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Lets talk about controlling violence

by: Old Prosecutor

Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 22:10:33 PM CST


There has been much talk and there will be much more talk about gun control. I think the discussion needs to be broader and be about controlling violence. I submit this is for these reasons. Guns are inanimate objects, they do not kill on their own. They are the instruments by which we kill each other. Yes, there needs to be a discussion about restricting guns, and/or access thereto, that are too efficient an instrument, but they are not the only means by which we kill one another. To the victims, does it mattere whether they died by gunfire, a bomb or an airliner crashing into a building.

I do not pretend to have the answers but I offer up some thoughts to provoke a discussion (hopefully civil)

#1 - A total ban on guns in this country is unworkable. There are too many guns already out there and far too many people who cherish the right to own and lawfully use firearms. A total ban (IMHO) would be as effective as Prohibtution was as for alcohol. It would also have the same effect : to make criminals out of many otherwise lawbiding citizens.

#2 - A total ban would be ineffective. It is naive to think that someone who would murder kindergarteners would obey a gun control ban. It would be equally naive to believe criminals would hand their guns over.

#3 - The 2nd Amendment does not mean that guns can't be regulated. The Supreme Court has made it clear

Old Prosecutor :: Lets talk about controlling violence

that guns can be regulated. For example fully automatic weapons are heavily regulated. Felons and the mentally ill may not own or possess guns under federal law. Those regulations have been upheld.

#4 - We must do better at keeping guns from the mentally ill. Any one who commits mass murder may not be legally insane but certainly there is something wrong with how they are wired. To do this however,  we must loosen privacy concerns about medical records and we must not worry about placing a stigma on the mentally ill. You can't have it both ways.

#5 - Assault weapons and high capacity magazines exist for the sole purpose of killing a lot of people quickly. They are not necessary for hunting nor are they particularly good for self defense (IMHO).

#6 - Detailed backgrounds checks need to be done and waiting periods for gun purchases are not unreasonable.

#7 - Training in how to use (and most importantly when a firearm should be used) should be required before any one is given a concealed weapon permit.

#8 - "Stand your ground" laws need to be repealed. The law as always allowed you to defend yourself. A requirement that you retreat when you can safely do so prior to taking a life is reasonable. "Stand your ground" simply is a license to kill.

#9 - Use of a firarm in a crime should bring an automatic jail sentence which must be served day for day.

#10 - We must address why there seems to be so much more willingness to commit violence. Is it the violence in video games and on mass media?

Just some thoughts. What are yours?

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Sounds great! (4.00 / 1)
Reasonable suggestions. I wonder how they'd fare before an unreasonable electorate, or in a lobbied-up legislature.

Thanks for weighing in on this, OP! (4.00 / 2)

We sorely needed your voice in this discussion.

I agree with what you're proposing and I think every responsible gun owner would as well.  We live in a pretty isolated area and our firearms are mainly for protection - but not from people for the most part.  Rather, each summer, we have to dispatch at least one rattlesnake that decides our driveway, our deck, chicken yard, and/or garden is a nice place to hang out.

I hate to do it, but with kids & animals outside, we just can't have poisonous snakes 20 feet from the house.

Anyway, I've seen numerous postings from FB friends & on other blogs about the "absolute necessity" of removing all guns from society and proclaiming that "nobody really needs a gun."

Well, if they're planning to drive over here and either chase off the rattler with a stick or put it in their car and take it home, then I'm fine with that.  Somehow though, I think it won't happen....

A basic problem, IMO, in discussing issues about guns, regulations, etc. is that many people who don't have guns & haven't been around them  don't have much of an idea of the terminology, types of ammo, what it's used for & how it's loaded into a weapon, type of guns (revolver, break, automatic, semi-auto), etc.  

And when you're talking about increased regulation, those things matter a great deal.

The best comment I saw on this was: 

The last time I heard people trying to regulate products and activities they didn't understand, we were talking about birth control & abortion.

Proponents of greater regulation (of which I am one) will have a much more influential voice in the national conversation  if we have even a basic familiarity with the subject.

IMO, #5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 are so commonsense that they should be implemented immediately.  You are right that #4 will be a LOT more difficult, but there must be some middle ground that will give greater protection to the public while also getting ill people they help they need.

#10 is the kicker, isn't it?  As someone who is totally disconnected from the video game world  and who eschews violent TV & movies, I can't begin to answer it.

I would also throw this out for discussion:

What about all the fire-breathing paranoia that's spewed about "FEMA concentration camps," "Obama coming to take your guns" and "UN Treaties to outlaw gun ownership" and even "don't pass the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled because it will outlaw homeschooling and let doctors kill disabled kids?"

Remember how gun sales spiked after the 2008 election?  And again after this election even though the President had done absolutely nothing on gun control during his first term.

The "black helicopter" kind of folks have always been with us.  But now they're armed to the teeth.

How do we handle that?



"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith




Great Points CC (4.00 / 1)

To respond to some of them.

I suspect that you, like me, grew up around guns and have actually used them for something other than blowing holes in a paper target. Well, when you kill an animal with a gun, it gives you respect for the power the gun has to take life. I wonder if we don't have too many people with guns who have never experienced this.

I fully agree re terminolgy. A fully automatic gun and a semi-automatic are two entirely different things, just as assault rifles and hunting rifles are different. The fact that many people calling for gun control fail to learn the differences simply fuels the suspicion of many gun owners that the true objective is a total ban.

The mental health issue is as much an indictment of our mental health system as it is of guns. As I recall, a person (at least in Alabama) can not be placed in a mental facility against their will until they do an "overt" act that evidences danger to themselves or someone else. When that overt act is shooting 26 children and teachers it is too damn late. Further I have seen far too many seriously ill violent mental patients "treated" by doping them up and returning them to the street. Well guess what, once on the street they stop the medication and become violent again.

As to the paranoia you mention, I shudder at the bloodbath that will ensue if those weapons have to be forcibly taken from them. 



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
State Mental Health budget (4.00 / 1)

It has been cut for five years straight, and further cuts will be forthcoming.

At one point not long ago, the governor attempted to close all state-operated psychiatric hospitals, presumably including Taylor Hardin, which is for the criminally insane.   

 



[ Parent ]
Cuts to mental health (0.00 / 0)
started with Reagan and have been republican dogma  ever since.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]
Interesting article in Tablet (4.00 / 2)

About Jewish law and weapons:

Jewish law permits one to sell weapons to friendly neighbors and even to allied nations (Avodah Zarah 16a). However one cannot sell weapons of any kind to someone who has committed murder or to a “cowardly thief.” While the former limitation is obvious, it is less clear why selling weapons to a coward is condemned. The answer, our tradition teaches, is that it is a coward’s nature to panic when caught in a stressful situation. Weapons may not inherently be dangerous, but in the wrong hands they are uncontrollable.

