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Up until 12/14, mass shootings had generated barely a blip of activism dedicated to enacting legislation to reduce gun violence. Indeed, no major national gun-control laws had been seriously considered since the election debacle of 1994, a devastating congressional loss for Democrats that some strategists said was partly a consequence of the assault weapons ban passed just before the election that year and the Brady law requiring background checks passed in 1993. Democratic candidates, high and low, took care either to avoid talking about guns or made a point of noting they were hunters and otherwise backers of gun rights.

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association, the gun industry's mouthpiece, and other gun-rights advocates made tremendous inroads at the state level, intimidated political candidates who might otherwise have backed gun-control legislation, celebrated the expiration of the assault weapons ban in 2004 as well as laws that hamstring the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and restrict maintenance and use of data about firearms transactions, and generally threw its weight around with great success. Those who openly challenged the NRA became ever quieter.

But, unlike mass shootings at Virginia Tech, in Tucson and in Aurora, the slaughter of first-graders and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown has produced a shift. Predictions that the furor over the massacre would vanish after a few weeks haven't come true. On the contrary. Activist groups like the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, whose ad appears above, have been joined by others. Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and nearly killed in a mass shooting two years ago, has joined her former astronaut husband in speaking publicly about the need for new gun measures. They have initiated their own group, Americans for Responsible Solutions.

And poll after poll has shown that the majority of Americans, including the majority of firearms owners, support new gun-control legislation. This is especially true of proposals to ensure that every gun-buyer is subject to a background check. A Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday shows 92 percent of Americans favor universal background checks, with smaller majorities favoring other legislation, including bans on high-capacity magazines and a renewed assault weapons ban.

Many of President Barack Obama's progressive supporters have been pleased with his increasingly active role in efforts to get new gun-control proposals passed. That's a bit of a turnaround from widespread  progressive criticism over how health care coverage and changes economic policy were handled in the president's first term. Sam Stein reports:

"This is the lesson we learned over the first four years," said a senior administration official. "It is not sufficient to sit around a table in Washington, D.C., to pass these things. You have to have an inside strategy, working with members of Congress, and you also have to have an outside strategy to make sure that members of Congress, particularly the Republicans who have been recalcitrant, are aware of the public desire for these outcomes."

Seeing the president making the case for an assault weapons ban "is important to the advocates on the issue," said the official. "It is as important to our end goal, which is to get it done."

But, as Stein reports, even though progressive leaders back the assault weapons ban, they haven't made it a must-do piece of legislation without whose passage the campaign for new gun-control restrictions will be seen as a failure. A key reason is that a renewed assault weapons ban faces opposition from perhaps as many as 10 Democrats in the Senate and an adamantly opposed Republican majority in the House. Even many strong supporters of a renewed ban are skeptical it can pass. Please continue reading below the fold about strategy to get new gun legislation enacted.

"I'm not making the case against the assault weapons ban," said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. "If you talk to policy experts, what a lot of them would tell you is that in terms of real impact, the one to have is criminal background checks ... In this case, the very effective thing is also the very popular thing."
The NRA's arguments that universal background checks won't do any good because criminals get their guns illegally seems not to have swayed anyone who didn't already agree. Nobody argues that a single law will stop all gun violence. But the NRA's claims that no criminals try to buy their guns from licensed dealers is disproved by statistics from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). More than 700,000 ineligible would-be gun-buyers have been stopped by background checks in the past decade.

The NRA has also sought to undermine support for background checks on the grounds that the government is not prosecuting enough people who lie on the questionnaire they must fill out when seeking to buy a gun. That's true. But it's no excuse for not making background checks universal. Rather it's a call to step up those prosecutions, especially prosecutions of straw purchasers who traffic guns to people legally barred from owning them.

Timing of new gun legislation could be crucial. Getting the most popular proposals through Congress should be done first, saving the bills that will face the strongest opposition, such as a new assault weapons ban, for later. That tactic achieves two things: builds activist momentum on a foundation of victories; and helps keep the matter from disappearing off the public's radar.

