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There's some encouraging news on one front in the efforts to reduce gun violence:
A coalition of House Republicans is willing to thwart the National Rifle Association’s opposition to broadening background checks for U.S. gun purchases. That may be President Barack Obama’s best chance for advancing tougher gun regulations this year. [...]

The loose alliance of Republicans, largely from urban districts in the Northeast and states including Virginia that have been the sites of mass shootings in the past several years, is also focused on regulations involving mental health reporting of firearms buyers and gun trafficking as first steps in combating gun violence.

Gun-control advocates caution that the group of Republicans tentatively supporting extending background checks to all purchases of guns is no more than 40 representatives, less than a fifth of the House Republican caucus. But that number might grow depending on what the Senate does. Forty GOP reps might, in fact, be enough to pass an expanded background check. But they might also seek to narrow the "universal" element in return for their support.

That GOP support may have a bit to do with the fact that polls since the 12/14 elementary school slaughter in Newtown, Connecticut, have repeatedly shown more than 90 percent of Americans say they favor extending background checks. In the most recent Quinnipiac Poll, 89 percent of Republicans and 96 percent of Democrats back the wider checks. Among the Republican representatives saying they do or might support the expansion: Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania; Scott Rigell of Virginia; John Duncan of Tennessee and Peter King of New York.

Currently, only sales conducted by federally licensed dealers are subject to federal background checks. Sales or swaps of legally owned guns between private individuals, either at gun shows or over the backyard fence, are not covered by the checks carried out by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System run by the FBI.

While the National Rifle Association, the gun industry's mouthpiece, and some other critics have claimed that expanding background checks would make little difference, that hasn't been the experience in 14 states and the District of Columbia that have broader checks than federal law provides.

In Colorado, after it was discovered some of the weapons used in the Columbine school massacre in 1999 had been obtained from a private individual at a gun show, the state extended background checks to all gun sales in 2000. Since then, according to Rhonda Fields, a Democratic representative in the Colorado legislature, the results have been dramatic. Among all states in 2000, Colorado was the 17th-largest source of guns found at crime scenes. A year later, it had fallen to 27th. By 2009 it ranked 32nd, Fields said.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:43 AM PST.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  This needs to be an election issue in 2014 (17+ / 0-)

    against anyone (in either party) who opposes prudent gun control legislation, and the threat of that should be used to pass this bill and similar ones.

    The Hastert Rule is dead. Let's keep it that way.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:55:26 AM PST

  •  MB - this is one element that has a chance (10+ / 0-)

    I think universal background checks has a chance in the House if played very carefully by the Democratic leadership. This is an area where a discharge petition, sponsored by non-leaders from both parties, may work, as long as Boehner gives some GOP members, in swing districts, the silent wink that it is OK to sign. The GOP leadership does not want to get crossways with the NRA, but a bipartisan behind the scenes confidential deal could get universal background checks passed. My fear is that the Dems will try the brute force approach, and we will end up with nothing.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:55:34 AM PST

    •  When even NRA members support background... (16+ / 0-)

      ...checks, they are already getting a bit of a wink. I think Eric Cantor gave them one, too, with hints he might support extended background checks. My view is timing. Dems should start with background checks, gun trafficking, more funding for ATF to trace guns and then try magazine capacity and the almost-certainly-will-fail assault weapons ban in that order. That way, some victories will be had and that might build momentum for other victories. Time things the other way, starting with AWB2 and it may scratch ANY legislation.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:09:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  MB - I agree with your strategy and order (6+ / 0-)

        of legislation. My view is that the GOP leadership may need some help with the optics, and we should cooperate keeping our eye on the prize.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:32:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  that's also why i am saying remove the database (0+ / 0-)

        portion from the batf application, concentrate on the applicant, not what gun he is buying..make it for one gun only, and keep the SN portion at the dealers. trace crime guns with a warrant from mfg to dealer to sale..with a warrant, not a giant list of names and sn's handled by some atf agent.

        that way the check is actually useful, better funded and more widely applied, and no useable batf check can get passed with registration elements still there, current database seems useless for anything but a faulty database boondoggle.

