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At a press conference Thursday in Leesburg, Virginia, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, including Rep. Mike Thompson of California, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus's Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, announced the group's 15 proposals for reducing gun violence. There were no surprises. The task force has been developing the proposals since shortly after the 12/14 slaughter of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Not all its recommendations are focused on restricting firearms. One of them urges Congress to "fund scientific research on the relationship between popular culture and gun violence, while ensuring that parents have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about what their families watch, listen to, and play."

One of the task force members, Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, said:

I believe in and value the Second Amendment. It is a part of our American history and way of life. But, after so many gun violence tragedies, we in Congress have an obligation to make gun violence less easy, less frequent, and less deadly. I know from listening to my constituents there are sensible solutions most Americans support such as the ones outlined by our Task Force. These measures should be brought to a vote in Congress with bipartisan support. We cannot wait another day, week or month to keep our kids and communities safe.
Some senators and representatives have already introduced legislation, including a renewed version of the 1994 assault weapons that expired in 2004, a high-capacity magazine ban and the first-ever law that would outlaw and heavily penalize gun trafficking to individuals who are barred from owning firearms. Other legislation can be expected.

Below the fold is a condensed version of the task force's proposals that you can read in full here.

Reinstate and strengthen a prospective federal ban on assault weapons.

Reinstate a prospective federal ban on assault magazines.

Require a background check for every gun sale, while respecting reasonable exceptions for cases such as gifts between family members and temporary loans for sporting purposes. "[The current except for private sales is a] loophole allows felons, domestic abusers, and those prohibited because of mental illness to easily bypass the criminal background check system and buy firearms at gun shows, through private sellers, over the internet or out of the trunks of cars."

Strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database. "Immediate action is needed to ensure the information in the NICS database is up to date."

Prosecute those prohibited buyers who attempt to purchase firearms and others who violate federal firearm laws.

Pass legislation aimed specifically at cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw-purchasing.

Restore funding for public safety and law enforcement initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence. "Congress should fund law enforcement’s efforts to reduce gun violence, while supporting federal research into causes of gun violence. Put simply, there is no reason the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the National Institute of Health (NIH) should be inhibited from researching the causes of gun violence. And there is no reason for the restrictions federal law places on our law enforcement officers’ ability to track and combat the spread of illegal guns."

Support initiatives that prevent problems before they start. "Local communities should have assistance in applying evidence-based prevention and early intervention strategies that are designed to prevent the problems that lead to gun violence before those problems start."

Close the holes in our mental-health system and make sure that care is available for those who need it.

Help our communities get unwanted and illegal guns out of the hands of those who don’t want them or shouldn’t have them.

Support responsible gun ownership. "Congress should support safety training, research aimed at developing new gun safety technologies and the safe storage of firearms. Take steps to enhance school safety. Congress must help all schools implement evidence-based strategies that support safe learning environments tailored to the unique needs of students and local communities. And Congress must work with all schools to develop emergency response plans."

Address our culture’s glorification of violence seen and heard though our movie screens, television shows, music and video games.

Members besides Thompson who served on the task force: Rep. Ron Barber of Arizona; Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York; Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado; Rep. Jackie Speier of California; Rep. John D. Dingell of Michigan; Bill Enyart of Illinois; Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut; Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania; Grace Napolitano of California; David Price of North Carolina; Bobby Scott of Virginia; and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:39 PM PST.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Pop culture to blame? Give me a break. (23+ / 0-)

    Japan has violence in video games and movies but they aren't shooting each other.

    Why?

    Hmm...

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:44:18 PM PST

    •  Not to mention, I thought (9+ / 0-)

      censorship is prohibited, so what is there to address?

      "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne

      by remembrance on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:58:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Others have the same game and media access (9+ / 0-)

      Only in America can the gun lobby blame the media lobby for gun violence.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

      by Ex Con on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:09:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would say it desensitizes people to violence (10+ / 0-)

      generally and in certain cases (the wrong person) could contribute to bad things happening. The general desensitizing could lead to apathy toward supporting gun violence prevention, ie, the idea that violence is just part of our culture, there's nothing that can be done. Gun manufacturers also have deals with video game makers that direct users to sites to buy guns!

      I do agree that by and large violent video games and culture do not directly lead to someone committing violent acts. But it would be interesting to learn what the research concludes, and worthy in my opinion, for the very least it could put the debate to rest.

