue, is the problem: Current gun laws have shortcomings if authorities must rely on tipsters to identify suspicious activity.

Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to perform background checks on buyers, but Beas had a clean record.

Court records did not indicate whether other gun stores Beas used alerted authorities to his purchases.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins told the Observer that one focus for her office is to prosecute people who illegally have firearms, such as convicted felons. Her prosecutors handle about 130 such cases a year.

But prosecuting gun traffickers is rare.

Those cases are difficult to prosecute because there is no limit on how many assault weapons someone can legally buy and no requirement to report those purchases to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency is alerted only to buyers of multiple handguns.

Federal prosecutors still don't know how many guns Beas sold, or the identities of any of his customers.  They're particularly concerned about his trips to Bolivia--a major reason he's in jail without bond.

Employees at Carolina Sporting Arms, however, say the system worked the way it was supposed to work.  Most honest gun stores train their employees to spot signs that a customer is doing an end run around the law.  Store manager Bill Ingram checked his records and determined that Beas was buying way too many AK-47s to be a private seller, as he claimed.  But according to prosecutors, Beas bought his guns while traveling from the Carolinas to Miami--which leads you to wonder how many dishonest gun sellers dealt with him.

It seems almost surreal--the ATF can track buyers of handguns, but not assault weapons?  And yet, as tough as Dianne Feinstein's proposed law is, it doesn't give the ATF that power.  And that doesn't sit well with the U.S. Attorney here in Charlotte, Anne Tompkins.

None of the proposals by Obama or Feinstein include a way to track multiple assault weapons sales. To Tompkins, not having that information hurts her ability to enforce the law.

“There is no system,” Tompkins said. “In America, we love our individual freedoms. But I think people will be surprised to know that there is no mechanism for law enforcement to track the sale of assault weapons. Law enforcement doesn’t know who is buying numerous military style assault weapons.”

We already know what the NRA's answer to that will be--it's the next step to the federal government taking away our guns.  Indeed, Feinstein's proposal for universal background checks, as common-sense as that is, has Carolina Sporting Arms' Ingram nervous.  He thinks if that goes through, the next step will be to come after the First Amendment.

The NRA, as usual, doth protest too much.  Like most people here in North Carolina, I believe that there is no reason an honest, law-abiding person can't own a gun.  In fact, I support a national right-to-carry law.  But simple common sense dictates that if we're going to protect the right of honest people to own guns, we've got to close the loopholes that make it possible for felons and others who have no business having guns to get them.  And hopefully it won't take more Adam Lanzas and William Spenglers for that to happen.

Originally posted to Shut Down the NRA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:09 AM PST.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Feinstein's law... (9+ / 0-)

    ...doesn't track sales of assault weapons because it bans such sales outright. Why would one need to track the sale of a weapon that is outright banned?

    I hate the Feinstein bill and I think it will (and should) die in the House, if it manages to pass the Senate. But I think this story points to the very real need to track not just handgun purchases, but all firearm purchases. Yes, all, including single-shot long guns. If AWB 1994 demonstrates anything, it's that if you try to fine-tune the law to cover just Evil Black Guns, there will be guns that fall through the loopholes. Those guns will find their way into the black market, where gangbangers will use them to wreak havoc on each other and on their neighborhoods.

    No, the NRA and GOA won't support such a law. Why should they? They work best with a strategy of total opposition.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:22:55 AM PST

    •  Feinstein's bill should die in the Senate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk

      It has gone way to far if it reaches the House.

      A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by notrouble on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:34:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's wrong with Feinstein's bill? (11+ / 0-)

        You guys think it goes too far?

        The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

        by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:37:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, a ban on modern sporting rifles goes too far. (6+ / 0-)

          As does the magazine limit.  That's a red line, whether the objective is confiscation or attrition.  I wouldn't support legislation whose sponsor admits its aim is to eliminate an entire class of firearm, with the further effect of cordoning off and stigmatizing gun ownership.  Especially when it will have absolutely no impact on gun violence at all.

          •  What would you support that you (3+ / 0-)

            think would help to reduce gun violence?

            •  I call my approach "gun security." (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slothlax, oldpunk

              I want to secure guns from the black market, buyers and sellers from unwarranted search and seizure, and the right to keep and bear arms from unnecessary infringement.  

              So I propose a decentralized background check system.  A buyer would present a seller with a key generated and irrefutably signed by competent authority within say the past hour authorizing receipt of a firearm.  A record of transfer would be kept by both parties, which could further be held in trust by a third party both to preserve the record and safeguard their privacy.  That record would be made available to authorities when either party is presented with a valid warrant or if either party chooses to cooperate.  Criminal and civil penalties attach to failure to maintain the chain of custody.  This will achieve everything that a registry-based universal background check possibly could.

              Additionally, I want to encourage a revival of competitive shooting for young people.  Declining participation in these sports tracks with gun owners' declining share in the population and increasing hostility in the coastal regions particularly.  Kids are exposed more often to depictions of violence in media and gaming, but have fewer and fewer opportunities to learn about firearms under competent and moral guidance.  

              •  Why is it so important for kids to learn (6+ / 0-)

                how to use guns in this day and age?

                I'd venture to guess that the decline in gun ownership tracks roughly with the decline in family farming and ranching as well as the flight from rural America.  I live in the city.  We don't and should not be shooting varmints in our backyards - too much potential for hurting our unsuspecting neighbors.  I really have no use for a gun in my day to day life.

                In any case, the base is shrinking because guns no longer an integral part of the day to day activities with respect to work, survival and procuring sustenance for most people.  That's not really a bad thing.  

                As for your registry concept, I don't see how it could really stop illegal trafficking and dealing if it is that segmented.  I think we should be concerned about exportation of our lawless gun philosophy as much as what it does inside of our own country.  The mess in Mexico is being made worse by the flood of American guns in the hands of the drug cartels.  That's not okay and it is creating problems for us for a whole host of reasons.

