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Connecticut's General Assembly has unveiled a broad set of gun control measures. The Hartford Courant praises the bill, but says the bill falls short in one respect: it only bans high-capacity gun magazines on a going-forward basis. "Just ban the damn things" entirely, the editors urge:
The gun safety bill that House and Senate leaders unveiled Monday is very strong. If passed as proposed, it will give the state what will arguably be the toughest gun safety laws in the country.

That's as it should be. Newtown happened here and the country is watching Connecticut. The feckless wonders in Congress are backing off, cowed again by the man behind the curtain, the National Rifle Association. If Connecticut doesn't take the lead to lessen the impact of one of the worst public health problems in the country, the movement could wither.

That's why we'd like to see one part of the bill made stronger, and that concerns large-capacity magazines, here defined as magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The bill immediately bans the sale or purchase of large-capacity magazines going forward. But it allows those who already have them to keep them, and then ties itself in knots creating hard-to-enforce restrictions on their use. Just ban the damn things, as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and some parents of Newtown victims have requested.

The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board focuses on the need for a strong universal background check system:
Without a universal system of background checks, the guns will keep flowing. Last year, Chicago police confiscated 7,400 guns that were used in crimes or were illegally owned, but more firearms quickly arrived on the streets to replace them. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has likened trying to stop the torrent to drinking out of a firehose.

The NRA opposes universal background checks. It helped push through a measure that prohibits the FBI from hanging on for longer than 24 hours to records of those who pass the existing background check system. That makes it hard to spot a pattern of straw purchases. Lawmakers should not be swayed by the NRA on this issue.

Waiting for the U.S. Senate to act, though, is not enough. We need to act on the state level, too.

Head below the fold for more analysis from papers across the country.

Cook County in Illinois is adding a $25 tax to all firearm purchases and is standing firm in the face of lawsuits:

The anticipated $600,000 in revenue from the new tax will help the county’s health and hospital system, Preckwinkle said. About 30 percent of trauma patients last year at Stroger Hospital were gunshot victims, she said, and each cost taxpayers about $52,000 to treat.

Last month, a group of Chicago area firearms dealers and owners sued over the tax, claiming it violates their constitutional rights. Preckwinkle said that group failed to secure an injunction from a judge to temporarily stop the tax, and she said “we don’t calculate whether or not people are going to sue us when we look at reasonable gun policies.”

Adam Clark Estes at The Atlantic looks at the NRA's next push:
While it's no secret that the organization has perfected the art of lobbying over the years, they appear to have performed an opus of sorts on Capitol Hill in the past few weeks. Not only has the Senate bill been heavily diluted, but the NRA now has lawmakers parroting its points. Evidence actually suggests that the NRA might help kill the expanded background checks portion of the bill, despite the fact that it was one of the less controversial parts just a couple of months before. "We are in better shape now than our critics and even some within our ranks believed possible when this battle started," NRA president David Keene told The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman as this chapter was coming to a close late last month. All the while, folks like Hutchinson, who is also running for Governor in Arkansas, kept returning to this idea that the Obama administration and friends have a "hidden agenda" to take away everybody's guns.
Margaret Hartmann at New York Magazine looks at the NRA's unrelenting assault on reasonable gun control measures:
A week after President Obama suggested that we as a nation should be ashamed of ourselves for forgetting about the Newtown tragedy so quickly, he plans to make a similar call for more gun control at a visit to a Colorado police academy on Wednesday. However, despite the president's ongoing effort to keep the campaign for reform alive, it seems increasingly unlikely that even some of the mildest federal gun control measures will pass. The NRA's lobbying efforts in Congress appear to be going over better than its disastrous public response to the Sandy Hook shooting, and the group is currently pushing language that would undercut the proposal to make gun trafficking a federal crime.

The Senate will start debating gun legislation when Congress returns from its two week Easter recess next week, and the Washington Post reports that senators are currently going over the legislative language with various interest groups, including the NRA and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Last month the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a plan to increase penalties for straw purchases, or buying a gun for someone who can't pass a background check. According to the Post, NRA lobbyists are pushing a revision that would make it much harder to prosecute gun traffickers...