The author draws on a lot of ancient texts & discusses how dangerous animals should be confined, who could purchase weapons, etc.

The rabbis understood the liability that an owner of weapons or animals faced and did their best to safeguard against anything that might cause their misuse. You can certainly protect yourself, says the tradition, but not at all costs. Furthermore, the rabbis were not uniform in who could own dangerous things. Unstable individuals shouldn’t own swords. Neither should those who did not understand how to use them. Anyone who might panic can’t buy weapons, nor should someone who can’t control their animals.

I'm not remotely suggesting that we base our secular laws on religious law, but I think it's interesting that these issues - unstable people having weapons, ways to control the sale & distribution, and liability when things go wrong - are topics that have been debated for over a thousand years.

None of this is new except the weapons under discussion are far more powerful than swords.



"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith




I'd like to see a component added that addressed (4.00 / 1)
domestic violence abusers.......

Done (4.00 / 2)
Federal law already makes it illegal for someone convicted of Domestic Violence from owning or possessing a firearm. It also makes it illegal for the mentally ill and habitual drug users to own or possess one.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Not bad... not great, but not bad... (0.00 / 0)

I don't agree with all of your points, but you make some sense.  One of the things that make me roll my eyes is when politicians focus on one kind of violent crime.  DOmestic violence, for example, or violence against women.  No law in creation will stop somebody from carrying out a violent act, and focusing on one type of gun violence is missing the point.

I may take heat for this, but it's the truth.  Mass shootings like Sandy Hook are rare and don't constitute a large percentage of violent crimes.  In 2010 there were 80 fatalities from mass shootings, which constitued 0.5% of all murders that year.  Focusing on them will have the same problem as treating ANY rare event as normal.

I agree with your first three points, and will expand a bit.  SCOTUS did say direarms could be regulated, but set some limits.  Trigger locks and storage requirements that would render the firearm unusable in an emergency situation aren't allowed, and they specifically permitted banning unusual and dangerous guns.  That means that firearms like the AR-15 (semi-auto version of the M-16) probably couldn't be banned, because it is in common use by target shooters and yes, hunters.  It's not measurably more dangerous than other semi-auto rifles and it is in common use, which means a ban on it would be Consitutionally problematic.

I don't like your point #4, for two reasons.  The first is privacy issues... I don't like the government nosing about in my private life.  The second is that a mental illness isn't an indicator of a propensity for violence.  Mental health professionals will tell you that they're lousy at predicting who will and will not commit violent acts. Depending on how it is implemented, this could amount to pre-punishing people before they do anything wrong... and that's not right.

Let me post a link about assault weapons instead of responding directly... I've already written on this and don't want to post a thousand word essay on that subject alone.  The bottom line is that "assault weapons" is a designation based mostly upon how mean a weapon looks instead of how powerful it is.  Under the definition laid out in the 1994 assault weapons ban, which is the only definition we have, a .22 caliber rifle with a folding stock and pistol grip would be banned, but a 50 caliber sniper rifle capable of killing from a mile away would NOT be banned.  Assault weapons are not more powerful or more dangerous than other weapons, they just look like they are.
http://politicsalabama.blogspot.com/2012/12/should-we-ban-assault-weapons.html

Background checks for gun purchases are already in place.  Every gun dealer has to perform an NICS check on each purchaser, a check that looks for criminal background or history of mental illness on record. So we already have that.  Many states have a waiting period, although not Alabama.

I disagree with training requirements as a qualification for a CCW permit, but not strongly. 

Stand your ground laws are not bad, they are similar to castle laws that exist in most (if not all) states.  They recognize that placing a requirement to retreat places a burden on the victim... sometimes only a prompt response will be effective and any delay (such as looking for a way to escape) will be fatal. If any evidence exists that the shooting was not in self-defense, individuals can still be prosecuted.  People should not be punished for defending themselves.

I agree that using a firearm in a crime should result in jail time, but I'm thinking that may already be federal law.  I'm not sure about that, though... I'm not a criminal lawyer.  But forget the gun... a violent criminal should be jailed, whether he (or she) used a gun or not.

Your point #10 hit it on the head.  Violence isn't a problem with the tool used or the training they have, it's an individual predicliction towards violence.  And that can easily be reinforced and strengthened by societal norms.  Of all your suggestions, the last one looks the best to me.

First we should punish violent criminals (whether they used a gun or not) harshly, and second we should try and change the minds and hearts of people in our society.  And no law in the world can accomplish that, we have to do that ourselves.



I support a ban on assault weapons (0.00 / 0)
not based on whether they are more or less deadly than their non-assault counterparts (the point about the .22 with a folding stock was not lost on me) but on the fact that they are a symptom of (and in many cases contribute to) testosterone poisoning aka feeling 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

Or don't ban them but make possession of one grounds for enforced counseling.

The NRA and many apologists tell us "guns don't kill people, people kill people". So I'm suggesting using assault weapons as an indicator of those who might need closer scrutiny.  

I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet, and my vote.


[ Parent ]
Think about that for a minute... (0.00 / 0)

A lot of people use an AR-15, designated as an assault weapon, for target shooting competitions.  Target shooting is not an indicator of mental illness, not of feeling "bulletproof."

You can pretend anything you like, but it's not factually true.  These "assault weapons" were used in a small percentage of crimes even BEFORE the original ban... does that sound like their owners felt bulletproof?

Yeah, I don't think so, either. 



[ Parent ]
So your point is (0.00 / 0)
because some people have "fun" target shooting these guns, they should be legal?  As far as I'm concerned, they can find other entertainment.

[ Parent ]
I think I see... (0.00 / 0)

Freedom for all, but only freedoms that you agree with?  Hmmm...

You claimed that assault weapons "...are a symptom of (and in many cases contribute to) testosterone poisoning aka feeling 10 feet tall and bulletproof. "  I offered an argument showing you were wrong in most cases.

You ignored it. 

Not sure what's left to say, here... or whether you'd even listen.



[ Parent ]
Not bad...not great, but not bad Politico (4.00 / 1)

Lets debate a couple of points you make.