        Make sure the publicity is that this new bill also liberalizes the process by keeping the end users gun id from the batf's useless database:  i.e. 'registration' despite assurances the data will not be kept. keep just the applicant records, without the gun sn id.

        multiple purchases, multiple applications, the amount bought...all that data is appropriate to keep.

        this way, it solves two big hurdles/problems and gets done.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:50:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Gun owners are not stupid. They see that this (0+ / 0-)

        is the ultimate plan.  Background checks are just the first step.  No wonder they are drawing lines in the sand.

  •  Is the Hasturt rule dead? (4+ / 0-)

    If not, it doesn't matter that several (R) want this to happen.  The rule is, "ONLY OUR PARTY PASSES ANYTHING."  You don't form a coalition across the aisle.  It's our party or nothing.

    If that has changed, the US might become a better place.  I'm not placing any bets.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:02:14 AM PST

  •  An effort to reinstate an Assault Weapons Ban? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, a2nite, S F Hippie, doraphasia, ColoTim
    Emotional Testimony Sets Tone of Newtown Hearing
    A debate on gun control took center stage in residents' comments during Wednesday night's legislative hearing.
    By Davis Dunavin
    Newtown, CT Patch.com
    January 31, 2013

    …On Wednesday night, town officials, parents, teachers, first responders and many other residents from Sandy Hook and across Newtown had a chance to share their thoughts and ideas with lawmakers.

    The Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety was formed to consider legislative change in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the life of 20 first graders and six educators.

    Made up of 48 lawmakers from across Connecticut, the task force is focusing on school safety, mental health and gun violence. The hearing at Newtown High School, in which 84 residents signed up to speak, was the final scheduled hearing for the group...
    ...

    ...For [Tom] Swetts — the teacher [a history teacher who had Adam Lanza as a student] and manager for the auditorium in which the event was hosted — he's sure of one thing.

    If teachers had to carry guns, "I would quit tomorrow…"

    …and from Bill Sherlach, who lost his wife, Mary (the Sandy Hook School Psychologist) on December 14th, sane words on the reimplementation of an assault weapons ban…
    "I have a deep respect for the second amendment," said Bill Sherlach, whose wife Mary, the school psychologist, died in the shooting. But like many other speakers, he said his respect for the amendment didn't preclude his belief in "sanity" when it came to gun laws.

    "Personal defense, whether from a tyrannical government or home invasion, are two main arguments of the gun lobby. I don't understand them," he said, to applause from the crowd. "I have no idea how long it took to reload and refire a musket, but [I] do know that the number of shots fired in Sandy Hook Elementary School in those short minutes is incomprehensible, even in today's modern age."

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:03:10 AM PST

  •  That must mean (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, elwior, high uintas

    That must mean they aren't afraid of a primary challenge but losing the election outright to a Democrat.  Their job means more than the gun lobby's money.  

  •  Bully for them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    Who's going to manage the database, and will there be any money for enforcement? If we can't properly fund agencies like SEC and IRS, to say nothing of the ATF, then promises to perform background checks are less than impressive, especially if conservative offers of support are predicated on the legislation getting gutted at appropriations time.

  •  BFD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north
    In Colorado, after it was discovered some of the weapons used in the Columbine school massacre in 1999 had been obtained from a private individual at a gun show, the state extended background checks to all gun sales in 2000. Since then, according to Rhonda Fields, a Democratic representative in the Colorado legislature, the results have been dramatic. Among all states in 2000, Colorado was the 17th-largest source of guns found at crime scenes. A year later, it had fallen to 27th. By 2009 it ranked 32nd, Fields said.
    What a load of BS. I live in Aurora,  three of my neighbors were shot and one of them, a little girl , fatally. 32nd place, 1st place, it made no difference. Aurora still happened.

    This is pure bullshit. It won't accomplish a damned thing. The only thing that will yield results is a full fledged gun buyback program, like they did in Australia. Anything less is weak tea BS, just pissing in the wind. I'm really sick of pols and opportunists presenting this lipsticked pig as if it were an accomplishment. It does nothing but provide political cover for self righteous assholes who want to pat themselves on the back and pretend they did something.