Richard G. Thomas lays out the history of NRA control of Congress:
After Congress conducted no gun votes in 2012, the Senate last month handed the NRA a victory by blocking President Obama’s nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She crossed the NRA in 2003 by asserting that gun manufacturers could be sued for the misuse of their products by third parties. She was solicitor general for New York State at the time.
And in policy wins occurring without benefit of record votes and the accompanying public scrutiny, NRA-backed lawmakers in recent years have hemmed in the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives by steps such as limiting its budget, restricting its ability to gather records of gun sales and refusing to allow the Senate to confirm an AFT director.

Since passage of the assault weapons ban in 1994, the House and Senate have conducted at least 48 substantive votes on gun issues, with lawmakers aligned with the NRA winning about 80 percent of the time. On those rare occasions when a pro-control measure passed one chamber or the other, it was eliminated later in the legislative process.

The Atlantic's Dominic Tierney on "the great gun gobbledygook" and how hardliners want more guns to protect themselves from the government while also wanting increased military spending:
The specter of government despotism looms so large our only salvation lies with a nation of armed watchmen.

But curiously, Rubio also strongly supports beefing up government power by creating a vast military establishment. In 2012, he described defense cuts as "catastrophic" because "history has proven that the stronger the U.S. military is, the more peaceful the world becomes." According to Politico, in a recent speech at the University of Louisville, "Rubio made the case for American military might around the world."

Wait a sec, won't American military might mean a government that's in more places at more times? Isn't this precisely the terrifying prospect we must arm ourselves against? [...] It's almost like George Washington grasping his musket as a defense of liberty -- while also seeking extra funding for the British redcoats.

Peter Hart  at FAIR points out that no, the public hasn't given up on gun control.  

Also, in case you missed it, this Bloomberg account of Newtown parents begging for common-sense gun control by Annie Linskey is a must-read.

Finally, Jonathan Capehart at The Washington Post puts it all in perspective:

Imagine how much could get done if Obama’s consistent calls for help from the American people on gun violence were backed up by a consistent flood of calls to congressional district and Capitol Hill offices. The president has done as much as he can possibly do. With the Senate set to consider anti-gun-violence bills next week, where’s his backup?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:44 AM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  the reality of how (34+ / 0-)

    nigh impossible it is to get the most basic, common sense legislation passed in the United States is a very ill omen.  

    We can't have sane health care or a sane banking policy.  We can't have rational gun laws.  We can't legislate that our food be reasonably healthy.  

    What, specifically, is the point of this continuing social contract here?  Just that "it would be worse without it" is insufficient because this is simply not working for increasing numbers of us....

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:47:23 AM PDT

  •  Eugene Robinson:The racket with standardized tests (8+ / 0-)

    I discuss an important column by the Pulitzer winner, written in light of the indictments in Atlanta, in this post for which I very much would like your attention.

    Robinson's column is not perfect.  I expect it will be widely read, so I want to put it in the proper context, pointing out its problems at the same time as I praise its strengths.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:49:51 AM PDT

  •  It makes no sense to pretend to ban high (13+ / 0-)

    capacity magazines with a grandfather clause, unless you force people to register them.

    Otherwise, people can always claim they bought them before the ban and then the police have to try to *dis*prove that claim.

    income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

    by JesseCW on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:53:58 AM PDT

    •  serial numbers on the mag (7+ / 0-)

      would show when it was manufactured and when it was sold.
      However even so they should all be banned and not grandfathered.

      If you are against sane gun regulations then by definition you support 30,000 deaths a year by firearms.

      by jsfox on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:42:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which brings up another point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant, JesseCW

        How do you register an older high capacity mag that doesn't have a serial number??? There is no requirement to add serial numbers to all the mags sold in the US.

        So go to Texas load up on non serial numbered mags.

        Even when they were banned for 10 years it wasn't hard to get them. Somehow there were thousands (millions?) that had been manufactured before the ban which were grandfathered in.

        Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

        by Da Rock on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:20:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pass it at the Federal level ... and I like the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miggles

          precedent of registration - I am guessing it is not the first time a state has required registration of some sort, but in a high-profile bill such as this one, the idea that registration does in fact exist, contrary to all the NRA bed-wetting, should help put the claim that registration leads to confiscation to rest.

          The CT bill seems like the model that should be used for Federal level legislation. It covers all the basis from gun restrictions to mental health to criminal access to guns.

        •  So do you know or are you (0+ / 0-)

          assuming that old mags have no serial number? I was assuming that all mags had a serial number so that manufactures could track them if something went wrong with them.

          If you are against sane gun regulations then by definition you support 30,000 deaths a year by firearms.

          by jsfox on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:16:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They don't. They generally just have a (0+ / 0-)

            part number, sometimes a patent number.

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:56:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  They don't show when they were sold. They show (0+ / 0-)

        when they were manufactured.  

        They still don't show when or where the current owner bought them.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:55:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I could get behind a generous buy back... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, JesseCW

      ...of currently held high capacity magazines, but that would still involve some elements of robust record keeping and verification.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:54:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Buy back (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        renbear

        is too close to "confiscation" in the minds of the anti-government, anti-public safety expounders of the 2nd Amendment.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:56:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Once people have to register them by a date (0+ / 0-)

        certain in order to make them legal, then we can start buying them back.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:57:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ratio of homes with guns where an intruder was (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Amber6541, Miggles, DSPS owl

    stopped versus homes with guns where a family experienced an accidental shooting or intentional shooting or suicide took place would be interesting. I am guessing it would be about  1:100,000.

  •  Well hey, Nelson, Georgia has taken care of gun (6+ / 0-)

    ownership conundrums.
    ==============
    NELSON, Ga. (AP) — Backers of a newly adopted ordinance requiring gun ownership in a small north Georgia town acknowledge they were largely seeking to make a point about gun rights.

    The ordinance in the city of Nelson — population 1,300 — was approved Monday night and goes into effect in 10 days. However, it contains no penalties and exempts anyone who objects, convicted felons and those with certain mental and physical disabilities.

    City Councilman Duane Cronic, who sponsored the measure, said he knows the ordinance won't be enforced but he still believes it will make the town safer.
    =
    ==============

    As Homer Simpson said when taping over the flashing "Check Engine" sign on his car:
    "Problem solved."

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:59:17 AM PDT

  •  Deadly logic (11+ / 0-)

    Here is proof that there is something that just isn;t right within the brains of Republicans. The typical reaction by most Americans to a horrific tragedy that leaves 20 small children dead from multiple gunshot wounds is to crack down on the laws and lax regulations that allowed such a crime to be committed; fewer guns, tighter restrictions on who can own them, magazine limits, etc. But thanks to the NRA-addled craniums of conservatives, we are getting force-fed the offensive and outrageous agenda that more guns is the answer to gun violence! Maybe our government can give the gun nuts their own deserted island to practice such deadly and contrary logic. Just get them all out of the country before we're all dead.   progressive

  •  I live in one of the worst states for regulating (6+ / 0-)

    guns.  All the crimmies and perps cruise up and down I-95, stopping off in the Old Dominion  to buy their disgusting weapons.

    What a bat-shit insane country this is!  I sometimes feel that guns will never be regulated until a Pied Piper leads all the children out to another country.  Only then will the gun nuts say, "Dear me, we shoulda banned them when we could."

    On another subject, how worried should we be about North Korea? Does that little git Kim Jong Un really think he and his country won't be obliterated if he launches something at the USA?  Does he not understand there will be consequences if he tries something against South Korea?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:05:10 AM PDT

    •  Do the people running this country really think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      violating his airspace just to prove we could was a brilliant move?

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:11:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Keep in mind who is saying (7+ / 0-)

        we violated their airspace. So I would take the claim with a large dose of salt.

        If you are against sane gun regulations then by definition you support 30,000 deaths a year by firearms.

        by jsfox on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:49:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not that you said something so uniformed, (0+ / 0-)

          it's that you got 7 rec's for it.