                Anyway, in some article I was reading recently a TX sherif was quoted saying that when he was a kid there was a three chamber rule for hand guns - the other three had to be sealed.  He thought that was a reasonable limitation on ammunition rounds.

                I have a farm.  I can't really think of an instance where I'd want/need 30-100 rounds of ammunition - well okay water moccasins maybe - but still you're better off running from them than you are trying to confront them even if you think you can shoot them into pieces...  My grandmother just used an ice pick - for WMs - and a shovel for the copperheads and cotton mouthes.  She was fearless and always triumphant without every using a firearm to the best of my knowledge.

                •  I believe I explained why. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  slothlax, oldpunk, Kentucky Kid

                  Hunting isn't the only recreational use for a firearm.  There are a variety of competition shooting sports to choose from.

                  My concept is no registry.  Its a system designed to protect the privacy of owners while preserving a chain of custody for law enforcement to follow.  And it reduces (let's be serious, you won't bring illegal trafficking to a halt) transfer to the black market by imposing the same duty on private sellers as we do on licensed dealers.  If you discover a break in the chain, then you've either encountered a timely reported theft, an illegal transfer, or data error that your suspect will be very motivated clear up.  As with all laws, people will try to circumvent this one.  The question is whether or not they can do so successfully, and so far I can find no way this solution trails use of a registry in catching bad guys.

                  It does not deal with the issue of theft, but then again neither does a universal background check backed by a registry.  That's a matter of secure storage, which is something everyone on both sides needs to think about more deeply (the NRA doesn't and the gun control lobby's ideas are as laughably easy to defeat as they are dangerously inhibiting to the owner).

                  •  You should know that I am sensitive (4+ / 0-)

                    to the concept of privacy and have concerns around the issue of government lists - BUT having said that - there is no privacy right now since the government is spying on people without warrants.  A more sophisticated approach might be to create  state licensing systems that would meet a federal minimum standard where the feds and other states would need judicial approval to access a given state's lists.  You hate that idea, I'm sure, but the more you talk about how easy it is to cheat the current system, the more you convince me that stronger licensing and permitting laws might be the only way to get closer to a safer civil society.

                    It is funny how I am actually really interested in a more moderate approach in part because I do not believe that prohibition is a very effective or helpful response to problems, but some pro-gun arguments do push me towards much stronger regulation and oversight.  If I were you, I'd think about how people react to statements like "we can't stop people..."  Many people will instantly make the leap to prohibition in the face of that kind of argument.  FWIW

                    As for the competitions with high capacity magazines, why isn't that something that could be worked out as something that can be done in certain settings?  NASCAR races take place at designated tracks where it is legal to drive over 100mph.  Is there some reason why high-capacity super-fast weapons could not be limited to authorized shooting ranges? I am assuming you're not practicing your shooting in the middle of some neighborhood or down at the local public park.

                    •  Your conflating a few issues. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      slothlax, oldpunk

                      I've never suggested that it's easy to defeat a registry.  It's certainly easy not to comply, given the large number of firearms out there and inherent dangers of launch a massive confiscation scheme.  And the depth of mistrust for firearms registries after historical attempts at attrition and confiscation has and likely will ensure non-compliance.  However, you'd still be able to prosecute damn near anyone you found to be in possession of an unregistered firearm.

                      My scheme, at least, provides an incentive for gun owners to participate.  For one, it provides them with protections above and beyond what they have today; irrefutable proof a valid transfer and knowledge that public agency cannot breach these records.  For the law enforcement to physically access these records, they're going to need your consent, and privilege attaches to whomever you choose to hold records in trust.  This is not a network, the records are physically isolated and in your sole legal custody.

                      That said, if presented with a warrant you must produce these records.  If you fail to do so, you face the same penalties a licensed dealer would.  

                      "We can't stop people" is an argument right from Senator Feinstein.  It's an acknowledgement that no effort is a silver bullet, and a segue into the argument for why the effort is worthwhile anyway.  And I'm saying my scheme is just as good as a registry and background check.

                      As for magazines, it's not going to happen.  It's immaterial to the discussion entirely.  Same thing with gun control lobby's ridiculous attacks on modern sporting rifles and certain types of ammunition.  I'm sorry, but a fears born out of technical misunderstandings are not reason to acquiesce to arbitrary restrictions.  And if we're going to consider how people react to things, you might think about how gun owners perceive the motives of people who ludicrously argue that restricting magazine capacity and ammunition types saves lives.  We've seen what bargaining does in New York, and we're not going to accept it nationally.

                      •  You lost me at the "confiscation scheme". (5+ / 0-)

                        We can't have a serious conversation about this issue if you keep going to something that is simply not going to happen as long as the Constitution stands.  The 2nd Amendment isn't going away and the Supreme Court has affirmed that fact.  The Supreme Court also affirmed the right of the state to place reasonable restrictions on ownership.  You can understand and accept that responsibility and participate in an earnest attempt at striking a better balance, or you can play inflammatory games ginning up fear that some drone is going to come and attack you if the government finds out you have a gun at your house.

                        Obama is no Ataturk.  DiFi isn't going to succeed for a whole host of reasons. And if you really are so concerned about anonymous gun ownership, I'd get off of the Internet, if I were you.

                        •  Confiscation AND attrition. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          oldpunk

                          And are you arguing that the Constitution prevents the confiscation of any firearm?  If so, that's a move in the right direction.  Freezing the market for new buyers and relying on attrition is equally offensive; I draw a distinction between that out of politeness, not out of any serious attempt to draw a new category.

