The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
In the United States, the debate is about guns. In the UK and Australia, the debate on guns is over: the debate on swords and knives is just beginning. A free people have the inalienable right to own weapons, not just some particular type of weapon.
I am a second-amendment absolutist. I do not believe any regulation of arms is legitimate under the Constitution. When our nation was born, civilians owned warships, artillery, swords, and the latest in military firearms. In fact, in many cases American troops armed with rifles were significantly better armed than British troops using muskets.
Knives; swords; guns; explosives; missiles; tanks; artillery; battleships; aircraft carriers; up to and including nuclear weapons. If you don't like it, pass an amendment to change it. (I do exclude biological weapons; I do not think the founders would have considered them to be arms).
I recognize that the federal government does not share my opinion, and with some justification. Following the arms control laws in your jurisdiction is a good idea up until the point when you are ready to overthrow the government; if you're not ready for a shooting war with federal agents, follow the law whether you think it is Constitutional or not.
Why am I an absolutist? I believe the people should have parity of arms with the government. That our citizens had such parity allowed us to overthrow our own government two centuries ago, and that balance of power is vital to a free society. If our government has the capacity to use nuclear weapons against the people, the people must be able to respond in kind.
Once the absolute right of ownership is acknowledged, I'm willing to concede basic safety regulations to ensure you can't store your weapons where they might have damaging effects outside your property if detonated. For firearms, that doesn't matter much -- the bullet goes where you point it. If you can afford to build a nuclear weapon, you can damn well afford a very large buffer zone and an underground bunker to contain the blast.
By now, a lot of you are probably thinking I'm crazy. I don't blame you. Until recently, a lot of you would have never imagined a private individual could build a reusable spacecraft for under $20 million dollars. Americans dream big, and I trust the people more than I trust our government.
I missed this story a while back about Obama "using executive power to move gun control forward":
The president has used his executive powers to bolster the national background check system, jumpstart government research on the causes of gun violence and create a million-dollar ad campaign aimed at safe gun ownership.
The executive steps will give federal law enforcement officials access to more data about guns and their owners, help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and lay the groundwork for future legislative efforts.
But it could explain a lot about the federal request for concealed-carry data in Missouri
(and suggests it would be a good idea to check for similar requests in other states). (It turns out that the Missouri request was made by the BATFE
). It's also suggestive to consider this New York case
for possible federal involvement or encouragement.
In January, Obama directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to begin studying the causes of gun violence for the first time since Congress, at the behest of the NRA, began blocking funding for such research in 1996.
The CDC has since awarded a contract to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which this spring will soon begin looking at the role video games and social media play in gun violence, as well as whether gun technologies and access to guns can be used to reduce violence.
As part of the agency's preliminary research, the CDC and IOM will host an all-day conference on April 23 in Washington, D.C., to hear from firearm and gun violence experts; researchers; and advocates on both sides of the issue, according to Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist who now leads the Independent Firearm Owners Association.
Problem: I had not heard Congress had removed the block on expenditures related to gun control "research" by the CDC. Neither have some of the people who are attending, but they seem willing to attend anyway.
But wait, there's more:
In another administrative move, Obama directed the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to examine the efficacy of existing gun trigger locks and firearm safe standards to determine if they need to be improved. The CPSC has partnered with the American Society for Testing and Materials International, but does not have a firm timeline for when its examination will be finished, according to a spokesman.
Separately, the administration has given $1 million to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to create, produce and distribute a nationwide multimedia ad campaign on safe gun ownership and storage. The campaign is heading into the research phase and is expected to air by the early fall, according to a NCPC spokeswoman.
Gun locks, and a national ad campaign on "safe gun storage", which we can assume will be as political as Obama can possibly make it while still spending public money.
This one was so good I figured I would pass it along to my audience as well.
There are tens of thousands of firearm laws in the U.S.A. to which a citizen could fall victim. One of them is Federal Form 4473, which must be completed by any applicant wishing to purchase a firearm from a licensed gun dealer anywhere including a gun show, neighborhood meet or person to person.