You are correct that mass shootings make up a very small percentage of gun deaths but they are fundamentally different. First, they are media events and therefore public awareness is far greater. Second and most important, they are different because with the other shootings you can still feel safe because you can rationalize that you would not be in that part of town or around those types of people etc. However we all go to the movies, to the mall and we send our children/grandchildren to school. There is no way to rationalize that "it couldn't happen to me".

I diagree with you concerning assault rifles. I think they are more dangerous than other rifles.They are semi-auto versions of a weapon that was designed to be fully automatic. Thats not true of regular hunting rifles. As a result, they have a much higher cyclic rate than other rifles. That means they will literally fire as fast as you can pull the trigger (not true of many guns). Next with most ordinary rifles, even if you converted them to full auto they would not fire any faster. Not true of assault rifles, which is why so many are illegally converted to full auto.. Finally assault rifles are designed for large capacity magazines 20, 30 and greater rounds. Hunting rifles aren't. Result: a shooter can kill more people quicker with assault rifles because he/she doesn't have to stop to reload. Looks don't have a thing to do with it.

Gunshows constitute a huge loophole to the background checks and it is a way to avoid waiting periods.

Training for CCW is needed because most people don't know if they can or can not shoot someone stealing for example. If you are going to carry a gun you certainly need to know when you can and can not use it.

We must agree to disagree re "stand your ground". I think it is reasonable that if you can safely retreat that is preferable to killing someone. Knowing how good of a shooter most people are, the fewer folks shooting in public the better. I prosecuted and and defended many people under the duty to retreat law and not a one was ever convicted if they were truly defending themselves.

 



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Okay... (0.00 / 0)

 

I will agree with you that mass shootings are "different" because of the publicity and the "it could happen to me" nature, but that doesn't change the fact that they make up an incredibly small percentage of overall murders.  Tailoring laws at the minority events generally makes for bad laws on everybody else.

You said "They are semi-auto versions of a weapon that was designed to be fully automatic." Some were, such as the AR-15, but others were not.  The ban defined an assault weapon as ANY semi-auto rifle (just dealing with rifles, here) with a detachable magazine and two of several cosmetic features, two of which were a folding/extendable stock and a pistol grip.

Below you'll find a picture of a Ruger 10/22.  It is a .22 caliber hunting rifle and is one of the most popular hunting rifles in the country.  It is also an assault weapon because of the folding stock and the pistol grip.

Assault Weapon?

It's not a powerful weapon,  it's a .22 caliber hunting rifle.  It's not modeled on a military weapon, it's a hunting rifle.  Below is another picture, also of a Ruger 10/22.  This one is NOT an assault weapon, because it is missing the cosmetic features of the folding stock and the pistol grip.

NOT an assault weapon? 

Neither is a semi-version of a military weapon, and neither is a powerful weapon.  Both are hunting rifles.  Both fire the same ammunition at the same velocity and the same rate of fire. Yet the one on top is an "assault weapon" merely because it looks mean.

You said: "Gunshows constitute a huge loophole to the background checks and it is a way to avoid waiting periods." Not so. A gun dealer must conduct an NICS background check and comply with any state-level waiting periods no matter where they sell the guns... from a shop, on the internet, or at a gun show.  The so-called "loophole" only applies to PRIVATE sales, and that's not a loophole.  The laws passed were never intended to cover private sales of firearms, only firearms dealers.

As to your point on training, no amount of training will tell you ahead of time if you will or will not be able to actually shoot/kill another human being. All it will do is improve your marksmanship. People with training can still balk at actually shooting/killing, even in self-defense.

The problem with the "safely retreat" business is that it is decided after the fact by folks who weren't in that position. If a person tries to get away and fails, they likely lost their best chance at self-defense, too. Give people the option, you know?  Don't prosecute people for defending themselves.  Defending against a prosecution means money and time spent on defending yourself in court against charges that never should have been brought in the first place.

In this sense, prosecution for defending yourself is a punishment in and of itself.  You may not see it that way, but believe me those who were so prosecuted might have a different view.

So yeah, we'll probably continue to disagree on things...  

 



[ Parent ]
On the other hand (0.00 / 0)

First, the standard Ruger 10/22 was never banned under the 1994 Assault Weapons ban, it continued to be manufactured and sold.

The 10/22 with the pistol grip and folding stock you picture is a modified version of the standard gun. I suspect it was modified specifically to make it an "assault weapon" under the 1994 ban, so that people who are against banning assault rifles could use it in a discussion like this.That is rather like taking a standard shotgun then cutting the barrel shorter than the legal limit (a sawn off shotgun) and then complaining that because the sawn off gun is banned under current law that means the standard model is also banned.

Further adding a folding stock and a pistol grip is not just merely  "cosmetic". The folding stock makes the overall weapon much shorter (the equivalent of sawing the gun off) and therefore easier to conceal. The pistol grip allows you to halfway control it when you fire it in the shortened state. So equipped, such a gun becomes much easier to sneak into a school or movie theater and then blasting away.Thats why the assault ban of 1994 included those features. By the way, you didn't mention that under the 1994 ban you could still put either the folding stock or the pistol grip on that gun, just not both.

My point on training is not just shooting your gun, but also on WHEN you can shoot someone. That's two different things.

Your last comment goes to the heart of our disagreement on "stand your ground". Too many "stand your ground" advocates want to be immune from arrest and prosecution if they kill someone as long as they claim they were frightened. They don't want a jury of their peers to determine if their actions were reasonable.

Sad thing is that the bad guys have figured out that works two ways.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
How many hands do we have? (grin) (0.00 / 0)
While you are correct that Ruger doesn't manufacture the 10/22 with pistol grip and folding stock, you're incorrect in assuming it was done "to make it an assault weapon."  Here's just one product for you to look at... it modifies a standard 10/22 and is commercially available.  Look at the comments, and not one person says they wanted to make it an assault weapon and use it in discussions.  The plusses are, as you pointed out, a smaller weapon that can more easily be stored in a backpack or in a front-wheeler bag.  In other words, hunters use it.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AT1E3W/ref=asc_df_B001AT1E3W2315050

My point is that the modified weapon isn't any more powerful or dangerous than the original, yet it is an "assault weapon."  Your point about concealability is a bit wonky... many semi-automatic pistols were NOT banned, but were more easily concealable than this modified rifle.

You said: "By the way, you didn't mention that under the 1994 ban you could still put either the folding stock or the pistol grip on that gun, just not both." - Actually, I did.  I will quote: "The ban defined an assault weapon as ANY semi-auto rifle (just dealing with rifles, here) with a detachable magazine and two of several cosmetic features, two of which were a folding/extendable stock and a pistol grip." (emphasis added)

True, I didn't use the words, "using one of them was legal", but that should have been clear from my wording.