Universal background checks are obviously the place to begin. Such legislation might be paired with repeal of the Tiahrt Amendments that weaken government efforts to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. I'll have more to say about that soon.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What do you think of a Democrat (11+ / 0-)

    who wants full auto machine guns , sawed off , < 18" , shotguns and silencers to be regulated just the same as hand guns are now , free for anybody to buy on the used market without background checks or registration of any kind ?

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:39:07 AM PST

  •  Background checks is such a no brainer (11+ / 0-)

    So is an assault weapons and high capacity clip ban.

    But if you start with the premise that Obama is a nazi communist Muslim dictator from Kenya and the economy will tank and these brown people from urban areas are going to come and take your land, then a .50 cal will not be enough.

    We are dealing with mindless wingnuts.  No "dialogue" is possible.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:39:31 AM PST

    •  Right, making lists is attractive to lots of (6+ / 0-)

      people. It's what the EPA has been doing with toxins for decades.
      If we want to eliminate killing machines, the place to start is at the manufacture and import level. Those can be stopped, as can the manufature and importation of the amunition that feeds them.
      Personally, I have no qualms about people bearing arms. Let them carry around all they want. What kills people is shooting them off. And they can't do that, if there's no amo.

      If someone is able to manufacture the amo in his garage, more power to him. I sort of doubt anyone who goes through that much trouble is going to shoot at random.
      I'm assuming that bullets of all kinds are not reusable. See how much I know. :)

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:56:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't START there. Proposals for... (13+ / 0-)

        ...banning certain kinds of weapons will not clear Congress without some momentum from passing other legislation first.

        Taxing ammunition, requiring licenses to purchase it, limiting the amounts that can be purchased at one time might be possible. But banning it? Never happen.

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

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:13:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not suggesting that the weapons be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, Shockwave

          banned, only the manufacture and importation and sale of amunition.
          Did we not ban the manufacture of dioxins and the manufacture of aerosols that increased the size of the ozone hole?
          Individual behavior is presumably good until proven to be bad. That's fair. However, granting the same lee-way to artificial bodies, made up of many people who are individually non-responsible, makes no sense. Industries have to be limited, just like our public corporations, ahead of time. Their charters, which are approved by (mostly) the states, need to particularly specify their tasks and obligations and limit them to the approved, and nothing more.
          Corporations have to renew their registration annually. Just requiring a payment of a fee is an abrogation of responsibility. Corporate behavior ought to be reviewed to assertain their functions are in compliance with their missiions -- that, for example, car companies aren't making tanks.  :)

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:40:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The more I read articles like this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VectorScalar

          and statements like

          banning certain kinds of weapons will not clear Congress without some momentum from passing other legislation first
          go a very long way towards discouraging me from voting for the D party to prevent those who think like this from gaining political power.  It is dangerous thinking to believe it acceptable to stomp on people rights that you don't agree with.  Don't be surprised when they stomp on yours.  It will be very interesting to see what the ramifications are for the party in the next few years.  
          •  I urge you to take a look at what polls... (8+ / 0-)

            ...indicate may happen to politicians who choose to follow the NRA's lead and not pass any new gun legislation. As a gun-owner for 60 years, I do not see ANY of the legislation being proposed or likely to be proposed that will stomp on my rights.

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

            by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:39:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're not much of a Democrat then. (0+ / 0-)

            If you are ready to abandon the party over a few modest gun regulations, then you really can't be terribly committed to its core principles.  That you'd throw over the Democrats on this issue is pretty surprising, given that there are a whole host of other issues on which the Democrats are the only sane party -- climate change, civil rights, renewable energy, taxation, and the safety net, to name just a few.

            But feel free to join the Republicans and their followers over at RedState.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:06:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Those things don't effect me personally nearly (0+ / 0-)

              as much as the gun rights do.  I keep asking a question that the community needs to collectively answer: what do you want.  Do you want real progress or do you want to try to take a pound of flesh from people who've done nothing wrong but will fight you all the way?