Recently defeated background check legislation originally included all (universal) transfers but was modified to exclude some family members. Making a false statement on form 4473 is a felony which carries a fine of up to $250,000 and up to five years in prison. Remember there is no parole in the federal system ? only supervised release after serving the full term.
According to the most recent data available from the Department of Justice, the FBI denied 72,659 form 4473 applications in 2010, based on the background check system (NICS). That's just 1.2 percent of the more than 6 million applications processed that year. The system is so rife with errors, that of the 72,659 only 44 applications were considered prosecutable, and only 13 were proven to be form 4473 violations.
Background checks cost the consumer $48 million a year and the taxpayer $30 million a year or $13 per application. (source: Justice Department spokesman Bill Cosh) The cost to USA citizens of the 13 convictions maths out to $6 million per conviction in NICS fees alone.
Thanks for writing it, Bob!
A common trope of many Second Amendment advocates is to urge more vigorous enforcement of existing federal gun control laws, as the alternative to enacting additional laws. Rhetorically, that?s very effective. But as a policy matter, it is not always a good idea. Consider legislation recently considered by the Senate...Read the whole thing
Both Manchin-Toomey and Grassley-Cruz included a variety of other changes in federal gun laws, and some of them were very constructive. But as for the prosecution provisions, I think they were dubious.
For the record, I agree that calling for more enforcement is not always a good idea -- but it's not the same thing as pointing out the lack of enforcement of existing laws when opposing new ones.
Then the next day, we weren't allowed out at all -- not even to get some coffee. Men dressed in black gear paraded through the streets with weapons. In Watertown, they were confiscating guns from residents. This they don't tell you on the news.
Unconfirmed, so far, but it wouldn't surprise me. Especially given that we have video of people -- not the bombing suspects, just ordinary residents -- being yanked out of their homes at gunpoint.Hat tip to David Codrea
He has some interesting perspectives, but also a lot of misconceptions. For example:
He accepts that 90% of the public supported gun control -- when that number was inflated by lack of specificity, ignorance of current law, and untrustworthy polls. If 90% of the people supported new
gun control laws, more then 4% would see it as the most important problem facing America, especially with the media screaming about it for months. Instead, Americans consider gun control a solved problem within existing law.
He blames the NRA for being extreme, and the Democrats for being wimps and failing to support a more comprehensive bill. Yet the comprehensive bill got much less support, and independent legal scholars exposed the Democratic gun control proposals as being much more extreme than Democrats claimed them to be. Democrats asked for a small piece of gun pie, then tried to swipe half the pie in the process.
It's not just my opinion on that. From another article in the Wall Street Journal
A word, first, about that Senate "minority." Majority Leader Harry Reid was free to bring the deal struck by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to the floor for an up-or-down vote, and this background-checks amendment might have passed. It did convince 54 Senators, including four Republicans.
But under Senate rules, a simple majority vote would have opened the measure to up to 30 hours of debate, which would have meant inspecting the details. The White House demanded, and Mr. Reid agreed, that Congress should try to pass the amendment without such a debate.
Why try to pass legislation -- any legislation -- without 30 hours of debate? The only possible reason is if you are afraid that the details of the bill will be discovered, and the resulting public opposition will sink the bill. As, in fact, happened -- Dave Kopel sunk the legislation with a single post on the Volokh Conspiracy, and thanks to the internet the word spread fast enough to turn a bill that might have passed into one that was significantly short of votes.
I just have to pull this quote out: "liberals tend to be less ambitious and tenacious than their conservative rivals." When was the last time a conservative tried to impose Obamacare on the whole country?
And finally, he blames Obama for being difficult to work with. That's a good point, because Obama has certainly not been a good representative for his side of the debate. He has a track record of negotiating in bad faith, rhetorically claims the center while arguing from the left behind closed doors, and refuses to engage in honest debate. That said -- if Obama had been a reasonable person on this issue, I don't think he would have gotten much more traction.