          Our claim is that we flew B-2 bombers within three miles of their border, theres is that we crossed it.  We have a history dating to the start of the cold war of lying about violating the airspace of other nations, while the kooks ruling North Korea don't have a history of making repeated false claims of their airspace being violated.

          Credibility does not lie with the butchers to whom you give your loyalty on this topic, but with the butchers you see as the enemy.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:12:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When the west coast is easily coated in Chinese (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, One Opinion

      dust drifting across the Pacific, it makes me very concerned about North Korean craziness a mere ocean-width away.  

      :^(

      Metaphors be with you.

      by koosah on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:13:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Little Jong is just ptting on a display of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      aggression as most higher primates tend to do.

      He has to prove his manliness to that nation of paranoid slaves and that, like most politics, requires a lot of smoke and lightening and noise. Sabre-rattling.

      How lucky that little snot is that his country has no oil or NK would already be the worlds largest parking lot.

      1 of our B-1's can take out the entire country.

      •  NK is out of food (3+ / 0-)

        He'll keep sabre rattling until the UN gives them food. The last thing Kim Jong Un wants is a nation of 25 million to rise up against him. You'd be surprised how people lose their loyalty to the fearless leader when they haven't eaten in a week.

        Plus there have been rumors of assassinations attempts against him, so he's going to want to make a show of power for the people of North Korea.

        •  We essentially agree on the nature of the issue. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gentle Giant
          •  It's also good for S. Korea (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stude Dude, Amber6541, Gentle Giant

            As much as they talk about "taking the threat seriously", they know N. Korea isn't going to start a war that it knows it will lose. But it gives them the opportunity to dust off the war machine as well. Nothing's as good for business as a good old fashioned war scare.

            •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Amber6541, Gentle Giant

              If the government believes their own propaganda (see Bush, GW and the Iraq War), they're liable to do anything.

              “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

              by skohayes on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:31:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do you mean the North? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Gentle Giant, skohayes

                Kim Jong Un may appear to be an irrational player, but I don't doubt that he knows if he started a war with the South over nothing, he would lose and badly. The Chinese are all N. Korea has to back them up, and China isn't going to risk its economy to help fix Kim Jong Un's folly.

        •  Not exactly true (3+ / 0-)

          I watched a (5 or 6 years old) Natl Geographic documentary on North Korea last night on Netflix, and the famines have been hitting that country on a regular basis for the last 30 years. In the last really bad one in the 1990's, 10% of the population starved to death.
          They have no news coming in from outside, cell phones are banned and no one owns computers. TV and newspapers are controlled by the state.
          They are the perfect populace of adoring robots, who blame every single problem they have on the West, specifically America, and swear their allegiance to the "Great Leader" in every other breath.
          I would not expect any kind of a revolution in that country (that wouldn't be crushed immediately and brutally by the million man army) any time soon.
          If you have streaming Netflix, I recommend watching that documentary, it was quite eye-opening.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:30:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It can also be that North Korea is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonmug

      in such dire straits that a war a) would be good for morale (not kidding. Look what GWB's gang did) and b) damn the consequences. Decreasing the surplus population could only help the situation.

      It is insane, but North Korea has been a hellhole for a very long time.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:14:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But I feel naked without my gun! (12+ / 0-)

    I used to suck my thumb, but when I got too old for that (when I turned 21), I got a gun.

    Suggested liberal gun lovers' motto: "More liberal than the NRA on everything except guns."

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:07:12 AM PDT

    •  Suck your thumb at 21?! Wowza! That's too old! (0+ / 0-)

      I take it that's the joke right? "Sucking a thumb at 21"....
      Such wit.
      You are such a card, Bob.

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:25:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it's not a joke, Frank. (0+ / 0-)

        I sucked my thumb because it made me feel secure. But it was time to give it up. Now I have a gun. Almost everywhere I go. Just knowing it's there where I can rub its barrel makes me feel safe and secure.

        Suggested liberal gun lovers' motto: "More liberal than the NRA on everything except guns."

        by Bob Johnson on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:07:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Been cleaning out my shotgun corner. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankRose, Gentle Giant

      Once I get the newly busted pipe (housed in a wall) fixed, and the roof replaced and a few payments on the new vehicle, I may have the funds to get that little side-by-side 410 I have dreamt of.