                          "Reasonable restriction" appears nowhere in the decision for Heller.  I believe you're referring to this blockquote:

                          Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.  It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any   manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment   or state analogues.  The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast  doubt on longstanding prohibitions  on the possession of firearms by  felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or   laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of   arms.  Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those   “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition  of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.   Pp. 54–56.
                          No one will disagree that the Second Amendment is limited, just like every other enumerated right.  But the specific tests and/or standards of scrutiny that must be applied is an issue that has not been addressed by the Courts.  Obviously, I would prefer the strictest standard of scrutiny possible for determining "reasonableness" (which comes with the presumption in favor of the right).  It may turn out to be a lesser standard than that.  And I would also concede that certain schemes, including a universal registry, would pass constitutional muster under intermediate scrutiny.  However, I'm also in favor of taking proactive, statutory steps to preserve rights.  In this case, I have an alternative to a registry that serves the same purpose and achieves the same results.  Under strict scrutiny, a registry would be tossed out immediately because of the presence of such an alternative.  However, it would be far better for us just to agree to use the least invasive measure that gets the job done.
                        •  I know Obama's no Ataturk. (0+ / 0-)

                          And I know Senator Feinstein's effort is going to fail.  But if this is cover just to sneak in a registry, I should warn you that effort will also fail.  So the question is what do you want to do?  Is your objective the registry, or the reduction in gun violence you hope to gain by tracking firearms transfers.

                          I'm not concerned with being outed as a gun owner.  I'm concerned with government agencies keeping tabs on precisely what I own and where without cause. And not for any doomsday prepper reason, but because I want a firewall against official acts of discrimination.

                          •  Your firewall was erradicated (3+ / 0-)

                            during the Bush era - and the worst part is that the way things are done now - in secret without any government accountability - they can make shit up about you, me or anyone else without consequence.  It is really too bad that the NRA didn't join the fight against warrantless wiretapping or help to devise reasonable measures to prevent gun sales to terrorists.  Instead, we are all caught in this bullshit dragnet and that's largely because the government and law enforcement can make the claim that the door is basically wide open to criminals and terrorists under the current rules.

                            The people who threaten your gun rights the most are the criminals, madmen and terrorists.  Focus on figuring out how to isolate them and you're going to find your rights to be much more secure and under far less scrutiny.

                            Suggesting that school children be indoctrinated through the public school system with gun-love isn't helping your case, either.  That will sound creepy to a lot of people.  If you want to open a kids' gun school, that's your deal and that of the parents' of the kids, but government programs like that evoke certain historical imagery for some of us - and for others its just not what they want their kids learning in school.

                          •  It's a shame there's such a cultural gulf (0+ / 0-)

                            on this issue.  We're at the point where we're now arguing personal perceptions and taste, which isn't doing anything to further the discussion on what to do about gun violence.  I'd just point out that it's not written in stone that gun owners are doomed to be stigmatized, or that a healthy culture that appreciates firearms can't return to its apex.  Beyond that, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

                          •  Now *you* know what it feels like (0+ / 0-)

                            to offer a solution and have it nitpicked to death. I enjoyed watching that. Defense is hard. But I don't believe you really want a solution to mass shootings--not if it's going to inconvenience you in any way.

                      •  Of course restricting magazine size saves (0+ / 0-)

                        lives. It's terrible that you're using VaTech to try to make that point, since there were several other problems with that event that the vast majority on both sides agree on.

                        Not being willing to budge on magazine sizes is imo the HEIGHT of selfishness. It doesn't restrict your ability to target shoot, at all...you can shoot any gun you're allowed to still.

                        I see what you did there.

                        by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:23:39 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, it doesn't. (0+ / 0-)

                          And the evidence bears that out.  I'm unaware of these "several other problems" you mentioned.

                          There's no selfishness here.  A seven round limit is three double taps and a single round.  So what?  You require gun owners to change magazines after engaging a single intruder?  In close quarters?  No, it's selfishness on the part of the gun control lobby, because its sole motivation is to spite gun owners.

                          •  Maybe you shouldn't have referenced (0+ / 0-)

                            VaTech then if you're unaware of the plethora other issues.

                            Yes, there is. As a gun owner, you have a responsibility not to suck at guns. And if you can't fight off an intruder with 7 rounds, get another gun or learn how to change a clip really fast.

                            7 was a stupid number; I think 8 would've required a lot less guns be modified.

                            I see what you did there.

                            by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:41:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Maybe you should raise those other issues. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kentucky Kid

                            As far as I'm concerned, I'm very well informed of the circumstances behind the VA Tech incident.

                            If I can't fight off an intruder with 7 rounds, why should law enforcement get to carry standard mags and carry around spares?

                          •  Because law enforcement has to be able (0+ / 0-)

                            to engage multiple people at times.

                            The VT incident exposed issues with campus security protocols, mental health as part of background checks, a failure of Tech to deal with an obviously disturbed individual on its campus, and you could also argue it brings up again whether or not public college campuses can or should ban firearms beyond what is currently allowed by state law. All of which we could get enough consensus on to help.

                            I see what you did there.

                            by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:57:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And civilians don't? (0+ / 0-)

                            I hope I don't have to comment on the wisdom of planning for the best case scenario.

                            Oh, I thought you were referring to mishaps that rendered moot Seung Hui Cho's limited magazine capacity.

                          •  I don't believe civilians do, no. (0+ / 0-)

                            There are many more civilians than police. So you're only talking about one-person vigilantism against an oppressive armed horde of ::insert badguys here::.

                            I don't think it's a violation of the 2nd amendment, on the individual right to keep and bear arms, to not be able to shoot 20 people before changing the magazine.

                            Cho had lots of guns and planned his attack so he could trap people.

                            I see what you did there.

                            by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:06:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Cho had two pistols, and seventeen magazines. (0+ / 0-)

                            And there's no indication that he planned anything other than acquiring weapons.  He went after targets of opportunity after his first victim.