              I firmly support all of those things  you mention, but dammit, you try to tell me I can't have an AR15 or I can't carry a gun with more then 10 rounds and each and every one of those other things is going to take a back seat.

              And by the way, I may vote D because it aligns alot closer to my principles than the R, I may even be registered D, but I've never sworn to, or would I ever put the party above my own principles.

              •  Why is it important to have (0+ / 0-)

                A certain kind of gun and a huge clip?

                I really don't understand that at all.

                •  The biggest reason I want an AR 15 (0+ / 0-)

                  The honest reason.  The reason I now have one on order is because someone decided to try to tell met hat I couldn't.

                  I had thought about getting one at some point, but I really didn't care.  I didn't see why there was such a craze.  I didn't understand why .223 and 5.56 ammo were always in such demand.

                  Then came a push to ban them.  And by God I wanted one then.

              •  This pretty much proves me right: (0+ / 0-)
                Those things don't effect me personally nearly (0+ / 0-)

                as much as the gun rights do.

                Progressives usually try to think about someone other than themselves.  This sounds exactly like a Republican.  The only thing that matters is what affects you personally.  To hell with everybody else.

                And I thought this was snark:

                I firmly support all of those things  you mention, but dammit, you try to tell me I can't have an AR15 or I can't carry a gun with more then 10 rounds and each and every one of those other things is going to take a back seat.
                You have no higher priority than being able to buy some suped-up gun?  Really?  Global warming?  Inequality?  Racism?  None of that is more important to you than a stupid material possession?

                Sorry, but that's just fucked up.  There's no other way to put it.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:10:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  DIY ammunition is routine (0+ / 0-)

        Cartridge cases are reusable, bullets are easy to cast, and people who practice a lot often make their own just to save money. It's low technology with a low capital investment.

        Primers, on the other hand, are must less amenable to DIY.

    •  Background checks must be full criminal chaecks, (7+ / 0-)

      not just checking that the person is not on an incomplete list.

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

      by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:06:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're dealing with diverse people (0+ / 0-)

      Only some are mindless wing nuts and dialog is possible with the rest.

  •  I'm not expecting NRA dead enders to come around (8+ / 0-)

    anytime soon (just because 90% of the public supports universal background checks). I posted something on HuffPo the other day about "Sensible Gun Laws" and had about 6 out of 10 commenters tell me it was impossible for any gun law to be sensible; any infringement was inherently unconstitutional (this is pure NRA nonesense, of course); and that I was a "Commie Fascist" for talking about this, which I found quite oxymoronically amusing. But, I guess what seemed so strange about getting this reaction on HuffPo is that it is supposedly a left-of-center website, but many of the commenters seemed to be right-of-batshit on the gun control issue. The NRA must really be bringing out their paranoid, conspiracy-addled base.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:56:24 AM PST

    •  It is easy to blame it on the NRA. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VectorScalar

      It provides you a powerful scapegoat while safely denying any possibility that your position may be wrong or that it really doesn't have the support you believe it does.  The GOP really believed that Romney would win the presidency and their polling told them so.  There is a good reason gun control has been avoided for a long time.  Attempting it carries a high price because people tend to get irate when others want to take something away from them.

      •  BOOGA BOOGA! Don't Try It! You're Gonna Fail!!! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, tekno2600, Glen The Plumber

        LOL! You couldn't be any more transparent with your NRA approved bullshit.

        This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

        by Beetwasher on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:49:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see improving background checks as such a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, FogCityJohn

        controversial thing. It only because the NRA really is a powerful group of crazies that they've prevented serious discussion on this for so long. They are the ones who will pay a political price if they keep resisting sensible reform. So, bring on the fight.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:42:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You won't like that fight. Nor is it very likely (0+ / 0-)

          that the Left will win.  The push for bans has gone too far and it went on for too long and now you have people in opposition who are unwilling to give. There was too much blaming law abiding citizens for the violence and the massacres.  They did nothing wrong, yet they were threatened and they are responding.

          If the community wants to get something positive out of it, the rhetoric has to stop and the game has to change to one of being realistic instead of throwing out ludicrous crap and calling it sensible or common sense.  