      Was talking with the gunnery Sargent about your parlour game - the idea that if I made it this far in life without my shotgun in the corner, why in the hell would I go ahead and get one?

      We had a pretty good laugh and then compared this to living on or near an earthquake fault line and not preparing for a quake.

      Ain't happened for 20 years...why bother now?

      Since it never happened before, ergo, it may NEVER happen. (Even though it happens many times other places)

      Outstanding logic.

      My truck never ran out of gas; why do I bother refilling it? Obviously it will never run dry.

      I have quit smoking pot as well: No matter how much I smoke or how high I get, I just become sober again: why bother?

      I may even save enough to get a swanky .410 side-by-side double-barreled, premeditated self-defense legal murder tool to stand in the corner.

      Or two: twice the fire power. (4 shots versus two)

      Thanks for the enlightenment. It means a lot.

    •  I want my Thompson Submachine Gun...waaaaa! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, a2nite
  •  Voters! Please don't forget how shameless (8+ / 0-)

    And worthless your Congress is when you head to the polls in 2014.  Calling congress people is fine, but this GOP majority gets more calls from their real con$tiuent$--the shameless lobbyists who call the shots, and don't believe there will be a price to pay for turning their backs on the real needs of the american people--for safety, for education, for employment, for a comfortable old age, for a healthy life, for a sound planet.  Prove them wrong by sending them back to the private sector.

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:07:57 AM PDT

  •  A general question because I have become confused (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant

    It's quite unclear and I am seeking some clarity:

    Which is Worse: Committing a crime against a person or Defending yourself against a crime?

    A poll. Let's see what people here believe.

  •  I don't know if there is any one thing that (7+ / 0-)

    speaks more eloquently about the screwed up state of this country than our failure to address the proliferation of guns here after Sandy Hook. Corporate Special interests, the use of fear to manipulate gun owners, a corrupt political process, a populace that is easily distracted and a refusal to deal with a completely obvious health issue--it has all of the hallmarks of the true American dysfunction.  If we fail to constructively deal with the problems that caused Sandy Hook we have shown our true colors. Any claims to morality and superior political process are gone. What an indictment.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:17:11 AM PDT

    •  Aloha, American Exceptionalism. Aloha. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stellaluna, a2nite

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:19:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The population isnt distracted. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, tobendaro

      That's a media driven excuse for politicians to use for CYA purposes.  People are watching, 2014 should be interesting if we mobilize and show up.  

      Unfortunately we're more likely to retreat into hopelessness and despair, allowing the loons another major win.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:16:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's part of the problem. (0+ / 0-)

      The bills currently being put together by congress, with the possible exception of a ban on high-capacity magazines, don't deal with the problems that caused Sandy Hook.  The overarching problem there was an angry man with access to high powered weaponry.  

      We still don't know what he was so angry about and whether that was caused by circumstances or situations he had experienced first-hand, whether his anger caused his mental instability or his mental instability caused his anger, and whether anything could have been done about addressing his anger issues or more could have been done to protect the children at the school.

      The bills being hashed out in congress, however, do not address the problems that caused Sandy Hook.  Sandy Hook was caused by a set of problems which had so many facets that I doubt a whole set of new laws could have prevented it.  The bills in congress seek to solve much more ordinary, mundane situational problems than those presented by Sandy Hook.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:34:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Modest Proposal -- The Moral Deficit Clock (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, skohayes, Gentle Giant, wonmug

    We need a tote board we can trot out to every Democratic anti-gun event, showing a running tally of the number of people killed by gun violence since Newtown.

    Each time someone speaks on the issue, they need to start off by reading the names of people killed by gun violence since the last time such a speech was given.

    Turn numbers into names, names into numbers, do it consistently, do it every time we speak, and make sure the message gets through.

    http://www.danablankenhorn.com

    by Dana Blankenhorn on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:22:48 AM PDT

  •  I'll wade in and become rotten tomato bait and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SueDe, Gentle Giant, Kickemout, wonmug

    say that part of the reason some of the gun control legislation stalled was because of a lot, and I mean a lot, of public outcry about the Assault Weapons Ban.