There is a very real, very intense problem with bad faith on the gun control side of the argument. Put simply, gun owners know that the ultimate goal of every major leader of the gun control movement is total confiscation. This has been reinforced again and again. No matter what "reasonable compromise" is agreed to today, they will be back tomorrow for more.
Any attempt at "reasonable compromise" will be viewed in light of that past bad faith, with predictable results.
We realize it's not about guns, it's about control
... (now with visual aids
No, not really. But that's the argument they are already trying to make.
But if you are a foreign or domestic terrorist or sympathizer living in the United States, whether connected to Al Qaeda or the Taliban or white supremacists, or even a radicalized loner, you can - in 33 states - walk into a gun show and purchase any kind of a weapon you want.
Sure, you can do that... if you can find whatever you want to buy from
a private seller and don't mind making your purchase while being observed by the multiple police and BATFE agents "loitering" in the vicinity. The vast majority of gun sales at gun shows are from
licensed dealers, who are, in fact, required to run the same background
checks at a gun show as they are if you went to their store.
You can even purchase something as deadly as a .50 caliber sniper rifle capable of penetrating some armored vehicles.
If you have $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket and can find such a rifle from a private seller. This is ... unlikely.
You can do this without a background check or waiting period and without notice to any national agency, not to Homeland Security, not to the FBI, not even to ATF - the federal agency tasked with investigating illegal use of firearms.
With the Boston Marathon bombings we learned what use it is to give notice to a federal investigative agency that someone may be a terrorist interested in committing mass murder: precisely zero.
As a recent Salon piece notes, the federal government can prevent a firearm sale for only 11 specific reasons suspected ties to terrorism, or even suspicion that a gun would be used in an attack, are not one of them.
is not proof
, and in the United States, firearms ownership is a Constitutional right that cannot be taking away without due process of law.
Moreover, between February 2004 and December 2010, over 90% of the 1,453 people on the federal terror watch list that tried to buy a gun were allowed to.
This would be the same terror watch list that famously stopped Senator Ted Kennedy from flying? The one that anyone who works in an airport can anonymously add anyone that annoys them to, and which is impossible to remove yourself from (unless, of course, you are Senator Ted Kennedy)?
Clue: They were allowed to buy a gun because they had not been convicted of a felony or qualifying misdemeanor in a court of law. That's the standard.
The organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns notes, "American-born terrorist Azzam al-Amriki touted the ease with which, 'you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check.'"
Azzam was either ignorant or lying, because in the real world, if you want to buy a fully-automatic assault rifle, it will take at least six months of
background checks, a $200 tax stamp to register your purchase with the federal government, permission from the BATFE, additional permission from your local police chief (leave your donation to my re-election campaign with the officer at the front desk on your way out), assuming you can even find one because they are no longer legal to manufacture for civilian use, and have at least $6,000 on hand to pay the prior owner.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing last week also engaged in a deadly firefight with police. They had with them bombs, handguns, a rifle and more than 250 rounds of ammunition. The guns were unlicensed and how they obtained them is still under investigation.
They lived in Massachusetts. That state requires a license to purchase a firearm, which presumably is not issued without a background check. They did not obtain a license for their firearms. That law, requiring a license from the government in order to own a gun, is the gold standard of gun control advocates (at least those who claim they don't want total confiscation). It did nothing.
I will say that again.
It did nothing.
Criminals and terrorists do not obey the law.
Equally stunning; current federal law allows someone to purchase as much as 50 pounds of explosive "black powder" -- the apparent explosive the Tsarnaev brothers used in their pressure cooker bombs -- and unlimited amounts of "smokeless powder" and "black powder substitute" without a background check.
Equally stunning: current federal law allows me to pull up to a retail establishment and drive away with as much gasoline and fertilizer as I care to buy. Should we run a background check on drivers? Gardeners? Farmers? Cooks? Chemistry teachers?