You said: "Too many "stand your ground" advocates want to be immune from arrest and prosecution if they kill someone as long as they claim they were frightened. They don't want a jury of their peers to determine if their actions were reasonable." - But that's not what most stand your ground laws do... at least not those I've looked at.  Look, if somebody breaks into my house and is in the process of trying to kill me and I shoot them dead, I am likely to be arrested and maybe prosecuted.  Why?  It's an automatic thing, really... after all, I killed somebody, even though the cops propbably saw from the first it was self-defense.  All the SYG laws do is remove that automatic arrest.  If evidence exists to contradict the self-defense claims, the shooter can still be arrested either at the scene or at a later time... they will face a jury of their peers if there is evidence to contradict the self-defense claim.

I'm not sure what the huge deal is, here.  I mean, if there's no evidence to contradict the self-defense claim, then the jury would find them innocent anyway. Why put the VICTIM of the crime through all that?  Defending oneself in court is expensive and time-consuming... prosecutions shouldn't be automatic.
 
You want to reduce the number of violent criminals being shot in self-defense?  Then limit the number of violent criminals/crimes, don't limit self-defense. 


[ Parent ]
I am enjoying this debate Politics (0.00 / 0)

and hopefuly it is providing information to those not familar with firearms. Howvever you are beng a bit disingenous.

First you claimed that a pistol grip and a folding stock are merely "cosmetic". When I pointed out they are more than that you state

The plusses are, as you pointed out, a smaller weapon that can more easily be stored in a backpack or in a front-wheeler bag.  In other words, hunters use it.

I have to point out that I have hunted small game with .22 rifles for over 50 years with literally thousands of people  and I have yet to see a hunter walking through woods/fields with his gun folded up in a back pack. If that is the real reason for the folding stock, you can achieve the same thing by disassembling the weapon, which is what we old timers did before there were folding stocks commercially available.

There was nothing "wonky" about my point. The 1994 ban was intended to also prevent making rifles and shotguns more concealable by using these features. The fact that someone might modify a gun to make it illegal doesn't make that objective invalid anymore than the fact that someone may modify a gun to make it fully auto invalidates the regulations on fully auto weapons.

On SYG the differences between us are this. The old laws permitted you to defend yourself but required you to retreat "if you could safely do so". SYG allows you to kill even if  you can safely retreat. Someone's loss of face or pride in retreating is not worth taking a life IMHO.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
I agree... (0.00 / 0)

That is the purpose of a debate... not to convince the other debater, but to provide arguments and facts for others to consider.

You said: "If that is the real reason for the folding stock, you can achieve the same thing by disassembling the weapon, which is what we old timers did before there were folding stocks commercially available." - I neve said that was "the reason", I simply showed that some people use it for that.  As to "we didn't do it that way when I was young," a lot of things have changes these days.  That's not an argument abandoning any particular activity, is it?

My point (re "wonky") was that the vast majority of handguns are more concealable than any rifle or shotgun, yet were not banned.  So the ban COULDN'T have been aimed simply at those easily concealed, right? Unless, of course, the drafters were stupid.  (Which is, I'm afraid to say, a distinct possibility.)

As to the SYG discussion, the "safely do so" wasn't left up to the victim, it was automatically determined by a jury.  Don't punish self-defense with prosecution.



[ Parent ]
Debating you is like quail hunting (0.00 / 0)

The real challenge is hitting a moving target.

First you claim "folding stocks and pistol grips are merely cosmetic". When I point out that is not true you move to.

Yes, they are more concealable but hunters need them to carry guns in backpacks while hunting. When I point how absurd it would be that a hunter would be hunting with his gun folded up in a backpack you change to:

"I never said that was the reason" - Mama Quail would be proud of you for swerving and dodging like that.

As to the old way - if the old way is safer and does not subject us to mass murders, you are damn tooting it is a reason for abandoning the new way.

Finally let me sum up your argument - "no gun should be banned or regulated unless all guns are banned or regulated"

Are you sure you are not really for gun control?



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Not really, no... (0.00 / 0)

Do you really want me making the same points over and over again?  That's not debate, that's boring.

And there is no one reason for anything, op... I'd of though you'd learned that by now.

One of the hunters who commented on that page indicated that the folding stock let him store his rifle in a storage area in his four-wheeler.  As he drove to his hunting area, don't you know.  This is bad because...?  Another indicated he put it in a backpack to keep it dry in the rain as he hiked... to his hunting area.  Not sure where the invalid portion of this comes in.  I added those to show how some people use those folding stocks.

The fact is that how concealable a weapon is wasn't considered in the original assault weapons ban... otherwise they would have banned all handguns.  The fact that a weapon is concealable does not, in point of fact, make it "more dangerous."

Alabama is an open carry state.  Slide a handgun (or two) into a holster and walk into a school... how would the weapons have been more deadly if you'd snuck them in?

As to your "are you sure you're not really for gun control", of course not... your verbal gymnastics and willfull misunderstandings not withstanding.

Let's look at Great Britain... they have a complete gun ban and their "gun crimes" rate is far lower than us.  That's what gun control supporters point to as proof that gun bans work.  But when you look at their violent crime rate, you'll find that it's much HIGHER than ours... and that's what I point to as a failure. Don't the victims of all that violent crime have the right to defend themselves?  And don't you think that if the criminals knew their "victim" was armed they'd be less likely to commit that crime against them?  Of course... criminals don't want to get shot, either.

Private ownership of guns and concealed carry stops crime.  A good friend of mine was almost assaulted the other day, but pulled his gun.  That was enough to stop the crime, and the guy went away rather than get shot.  Nobody died, nobody got hurt.  Without that gun, one person mugged, injured, and (because of a medical condition he has) quite possibly dead. This is bad because...?

 

 



[ Parent ]
And allow me to reiterate a point... (0.00 / 0)
If you want to reduce the number of violent criminals being shot in self-defense, then limit the number of violent criminals/crimes... don't limit self-defense.

[ Parent ]
An additional point (0.00 / 0)

You mentioned sawed-off shotguns.  But sawing the barrel shorter does more than make the gun easier to hide, it makes it more dangerous at close ranges.

When a shotgun is fired, the pellets in the shell begin to spread at a predictable rate. Sawing the barrel shorter makes it spread more at close range, making it a more powerful short-range weapon.  Why?  Because the pellets affect a larger amount of surface area on the target.  It's longer-range utility is likewise diminished... when the shot spreads too much, it loses effectiveness.