    •  Lack of guns . (5+ / 0-)

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

      by indycam on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:40:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's what they said (6+ / 0-)

      "Congress should fund scientific research on therelationship between popular culture and gun violence, while ensuring that parents have accessto the information they need to make informed decisions about what their families watch, listento, and play."

      Doesn't sound too bad - I'm definitely in the "blaming pop culture" is stupid camp, and most studies and facts tend to support me on that, but I can't see any argument against giving parents access to information and funding legitimate scientific research.

      British guy with a big interest in US politics; -1.88, -4.05. A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hey Mitt".

      by General Goose on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:41:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RichM, eru
        Doesn't sound too bad - I'm definitely in the "blaming pop culture" is stupid camp, and most studies and facts tend to support me on that, but I can't see any argument against giving parents access to information and funding legitimate scientific research.
        Why fund more useless studies on this matter? And what kind of 'information' can parents make use of that they don't already have?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:48:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not an expert on US laws (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mindara, Sylv, dewley notid, splintersawry

          but personally, I think that one was put in there just to tick boxes. My point is, it wasn't secretly proposing something like a new stringent censorship system or anything like that, or explicitly blaming video games and films for gun violence NRA-style.

          British guy with a big interest in US politics; -1.88, -4.05. A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hey Mitt".

          by General Goose on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:50:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, Williston Barrett

      We are going to attack the first Amendment in order to take the heat off of the second?  And I wish someone could point me to one study that shows that violent video games lead to violent behavior.

      'Guns don't kill people, video games do - paraphrased from Lamar Alexander (Sen-R-TN)'

      by RichM on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:55:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  few want to hear it, but these massacre (5+ / 0-)

      and homicide-suicide events are going to be pretty hard to predict.

      there are a huge number of factors. The say "video games" or "gun culture" or "Weak fathers" or "Witches" is to essentially bark at numerous trees.

      It's going to be a rather complex interaction of varieties of things: The Aurora Shooting, 12/13, Virginia Tech and so forth are doubtlessly being gone over with the fine-toothed comb for creating assessment and prediction tools - but all these individuals had differing motivations - mental health issues appearing to be the biggest motivating factor, but you can't come out and herd all the mentally ill into detention because that misses the boat. (And they are EXPENSIVE! - if you take care of them)

      And this doesn't invalidate criticisms of video games: I think they desensitize kids/people to high levels of violence and I believe the suffocate a growing child's 'creative imagination", something they are going to need as they get older for things like......problem-solving. And human relationships and stuff.

      But    banning video games will also miss the boat.

      It's gonna be elusive

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:01:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  shootings:gun availability::weather:climate change (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mindara

        n/t

        •  300 millions guns are available. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jo Bob, ban nock, KenBee, dewley notid, annieli

          Most of them haven't hurt anybody.

          I think we have to investigate the person attached to the finger that pulls the trigger.

          I know this is an unpopular nuisance of a point, but it's concrete fact.

          You can say "guns are made to kill people"; I will agree with you, totally. It's a great reply.

          But that hasn't 1 thing to do with the fact they need a human finger to work.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:06:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then when we can have real DATA (0+ / 0-)

            we;ll learn a lot more about those fingers.

            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:10:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  the more guns in a country (4+ / 0-)

            the more gun violence occurs there. disturbed individuals are all over, but they tend to use guns when they have access to guns. rather than trying to predict who will commit violence in the future, it's easier simply to reduce the number of weapons available, and the efficiency with which one can murder with them.

            but yeah, there needs to be a lot of work done on looking into patterns of who does the killing, and why, and if it can be predicted or reduced. but in concert with reducing the arsenals available, not in place of that, IMO. the evidence from the rest of the world is pretty overwhelmingly on one side.

        •  No ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, VectorScalar

          firearm related crime has been dramatically declined since the early 1990s.

          Follow the data instead of beliefs.

          •  all violence has declined since the 70s (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Williston Barrett, DSPS owl

            not just guns, but violence generally. there's a strong case to be made for that trend being related to the rise and fall of lead emissions through leaded gasoline.

            that being said, a hell of a lot more people get shot in states and countries where there are more guns than in those where there are less guns.

            both patterns exist.

    •  Apathy Towards Violence Vs Causing it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mindara, DSPS owl

      Our media is saturated with violence. Whether it be the evening news, depicting real violence, or very realistic violence in visual mediums, most of us have been desensitized. Intellectually we know the difference between watching a massacre in a movie and seeing it on the evening news, and yet at some fundamental level, there is no emotional difference between feeling bad that those nice character in the movie we watched were hideously murdered, and hearing about those nice strangers in the evening news being hideously murdered. I doubt it inspires sane people to acts of violence, but it does make it harder for people to feel outrage and demand that something real be done about it.