We are a free society. We depend on people being, basically, good people who don't need a police officer following them around 24 hours a day. Sometimes that has risks.
We will do much, much better identifying the people who are actively malicious and dealing with them as people, rather than trying to turn the whole country into a padded cell.
Here it comes... "I support the Second Amendment, but..."
I believe that the Constitution -- including the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms -- is a vital document enumerating civil liberties and protections the nation must accord all its citizens. But as Abraham Lincoln averred, and the Supreme Court has echoed, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. The courts have allowed First Amendment free speech rights to be tempered as to time and place. The courts have allowed exigent warrantless searches under the Fourth Amendment. Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and to be informed of the right to counsel may be briefly delayed when public safety is threatened.
I support the Second Amendment. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I also support the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth amendments -- the real versions without the Supreme Court's watered-down list of exceptions.
Thank you, Drew, for openly admitting for everyone to see that you are willing to throw out the whole Constitution, not just the Second Amendment, in return for some nebulous feeling of safety that is nothing more than a pretty lie.
A plurality of Americans -- 47 percent -- say they are either "angry" or "disappointed" with the Senate's action on gun legislation, far different from the amount of people who strongly approved the proposal before the vote. Meanwhile, 39 percent say they are "relieved" or "happy" about the vote.
The above poll is totally useless to anyone who actually wants to understand reality beyond the basic point that "90% of Americans" aren't outraged that gun control failed. Consider:
Obviously, they intend for people who support gun control to be "angry or disappointed" about the vote, and people who oppose gun control to be "relieved or happy".
But as a gun owner and human rights advocate, I'm disappointed that the issue even came up for a vote, and angry that the government and the media have spent almost 5 months demonizing people for exercising their constitutional rights.
What this article
doesn't mention is that the cops are likely pissed because the law forgot to exempt them. Since I haven't heard of any successful amendments being passed (though I could have missed them -- I don't live in New York), that means the police are still in violation of the law themselves. Of course they won't enforce it on each other.
It's amazing how a simple drafting mistake can increase "professional courtesy" in an entire state!
So much so that, last week, the New York
State Troopers Police Benevolent Association issued a statement
distancing troopers from Cuomo and warning of public resentment toward
law enforcement since the gun law's passage.
No shit, sherlock.
A poll by the Siena Research Institute, released in March, found that
61 percent of New Yorkers like the NY SAFE Act, with the greatest
support among the state's large pool of registered Democrats.
However, 48 percent of those polled also said they felt the law was
rushed into enactment, in a bout of emotion following the Newtown
A similar poll released this week by Quinnipiac University found that 63 percent of voters said they support the new gun laws.
The pollsters noted a regional split, with supporters of the NY SAFE
Act concentrated in the New York City area, while upstate voters
In other words, voters in New York City -- who don't own guns, because their city's laws represent an effective ban on firearms to anyone who isn't a cop, a public figure, or a bodyguard -- are quite happy to vote their more rural citizens into a similar state of disarmed victimhood. And that's assuming that the polls are accurate.
On Wednesday, William G. Greene, a Saratoga-area man, became one of
the first to run afoul of a provision sealing the so-called "private
sale loophole." Greene posted to a Facebook page for gun enthusiasts, announcing he was selling an RUNS .223 caliber rifle.
He found a buyer, who turned out to be
an undercover state trooper. If Greene had sold the weapon a week
earlier, before provisions of the new gun law took effect, he would have gone home with a pocket full of cash. Instead, he was hauled off in handcuffs.
In other words, someone is most likely going to prison for 5-10 years and subsequently rendered unemployable for the rest of his life for doing something that harmed no one, was legal a week ago, and for which he had no criminal intent.
When this is how the law works, people lose respect for the law.Hat tip to JammieWearingFool
After passing draconian gun control laws targeting honest gun owners and manufacturers, the Colorado legislature seems to think they might as well pass more gun control laws
... since they have already pissed off all the gun owners in the state, why not piss them off even more? It's not like honest gun owners will vote more than once, or that there's some community of gun owners they haven't already motivated to pull out all the stops in 2014.