                            I'm still not following you on the ratio.

                            Magazine limits may not be a violation of the Second Amendment.  That issue needs to be addressed by the courts.  But I'll say if the courts do find that the state has to tread carefully before impinging on a citizen's capacity to defend himself, then magazine limits--at least as you envision them--may truly be suspect.  A ban on 100 round drums may survive under any circumstances, though I would still consider their banning an immaterial and spiteful act unrelated to security and safety.

                            Also, if you're not taking fire--as is too often the case with these monsters--what does it matter if you have to change magazines?  Seung Hui Cho did.  In any case, within a few years the issue of magazines will be moot.  Anyone who wants one will be able to DIY.

                          •  and note (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            GoGoGoEverton, lyvwyr101

                            that cop's even with their extensive firearm training have a consistent 17% record of shooting criminals. Now ask yourself this - if a cop can't do much better than 17%, then how good would you be in an assault situation? Would you miss all of your shots and, in the process spray the walls, maybe  shoot through walls, maybe hit an innocent bystander, with your bullets? Are you so well trained that you can dive for cover and hit a moving target at the same time? So if you have an assault rifle, and extended magazine, etc., face this fact: All you are going to do is to risk killing innocent people, or destroying property, by having the ability it spray more bullets. You want a defensive weapon? get a pump shotgun.

                            "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

                            by azureblue on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:16:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The extension of the right to outside the home (0+ / 0-)

                            is the biggest reason I think we should take a strong look at clip and magazine sizes. If you want to blast your home to smithereens, be my guest, but not in public.

                            I see what you did there.

                            by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 03:34:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Just who is this "we" you claim to speak for? (0+ / 0-)
                        We've seen what bargaining does in New York, and we're not going to accept it nationally.
                •  Also, you may not want or need 30-100 rounds (0+ / 0-)

                  of ammunition, but that's your choice to make.  Some one else may arrive at a different conclusion.  I'd also point out that those other people include public officials and retired law enforcement, who for some reason are granted special exemptions in both the New York SAFE Act and Feinstein's proposal.  I'd also note that it would be trivially easy for one of these "constitutional sherriffs" to circumvent even those exemptions by simply handing out permitted status to anyone who applies.

          •  Exactly what is a "modern sporting rifle?" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyvwyr101
          •  RPG's and Rocket Launchers (0+ / 0-)

            Are also a class of "man portable" firearms, 50 caliber sniper rifles that can down an aircraft, are a "class" of firearm too.

            I would say there is a "Red Line" alright, and it ain't moving in the right direction.

            If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

            by RUNDOWN on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:31:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Courts have a whole battery of tests to apply (0+ / 0-)

              in order to determine whether a particular law unduly infringes on a right, or whether rights are properly balanced, etc., etc., etc.  RPGs and Rocket Launchers are controlled by the National Firearms Act, and transfer is restricted to 26 year old models by the Hughes Amendment.  Do you see a court striking that down any time soon?  Didn't think so.

              How many aircraft are you going to take down with this?

        •  The bill itself is security theater (8+ / 0-)

          I don't believe for a moment that banning outright certain kinds of magazine-fed longarms is going to prevent angry, murderous people from committing mass murder. Can't get your hands on an AR-15? Magazine fed handguns are still legal, but let's suppose we ban those next. Even then, Diesel fuel and fertilizer are still legal. Okay, so let's license fertilizer sales and ban Diesel for non-commercial drivers. Even then, glass jars, gasoline, and rags are still legal. If the purpose is to prevent another Sandy Hook, such laws fail poorly, have too much impact on law-abiding citizens, and fall way off the mark.

          It's also worth noting that magazine-fed longarms - so called "assault rifles" - account for about one percent of all homicide deaths.

          As a piece of legislative strategy, however, the AWB is brilliant. It has the entire Second Amendment community - that is to say, the grass roots Second Amendment crowd that is much more vocal and responsive than the NRA - focusing on it and on the magazine ban. This gives Congress room to pass other measures that will lead not only to fewer Sandy Hooks, but much more importantly will slow down the flow of guns to gangbangers via the black market. These measures include universal background checks, which should have been made law decades ago. If not for the AWB, those grass roots would be focused on universal background checks instead, in the mistaken belief that such checks require a de facto registration scheme. Total net result, substantially fewer deaths of young people by homicide. That's a legislative result worth fighting for.

          If Obama can pull that off, then that's a much bigger progressive result than the AWB.

          ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
          My Blog
          My wife's woodblock prints

          by maxomai on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:04:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wishful thinking. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite

            The 2A grassroots can walk and chew gum at the same time, especially when the other side is so obliging as to telegraph the play.  If the goal is to sneak past registries (which is what every "universal background check" the gun control lobby has proposed actually is), it's not going to succeed.  But if the goal is to secure transfers to the legitimate population, and you propose a scheme that doesn't require a registry (as you say you are), then it's a done deal.  You don't need to play chicken with an AWB.  Just propose it and it will pass. Period.

            Will there be some hollering about it?  Of course, there's going to be conspiracy theorists on my side.  On your side, there'll be consternation from those whose real motives are as nefarious as the NRA makes them out to be.  But they will be completely sidelined by an overwhelming majority of the public and the Congress.  More importantly, I give it 10 to 1 odds the NRA signs on; because this system lets them get into the regulation game as one of many private guarantors of provenance.

            •  registration?...background checks? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lyvwyr101

              background check don't ask what you are buying as far as I know.

              That would benew to me and good toi if so.

              As far as I know backgtround checks just indicate you are not prevented from this purchase today as far as they know.

              You are making the leap that the background check id's you and the gun you purchased??