          •  First of all, welcome Mr. LaPierre. We don't get (0+ / 0-)

            too many NRA extremists on the dKos website.

            But, as I just said, I don't mind fighting about background checks at all. The NRA used to support them, and it makes no sense that they no long do because they claim the system is not good enough. That's an excellent reason for improving the system, not giving up. Around 90% of the public support universal background checks, so it is not just the Left who will win this fight, but the whole country, with the exception of a few gun nuts.

            I don't know how anyone can say the "push for bans went on for too long." Very few people, other than Feinstein pushed to renew any type of ban, like the assault weapons ban. But, nobody seemed to think that could withstand all the money and propaganda the NRA would throw at it. Personally, I think the assault weapons ban we had in the past worked. We should try it again and strengthen it. But, that's not something that will probably move ahead at the moment.

            P.S. I'm really sick of hearing your bullshit NRA talking point about "law abiding citizens."  Jared Loughner was a law abiding citizen until he committed his mass shooting. Everyone is law abiding up to the point that they decide not to be. Mental illness is a huge issue that background checks could help deal with. But, for all the NRA's talk, they don't have realistic and specific plans to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

            Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

            by tekno2600 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:01:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you've at all tried to follow my position (0+ / 0-)

              on the issue, as well as just about every other Liberal who supports gun rights we have no issues with background checks.  I, myself have long supported the idea of using a permit system for all guns including long guns.  Where I may differ from the masses is that I suggest having multiple levels of permits that equate to different levels of permission.

              If there is any bullshit around here it is this stupid "Thats just an NRA talking point".  

              •  No. The law abiding citizen canard is some majorly (0+ / 0-)

                annoying shit. I don't give a damn if some people think the poor NRA gets abused. They are led by bullies, cowards, and loonies. It's about time they got called out on just a small fraction of the stupid shit they do.

                Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

                by tekno2600 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:20:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  "the masses" (0+ / 0-)

                Suggest to get help with that, it's one of the 3 warning signs.

                Now calm-down and pick your panties out of your crack. There is a simple solution to this. If you stop reciting NRA talking-points with the persistent regularity you do, people will stop saying that.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:03:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for your concern. (0+ / 0-)

            Given your long history of commenting on a broad range of progressive topics here, we have been fairly warned and will take your advice under serious consideration.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:18:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  No one here really wants anyone's guns banned or (5+ / 0-)

    taken away; we just want sensible national firearm regulations that will slow down (not stop completely that's for sure) the carnage.

    - clip/magazine limits
    - licensing
    - registration
    - full criminal background checks on every sale/transfer

    None of those violate the Second Amendment, but without those we will only see the numbers of people getting shot/killed every year keep increasing. Having a person shot every 5 minutes, many of them kids or young people, should really have everyone wondering how we solve this carnage.

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

    by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:05:35 AM PST

  •  Well, certainly I'm pleased (6+ / 0-)

    Which is not to say that I'm satisfied, but I can see that the President's plan for once is ambitious, reasonable, effective, and he's not fooling around in advocating for it. In terms of achievable progress, I would be hard pressed to find anything more to ask for.

    “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

    by tytalus on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:10:10 AM PST

  •  what do you think of background checks for (5+ / 0-)

    ammo..??

    seems like this could help by slowing down people that have stolen guns...gang violence.

    Ammunition Background Check Act of 2013


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:10:37 AM PST

  •  Remember the good old days of 1963? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kharma, billmosby, BusyinCA

    When Lee Harvey Oswald had to disguise his rifle as 'curtain-rods'?

    Gee, our old LaSalle ran great!

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:24:46 AM PST

    •  The one he got for $20 + shipping and handling (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby

      ...out of the back of a catalog, along with his revolver?

      Yep. Good times!

      "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

      by JR on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:37:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was said to be a second-rate rifle. (0+ / 0-)

        But in skilled hands, and with a scope, still very lethal. Fast rate of fire, too, if I remember correctly, even with a particularly awkward bolt action.