    The AWB was a flawed piece of work from the start; and the new one was a re-issued version of the old one. Little had changed, many of the same loopholes existed, and it was, let's be honest, a joke. The fact that Dianne Feinstein was it's chief proponent didn't help; she's said out loud in the past that she'd want a universal ban with confiscations even though it is also known that she owns a gun herself (so there's a hypocrisy angle undermining her).

    Then there's Michael Bloomberg, who practically embodies everything the conservatives fear about the "nanny state"-- he couldn't ban Big Gulps so he'll ban guns. Again, a poor face man for gun control because he plays right into the fears of the NRA. He's practically a bogeyman right from casting.

    Then you have folks like Charles Rangel, who said this in a quote from the Washing Times (yeah, I know, but they didn't make the quote):
    Rangel:

    "Millions" Of Children Killed By Assault Weapons. The Washington Times (3/22, Chasmar) reports that in an appearance on MSNBC Thursday morning, Rep. Charles Rangel discussed "the assault weapons ban getting dropped from the Senate gun-control bill. He made a few claims about politics as usual and the power money can have in this type of a case, but his most noteworthy comment was about his knowledge on crime statistics." Rangel said, "We're talking about millions of kids dying - being shot down by assault weapons." The Times notes, "The FBI's 2011 data says only 323 people were killed by rifles, compared to 728 people who were killed by hands, fists, feet etc. Handguns are much more likely to be used in a homicide with 6,220 killed nationwide in 2011."
    A statistic that is so easily recognized as BS, and so easily debunked, again plays into fears that "people who seek gun control will engage in any amount of lies" to achieve their goals. Yes, I know, the NRA and a lot of pro-gun extremists also engage in lies, but they won't admit that about themselves; we're talking about how the gun-controllers themselves walk right into the NRA's caricatures.

    It has been pointed out again and again that "80% (or more) of gun owners and even NRA members support increased gun control of some sort since Newtown" (paraphrased) but the zeal with which the Assault Weapons Ban got pounced on probably made a lot of support get wobbly.

    Universal background checks, mental health records correlation, safe storage requirements, and possibly requiring training and licensing of gun owners were serious contenders. But they got lost in the same, tired old ideas like the AWB and "registering guns", things that have always cropped up and which the NRA are very, very well prepared to deal with.

    So now the NRA can go to their members and say, "see, same old things from the same old folks, they just want to take your guns". What they see is not that "liberals" want to pass just laws, but rather just want to take revenge on gun owners for the crimes committed by people who are already in custody or dead.

    Anyhow, that's my bit. Please, before everyone dogpiles on me for not chanting the more "socially acceptable" mantras, take a moment or two and recognize that I'm trying to help point out flaws in reasoning that the NRA is exploiting. I'm not shooting down your arguments out of smug happiness with NRA talking points; I'm trying to help point out why gun control, as it has been done the last several + years, keeps stumbling. But, if you want gun control to keep falling flat or making gains by mere increments instead of miles, then by all means keep playing right into the NRA's caricatures. They have a finely-tuned machine for taking apart all the "usual arguments" and turning them into clown shoes. Reviving a failed and ridiculed law from 1994 was just handing them what they wanted.

    Sigh... so let it begin, all the calls about how I'm a pro-NRA gun nut inbred Neanderthal nutcase psychopath blah blah blah.

    The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

    by Canis Aureus on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:22:59 AM PDT

    •  flawed analysis (8+ / 0-)

      AWB and HCM bans are not part of the bill in congress. they can't have derailed anything because they are not part of the bill.

      Further:

      1. universal background checks remain hugely popular with the public, even in red states
      2. AWB and HCM bans are still popular with the public.

      Politics and lobbying, which may derail the bill, have nothing whatever to do with the above. Better laws won't happen till those opposing the laws lose an election.

      This is a long term battle and it doesn't end with the current bill.

      "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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:46:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  further data on public sentiment (8+ / 0-)

      http://www.americanprogress.org/...