      Sure there is violent media in other parts of the world, but only in America do we have this deep seated love fest with guns. I think the two go together go a long towards explaining why people are willing to shrug off atrocities rather then demand real change. At the end of the day most people feel about the latest shooting spree, about the same way they feel about the latest bloody movie. It simply doesn't feel real to them. And that is the problem.

    •  because we might learn something/useful (0+ / 0-)

      clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

      by renzo capetti on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:53:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I cannot wrap my brain around this (4+ / 0-)

    please, someone, provide a rational explanation for this:

    while respecting reasonable exceptions for cases such as gifts between family members and temporary loans for sporting purposes.
    why is it reasonable that another loophole for individuals like the one's mentioned being gifted and not required to have a background check. And... don't say 2nd amendment!

    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne

    by remembrance on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:04:07 PM PST

    •  The second half of that is (possibly) ... (12+ / 0-)

      ...so that a gun range can let people "borrow" weapons  that are banned from civilian purchase for use exclusively on the range. This is currently the case with places that let you fire fully automatic firearms. I have fired a Thompson submachine gun at such a venue.

      The first half does offer some problems in their effort to allow parents to pass along an otherwise proscribed firearm to a child. But if a person is barred from owning any firearm, this seems problematic. So perhaps they mean that people would be able to pass an already-owned banned gun to a family members who can pass a background check.

      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 03:25:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read it as (9+ / 0-)

        an exception to allow an individual to give a firearm as a gift with no mention of it being a banned weapon, just bypassing a background check.

        The second part would cover ranges or situations like when mr.uintas goes target shooting with his friend using his friend's gun. Or if he borrows his friend's gun and goes out without his friend.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:48:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We had a spate of crimes around the neighborhood (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee, high uintas, annieli

          last year and I borrowed a rifle from a neighbor.

          Sat it in the corner of the bedroom.

          Never went to get ammo for it (I am SUCH a gun nut)

          I finally gave it back, unused. I wiped the dust off it.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:14:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Years ago I stopped my niece from being (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xxdr zombiexx, annieli

            killed by her husband. It was a harrowing story and part of it included him threatening to kill me in various ways and places and times. (Ironically, even tho' he had a gun it was his big scary knife that stays in my mind)

            Anyhoo, I had an aluminum baseball bat practically glued to me until we successfully got his ass locked up. I literally never left home without it. And by coincidence when his best friend found that he'd been screwing his wife he chose the same kind of bat to beat the crap out of him with.

            Those were very interesting times I could have lived without.

            "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

            by high uintas on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:43:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Re (4+ / 0-)
        The first half does offer some problems in their effort to allow parents to pass along an otherwise proscribed firearm to a child. But if a person is barred from owning any firearm, this seems problematic. So perhaps they mean that people would be able to pass an already-owned banned gun to a family members who can pass a background check.
        Remember, the idea here is to close loopholes. It doesn't mean you have to close all of them. If it is legal today to gift firearms to people who can't pass background checks, and then you fix a bunch of other stuff but still leave that loophole in place, you're still better off than you were.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:51:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even if we close every possible loophole (7+ / 0-)

          there will still be people who get around them. People have to accept that there is no law that is always followed. Our best chance and having a positive impact is to make the laws sensible and reasonable.

          You're right, we will still be much better off.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:55:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's NOT Legal (0+ / 0-)

          You cannot in any manner provide a firearm to anyone who is barred from possessing one, by loan, sale or gift.

          What this exception provides for, seems to me, is a Father giving his son (or daughter) a rifle for Christmas without doing a background check first.

          Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

          by The Baculum King on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:20:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Noun, verb 2nd amendment = NRA & gun (4+ / 0-)

    Advocates.

  •  Notice the respect for evidence (12+ / 0-)

    They want to restore funding for violence research, and use evidence-based community intervention programs.

    Notice, too, that a lot of it is enforcing and enabling the enforcement of existing law, just what the NRA claims to favor.

    •  In re to this: (3+ / 0-)
      just what the NRA claims to favor
      probably not any more since it makes sense. Like LaPierre in 1999 stating no loopholes for background checks :) -

      IMO

    •  Was thinking about this on the way home (12+ / 0-)

      Both gun violence study/stats AND a ban on positive cannabis research come to us by the GOP.

      The PURPOSE of banning data, essentially, is to limit rebuttal to propaganda-based arguments.