        I got a clapped-out .303 Enfield rifle right about then, out of a whole crate of them at Montgomery Wards. For about $9.95. My dad actually bought it, though.

        It had a really slick bolt action on it, but the furniture on it was so old and decrepit that it was wound with a good 2 lbs of wire to keep it together. And the bolt lug seemed too worn for the rifle to be safely fired. But we did anyway put a couple of rounds through it. Kicked like a mule.

        Come to think of it, I wonder what became of it? I think it ended up in a storage location in TX somewhere and then got auctioned off.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:45:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The rifle is still advertised , (0+ / 0-)

        pick up a copy of guns and ammo ,
        you will see the same sort of ad
        for the same sort of rifle .

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:06:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree, MB... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, cocinero

    Adam Green argued this on Lawrence O'Donnell's show last night--progressives have been begging President Obama to lead more boldly, promising him that we would have his back.

    It's important that we show that we can provide the muscle to win these fights. For this issue, and for future fights.

    I don't want him to revert to old habits.
    I prefer "partisan Obama."

    •  Btw, what is it about progressives... (0+ / 0-)

      like Adam Green? Are they radioactive?
      Lawrence had him on there for like 15 seconds.

      Jonathan Capehart and Sam Stein are fine but jeeeez.
      Never room in the "big tent" for actual progressives.

  •  This: Timing of new gun legislation could be.. (9+ / 0-)

    ..crucial.

    Getting the most popular proposals through Congress should be done first, saving the bills that will face the strongest opposition, such as a new assault weapons ban, for later. That tactic achieves two things: builds activist momentum on a foundation of victories; and helps keep the matter from disappearing off the public's radar. - emphasis added
    Framing the issue to favor immediate passage
    Key word: Criminal. Make that the wedge/dividing line. Criminals vs law abiding gun owners/citizens

     • Criminal back ground checks

     • Criminal database full access is hampered/blocked by the Tiahrt amendment protecting the criminals over law abiding gun owners.
    So, in order to protect lawful/responsible gun owners and their interests from unlawful gun sales/straw purchasers Tiahrt must be repealed as it protects the criminals and hurts law abiding gun owners.

    Hit the crime fighting aspects hard first. Take the "gun banning" language (propaganda) away from the LaPierre types altogether focusing on and using republican rhetoric (Frank Luntz-ish) back at them: the debate between good and evil; right and wrong; don't let a small few of "crazy" criminals spoil it for the rest of us

    Also too; only a criminal uses/needs aftermarket high capacity magazine. Real hunters don't.

    Remember it was the 13th round that killed an innocent girl after Gabrielle Gifford was shot down

       

    •  Your statements show signs of going in the (0+ / 0-)

      correct direction.  The thing is that you also show signs of it being an attempt at deception.  In order to gain support, it is going to be necessary to keep the focus on the criminals and not punishing the law abiding.  Keep in mind that your political and social resistance is coming from the law abiding;  the criminal is more than likely too disengaged from society or the debate to even care.  Not to mention laws don't mean anything to a criminal.  This is plain definition, not NRA propaganda.

      A much better plan would be to stop with the banning altogether.  The gun community would make a much more potent ally.  

      The question is, do you want solutions or do you want to try and extract a price from those who make legitimate lifestyle choices you neither understand or agree with?

      •  Laws mean plenty to criminals: (4+ / 0-)

        They're what causes them to wind up in jail.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:52:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then why push for new ones. They are already (0+ / 0-)

          committing crimes that have the stiffest penalties on the books, like death or life in prison.  No, if we just pass laws against something we disagree with it will go away.   That's the real objective anyway, so why not just admit it.

          •  Because this way they might wind up in jail (4+ / 0-)

            before they shoot up a school, or might have their gun purchases prevented or hampered by gun dealers who themselves don't want to go to jail.

            And the objective here is fewer people dying. Really. Honestly. I'll be pretty happy if we don't get an assault weapons ban but the we restore the ability for the ATF to do its job properly and track guns, lawfully used and otherwise (they all start out lawful).