The latest bills would require domestic-violence offenders to surrender their firearms, create a task force to study ways to prevent those with mental health problems from obtaining guns, and ban gun owners from obtaining a concealed-carry permit via an online class.
So... they create a task force NOW, after they have already passed all sorts of laws that were supposed to fix the problem of the mentally ill obtaining guns? In the military, this would be described as a "Ready, Fire, Aim" situation. Joking aside, though, this means they aren't done yet. In a few weeks or a few months, this task force will come back with recommendations for even more gun control laws.
They also want to make it illegal to get a concealed-carry permit via an online class. Why? Seriously, why? The requirements for concealed-carry permits usually include several forms of identification, fingerprinting, a thorough background check, and (at least in Texas) a practical shooting qualification... none of which is going to be changed by letting people attend a lecture about the legal issues of firearms and self-defense from the comfort of their home rather than spending hours in a classroom.
Finally, the domestic violence issue. At first glance, this looks ok -- after all, people convicted of domestic violence offenses are barred by federal law from possessing firearms. Why not have a legal process to confiscate them?
One big objection: not all those barred from possessing firearms by reason of domestic violence are permanently
barred. Federal law also covers those who are currently
subject to a domestic violence restraining order -- orders which are handed out like candy in divorce court -- and those orders can expire or be overturned. If the police confiscate the lawfully-owned firearms of such a person, he will likely never get them back, or receive any compensation for the confiscation of his property.
Why is this a better process than allowing an individual in those circumstances to transfer his firearms to a friend for temporary safekeeping until the legal issues are settled, or to a gun dealer for sale?
Oh, wait, Colorado just outlawed private transfers without a background check, didn't they?
Well, that explains that.
Between dealer checks and universal background checks, Colorado knows -- loosely now, but with more precision in the future -- exactly what guns its law-abiding residents own, and if you ever get divorced, you can expect the police to raid your home and confiscate every firearm they find. If you are in their database as owning a firearm that they don't find, you'll be charged with an unlawful (un-background-checked) transfer.
If you are found with a firearm not on their list, better hope you can prove you got it before the law was passed, or they will add an unlawful transfer charge to the unlawful possession charge.. since as soon as you got that restraining order as part of your divorce proceedings, they raided your home before you had the chance to arrange for legal disposal of the firearms you lawfully owned up until the wife decided the grass was greener on the neighbor's lawn.
If you ask me, the Colorado legislature has decided they can save their asses in 2014 -- or earlier, if any recall votes take place -- by ensuring the Colorado gun owners will self-deport rather than vote them out. And if not, well, you usually lose the right to vote when you are convicted of a felony, even a bullshit one.
Sixty-nine percent say if they were in a situation similar to Bostonians, they would want a gun in their house.
That includes a large 88-percent majority of those in gun-owner households, as well as 50 percent of those in non-gun homes.
Those 50 percent of people in non-gun homes have likely never really considered the possibility before, at least not seriously. When they are forced to think about it, by an event like the Boston Marathon Bomber lockdown, they often come to the conclusion that they want a gun -- just in case.
The problem is, if you find yourself in that kind of situation, you can't just run off to the gun store, buy a gun, and run back home. You're usually stuck with whatever you had available before the crisis started.
Worse, if by some chance you can run to the gun store, you'll find yourself suddenly faced by all the barriers placed by gun control efforts. In most red states, you'll have to fill out an exacting form under penalty of perjury, wait for the dealer to call the FBI for a background check, and wait for results. (Anywhere from half an hour to three days, and subjectively people seem to feel that first gun purchases are usually longer). You'll have to pay for the gun, and probably a cheap and nearly useless gun lock.
In blue states, you might also have to get yourself fingerprinted (at your expense), produce references, mail in an application, wait months for a government employee to approve your application, wait longer to receive it back in the mail, all before you can even take a gun off the shelf in the store to see how it feels.