Putting a folding stock on a rifle doesn't change the way the bullet is fired in any way... the rifle behaves the same.  It doesn't become more or less dangerous. 



[ Parent ]
Disingenuous again (0.00 / 0)

First, a shotgun (all shotguns) are by design short range weapons.

Second, as I suspect you know, the spread of pellets (the pattern a shotgun throws) is a function of the choke, not the barrel length. I.E. a full choke shotgun will throw a tighter pattern that modified cchoke shotgun of the same barrel length. (an open cylinder choke is the same effect as sawing the gun off). The choke is contained in the last 1-2 inches of the barrel. The reason sawn off shotguns ( barrel length less than 18 inches and overall length less than 26 inches) are more dangerous is that they are far easier to conceal under a coat (which made it a favorite weapon of the so called motor bandits (Bonnie & Clyde and others) of the 30"s. Note that is the exact same reason the folding stock and pistol grip combo were banned



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
(sigh) (0.00 / 0)

Yes, all shotguns are short-range weapons.  But sawing off the barrel can make the weapon MORE deadly at closer ranges, because it does take time for the shot to spread.

As to the choke, we're not talking about a shorter-barreled shotgun with the same choke as the longer-barreled shotgun.  By cutting the barrel, the result allows for a wider spread.  You claim that isn't a matter of barrel length, but it is.  The choke is basically a tapering barrel diameter (essentially...), so the end result of sawing off the barrel is to widen the barrel and therefore the pattern.  As I said.  Not being disingenious, though I will admit that I didn't go into the lowest level of details.  Didn't think it was needed, really...

And to reiterate a point I made in another reply, if concealability was why weapons were considered "assault weapons" and therefore banned, then ALL handguns would have been on the ban list. That simply wasn't the criteria.

Simply put, the ban focused on mean looking weapons because those were the ones that they could get wide agreement on.  The intent was to widen the ban in future years, but that never happened... for a variety of political reasons.



[ Parent ]
Curious (0.00 / 0)

Have you ever put any of your assertions to a real live test? You may be interested that as a prosecutor, I heard several law enforcement people making the same argument re sawed off shotguns that you are making. So we took a shotgun that had the last 4 inches of barrel removed (but was still a legal length) and seveal illegal sawed off shotguns (that had been confiscated) to the range. Guess what? The spread of the illegal sawed off guns was no greater than the legal one. Case closed as far as I am concerned.

Now I would agree that at close range a shotgun is more dangerous than a pistol, simply because it is much easier to hit a target. Thats why you use shotguns to bird hunt with, not pistols (than again, you may use your AR-15 with a 30 round magazine). It is also why you may regulate a sawed off shotgun and not a pistol.

BTW, in case you forgot, the carrying of pistols is regulated.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Are you serious? (0.00 / 0)

To, as you put it, test it for myself, I'd first have to be in possession of a shotgun with its barrel cut down below the legal limit. Sort of illegal, as you probably know.  Now, how do you suppose I test it without breaking the law?

All I can say is that every source I've consulted makes the argument... not sure what else you expect of me on this.  I mean, surely you're not encouraging me to violate a federal law?

"A sawed-off shotgun...  is a type of shotgun with a shorter gun barrel and often a shorter or deleted stock. Compared to a standard shotgun, the sawed-off shotgun has a shorter effective range, due to a lower muzzle velocity and wider spread of shot."
http://www.tititudorancea.org/z/sawed_off_shotgun.htm 

"Compared to a standard shotgun, the sawed-off shotgun has a shorter effective range, due to a lower muzzle velocity and wider spread of shot." 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawed_Off

I could give you more citations, but I think I'll leave that to you. 

It's also important to denote the difference between a shotgun that was manufactured long-barrel but cut down (i.e. no choke) and one that was manufactured short barrel (i.e. with a choke).

You said: "BTW, in case you forgot, the carrying of pistols is regulated." - To some extent, yes... and to a varying degree in different areas. But in Alabama at least, it's not banned.

Not sure where you're going with this...



[ Parent ]
Do you read the stuff you link to? (0.00 / 0)

I did and here is what it said

 The pattern is primarily impacted by the type of cartridge fired and the choke, or constriction normally found at the muzzle of a shotgun barrel. Cutting off the end of the barrel will remove the choke, which generally only extends about two inches (about 5 cm) inward from the muzzle. This results in a cylinder bore, which causes the widest spread generally found in shotgun

Look back and you will notice that is exactly what I was arguing. Thanks for proving me correct.

Where I was going with this is:

Contrary to public belief the ownership of sawed off shotguns and fully automatic weapons (at least ones made in America before 1986 and ones made overseas before 1968) is not banned. It is subject to regulation (1) a special permit from the Treasury Dept (2) registration of the weapon and (3) an annual fee. Pistols, at least the carrying of them, are also regulated.

I see no reason why assault weapons should not be treated the same. 



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
I know... (0.00 / 0)
...and I disagree.  Hence the debate.

[ Parent ]
Three suggestions (4.00 / 1)

1) Reinstate the old assault weapons ban. We were fine when it was law. We'll be fine when it's law again. As a part of this, close the gun show loophole.

2) Require individuals seeking to purchase guns to AFFIRMATIVELY prove their mental health before allowing them to purchase guns. Burden is thus placed on the buyer and any relinquishment of private information is done at their request.

3) Every gun of every kind must be registered.

- Every gun owner is strictly liable in tort - including punitive damages - for actions committed using the firearms registered to them. If an individual cannot secure their firearms, they are not sufficiently responsible to possess them.

- Increase criminal penalties for individuals who illegally posses firearms.



Interesting Bluebearcat (0.00 / 0)

#1 - I am okay with.

#2 - How do you prove a negative? That is how do I prove I am sane? If I have never been treated for a mental illness what info am I relinquishing? Also what about the mother, for instance, of  mentally ill person? Should they be able to own a gun?

#3 - How does that help curb violence? If someone steals your car and runs over someone should you be responsible? Also doesn't your tort idea just encourage people not to register their guns?



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
I would counter... (0.00 / 0)

#2 - we have proceedings to determine mental fitness all the time, OP. I am merely talking about using statutes to create such a proceeding as a prerequisite for gun purchases. They could be administered by the sheriff's office. They could be appealable. Coincidentally, this would afford Alabamians greater due process than the current system which allows sheriffs to deny concealed carry permits on the basis of hearsay, rumor, or any other reason they please.