            An America where ordinary citizens can generally still get AR-15s, perhaps even with absurdly high-capacity magazines, but we actually have a real regulatory structure for them, is a great outcome as far as I'm concerned. And the Supreme Court says we can have that outcome.

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:11:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Now that is a refreshing point of view (0+ / 0-)

              Rec'd for expressing it.  I think that if there were a lot more though, talk, and action along these lines we would start solving the problems.

              Like I said below, others who have more grandiose ambitions are going to sink that ship if were not careful.  I am certain that at least part of why were starting to see absolute push back and lines drawn in the sand is because the demands for control have gone too far and been kept up too long.

            •  Track the guns, regulate the dealers (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eric Nelson

              Check their inventories. Make sure they account for guns sold. They could even keep records of what serial numbers they sold to who, without reporting that info to anyone.

              But if one of the guns they reported selling comes up as used in a crime, at least the cops have a place to start.

          •  A federal gun trafficking law is needed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Nelson, PsychoSavannah, mmacdDE

            and a proposed law has bipartisan support.

            The measure would add a federal statute to give law enforcement the ability to prosecute gun traffickers and crack down on "straw purchasers," or people who sell guns to those who otherwise aren't allowed to buy them.
            •  As I and others have said in many posts now (0+ / 0-)

              stopping gun trafficking is a good thing and something that I believe everyone can get behind.  There are lot of measures and things that can be done that don't involve bans and limits on lawful citizens.  The problem we're facing is that there is an exceptionally vocal minority that is going to sink the endeavor, or worse, if something isn't done.

          •  This NRA talking point again. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Nelson

            You're arguing against having any laws at all.  To claim we shouldn't pass a law because we can't ensure perfect compliance is simply absurd.  By that reasoning, we should give up all laws.  I mean, we know that every year there are people who cheat on their taxes, so why bother having the Internal Revenue Code?

            You folks need to come up with some better reasoned arguments.  This one is a total fail.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:12:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, yes, we've keep hearing that from you (0+ / 0-)

              and a few others.  Claim it is the NRA and maybe you can silence talk that you don't want to hear.  Blah Blah, NRA, Blah.  As far as I am concerned the NRA is just a lobby firm, their talking points are irrelevant.

    •  I agree that going after the criminal element (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy, mmacdDE, Eric Nelson

      makes a lot of sense, but frankly, the current outrage involves 'normal' people who went over the edge.

      iirc, none of the shooters in 12/14, Aurora, Columbine, Oak Creek, .., were convicted criminals.  They were 'nice folks' who wouldn't do something like that.  Also, perpetrators of domestic violence were (often) not criminals a priori, and suicide victims were victims of biology.

      Hence, the debate distills down to how to keep normal people from shooting themselves, their loved ones, and the rest of us.

      Keeping convicted felons from having guns is already law in most states (?, I know it is in my state, I was just on a jury in such a case, but not sure if the law is universal).  That can be addressed by better enforcement. Better background checks will help a lot, but the whole effort will seem to be futile the next time there is a mass shooting, and the NRA will pipe up with a 'told you it wouldn't work'. Gun related crime could be reduced, but we won't feel safer.

      I wish I could offer up a solution, but I ain't got nothin yet.  Hopefully, something will arise in the discussion that is common sense and effective, but right now we are yelling at each other over the fence.

      p.s. thanks to all who have kept the discussion civil.  I know there are strong feelings on both sides, but we are all truely in this together, and hate and vitrol have never solved anything.

      The first is an acceptance that the U.S. is not a war zone. -Militarytracy
      ...if you could brighten the day of someone who is lonely or afraid on my behalf that would be something I would love. -Station Wagon.

      by TheDuckManCometh on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:36:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for making the point civilly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson

        Mass shootings, let's keep in mind, are different animals with different reasons from the bulk of shooting homicides.

        If the supply of guns to people with criminal records can be further reduced, it will save lives even if it never prevents a 12/14 kind of incident.