              If you Know different please spill it. Otherwise that sounds like NRA propaganda. If that's a fact then we sure shou;d have the de facto gun registry as that may gain na nlot of cooperation one way or the other.
              thanks..

              This machine kills Fascists.

              by KenBee on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:24:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's Form 4473. (0+ / 0-)

                I'd start at  Section D., page 3.

                I'm more than happy to dig this stuff up for you, but before leaping to the conclusion that an innocuous claim ("background checks list firearms transferred") is "NRA propaganda."  Especially if your final position is that's exactly you want.

                •  ok thanks (0+ / 0-)

                  hadn't seen that form asked for specifics as which firearm/.

                  Seems unnecessary unless to track.....so yes it is a rudimentary registration..if digitized somewhere by somebody, otherwise it;s buried away in a paper drift somewhere not really useful or 'dangerous'..

                     Perhaps a good change would be to make the firearm specifics only filled out (and can be inspected anytime by ATF) and signed by the FFL at the time of sale, also copied to his kept paper, kept on the new owners paperwork, and kept on the old owner (for private resales) with the new owners name blanked out.

                  If a crime investigation occurs, LOE/ATF goes to FFL site where the physical paper is kept and sees number/caliber etc.

                  Now if a crime is committed and they find a gun, they want to know if it was sold by an FFL, to whom, and when...so to answer that the FFL should have to file a digital record or a paper one, whatever, with the ATF listing all guns sold, with SSN,....and keep the 'to whom' physical records cross listing gun sold to Form 4473.

                  That might look less like a registration database capable of being abused by gummint/hacked/sold etc (NOFLY list, I see you) and yet still with little extra burden be available to track a gun by ATF if found necessary to track an individual gun. And those physical records at the FFL are gold if you are the dreaded home invasion gun thief. As it is now. I think...)

                  If in the future gun owners are required to keep a record of disposition of guns they bought, this copy of the gun sale thru an FFL would be sufficient.

                  .................

                  You must be newish here....don't assume anything about what I want from one comment. Not a fan of gun controls as proposed or the NRA.

                        Yet I have no problem with the burden of FFL check for all private sales, I am also concerned that the resistance to the gun registration database will screw any positive reforms. I also have little faith in the ability of workers in any bureaucracy to not screw things up...and yet do appreciate how much they do get right...especially every month when my ss check gets here. And daily when my mail shows up.

                    Gummint has hurt me directly by abuse so I am not reassured by anybody that a gun database or any database can't and won't be abused/sold/hacked.

                  But the FFL check for all private sales should be fixed and if it takes not being a de facto registration or looking like one, that's what it takes.

                  And thanks for the link...

                  This machine kills Fascists.

                  by KenBee on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:47:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A lot of people do have a problem with FFL check. (0+ / 0-)

                    And not for the burden.  The main issue is a registry--in fact if not in the most convenient form--that can be inspected at will.  I proposed a means to avoid that, by requiring all parties to a transfer through the aftermarket lifecycle to maintain, for all time, a detailed record of transfer.  At no point would either party be required to notify the government that a transfer had taken place; the state's only involvement would be to provide both buyer and seller immediate,, secure, and electronic clearance shortly before the transfer.  This could be as simple as downloading a yes/no bit hashed and authenticated by a government digitally signed certificate valid for say one hour.

                    Any law enforcement agency could later follow a gun's chain of custody, but not at will.  They would require a warrant to get a look at the "bound book" at any step in the chain.  

          •  is it as easy to do damage with a glass jar (3+ / 0-)

            and some rags and explosive as with an assault rifle, esp. on the spur of the moment (however long that spur lasts)? Doesn't seem likely.

            Even something as simple and inconvenient as requiring a blister pack for certain drugs commonly used for suicide has dramatically reduced its incidence in England. How many murders with guns of all kinds are similarly spur of the moment acts - even if the moment extends over weeks of nursing a fantasy or a grievance? Even those that are well planned as were the two Colorado mass murders would have been more difficult to execute if buying guns was more difficult and more carefully tracked.

            Those who don't intend to use guns for such activity should not be afraid of reasonable restrictions - they are, IMHO, tarring their reputations as advocates for personal use of guns by their resistance to reasonable and comprehensive controls. Blanket opposition has the same in real life effect as advocacy for random shooting in our cities.

            Hence, anything that makes it more difficult to commit gun-assisted mayhem like "12/14" is a step forward in my book.

            People who are subjected on a daily or nightly basis to smaller scale and less noticed murders in their neighborhoods would probably agree that their right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" should trump an individual's right to own an unlicensed gun. There's nothing about "a well regulated militia" in the current scheme of things. More inner city families are living with these murders every year than are families of American soldiers killed in Iraq in 10 years. What part of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is this?

            Hence, I don't fault Feinstein for trying, tho' I cannot speak to the quality of her bill,  which I have not read.

            "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

            by fhcec on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:03:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that's just it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1, profewalt, NancyWH

              Those who don't intend to use guns for such activity should not be afraid of reasonable restrictions

              We have very different ideas on what constitutes a reasonable restriction.

              Background check for ammo purchase? Sounds reasonable to me.

              Clamp down on straw purchases? Sounds reasonable to me.

              But it doesn't strike me as a reasonable restriction to make it impossible to buy a magazine fed rifle with a pistol grip and an adjustable stock, particularly when that rifle has so many legitimate uses. Especially when the intention is to give others the illusion of security.

              ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
              My Blog
              My wife's woodblock prints

              by maxomai on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:09:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  If it goes too far, then it probably is worth (9+ / 0-)

          trying.  

          That said, we need other laws to track these multiple buying sprees that the diarist mentions above.

          Failing that, we are still losing the arms race.