Either way you'll have a lot of learning to do about what the gun laws are and what you can and can't do legally, all under the ever-present threat of spending years in jail on a felony conviction if you get any of the details wrong.
That's an intimidating process, especially if you don't have someone you know to help you through the process.That's the point
It's not about criminals, and it never was.
In the middle of that night listening to the Boston police scanner, I evolved.
I realized right then that if I were holed up in my house while a cold-blooded terrorist roamed my neighborhood, I wouldn't want to be a sitting duck with only a deadbolt lock between me and an armed intruder. There are not enough police and they cannot come to my rescue quickly enough. They carry guns to protect themselves, not me. I knew at that instant if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed up at my door while I was "sheltered-in-place" and aimed a gun at my head and only one of us would live, I could pull the trigger.
Self-defense is not only a human right, it is a moral imperative. To refuse to defend yourself effectively means you depend on others putting themselves in danger to save you. Conversely, if you defend yourself successfully, you may well save the next person's life.
I'm shopping for guns this week. I've been told a 12-gauge shotgun is a good choice for home protection, but I'm open to suggestions.
Well, my first piece of advice would be to stop taking suggestions about firearms -- or anything else, really -- from Joe Biden. While a 12-guage shotgun isn't a bad choice, you might want to take one out to a shooting range and make sure you can handle it first. (This applies to any firearm you might purchase, not just shotguns -- but shotguns are the ones that end up in youtube videos). You would do well to consider a handgun or the modern militia rifle, the AR-15, as well.
Boston bomber suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly horded a small arsenal of guns. They were semi-automatic weapons. They did not have to go through a background check or have a permit. Authorities will now be forced to spend countless hours and personnel trying to track down exactly how, when and where they got their guns. They could have easily have gotten them over the Internet, at a gun show, or just simply bought them from an individual seller on the street or anywhere else.
They lived in Boston. Massachusetts requires a license to own a firearm. They did not have licenses. The younger brother was too young to own a handgun.
In other words, it was already illegal for them to have guns -- and it did not stop them.
Indeed, public opinion appears to be on the administration's side. Fifty-five percent of Americans said in April's NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that they support tougher gun laws -- roughly the same number who expressed a similar sentiment in the weeks following Newtown.
Oh, good, I see we're admitting that the 80%-90% support numbers were completely bogus now. Amazing what a little damage control can do.
Notably, the challenge references the race-based nature of many gun control laws. That will be interesting to watch if the news media ever notices.Hat tip to Sean of All Nine Yards
Worth the read. Sometimes this sort of thing is easier for a liberal to swallow from another liberal.
Normally, that would be a silly question, but in Massachusetts they do have licensing requirements for owning guns and much tougher ones for carrying them. One of the suspects was too young (19) to apply for one.
So, let's take a deep breath and let that sink in.
Terrorists don't ask permission to buy or carry guns.
This just in: They didn't have bomb permits either.
Kopel expands on his list of problems with the Manchin-Toomey legislation. It's already failed in the Senate, but in case anything similar comes up, read the whole thing
... and has his first encounter with today's gun control laws. When liberals collide with reality, it tends to leave a mark
Amazingly, though, he still believes the BS:
Based my limited experience, it seems like when gun laws are written (mostly) by liberals (like me) who don't feel connected to gun culture you might end up with a hot-mess-of-a-law that makes it needlessly complicated for law-abiding tax-payers who wish to comply with the rules to acquire a gun for any non-crazy reason. That's our current model in New Jersey. Our model which I believe is broken.
So, existing gun laws are too strong (requiring a permit and a 6-week wait to buy a BB gun) and too weak (no photo id requirement, won't stop criminals).
On the other hand, the gun laws coming out of Washington DC are dictated by the NRA to conservative handmaidens in the House and Senate who are beholden to tea party whack jobs primary voters and the gun lobby. The idea of some deranged lunatic assembling a deadly cache in a McDonald's parking lot is chilling and infuriating. With 40% of firearm transactions happening off the grid (via straw purchasing, for example,) it's simply too easy for stupid people to get guns in America. And we have the NRA and Republicans in Congress to blame for it.