  •  you mention that the tactic of background checks (8+ / 0-)

    helps two ways, but it's good for a third thing. when the NRA loses on it, their invincibility baloon is permanently punctured.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:19:37 PM PST

  •  This is what I want first and foremost: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, VectorScalar

    Stiff, mandatory sentences against anybody who uses a gun in a crime...by federal law.

     Life sentences, if we have to go that far, on a second offence....by federal law.

    Mental health funding and education...executive order

    Actually use the laws we have and actually enforce them to the highest limit.  Those 700,000 people who fail their background check....who was asleep at the wheel??  Perhaps they need to be in jail for not doing something about that!

    If you fail a background check because you have a felony and you know you have a felony....you ought to go to prison.

    If you are caught with a gun and you have a felony...straight to prison with a mandatory sentence... is where you should go immediately.

    Once we get this group of forceful penalties passed, and we are now actively targeting the actual criminals who are the ones hurting people, then I will be more willing to discuss my rights being on the table as a law abiding gun owner, who has never hurt a soul.  

    However, at present, all we are talking about is the concessions I have to make and the things I will have to give up and yet we know the minimal, if any, effect it will have on actual criminals and their ability to get guns and ammo  and who are the actual ones running around shooting people.

    •  I am not a lawyer, but I think it's pretty much... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, cocinero

      ...out of the realm of possibility that a FEDERAL law can create mandatory sentences for crimes committed with gun that are prosecuted by the states, many of which already have sentencing "enhancements" when a crime includes use of a gun.

      Agreed, as noted in my diary, with prosecuting those who stopped from knowingly trying to buy a gun they are barred from owning.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:48:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't like mandatory sentencing, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, mmacdDE

      and a life sentence for a second gun-related crime (which could be armed robbery) seems too much, but in principle these are good ideas.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:58:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really...too much? Maybe they will put down their (0+ / 0-)

        guns, or they will be in prison where they can't use them and I can keep mine.  

        In principle, they are great ideas.  

        The whole point is that everyone doesn't want to unfair or cruel or mean to the ones shooting people and committing gun crimes but have no mercy to call a law abiding gun owner a "gun freak" or "gun nut" and want to make sure to disarm us to the point of a BB gun.

        If a life sentence for armed robbery is "too much"....how about my life sentence of being denied my Constitutional rights because of the criminals actions.  My rights are the ones on the table, my rights to defend myself from the same armed robber are the ones being "discussed" as if I had done a single thing wrong....or ever would.

         My rights can potentially be striped away so criminals can continue to commit crimes with our sympathies and mercy and yet we can't even discuss making them pay heartily for harming others daily, however, my rights need to be denied because "it MIGHT save just one life in the long run....."

  •  Two Elections The NRA Did Not Win (5+ / 0-)

    The Myth Of NRA Dominance Part III

    By  Paul Waldman

    . . .

    Other studies looked not at the NRA but at the effect of a vote in favor of the crime bill on incumbents’ chances of re-election, and found that if the crime bill had any effect on the 1994 election results, it was a relatively small one, only as one of many controversial votes. What happened in 1994, according to most of the political scientists who examined that election, was that the highly partisan politics of the 1992-1994 period left Democrats in Republican-leaning districts vulnerable. Congressional scholar Gary Jacobson examined roll-call votes and electoral outcomes and found that all the controversial bills together reduced Democratic incumbents’ vote share where they represented large number of Republicans. “Republicans won the House in 1994,” Jacobson wrote, “because an unusually large number of districts voted locally as they had been voting nationally,” which is to say they voted for Congress as they had for president. As another study put it, “The results are quite clear. Where Clinton ran poorly in 1992, Democratic incumbents with a pro-Clinton voting record in Congress were much more likely to be defeated [in 1994] than those with lower levels of presidential support.”

    . . .

    The 1994 election was a Republican wave, and as 2006 and 2010 demonstrated, wave elections can happen in a variety of contexts. In 2010, for instance, Republicans won even more seats than they did in 1994 – without any significant debate about guns. In fact, the only new laws about guns that took effect during Obama’s first two years expanded gun rights, allowing people to bring guns to national parks and on Amtrak.