          •  If you want a bird's eye view of transfers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slothlax, KenBee

            that's probably a non-starter, because that requires a registry.  However, you will now have the ability to trace crime guns to their point of exit out of the aftermarket.  More importantly, you'll have placed the same criminal and civil burden on gun owners as we have on FFLs; that's your preventive measure.  The only thing that costs you is the need to actually put in work to trace crime guns down a persistent and secure chain of custody.

        •  DiFi Has Floated Many Stupid Ideas For Many Years (0+ / 0-)

          I'm really surprised how many liberals here are tired of her whole "Look at me!Look at me! Look at me!" style on various issues.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:30:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  NRA and GOA won't agree to publicly held databases (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, science nerd, slothlax

      But NRA at least will agree to any measure that deters straw purchasers as strongly as it deters FFLs from dumping on the black market.  And the key to that is:

      1. Opening clearing information to private sellers.
      2. Holding private sellers responsible for verifying that a buyer is permitted by law to receive.

      The only difference between this scheme and the alternative frequently suggested by the gun control lobby is that there is no government registry and therefore no additional risk of confiscation.

    •  ironic that the gun dealer can track (8+ / 0-)

      using his records, but ATF, etc., are not allowed to track.

      why not treat guns like cars. Each one has to be followed and insured, and whoever owns one is responsible for paperwork on transfer.

      Protections for sellers who notify against buyers who do not... Protections for those whose guns are stolen, as well, just as car owners are not responsible for any accidents in which a stolen car is involved.

      There will be some who evade, but the vast majority will not, and that will reduce the universe that is monitored. Only those trying to evade will be subjects of investigation - and after all, those evaders are likely to be the miscreants anyhow.

      "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

      by fhcec on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:19:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Marketing Companies Probably Know What He Bought (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, BlackSheep1, NancyWH

        There are probably detailed records of what he bought for the purpose of selling him more stuff.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:24:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  ATF (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, 124NewYork

        has access to the records, but since they aren't online they would have to call them up or visit the store in person.

        And, more importantly, know which records to look for.

        the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:43:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because that involves registration. (0+ / 0-)

        And registration is a prerequisite for confiscation.

        If you want to catch traffickers (who are a small part of the problem), use the tax code.  Require sellers to report their volume data while keeping inventory data under pain of prosecution.  If you have a crime gun, and you have probable cause to investigate the last legitimate buyer regardless of his sales.  If you don't, you can make a financial case for probable cause that the last legitimate owner is acting as an unlicensed dealer by comparing his reported income against his actual financials, in which case you can get a warrant to audit his personal records and inventory.

        Or is there any reason why we can't protect people's Fourth Amendment rights while stamping out gun violence?

  •  The NRA owns Congress and these loopholes are (15+ / 0-)

    intended to allow for maximum sales.  The NRA will oppose anything that will reduce sales & profits.  Republicans and others in the gun cult gripe about "illegal" guns should be addressed, but never "legal" guns.  The thing is those illegal guns always start their life as a happy legal gun until they are "laundered" by people like Michael Beas into illegal guns, thus making sure there is just as ample a supply in the illegal market as there is in the legal market.

    Until we register every firearm (and serial numbers should be stamped in both the body and the barrel since so many barrels are now interchangeable), license every owner/dealer, and have full criminal background checks on every firearm sold/transferred  the flow of illegal guns will not even begin to be disrupted.

    Limits on how fast firearms can fire or how many rounds in a magazine/clip would also be very helpful in averting mass shootings.

    In he end it is about accountability of manufacturers, dealers, and owners.  The NRA is doing its utmost to make sure any such accountability does not ever take effect - that would be bad for sales/profits.

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

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:59:10 AM PST

    •  Does their right to make a profit trump (7+ / 0-)

      our right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? I think not.

      Good points, DOC.

      "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

      by fhcec on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:15:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Allow me to introduce you to the (0+ / 0-)

      Mk 1 Anti-Serial Device.

      We won't be registering every firearm.  In fact, I doubt we'll be registering any outside of the handful of states where that view is ascendant.  And even though the Senate thinks it can design a rocket, there's no spell you can cast that will drop your uninvented "delay" action into the hundreds of millions of repeating arms already in existence.

      So how about we focus on what we can actually do?  Like ensuring every seller can verify the backgrounds of every buyer, pushing affordable home storage options with a realistic eye towards preventing theft, and promoting safe carry by lawful citizens?

  •  Take the law into your own hands. (11+ / 0-)

    Credit card processor no longer doing business with online gun dealers diary here The credit card processor.  Intuit Payment Solutions

    Write to visa and mastercharge.  Ask them to do the same thing.

    Write to Amazon.  Tell them thanks for donating to the gun buy back in Seattle

    Ask Walmart to stop with the guns.  They need some positive PR now, they just might go for it.  

    If we have a million moms, surely we could write a million e-mails.

    My gun control petition was shot down.

    by 88kathy on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:05:33 AM PST

    •  National Call--In--Days- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy

      National postcard mail ins---and lots and lots of marches---stand outs---appointments with legislators......we are motivated and we need to get the job done!

      "Hey----Hey---NRA---How many kids have you killed today?"

      by lyvwyr101 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:09:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Like credit reporting (5+ / 0-)

    One thing the credit reporting agencies keep track of is how many entities have requested a credit report on you. So if you (or someone impersonating you) suddenly applies for six credit cards, that fact becomes part of the credit file.

    And if you try using your credit card multiple times in quick succession (which I've occasionally done with online purchases or donations), after about five they automatically lock it up on a fraud alert and you have to go through a bunch of hoops to get it unlocked again.

    How hard would it be to keep track of how many times a particular individual's name had been run through a background check for purchasing a gun, and then flagging that? That would be one step short of registering purchases and sales (like auto titles), but might shut down some of these "private dealers" and straw purchasers.

