A democratic gun owner on gun control

Worth the read.  Sometimes this sort of thing is easier for a liberal to swallow from another liberal.

Tue Apr 23 19:14:07 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Concealed carry in Illinois

Democrats enjoy a supermajority in the Illinois House of Representatives, holding 71 seats to the GOP's 47. On Wednesday, the same day the US Senate voted down gun control legislation, powerful Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan tried to push a restrictive gun control measure through his chamber. The result was an open revolt by downstate Democrats, with almost half the Democrat caucus joining the GOP to kill the measure. The bill went down 31-76, a rare defeat for the legendary Madigan. 
"Worst CHL in America" goes down to defeat in Illinois. 

The shall-issue preemption version of concealed-carry got a significant majority vote (64-45) but needed a supermajority of 71 to pass.

The Illinois legislature is under pressure to pass some sort of concealed carry bill since a court has struck down their current law as unconstitutional. 

Hat tip to John Lott.

Tue Apr 23 02:13:05 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

(Alleged) Marathon bombers did not have gun permits

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.

Anyone surprised?


Thought not.

This just in: They didn't have bomb permits either.

Tue Apr 23 02:01:42 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Politicians are stupid

Democratic have been haunted by the question of whether they waited too long to push their gun-violence package onto the floor. They don't want to let immigration reform twist in the wind.

"We must act deliberately and without delay. Millions of people -- millions of Americans -- are depending on us," said Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
"Deliberately" and "without delay" don't go together.

It is, at least, an innovative way to be on both sides of an issue.

Tue Apr 23 02:00:39 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kopel on Manchin-Toomey, in depth

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.

Tue Apr 23 00:53:34 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that lying you accused us of, Mr. President...

... you might want to have a chat with your VP about that.

Tue Apr 23 00:53:16 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Mike Lee explains his vote against Manchin-Toomey

The short version:
Background-check amendment is too vague for law abiding citizens to understand and too easy for criminals to avoid.
He doesn't go into every problem with the legislation, but some of the technical issues about changes to FOPA protection are, frankly, issues that gun rights advocates are more tuned in to than the average voter. 

I do have one minor complaint:
The Toomey-Manchin amendment admirably attempted to carve out certain protections for gun owners, but today's carve-outs are tomorrow's loopholes. The current "gun show loophole" was itself once considered a legitimate carve-out that protected certain private sales.
From the scare quotes around "gun show loophole" it's clear that Lee understands the truth: there IS no gun show loophole.  There are sales by licensed dealers (background checks required) and private sales (no background checks required by federal law).  The same rule applies to gun shows as it does everywhere else. 

Lee is correct, but in using the scare quotes without explaining the issue he's reinforcing the impression that such a loophole exists.

Tue Apr 23 00:53:03 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Instructional Police Video: How to request to search a home on a voluntary basis

This doesn't look particularly voluntary to me.

Searching for a terrorist suspect is all well and good.  I have no quarrel with the motivations for this search.  The methods, however, are those of a police state.

Hat tip to Bitter.

Tue Apr 23 00:52:47 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A New Jersey resident tries to buy a BB gun for his niece...

... 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:
  1. Maintain a distributed firearms registry for investigative purposes (in the 4473 form maintained by dealers). 
  2. 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.

Mon Apr 22 01:11:51 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Chris Christie to push new citizen control laws in New Jersey

The measures include:
  • Banning the Barret .50 caliber rifle (by name?)
  • Mandating mental health records are included in the background check (this is already supposed to happen under federal law -- does he mean it isn't happening now, or that he wants a more in depth check?)
  • Requiring a photo ID in addition to the special identification card already required for buying a firearm
  • Making involuntary commitment easier (needs details?)
  • Requiring game stores to obtain parental consent before selling games rated Mature or Adult Only to minors
  • Making various "gun trafficking" crimes double-plus-illegal

The only thing that might make a small difference here is the mental health stuff, but this is New Jersey; gun owners aren't exactly a political force.  Here's what Christie has to say about whether these proposals will make a difference:

"It's hard for me to sit here today and say, "If all these things got imposed we'd see an 'X' percentage drop in gin violence in this state.  I don't know," said Christie. "Bad people are going to do bad things and so, would greater penalties deter people? You hope they do."

Who cares whether it stops criminals?  The point is harassing honest gun owners.  However, even New Jersey residents are getting a little fed up with the nonsense.

On the other hand, Christie will never be president... as a Republican.  That, at least, is a positive outcome.

It's painful to have to say this after defeating the federal legislation, but... if there are any gun owners left in New Jersey, the vacation is over.

Mon Apr 22 01:11:08 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gabrielle Giffords fisked by Wall Street Journal

Well, it's not so much a fisking as it is labeling each sentence in her article with the logical fallacies it represents.