    By contrast, the 1994 congressional elections produced a confluence of circumstances conducive to maximum impact for the NRA: a recent controversy over guns around which they could organize; low overall turnout but high turnout among conservative voters; and anti-incumbent sentiment at a time when the House had been firmly in Democratic control for 40 years. These factors combined to give the NRA probably the best opportunity it would ever have to contribute to a Republican victory. And it did contribute. But it did not win the House for the GOP.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:35:28 PM PST

    •  Tom Foley (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      Washington State was fortunate enough to have one of their own as Speaker of the House.

      When the 1994 crime bill was voted down, he held the vote open until enough supporters could be brought in to change the result.

      He lost the next election after 30 years of continuous victories. He was the first Speaker to lose an election since 1862.

      All the circumstances in the block quote would apply again: a recent controversy, low midterm turnout except among the highly motivated conservatives, and an anti-incumbent mood (given that Congress has about the same approval rating as salmonella).

      It could be that this time is different but we should be concerned.

  •  Shhhh, may not want to say control; the gun (6+ / 0-)

    Lovers get verrrrrrrrry afraid. May want to say gun safety or prevent gun violence. Language matters.

    Tipped & rec'ed

    •  “Gun regulation” I kinda like, (4+ / 0-)

      though it's true that regulation is a dirty word. But it reminds us that regulating dangerous things is just part of what a government does. And however distasteful regulation is, “control” has much stronger connotations.

      (Besides, I think the “regulations evil BLARGH” crowd is largely unreachable anyway.)

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:55:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't understand the Tiahrt (5+ / 0-)

    Amendments until I followed the link. The NRA backs hampering the ATF and law enforcement in tracing guns used in crimes, requiring licensed dealers to report loss and theft and many more common-sense elements of gun safety. Whose side is the NRA on?

    ....the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. FDR 1933

    by Tailspinterry on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:45:30 PM PST

  •  "Assault clips" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk, KenBee

    Wow, the Brady propagandists have outdone themselves.

    Let's get it clear what "bans" are. They are criminalizations of possession.

    People advocating bans are advocating that others be thrown in jail, not for what they do with what they possess, but merely for possessing it.

    There is nothing liberal about that mentality.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:08:28 PM PST

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      There are many things that our liberal society completely bans.  Certain toxic substances, for example, or the unauthorized possession of nuclear material.

      In addition, none of the alleged "bans" I see being proposed is anything other than prospective.  If enacted, they will not criminalize existing possession, but rather only prohibit future acquisitions.  

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:17:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can use the drugs you have (0+ / 0-)

        But if you buy new ones, you'll be subject to arrest and incarcaration. Oh, that's only slightly less draconian prohbition.

        Prohibition means:  police violence, including occasional "justifiable" police executions, racially discriminatory enforcement, expansion of the prison-industrial complex, political corruption, and so on.

        If you support this, you are no liberal. You are a left authoritarian.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:05:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Attitude adjustment ............ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh

    Early 70's, late afternoon in a Montana bar during hunting season. Felt necked, being one of the few patrons who DIDN'T have a large bore Hog leg strapped to their hip.

    Heated conversation between two good ole boys goes to standing face-off stage.

    Bartender pounds his fist once on the bar and both would be warriors pause long enough to unstrap and hand their six shooters to the stern-faced barkeep.

    Really happened, really made me ponder.

    It was life-long training with, and respect for, lethal weapons that kept this fist-to-cuffs from being deadly. We require some form of training and understanding before we let anyone behind the wheel, why not the same for allowing a finger on a trigger? That used to be a priority with the Old NRA (before they became just a lobby for manufacturers).

    We have to include hearts-and-minds to be effective. It should have even greater emphasis than background checks.

    •  Fascinating (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geez53

      Instilling a healthy culture is a multi-generation task, but there is such a thing.

      The old rural adage was that if someone really pisses you off, the first thing to do is lock up your guns.

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