You should understand I am not trying to issue a blanket ban on the mentally ill owning guns; I am talking about mental fitness for the purpose of gun ownership. Hence, an individual with severe ADD or Asbergers may be perfectly safe as a gun owner while an individual with a history of violence but no diagnosable mental condition may not be. Let experts establish standards. Let sheriff's offices administer those standards. 

#3 - helps curb violence the same way strict liability has curbed automobiles that explode on contact or drugs that have horrific side effects. It would cause potential gun owners to consider the liability of their actions before purchasing a weapon. So the mother of the mentally ill child may be able to prove sanity and obtain her weapons, but she would be strictly liable in tort for her weapons' use by anyone including her ill child. This would cause her either to a) secure her weapons so the child does not have access or b) face full liability for any actions her child commits with her guns.

We have the technology now to create effectively tamper proof weapons registration. We even have the technology to have weapons that only work in the hands of their registered owners.

My tort idea would only increase people not to register their guns to the extent that there were no effective criminal penalties for failure to do so. That is why I also said to increase criminal penalties for unregistered firearms. 



[ Parent ]
And I'll counter that... (0.00 / 0)
Your idea to require a mental screening is bad on several levels.  First, reliability.  If you ask mental health professionals, they'll tell you that they're LOUSY at predicting who will and who will not be a danger to others in the future. We can't predict who will and who will not misuse guns, no matter what fancy language you dress it up in.  The screenings will inevitably result in "safe" people being denied and "unsafe" people being approved.

Second, the process.  A mental health screening requires a lot more than a questionairre... and a Sheriff would certainly not be qualified to evaluate it. This process would be a lot more time and resource consuming than you seem to believe.  The primary result would be a HUGE backlog in the approval process... it's inevitable.  Not to mention probably as intended when the proposal was made...

You said: "Coincidentally, this would afford Alabamians greater due process than the current system which allows sheriffs to deny concealed carry permits on the basis of hearsay, rumor, or any other reason they please."  No, actually it wouldn't. Why not?  Primarily because the sheriff can only deny a concealed carry permit, but your requirements would be on gun ownership itself. Yours is a much more restrictive requirement than existing law.  But if you're really worried that a big, bad sheriff may deny a permit for no reason at all, then support a law making Alabama a "Shall Issue" state... if a person passes the background check then the sheriff must issue a CCW permit.  Problem solved...

You said: "Hence, an individual with severe ADD or Asbergers may be perfectly safe as a gun owner while an individual with a history of violence but no diagnosable mental condition may not be."  Depends upon what you mean as a "history of violence."  Most of those involve some sort of criminal proceedings, and that means a criminal history.  Those who HAVE BEEN VIOLENT in the past would fail the background check REGARDLESS of their mental state.

You said: "We even have the technology to have weapons that only work in the hands of their registered owners." Actually, we don't.  There are a few prototype weapons out there testing the technology, but it's hardly been vetted.  We might one day, though I doubt the problems would ever be solved to my satisfaction... but we don't have it now.

What problems?  Here's a biggie... what's the fail-default?  If the verification hardware fails, such as the battery dies or the device malfunctions or is broken, does it default to locking the gun or allowing it to fire?  If it unlocks the gun, then the device is meaningless, because the first thing the unauthorized user does is break it.  If it locks the gun, then authorized users will die because the gun won't fire when they need it to.  Big problem, there.





[ Parent ]
Okay, I'll bite... (0.00 / 0)
#1) Why should we reinstate the ban on assault weapons?  As I pointed out in my reply above, the definition of the weapons banned was arbitrary, capricious, and didn't really describe weapons that were "high-powered" or "dangerous".  The weapons banned were also used in a very small percentage of crimes (2% - 4%).  Finally, the ban didn't work... if, of course, the purpose was to actually reduce violent crime rates.  EVERY study of the effects of the ban has concluded that it had no detectable impact on crime rates.

So the ban targeted weapons that weren't used in crimes, used an arbitrary and appearance-centered criteria to ban weapons, and it didn't reduce any crime rates.  We should pass it again... why?

#2) I'm gonna throw in with Old Prosecutor on this one. How in the HECK do you prove a negative?
 
I also wonder if you would apply the same standard to legislators proposing laws... that they be required to PROVE that their proposed law was constitutional and wouldn't have unexpected consequences?

#3) The holy grail of gun control advocates... register all of them evil guns.  It doesn't matter that, historically speaking, gun registrations are used later on when confiscation begins.  I'm not talking about Nazi Germany... heck, you don't have to look that far back.  Canada required gun registration, then later banned a whole class of guns and threatened the registered gun owners with jail time if they didn't give them up.  Registration leads to confiscation often enough for this to be a legitimate concern... for those who don't want guns banned.

As to your idea to increase criminal penalties for those who "illegally" possess firearms, why?  You want to treat a person who owns a gun for his own protection and has never harmed anybody as harshly as you would treat a murderer?  Why on earth would you want to do that?  I think your priorities are a little skewed, here.



[ Parent ]
Interesting diary title... (0.00 / 0)

Because I think that it opens up the discussion to a number of different fronts.  One theory that I have been looking at for sometime is Max Weber's idea of a need for a state, in this instance the United States, to possess a "Monopoly on Violence".

The idea is that for a state to be a properly functioning, viable entity that it must possess a "monopoly of the legitimate use of force" to enforce and maintain order.  Where I differ with Weber and others is the whole idea that you can have "Public" and "Private" forces.  Weber allows the use of private forces in the defence of self or private property, but it all comes back that the state is the one which grants concessions to its monopoly on violence. 

I think an argument can be made that the United States has granted far too many concessions on its monopoly and that it needs to wind back some of this and get to a point where it trully has the monopoly on violence. I think there should be a full ban on "assault-type" weapons.  There ought to be more stringent requirements for obtaining and maintaining ownership of a firearm, one should have to be assessed with respect to their physical and mental fitness to possess a firearm every 3-4 years.



9.13, 4.82, Just left of Gandhi.

I would say this... (0.00 / 0)

Placing restirctions on self-defense sort of misses the point... those trying to stay alive aren't the problem.  Law abiding citizens aren't the problem.  The problem is those who break the law, those who don't care about the "state monopoly on violence" theories.

Personally, I think this idea is in direct opposition to the idea of free individuals and a free society.  The Founder's of this nation seem to have been in agreement with me. 



[ Parent ]
If you are... (0.00 / 0)

"Law abiding" then there shouldnt be any issue with you registering your weapon(s).  