    "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:59:14 AM PST

    •  Well I'd certainly have to agree that only a (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, elwior, KVoimakas, gerrilea

      universal buyback program would begin to cut down on the possibility of another mass shooting, maybe accompanied with confiscation. Even that wouldn't guarantee that someone wouldn't get ahold of guns or some other method of doing mass murder. Confiscating 300,000,000 guns could be problematic though. Might even have legal problems.

      There are some bad people in the world, and sometimes they do horrific things. I don't think there is any way to stop that.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:28:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is the most egregious of cop-outs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        There are bad people in the world so let's do nothing of substance about it. Australia cut their gun death to near zero after their gun buyback program.

        Maybe near zero isn't enough for you, frankly it's not enough for me, but it's a damn site better than 30,000 per year.

        "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

        by Phil In Denver on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:51:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you think I said "lets do nothing of substance" (0+ / 0-)

          I believe you seriously misunderstood what I said. Maybe a re read.

          30,000 what per year? There aren't that many homicides let alone mass shootings.

          Maybe you should read some more and have a think.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:24:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Gotta make sure that the guns that are purchased (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      aren't then sold to the public.  The NRA and their friends are trying to make that happen in Arizona where a private company financed a gun buy-back with a police department and the NRA tried to claim that property obtained by the police by law had to be sold for maximum value (i.e. it couldn't be rendered inoperable or just melted down for scrap metal and plastic).  I think that's still being worked out over there.

    •  BUT NO ONE IS TRYING TO TAKE OUR GUNNZZZZ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      BOB JOHNSONNNN!!!!!

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:35:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A mandatory gun buyback program ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exlrrp, high uintas, KVoimakas

      ...will not pass Congress any time soon.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:40:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I assume by the emails I get from all the interest (6+ / 0-)

    groups that universal background checks are a done deal. I hope they improve the system that does them so that it takes much less time and so that it costs very little or is free. Free to the user that is. I'd think someone selling a gun to a stranger would want to know they aren't making it possible for a bad guy to get a gun.

    We'll see how it plays out.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:15:19 AM PST

  •  Is it the premise of the right to keep and bear (0+ / 0-)

    arms that the person keeping one also has the right to sell it or give it away? "Having" and "using" which is what keep and bear says, is not the same thing as marketing them. And the fact of looking at transfers is something that has other side effects, such as a registration demonstrates that X owned a weapon, and proof of theft of it when it shows up somewhere else it shouldn't be is easier. Both as to gun thieves and as to traffickers.

  •  Is there a technical solution in designing (0+ / 0-)

    amunition that is just useable with ONE specific gun?  

    If someone wants to buy a gun, he would be allowed to buy a limited amount of the special ammunition that works only with that gun. In addition he has to sign against having bought that amunition. It should not be more than you need in one act of self-defense. If such a situation has happened and he runs out of amunition for the future, he has to buy new special amunition just fitting his gun and give proof of where and when he had used the old ammunition.

    If there is any abusive shooting incident that was not carried out in an emergency defense situation, the bullets found could be traced to the buyer and that person would have to be punished and liable for abusive gun usage.

    I think high liability insurance,  the threat to pay for the damage done with the usage of his gun and strong punishments for abuse would make a good incentive to use a gun more responsibly.

    But I have never touched a gun and probably never will. So who am I to talk. I am so scared of them, I hate them and I can't imagine I will ever train to use one. And apologies I really can't read those discussions here about gun control. Makes me crazy. Control whatever you want. Unless there isn't a technical solution, I don't believe much in the success in legislative ones. Of course I support the efforts to control them. But that's rather unimportant. Like Bob Johnson says, I don't believe anything will work. So, shoot me.

    •  Just make all ammo for guns very expensive (0+ / 0-)

      like a $50 tax/bullet and you'll cut down dramatically on the number of people just shooting randomly.

      •  would enhance the black market for bullets (0+ / 0-)

        I assume.

        •  I would think so, but that would be an extra (0+ / 0-)

          level of problems for a shooter - lack of effective quality control could make misfires more likely, and should they be discovered (either from a legal or an illegal shooting) the person with the illegal bullets would be in trouble even if they were on the right side of any shootout.