      What the Public Really Thinks About Guns
      Important analysis by a variety of pollsters.

      "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 Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:48:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So the NRA doesn't quote bullshit statistics? (3+ / 0-)

      See? Same old thing, they think everyone should be armed and if a few kids die in an elementary school, that's the price of freedom.
      It works both ways, and finding one Democrat who wildly exaggerated numbers of kids being murdered doesn't come close to the crap we are subjected to by the NRA for the last 30 years.

      "Find the cost of freedom,
      buried in the ground." - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:42:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The biggest problem faced by those who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonmug, Canis Aureus

      want to ban assault rifles is that there is no formal definition of "assault rifle."  So Sen. Feinstein is relegated to naming and/or describing hundreds of different guns that would be affected by her bill.  That was the biggest flaw in the 1994 bill that made it so easy to circumvent.  When a bill has to get so far down in the weeds to try to solve a problem, the resulting law will be ineffective.  A particular category of guns must be banned by a law (without a grandfather clause) in order to be effective, such as "semi-automatic," and assault weapon, or assault rifle, is not a recognized category.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:48:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beer......We can regulate....Guns?....Not so much. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, PsychoSavannah, a2nite

    Why is that?

  •  Chuck Todd....The NRA are burning bridges to Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    which they will pay for later on....(paraphrased)

  •  gun control, like HCR, isn't a single effort (5+ / 0-)

    job.  You pass phase one and gear up for phase 2.  It goes on for a long time, you keep the pressure on, you keep the issue alive.  

    This is where Progressives fail.  We love Big Change, don't understand how government really works and always has, and we retreat rather than press on.  SS was a shadow of what it is now when first passed.  Medicare ditto.  The Civil Rights movement has to keep battling every year for actual rights.  Women have been relegated to the back of the bus for millennia.  We keep fighting.  That Ship of State thing is ponderous, slow to move, hard to control.  That's what we need to keep in mind.  Once the direction changes it's equally hard to move it back.  Keep pushing, we'll get there.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 06:27:56 AM PDT

  •  I would never advocate violence, so (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not doing so now.

    It occurs to me that only when gun lobbyists and NRA top honchos become gun violence statistics will we be able to enact sane gun law reforms.

    I don't advocate it. It's only an observation. They have to have something at stake that is more valuable to them than the $$$ they're raking in for keeping us all less safe. Greed and moneylust being what they are, only one's life would seem more precious. Right now, there is nothing at stake that will awaken any conscience they might still hold.

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:05:20 AM PDT

  •  Re your last paragraph. Isn't that the story of (0+ / 0-)

    the Obama presidency?  So many people, so many urgent issues.  The same solution for each:  Pres. Obama must take action NOW!!! or catastrophe will ensue.  

    And what are too many of the issues' advocates doing to give him backup?  Hah!!!

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:17:36 AM PDT

  •  HAIKU : seemingly normal (0+ / 0-)

    HAIKU :

    seemingly normal
    crossing some line we can't see
    people can crack

    Because gun control ain't about the criminals. It's about the regular folks who aren't very "regular" and we can't tell - because of our freedom to be whatever. How ya' gonna' tell? I say we can't, so it's the guns, not the people, that we must control.

    make gun sales, not possession, illegal
    We should go way beyond ALL gun sales having background checks; assigning liability to every gun, saddling every owner with that until the gun is terminated by being turned into authorities for destruction. So, sales become risky, as you don’t sell the liability – it sticks with you, making you responsible for letting that gun go. Improperly secured stolen guns retain responsibility.
    We should make EVERY sale of semi-auto guns illegal. This will shut down the churning market. It will immediately reduce the value of every semi-auto in existence to near zero. Since I don’t believe pasty-white young gameBOYS have good links to an underground gun market, they will not be able to find many guns.
    I bet we can identify misfits through their efforts to find theses guns – since they start as misfits within a secure society and try to delve into the hastily created underground. Should be easy pickings for the ATF narks. Heck, I bet criminal gun sellers would turn in (anonymously) most of their encounters with these losers!

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