      With the effort to ban study of gun violence I think it is safe to posit they KNOW what that data will show, so it has to be surpressed. Data kills propaganda.

      It's plenty evil enough to ban rsearch on cannabis that can help people, but to purposefully prevent the study of something causing widespread injury and death - because you know its that bad - totally evil.

      Why does the GOP want Americans to get hurt?

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:48:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also prosecution (0+ / 0-)

      We must also allow full prosecution.  Every time one of the young people go in and shoot up a public place, especially if the shooter is white, we cry mental health and give them sympathy.  A muslin who blows themselves up or wants to blow up others up has mental health issues, obviously, but we prosecute without mercy.

      So what is happening now is we all these people who want attention and the best way to do that is to shoot up a school or whatever, and even if you die you are going to be hero, or at least a cause celebre, where before you were nothing, at least in your own mind, like the guy in Alabama,  

      Mental health issues are a given for those who want to kill, and probably those who want weapons primarily for murder.  The problem here is we are going to fund all this research on video games, and not the low self esteem and self hate that causes compulsive gun ownership in the first place.

      Can we forbid those on public assistance from buying guns and ammo?

  •  I'm starting to think the introductory qualifier (5+ / 0-)

    of "I love the Second Amendment" is on par with "No offense, but..." "I'm not (this), but..."

    Am I wrong in this assessment?

    •  That is the sound of somebody addressing a topic (6+ / 0-)

      controlled by propaganda talking points.

      Remember when Bush took out Saddam Hussein - even though that was never part of the orignal plan?

      Saddam as horrible as he was, sufficiently controlled Iraq and his removal led to several violent several years. So when we talked about this we always had to say "Saddam is a really bad guy, and I don't want people to think I am endorsing him but....."

      Or... "I don't even smoke pot, but I think it should be legal".

      You don't have to tell people whether you smoke pot or not if you have an opinion about this or that - just say it: but marijuana propaganda is still very very strong and some people still feel like they have to make the distinction.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:51:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Premptive strike debating tool (6+ / 0-)

      On par with identifying your reference source before your information to deflect "you don't know what you're talking about"

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:51:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It answers questions up front (5+ / 0-)

      I'm a supporter of the 2nd but not a gun owner. My issue is with the Bill of what's left of our Rights.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:18:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The New York law had some privacy protections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    added in that Republicans wanted. They should add those if they are serious about wanting some bipartisan support.

  •  If we're really worried about safety at schools, (4+ / 0-)

    we need to protect kids from parents (and siblings) who drive their kids to school.
    Each Year, More Than 800 Students are Killed Going to and From School
    The nationwide safety record* for the 25 million children who do not ride school buses to and from school each day:

        448 fatalities in passenger vehicles with a teenage driver
        169 fatalities in passenger vehicles with an adult driver
        131 fatalities to pedestrians
        46 fatalities to bicyclists

    The nationwide safety record* for the 25 million children who ride school buses to and from school each day:

        5 passenger fatalities
        15 pedestrian fatalities at school bus stops

    School buses are nearly 8 times safer than passenger vehicles!

  •  I heard somewhere about the gun law in Illinois (0+ / 0-)

    Supposedly, gun users were registered, but not their guns.

    In other words, a shooter got a gun license, like a driver's license, that would allow them to own guns. They had to have a background check every 5 years, just like a driver's license renewal.

    If a person is caught with a gun, but no license, that would be against the law.

    Can anyone elaborate? Did I hear this correctly?

    In a world of the blind, the one eyed man is a pariah. Ask Galileo. Ask Darwin.

    by OKParrothead on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:08:07 PM PST

  •  Whoops they forgot the most important restriction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mindara

    Make it nearly impossible to buy a handgun. Handguns kill 8000/year, assault weapons kill 900/year. SCOTUS has nixed out right bans of handguns but left the door open for restrictions.

    "Live as if you will die tomorrow. Learn as if you will live forever.", Mohandas Gandhi

    by Bubbatoby on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:17:06 PM PST

  •  Once again, nothing about the ammo. (0+ / 0-)

    What is wrong with these people?  Unless you beat someone with a gun you can't kill them with a gun unless it has bullets or shells in it.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:30:31 PM PST

    •  Because it's a dodge that won't work. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VectorScalar

      The 2nd Amendment right, as defined in Heller, (and the decision on this part was 9-0,) is for a functonal firearm.

      FIrearms aren't functonal without ammunition.