Mon Apr 22 00:42:12 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

51% of Americans believe having a gun in the home makes it safer

29% say having a gun makes it less safe.  

Mon Apr 22 00:36:58 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Second Amendment challenge to Chicago gun dealer ban

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.

Mon Apr 22 00:20:35 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Shots fired near nuclear reactor

If the government is still searching for a potential terrorist "sleeper cell", this event would seem to be a matter of concern.  Especially with shots fired.

Note, though, that the sleeper cell report is anonymously sourced from the UK.

Mon Apr 22 00:04:52 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A missed opportunity

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.

Sun Apr 21 23:21:02 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An eloquent rant on gun control

Erin explains why gun rights are not subject to "compromise".  

Sun Apr 21 23:13:10 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

They are bigots with no sense of proportion

An 8th grader was arrested and taken to jail... for wearing an NRA t-shirt depicting a rifle and the phrase "Protect your rights".

Sun Apr 21 23:11:07 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lautenberg wants background checks on gunpowder

And he's introducing the bill on April 19th.  He is no student of history.

I will be writing thank-you letters to my Senators for their votes on the gun control issue earlier this week.  When I do, I will point to this legislation and suggest they oppose it as well.

Fri Apr 19 23:11:24 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Rep. Gabby Giffords took on gun reform with the best of modern campaign tactics -- spend millions on new groups, air slick TV ads and tap into social media.

"It came down to politics the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections. They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-Second Amendment," Obama said.

The total lack of self-awareness in the modern left leaves me speechless.

Fri Apr 19 21:18:49 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dan Riehl is following something big in Watertown

It appears to have started with a police officer shot on MIT campus, lead to a pursuit of at least two suspects, dozens of gunshots and explosions, bomb disposal robots on scene.  Citizen journalism -- the local television station is running a continuous live report with multiple citizens in the area on cell phones.

Hat tip to Dan Riehl, who is following the story.

UPDATE: As of 2am central time, police are saying they have one suspect in custody and another believed to be in the area, not in custody.  They are saying they are investigating possible link to Boston Marathon bombing.

Fri Apr 19 01:12:36 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

But wait, I thought the people were on your side!

I thought 90% of the public supported you! 
"Bribery isn't what it once was," said an official with one of the major gun-control groups. "The government has no money. Once upon a time you would throw somebody a post office or a research facility in times like this. Frankly, there's not a lot of leverage."
Bribery is a pretty loaded word to deploy about the tactics on your own side of the debate.

Thu Apr 18 17:00:24 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

This has been an insane week

My sympathies go out to the victims at the Boston Marathon, and to the victims of the blast in Waco, Texas, which was uncomfortably close to home, and to the victims of the ricin mail attacks.  May justice be swift to those with murder in their hearts, and mercy bind the wounds of the innocent.

Thu Apr 18 04:33:24 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lack of gun control is the most important problem facing America...

... for 4% of Americans.

42% think jobs and the economy are the most important problems, so perhaps Obama can pivot to that, when he's done dealing with immigration policy (4%).

He's certainly not going to do anything about dissatisfaction with government (16%) while he remains in office.  Or the spending problem (11%).

He already did something about healthcare (6%), which could be read as Obamacare successfully fixing the problems... or that there wasn't a problem in the first place.  I suppose we might see that number rise as Obamacare takes effect, though the effects will probably show up in "jobs and the economy" too.

Thu Apr 18 04:12:08 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's sour grapes on gun control

But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of "Big Brother" gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation in fact outlawed any registry, plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn't matter. And unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners, and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators.
We said it would enable the creation of a gun registration system, Mr. President, because it would in fact do so. No, it doesn't say so in the press release, but reading the language of the bill demonstrates that it would. 

It would also let doctors block gun rights without due process

Nor does it cover only sales on the internet -- which must already go through a dealer for interstate purchases.  It covers any sale that was advertised in any way, and authorizes the Attorney General to write regulations for other sales -- and then exempts family members.  Why would the exemption have to cover family members if the regulations weren't intended to be broader than legislation itself? 

Your own internal report indicated that a gun registration system would be necessary to enforce a background check requirement.  You knew the American people wouldn't stand for that, so you tried to sneak it through under the radar, with Eric Holder eagerly waiting to write the regulations, and then you get angry at us when you get caught?

And you know, Mr. President, that a ban on advertising a gun for sale would run afoul of the First Amendment

And it probably didn't help that you snookered one of our organizations into trusting you -- and then broke the deal at the last minute.

Oh, and speaking of lies, Mr. President, your own numbers could use a little cleaning up.

Thu Apr 18 03:58:38 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Professor fired for forcing students to sign pledge to vote for Obama

If you're wondering, she taught mathematics, which seems an odd combination with political propaganda.

Thu Apr 18 03:32:59 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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