    •  A compromise. (0+ / 0-)

      Deal with it through the tax system.  Buyer and seller are obligated to report volume of sales of firearms.  The source of this information can be provided by irrefutable electronic means, and requires no details beyond earnings and tally.  If it is discovered that a last legitimate seller was ever possessed of a crime gun, that's probable cause to audit his entire inventory against a record he is required by law to keep.  Discrepancies absent a timely report of theft are evidence of illegal transfer.

      Additionally, the volume of transfers reported will indicate whether a seller is running a firearms business without a license, which is also probable cause for an audit.

    •  right now gun ssn and description part of FFL chek (0+ / 0-)

      I suggested elsewhere a way to make that not a gun registration database, defacto.

      What you suggest is excellent, and would show the guy going down the east coast buying all the AK47's he could.

      And of course this all rides on the assumption that the FFL dealer won't risk his license by lying or fudging.

      I saw a harried clerk in a store trying to get to six waiting customers stop and suggest to a Post Office Box addressee potential customer/purchaser (shotgun) he could pass the FFL check with a three day fishing license they could sell him...as proof of his physical address as required on the ATF/FFL form.

      That is funky.

      And this same clerk was preaching to all the customers nearby (a large chain of sporting goods stores) how the democrats are screwing this up and get em now because they aren't gonna stop now bla bla bla.

      Same clerk sold a semi auto H-5 copy (a black gun that looks like an automatic rifle/submachine gun...folding stock, big magazine, silencer looking 'flashguard', and on the new proposed list.../$595) in .22 caliber to a kid who looked like he had been smoking pot..'you won't find this again, we're sold out and won't get anymore'..and all FFL paperwork was getting filled out when I left, so that's good.

      But why did all six potential purchasers, who didn't appear to know each other, and each wanted different stuff...why did they all wear their hat backwards.

      That ought to be one of the questions: 'if you wear a baseball hat, peak forward? yes/no'

      crazy crazy.

      So glad when Mrs finally found clothes that fit so we could leave...I was gonna start arguing politics with the clerk, he was turning me into a gun grabber! I wanted to buy that thing...

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:05:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  another reason to deal only in person in cash (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky Kid, KenBee

    which is not a bad way to conduct one's business if one wishes to avoid the kind of privacy invasion commonplace since the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned USA PATRIOT ACTS came into law.

    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 27, 2013 at 11:26:33 AM PST

  •  You had me until: (3+ / 0-)
    In fact, I support a national right-to-carry law.
    Maybe you could explain how this might contribute to either gun safety or a safer society. I fail to see it but that may only be a lack of imagination.

    The story is a good find that demonstrates one of many loopholes.

    Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    by VTCC73 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:38:24 AM PST

    •  It doesn't affect gun safety either way. (0+ / 0-)

      But that's not why we support it.  The current patchwork of laws infringes on our right to travel.

      •  Well, nobody really believes that. (3+ / 0-)

        Unless your gun has been surgically attached, it doesn't. No more than stowing it before boarding.

        That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

        by Inland on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:15:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Today, a Vermonter could cross state lines (0+ / 0-)

          into New York and become a felon for doing something he's legally entitled to do in his home state.  That interferes with our right to travel, and for no better reason than malicious contempt.

          •  The reasonable Vermonter does not go to NY armed. (3+ / 0-)

            Stubbornly refusing to follow a properly enacted law is folly. Not giving NYers the respect to choose which laws to enact is infantile. Again, as I stated up thread, your right to travel is unimpeded. Your right to travel armed is nonexistent and the act is prohibited by law in NY. Get over it. Life is never fair and is not about only ourselves.

            I know it has been many years since I lived in upstate NY, 1979, but we had Vermont citizens come to our NRA sanctioned pistol matches all the time. There was a process to allow them to possess handguns for that specific purpose then and I would be surprised if that has changed. The required concealed carry permit was locally administered, required residence in the locality where the permit was issued, was not valid in NY City, was for sporting purposes only, and was a pain in the ass to obtain. I did it to compete but out of state competitors could not get one even though they could be legally allowed to participate in our meets. That is a long stretch to allowing any goober of unknown origin or intent to travel among your citizens with weapons, concealed or otherwise.

            Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

            by VTCC73 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:20:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well of course. (0+ / 0-)

              Unless your an activist, the reasonable person doesn't go looking for a felony charge.  Which is why I take issue with the law in the first place.  And we won't get over it; we'll keep advocating for national reciprocity until we get it.

              •  American democracy has a long history (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DefendOurConstitution, lyvwyr101

                of activism for issues people care about. Please continue to work towards passing legislation in which you strongly believe. My disagreement with your position is irrelevant. Don't be surprised if pigs fly before you get it passed.

                Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

                by VTCC73 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:32:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  State by state. (0+ / 0-)

                  That's been the plan over the past decade.  And while I appreciate the activist tradition, even I'm wary about gun owners engaging in "civil disobedience." It serves our purpose to project a calm, reasonable image rather than one that is confrontational and alarming.  Take the Free Staters in New Hampshire or that guy in Eugene, Oregon for example.  Rather than organize a rally and project safety and security in numbers, they walk around alone or in groups of two openly carrying rifles and pistols.  I believe them when they say they're trying to normalize gun ownership and carrying rights, but that's work that needs to be done with forethought and an eye for reassuring the community.

          •  No, it doesn't. You have to know the laws (0+ / 0-)

            of the state you're traveling in, for any activities.

            I see what you did there.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:27:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, and no: (3+ / 0-)

            There's lots of things someone is legally entitled to do in his state but aren't entitled in another.   Nobody thinks that our laws against prostitution interferes with a Nevadan's right to travel, for an easy example.  