      So laws pertaining to ammunition are going to get the same judicial scrutiny as laws pertaining to the guns themselves.

      "Leave guns alne, focus on ammuition" is proposed exclusivel as an end run around the 2nd Amendment.

      It isn't.

      --Shannon

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

      by Leftie Gunner on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:48:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not saying to leave guns alone. I'd be happy (0+ / 0-)

        to have the same controls for ammo as for guns.  Not anymore a "dodge" to require background checks for the purchase of ammo than to require background checks for gun purchases.  In fact, it's more effective because it covers those who already own guns.  

        Fortunately, jumping to conclusions in an argument is not as dangerous as jumping to conclusions when holding a loaded weapon.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:35:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  OK, me and my 2-year old immigrant puppy (0+ / 0-)

    from Tennessee want to run for US Senator from Massachusetts (the Dems are not going to come up with the Scott Brown killer, believe me, and I'm cute but my puppy is cuter).
    Platform:
       Confiscate all firearms across the US in the possession of anyone outside military and law enforcement, and kill the resisters.  Instant end to gun violence, massacres, etc.
       Shoot it down, gun nuts, I dare ya!

  •  'safe'??? how is this going to move the needle (0+ / 0-)

    anywhere near safe?

    That goal is safer.

      It's too big and sweeping to ever get passed, maybe you, what's hisnamespokehole just want to wave this around and get more fat free cocktail weenies.
       If you really want progress, keep it simple and get it done.

    Many of these might help, they should be argued, passed, and implemented. Soon.

      But don't start with such pandering bullshit, please. So many good ideas buried in bullshit.

       There are too many things to do here, this suggests some Omnibus bill idea, no, do it simple, one good idea at a time, no back doors, no poison pills, otherwise this is just legislator's job security, fear mongering and feel good proposals, and no one will be safer, except from being buried in an avalanche on Bullshit Mountain.

    But maybe it will be different now that we have filibuster reform all done.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:53:35 PM PST

  •  The more people talk it up, the better. This (0+ / 0-)

    issue is at a crucial stage where the people who can do something to create change would be all too happy to see the public lose interest.   When conservatives are hell bent on getting something done they push it with a one-track mind.   There's something to be learned from their behavior.

    "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

    by leftreborn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:32:43 PM PST

  •  If John Dingell is going along with this (0+ / 0-)

    I may have to release the anger I've been holding against him for his loyalty to the NRA for all these years.

  •  Hmm...I wonder why doesn't Rep. Ed Perlmutter (0+ / 0-)

    feel the same way about "our" drone bombing of US citizens, as well as untold numbers of innocent people and children that have been killed in such "targeted" bombings by our last two administrations? Controlling that would save many more lives than "AWB2"....guess it dosn't fit his agenda, maybe???

  •  Back in the day (0+ / 0-)

    when I worked for a movie producer, aboard his 72' yacht, he said our next assignment would be to go to Colombia to facilitate making a film about drug smugglers who commandeered a private yacht to, well, smuggle.  This was in the early 80s.  The threat to that yacht, my life, and the lives of the other crew and filmmaking personnel was real.

    Our contacts with other ham radio operators in Colombia told us to arm ourselves before arriving anywhere near Colombia. They also recommended grenade launchers if possible. They also strongly counseled to shoot first at any approaching vessel, innocent as it might seem, and ask questions later.

    I had an AR15 and discarded the 20 round clips in favor of the 30 round.  All my ammo was armor piercing. (I got into some bother in Morocco later for having this stuff, but that is another story)

    The point of my chiming in on this debate, in the here and now, in the USA, is that neither the gun, nor the clips, nor the type of ammo is remotely called for in this society.  They should be banned.

    I sold my gun and ammo in Gibraltar to a Canadian insurance guy who was going to cruise Caribbean waters known to be probably pirate infested.  

    I know of nowhere in the US to be pirate infested.

    The AR15 and the extended lot clips, much less armor piercing capacity, have no place within our society, other than to exact maximum damage in minimum time. In other words, these are meant to kill, the most possible, in the soonest time.

    I ask, is anyone out there seriously expecting a zombie invasion today?

    comment pending... ;-)

    by paulacvdw on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:50:16 PM PST

  •  UPDATED: 16 Media Myths About Proposals (0+ / 0-)

    To Strengthen Gun Laws
    http://mediamatters.org/...