The idea that this guy thinks the NRA is powerful enough to write gun laws in DC despite having just seen a massive gun control push that gun owners (not JUST the NRA) -- only barely managed to stop is pretty far out there.
And that's why, despite the Senate stalemate, we must work for a more robust universal background check for anyone in any state who chooses to purchase a firearm. We don't need another (Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, Tucson, et al) to prove why background checks are so critical.
So background checks are critical to stop mass murders, then?
Most people think of background checks as being in place to stop criminals from acquiring guns. But buying guns is not the only way to acquire them. Criminals generally steal them, or buy them from other criminals, and they won't do background checks on each other no matter how many laws you pass. If they can't find enough to buy or steal, they'll smuggle them in with their drug loads, or buy them with special BATFE approval
Background checks are actually in place for other reasons:
- Maintain a distributed firearms registry for investigative purposes (in the 4473 form maintained by dealers).
- Deny criminals easy access to firearms. Making it harder does help, if it doesn't set up a significant barrier to honest gun owners.
The 4473 form you fill out when you buy a gun is maintained by the dealer who sold you the gun, until they go out of business, and then the records are forwarded to the government. It allows law enforcement to trace a recovered gun (say, at a crime scene) to its last commercial purchase. It's a messy compromise between denying the government an official registry of all firearms and their owners, and allowing some information to be kept for investigative purposes.
The background check system does not, and can not, effectively prevent criminals from acquiring guns. The technology is out of the bottle.
I just hope the national model for firearms screening won't follow New Jersey's reactionary template.
And his reality-rejection field is so strong that he thinks a national law written by the same ignorant anti-gun liberals he was just complaining about
would be an improvement.
Well, it's not so much a fisking as it is labeling each sentence in her article with the logical fallacies it represents.
29% say having a gun makes it less safe.
This is a denial of a motion to dismiss, so it's not so much a victory as it is preventing a defeat.
Personally, I don't see how banning gun stores could possibly be allowed under the 2nd Amendment, but the courts will have to work out the details of how that works. Content neutral bans might survive -- such as residential zoning that doesn't allow storefronts of any kind.
It seems that the FBI had previously investigated
one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2011, and according to some accounts kept him under surveillance for 3-5 years. But they didn't find anything, or at least nothing they were willing to do anything about.
Think about that for a moment.
When a foreign government warns us that one of our citizens may be a terror risk, when our FBI investigates him, possibly keeping an eye on him for years, and doesn't find anything... how can we possibly expect to stop mass shootings with an instant background check?
Answer: Obviously, we can't.
That's not an argument for increasing the length of the check. No matter how long it takes, some people will slip through. No matter how much we try to crack down, guns -- and bombs -- will be available to criminals on the black market.
Gun control is not a policy without costs. The harder it is for honest citizens to acquire the means to defend themselves, the more people will be harmed when they are unable to do so. Even if we could magically remove all the guns from the world, the harm would come from swords, knives, axes, clubs, lead pipes, hammers, screwdrivers, even fists and feet.
Guns do three things. They raise the risks of violence -- any attack on someone armed with a gun can be instantly fatal. They equalize those risks -- being bigger, stronger, or more aggressive doesn't necessarily convey any advantage if one or both people are armed. And they reduce the actual occurrence of violence: simply having a gun is usually sufficient to fend off a criminal attack, because the criminal 's life is suddenly at stake.
That's an improvement to the situation for honest men.
We do not fear honest men with firearms because honest men do not have murder in their hearts. We fear criminals, whether they have firearms or not, because criminals are motivated to evil acts. We can't keep criminals from acquiring firearms -- though we can make it harder -- so we must allow honest men to keep and bears arms in their own defense.
An 8th grader was arrested and taken to jail
... for wearing an NRA t-shirt depicting a rifle and the phrase "Protect your rights".
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