I am kind of getting tired of folks resting on the "Founder's" arguments for 2nd Amendment rights.  Why, well for a few reasons.  1)  In the 1760's as the colonists were beginning to tire of Brittish tyranny and the spectre of the Brittish reasserting themselves after the period of salutary neglect where colonists were left to a substantial degree of self-rule, the "Founders", they had cause for concern in their ability to defend themselves. 2) Because people were living on the frontier of humanity in the late 18th and throughout the 19th centuries, and had to defend themselves against Native Americans, possessing weapons was a necessity. 3) The spectre of invasion following independence was very real (see the War of 1812) and because our republic was in its infancy a well trained, standing military was going to be hard to muster, so we had to depend on citizen militias to fill in that gap.

With 1), 2) and 3) being true,  we can look at the 2nd Amendment now being something of an anachronism, due in part to our evolution as a fully functioning Republic, and later our global hegemony, we do not need to have bands of armed citizens to defend our sovereign territory, we have entrusted law enforcement at the local, state and federal level to help with that AND we happen to have the best trained and most well equipped military in the world.



9.13, 4.82, Just left of Gandhi.

[ Parent ]
You missed the point... (0.00 / 0)

The law abiding citizens would, by and large, comply with a registration law. But those people aren't the problem. Those who would NOT comply are the criminals with the weapons... and aren't they the problem?  So your registration overwhelmingly hits people WHO AREN'T THE PROBLEM!  You're aiming at the wrong folks, here.

And I actually didn't mention the 2nd amendment, I simply said that the founders would agree  that your idea of a "state monopoly on violence" isn't compatible with individual liberty and a free country.  I didn't mention the 2nd amendment or guns, there... you did.

 



[ Parent ]
So what would be the issue... (0.00 / 0)

with having law abiding citizens, folks who are so passionate about hanging on to their weapons, comply with the law?  Whatever law is passed will likely also carry provisions for non-compliance in order to catch/punish those individuals who run afowl of the law.  Those provisions for not registering are likely going to need to be pretty steep to present some sort of deterring effect for non-compliance.

So perhaps youre missing the point yourself?  No one is necessarily talking about necessarily taking guns out of the hands of otherwise legally cleared individuals.  That said, there is no sporting use for a fully automatic weapon, and limited uses for semi-automatic ones.  There is no sporting use for extended clips on these guns.  Why make them?  Everyone that I know that has one has it so locked up so as to make its use during an emergency ineffective.  Want to know when they all bring these guns out?  For fun...get your buddies together and waste $500+ worth of ammo in the matter of 15 mins.  If you're itching to blow a large amount of cash in a short amount of time whilst sprouting a chubby, I think you would be better served heading up to the Pink Pony in Atlanta.  You might have more fun too... 



9.13, 4.82, Just left of Gandhi.

[ Parent ]
Oh, my... (0.00 / 0)

You said: "No one is necessarily talking about necessarily taking guns out of the hands of otherwise legally cleared individuals." - Actually, plenty of people are talking about precisely that.
http://www.banhandgunsnow.org/
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/21/1172661/-How-to-Ban-Guns-A-step-by-step-long-term-process#

You said: "That said, there is no sporting use for a fully automatic weapon," - Fully automatic weapons aren't the issue, they're already heavily regulated.  It is illegal to purchase, sell, or own any full-auto weapon manufactured after 1986, and to buy one made BEFORE that requires a federal permit that is expensive and hard to get. Therefore, fully-auto weapons are heardly relevant to the discussion at hand.

You said: "and limited uses for semi-automatic ones." - I'm not sure where you get your information.  The majority of rifles and handguns owned by citizens are semi-automatic.   Most hunting rifles, for example, are semi-auto, as are most guns used for target shooting (especially in competition).  Semi-auto handguns are popular for self-defense.  So I'm not sure where you got "limited uses for semi-automatic" weapons.

You said: "There is no sporting use for extended clips on these guns." - I'm not sure why it matters, but there is.  Many target shooters use braces to put their guns in place while shooting, spotting their marksmanship with scopes and/or binoculaurs and adjusting as needed.  The larger magazines are needed for those competitions involving more than 10 rounds... otherwise you're moving the gun after 10 rounds and your previous work in sighting onto the target is lost.

But I'm not sure why it matters.  We don't NEED a Ferrari, for example, but that's not an argument for banning Ferrari's.  Since when has NEED limited what we can and cannot own, buy, and sell in this country?

As to the rest of your comment, feel free to try and insullt me as much as you like... I don't insult easily.  And I prefer to stick to factual discussions rather than a round of the dozens.

 

 

 

 



[ Parent ]
Counter Point (0.00 / 0)

To enact reasonable regulations on guns requires two things (1) Pro gun control folks have to concede that firearms can not and should not be totally banned and (2) anti gun control folks have to concede that the 2nd Amendment guarantees you the right to bear arms, it doesn't say any and every gun you want.

Certain types of guns have been banned or heavily regulated. As you point out fully automatic weapons require special permits and sawn off guns are banned entirely. Both are for the same reason, in the wrong hands, they are simply to dangerous to large numbers of people.

BTW, there is no recorded instance of a legally owned fully automatic gun being used in a murder. I am curious Politics if you would agree that assault rifles be treated like fully auto weapons?

I agree with Politics re semi-auto. That is part of the terminology  issue that was discussed above.

However your argument re high capacity magazines is BS. Neither the AR-15, the AK-47 or any other assault rifle is designed for the high precision, long range accuracy you claim high capacity mags are needed for. They are intermediate range weapons designed to make up their loss in accuracy by spraying a lot of rounds very quickly. If you can't hit a target in 10 rounds, it ain't  the gun or number of rounds in the mag that is the problem.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Change of terminology - Ripsote! (0.00 / 0)
You said: "I am curious Politics if you would agree that assault rifles be treated like fully auto weapons?" - I would not, for several reasons.

First, the definition of an "assault weapon" is arbitrary and politically motivated. By banning guns that LOOK scary, it's easier to get people to approve of the ban. For example, a semi-auto pistol weighing 50 ounces or more and equipped with a barrel shroud is called an assault weapon. Why?  Weight doesn't make the round fired any more dangerous, and the barrel shroud merely makes sure you don't get burned from the hot barrel if you touch it after firing. Abitrary.

A semi-auto shotgun is classified as an "assault weapon" if it has a detachable magazine. Note, not a "high-capacity magazine", merely ANY magazine.   Five round magazines are available and don't offer any more than the LEGAL 5-round internal feed... but they're still deemed "more dangerous" than other models.