          •  Mega boost for the reloading industry (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas, KVoimakas

            So----you REALLY want to increase the police force?  Laws without enforcement are meaningless.

            There's a heavy federal tax on marijuana---how many people are paying it?

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:47:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'd be very surprised to hear of a federal (0+ / 0-)

              tax on marijuana, since it's an illegal substance in all forms.  I have been hearing how the medical dispensary operators are having problems because they can't declare income for tax purposes (they'd be self-incriminating).  They also have problems with banking because banks (federally insured) have to keep their money clear from drug money.  Colorado is still waiting on guidance from the feds on how to handle issues arising from the legalization of marijuana at the state level.  I just don't think there's such a thing as a federal tax on marijuana, but hey, enlighten me.

          •  Mega boost for the reloading industry (0+ / 0-)

            There's a lready a heavy federal tax on marijuana---hw many people respect that law and pay the tax?

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:50:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Back to the subject: Goody for background checks. (0+ / 0-)

    ... There is no reasonable objection to checking every person who wants to buy a gun, every time they do it, and delaying purchases until that is done.

    If that puts gun show dealers out of business or if it burdens private sales and trading, that's tough, but the public interest in taking steps to assure that Bad Guys don't get guns surmounts these objections. Yes, we are going to limit access to guns. Nothing in the Second Amendment forbids reasonable regulation on that subject.

    Are background checks enough? Of course not. Nevertheless, there will be many who'll climb on this bandwagon - reluctantly, perhaps - in order to forestall other legislation.

    If that's a likely outcome, hold off on background checks and pass bans on hi-cap magazines and assault weapons. Flawed though definitions may be, the public is demanding action on massacre weapons. Nothing should give pro-gun Senators and Congressmen cover to oppose these other measures, not even as sensible a proposal as enforceable and administrable background checks.

    Civilian gun-running has to stop.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:16:44 PM PST

  •  They just played the Audio of the "CT Effect" (0+ / 0-)

    NRA lobbyist on  The Ed Show

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

    by JML9999 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:40:18 PM PST

  •  "Let us reason together" as LBJ once said... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorell, noway2

    ...let's assume all the criminals with records so long if they were rock stars they would be inducted into the Criminal Hall of Fame, submit to a mandatory background check. That's a no-brainer. They won't. And if they don't obey the over 3,000 gun laws already on the books-or most any other law that stands in their way, I don't see them marching to the tune of this new law now. As useless as screen doors on a submarine, any law without strict enforcement, is not obeyed is made null and void. And moot.

    Ok, so let's assume that all the law abiding citizens today submit to it but they "earned" more than their share of vacations as guests of the state(incarcerations) when they were young and dumb still wet behind the ears. And seeing the error of their ways, they paid their dues, became model citizens and long-since turned their lives around. But they're not the problem here, are they? No, but the law is the law is the law. NO exceptions. They must submit and kicking and screaming, they'll go to the shotgun wedding.

    And what about straw purchases, where all you have to do is know somebody that has a clean record? Grease somebody's palms with enough money and viola! Background check? What background check can stop somebody determined to buy a gun and can pay any price to get them? There simply isn't one.

    What about the black market? With the economy such that it is--just like in the days of Prohibition-if somebody wants a drink-or a gun, somebody is going to meet that demand!  NO MATTER WHAT THE LAW SAYS! So again, the law is effectively, and for all practical purposes not worth the paper it's written on.

    What about the 300,000,000 guns already on the streets? Even if you run 10 million background checks a year, they will do absolutely nothing about the guns already in somebody's hands, homes, cars and businesses.

    What about the illegal gun traders-not to mention the DRUGS and GANGS- that come and go virtually unimpeded through our porous southern borders everyday? So, we have come full circle. This law is simply unenforceable on its face. And nothing more than politicics as usual, and hence hogwash. An excercise in futility.

    Murder comes from the heart. The object of somebody's rage is killed long before the trigger is pulled, or the knive is stabbed into their heart. My spoon did not make me fat, anymore than my car made me drive drunk.

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:25:23 PM PST

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