            And as to whether there's reason other than malicious contempt, you're really saying that New Yorkers have more restrictive laws on themselves, and expect Vermonters to follow them while in New York, out of contempt for Vermonters?  That's even less believable than the right to travel argument.  It seems that the only contempt that's being shown is the contempt for New Yorkers to order their own lives without having to accomodate a special set of laws for people who are passing through.  As if Vermonters have this bubble of immunities that they can take and rub in New Yorkers' noses.  

            That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

            by Inland on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:29:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It limits your right to travel while armed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DefendOurConstitution, lyvwyr101

        not your right to travel. That's an important distinction. I agree that a more uniform system of gun regulation might be useful in some meaningful ways. However, that has to be balanced with localities having different needs as well as their right to choose who goes armed in their area of responsibility. This is an issue that goes well past the issue of one person thinking that he should be entitled to a right regardless of other's right to security and self rule.

        Another issue is that I seriously question any non-resident traveller having a compelling universal interest to carry. There is a potential business interest but for a private citizen? No way. I once would have agreed that I wanted to carry but 35 years later after traveling unarmed all over the world, every continent except Antarctica, I strongly disagree. I do not have the sense of insecurity I once did. The world, let alone the US, is not Dodge City and if you feel unsafe going somewhere then you can exercise your right to not go there. Hell's bells. Even Dodge City eventually made people check their guns before entering the town. I wonder why? Could there have been a safety issue?

        Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

        by VTCC73 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:41:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I defer to Richard Posner: (0+ / 0-)
          The Second Amendment states  in its entirety  that  “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to  the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep  and bear Arms, shall not  be infringed” (emphasis  added). The right to “bear” as distinct from the right to “keep” arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of “bearing” arms  within  one’s home  would  at all times have  been an awkward usage. A right to  bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.
          This will likely be the law of the land in due time, at which point it will the burden of the state to show why a man from Vermont cannot cross state lines armed with a pistol and a 10 round magazine without catching a felony.
          •  Did I miss Posner's ascension to king? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyvwyr101

            Besides this arguably not saying what you think it does, it is one guy's opinion. The opinion of someone without the power to change anything, other than his mind and underwear, is neither fact nor actionable. Regarding "likely" - pure delusion. I hope your quest keeps you occupied.

            Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

            by VTCC73 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:43:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  to all that raise the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyvwyr101

            2nd amendment as a right to carry arms, I suggest reading up on US history, in the colonial days. Begin with why the 2nd starts with "A well regulated militia", and then move to the next phrase" Being necessary to the --- ". This was written because the US had no real decent size Army, with which to defend the country with, and had to enlist farmers, etc., many who did not own weapons, to defend the country. At the time there were "militia" from towns and states, composed of patriots and a few rich men who were paying the "soldiers" and paying for the supplies to maintain the "militia"",  that came together to form the bulk of the US "Army" at the time of the forming of the country..

            The sum of the 2nd was the founding fathers were assuring themselves that they could have an Army that drew on civilians in time of need, who owned their own firearms.

            I lived in Williamsburg, Va for a while, and had many friends who were Colonial era firearms experts, and  real world historians. That is they knew history as a practical matter, knew the backstories that created our version of history.

            I sat with friends as they rolled their own black powder cartridges and talked to me about the practicality of a flintlock musket for hunting and for warfare, and i got a few real demonstrations, like going hunting for a turkey with a musket. A flintlock does not fire when you pull the trigger - there is a delay while the flint creates the spark, which ignites the powder in the pan, which then ignites to powder in the cartridge. And black powder is slow to ignite, compared to modern powder. So the hungry colonist would pull the trigger and have to keep aiming at the turkey while the gun was in the process of firing, and maybe 2 second delay, at most. If it had of been me in those days, I would have starved.

            Then we get to a the critical point _you can't simply put another bullet int the gun and fire it. No. You have to stand the damn thing on it's stock, look down the barrel to make sure it's empty, then use a ram rod to clear it, then you are ready to reload: put your cartridge in the baller, push it in place with the ram rod, then put in the ball, then the cotton wadding to keep the ball from rolling out of the barrel. (I think I have this right). The you hold the gun parallel to the ground, begin by checking your flint to make sure it will still spark and adjust it, if needed, then clean the pan, if you haven't already, then open your powder horn, and dump some black powder into the pan. Now you are ready to shoot.  

            OK, got it in your head what you just did, and how long it took to do it? Now imagine you, who was a humble farmer just three weeks ago, now handed this long and heavy musket which you got maybe a week's training on, on the fields of Yorktown, facing a bunch of British mercenary troops  - professional well trained soldiers - who are shooting at you, and repeat the process...

            This was Colonial era warfare. This is why the fledgling country needed more "soldiers" - it took a lot of time to reload, so the commanders needed more people to simply keep up a decent barrage of bullets. As my friend put it, "in reality, the units had one third shooting, on third reloading and one third pissing in their pants, too scared to do anything."

            Now absorb this, take some time to really feel what it must have been like back in the day, and go back and read the 2nd amendment and suddenly it makes sense in the context of the time.

            One last thing for historians, if it weren't for the French at Yorktown, we would be British citizens now.

            "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

            by azureblue on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:49:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Don't blame Posner: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyvwyr101

            He was trying to deal with Heller, an opinion that simply makes no sense on its face.   He also works in a building that forbids weapons.

            That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

            by Inland on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:08:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't blame him. (0+ / 0-)

              And I appreciate his work trying to clarify the bounds of Heller.  Also, I'm not debating laws forbidding carrying weapons on federal property.  Or laws permitting carry on state property.  Or zoning laws forbidding an extension to my garage.

    •  If you can legally carry a gun in your state (2+ / 0-)

      there should be no reason why you shouldn't be able to carry that gun in other states.

      The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

      by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:59:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not a bug, it's a feature. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, lyvwyr101

    Eom

    That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

    by Inland on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:08:58 PM PST

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