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

    by annieli on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:20:36 PM PST

  •  First item (0+ / 0-)
    • Reinstate and strengthen a prospective federal ban on assault weapons.
    As an exercise, do this:
    1) Go to the FBI site with all the crime reports
    2) Find the number of people murdered with firearms
    3) Determine number of those who were murdered with any sort of rifle
    4) Make your best guess on what percentage of rifles are "assault rifles" and adjust 3) accordingly
    5) Make your best guess as to what percentage "assault rifles" in circulation will be reduced by this ban. Multiply this level of reduction by your result in 4)
    6) See if this result for a nation of 330,000,000 people makes it past double digits.
    7) For bonus points, list your result of lives saved compared to the yearly totals for other homicide methods.

    I suppose this is why I'm not pulling down big bucks to be on Democratic task forces. I support most of the items in that proposal. I'd just put the ones that would save the most lives at the top of the list and the ones that are pointless political posturing at the bottom or leave them off entirely.

  •  Gun Crisis (0+ / 0-)

    I don't want to rain on anybody's parade - I'm as eager as anybody to get dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.  I approve of all that is being discussed currently, but, in reality, we're trying to shut the barn door long after the horse has died of old age.

    Of all of the dangers I perceive from irresponsible gun ownership, it is one that lies just under the radar and only pokes its head up on occasion that keeps me up at night.  There are millions of people in this country in thrall to bizarre conspiracy theories that see our democratically elected government as only the front for a super-evil world-wide plot to steal the national sovereignty of Americans (at least Americans of their sort), enslave them or put them into detention camps, and absorb the country into a one-world totalitarian government that is really ruled by international Fascism, Communism, Socialism, Islamism, and other terms they use indiscriminately and interchangeably.  They live in a state of near-revolution and see themselves as the only real patriots, manning the ramparts against Obama and his black helicopters and UN troops they believe are already secreted around the country.

    These people have ALREADY built up massive arsenals of the very sorts of weapons and clips we are now attempting to ban, and their existing assault weapons, high-rate-of-fire semi-automatic pistols, and extended magazines for both will be grandfathered in.  The new laws will only apply to gun sales going forward.

    This is like trying to disarm a threatening army by preventing only future arms purchases (and only some at that).  At this point, we are merely trimming the fluff around the edges of the problem.

    Detailed background checks are good - but they don't help pick out the survivalists and conspiracy nuts who haven't yet "gone to war."  Deep background checks on every purchase of ammunition would be a logistical nightmare and financial impossibility.

    Every psychiatrist or psychologist I have ever talked with or read on the subject acknowledges that there are no clear markers that will identify spree killers (a very minor, though dramatically bloody, part of the entire gun problem).  Psychopaths/sociopaths CAN be identified, but for every violent psychopathic serial killer, there are hundreds of psychopaths who end up as corporate executives, politicians, religious leaders, or just seemingly ordinary people only not burdened with the ability to feel guilt, conscience, or empathy.

    What I suggest is that we model this on the system we use to keep track of automobiles.

    First, every gun owner must take a test on gun laws, gun safety,  and training in safe usage - usually after a police-sanctioned course. A full background check will be performed at this time and, if all is well, a license will be issued (concealed-carry licenses should be restricted only to those with a legitimate need).

    The license, renewed every two years, along with new background checks, would serve as ID to buy guns and ammunition, eliminating the need for millions of unnecessary checks.

    The guns must all be registered, just as cars are, and can only be sold through an official transfer of registration, as cars are.  This should be retroactive and include all guns currently in private hands.  We might even require that each individual bring each gun into the authorities for "inspection" each time the license needs to be reviewed.  

    An Aside:

    It bothers me that a police officer pulling over a car can use the license plate to get an immense amount of information about the driver including driving record, criminal record, and so on - but can't tell the cop whether the person owns guns or has a concealed-carry permit.

    The same is true for domestic disturbances - the other most dangerous situation for police. They can learn if there is a record of previous spouse abuse or an active restraining order - but not whether there is a gun in the house.

    We will need severe penalties for anybody who does not register guns, and the mere possession of unregistered guns should bring a prison sentence and a lifelong exclusion from future gun buying.

    If we are serious about giving mental health checkups to anybody who wants to be licensed to own a gun, I suspect that the bulk of the people who will fail are precisely those who are sitting in their fortified basements with 20 weapons, a year of rations, and a pile of seperatist magazines - starting with Wayne LaPierre, who doesn't seem to be able to mention the word Obama without following it several words later with the word UN.

    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." --Frederic Bastiat, French writer and economist, 1850

    by Beartooth Bronsky on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:55:59 PM PST

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