A scary-looking .22 would be banned but a 9mm rifle without the banned cosmetic features would not?  Makes little sense, if you're really trying to ban "dangerous" weapons.

Second, the SCOTUS ruling in Heller made clear that specific weapons could be banned, but they laid the framework.  They said, and I quote: "Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."

Many of the prohibitied weapons under the old assault weapons ban were and are in common use.  The AR-15, which was banned by name, is probably the most popular semi-auto rifle for target shooting, and many hunters use them, as well. Many other banned weapons are also "in common use".  So it fails that part of the Heller standard.  As to dangerous... the assault weapons ban didn't really care how dangerous a weapon was.  A .22 could be banned while a 9mm wouldn't.  Or a 50 caliber sniper rifle... not banned.  It banned weapons that weren't more dangerous than others that were not banned... and in some cases that were far LESS powerful than some that were not banned.  So the assault weapons ban as passed in 1994 fails BOTH PARTS of the standard as set out in Heller.  In other words, the old assault weapons ban would be arguably unconstitutional today under the Heller ruling.

Likewise, though you didn't bring this up, gun storage and/or gun lock laws were also prohibited under Heller.  "The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment...  Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional."

Third, and finally, the guns that were banned in the 1994 assault weapons law were not, by and large, being used to commit crimes.  Our best estimate is that they were being used in between 2% and 4% of crimes at the time... less now, I believe.  Banning guns not used in crimes won't reduce crime rates.  The only reason to do so would be to satisfy an urge for gun control by taking them away from people.  A step towards total gun control.

It's a time-proven strategy... ban the scary-looking ones first, then step it up to ban even more. That's the true motivation behind an assault weapons ban... it can't be crime reduction, because they're not really used in crimes.

As to the high-capacity magazines, I gave you one sporting use.  The magazines don't improve accuracy, they give you the opportunity to stay on target for more rounds at a time rather than having to stop every 10 rounds, take your gun off target, and reload.  Once you're sighted in, you don't want to move the gun if you can help it.

Non-competition target shooting is another one... saves constantly reloading.  You may dismiss this... but the fact is that more than 99.99% of all high-capacity magazines are NEVER used in a crime.  Their owners must use them for SOMETHING... which kind of indicates there are legitimate uses for the things.  You may not like it or accept it, but that's your hangup.

You said: "They are intermediate range weapons designed to make up their loss in accuracy by spraying a lot of rounds very quickly." - No, not really. Most semi-automatic rifles, at least the higher quality ones, can fire a round as fast as you can squeeze the trigger.  One round per trigger pull, maximum. There is no "spraying a lot of rounds very quickly." That sounds like you're discussing fully-auto weapons... and again, that's a distraction from the subject.

In reality, you can't fire as quickly as you can pull the trigger, especially with handguns.  Why not? Recoil moves the muzzle off target when you fire, and you need a short amount of time to put the muzzle back on target before firing again.  If you don't bother reaiming, then after a few shots the rest go whizzing into the sky... they might or might not hit somebody on the way down, but the folks close by wouldn't be in the bullets' path.

You said: "If you can't hit a target in 10 rounds, it ain't  the gun or number of rounds in the mag that is the problem." - The idea in target shooting, competition or no, is to hit the target over and over again, then analyze how well you did. 
 
The core of the argument on "high-capacity magazines" seems to be the concept of need.  We don't "need" such magazines, we're told, therefore we should not have them.
 
Is that the way our country works?  We don't "need" a Ferrari, so make them illegal?  We don't "need" a Sodastream, so ban them immediately? Nobody "needs" a fur coat, so confiscate them all?  Since when has "need" been the deterimining factor as to legality?



[ Parent ]
There you go again (0.00 / 0)

First, to non gun owners all guns are scary. If assault rifles are scarier it is because people recognize that they are weapons designed for military use and designed for rapid (auto) fire.

Your argument re 50 ounce pistols with shrouds is disingenuous because you omit another requirement that had to be present, that is that the pistol be a "semi-automatic version of an fully automatic weapon".  Kind of sounds like an AR-15 doesn't it?

Same for your shotgun argument. Detachable magazines were allowed. What was not allowed is a shotgun that had a fixed magazine that held more than 5 shells and a detachment magazine combo. It amazes me that hunters have long accepted restrictions on how many rounds a hunting weapon can hold (to preserve game animals) but shooters today refuse to accept such limitations to preserve human life.

As to the high capacity magazines, there you go again. The type of precision shooting you are talking about does not require 30 round mags. In fact, the overwhelming majority of sniper rifles (military and police) are bolt action rifles holding 5 rounds. If you are too lazy to reload your gun, thats your hangup. The fact that you don't want to reload after 10 rounds does not mean the rest of the world should be subjected to mass shootings using such magazines.

The core of the argument is not need. It is weighing the legitimate use against the danger and in that anaylsis high capacity mags should be banned.

Yor Ferrari argument is also disingenuous. There are many motor vehicles which can not be legally operated on  public woods. The fact that someone may feel a "need" to operate such a vehicle doesn't mean it should be legal.

Bottom line is that I think the public is fed up with mass murders in which assault rifles and high capacity magazines are used. If gun advocates persist in opposing any regulation, you will simply play into the hands of those who want a total ban. BTW I agree with you concerning the .50 caliber rifles. I would have no problem banning those or making them the same as fully automatic weapons.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Correction (0.00 / 0)
"public roads", not "public woods"

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Not sure where you're getting your "facts"... (0.00 / 0)

You said: "Your argument re 50 ounce pistols with shrouds is disingenuous because you omit another requirement that had to be present, that is that the pistol be a "semi-automatic version of an fully automatic weapon". Kind of sounds like an AR-15 doesn't it?" - That's not what the law said, OP.  In order to be considered an assault weapon, a handgun had to meet this criteria:

A handgun was an assault weapon if it was semi-automatic with a detachable magazin and one or more of the following:

- Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
- Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or suppressor
- Barrel shroud that can be used as a handhold
- Unloaded weight of 50 oz or more
- A semi-auto version a fully-auto weapon

TWO were not required, only one.  So my point was entirely correct.

You said: "The fact that you don't want to reload after 10 rounds does not mean the rest of the world should be subjected to mass shootings using such magazines. " - Now there's a fact I didn't know, that the majority of high-capacity magazines were used in crimes.  You hadn't mentioned that before... because it isn't true.  The vast majority of hgi-capacity magazines (just as with the vast majority of guns)in this country are never used in a crime.  And by "vast majority" I mean 99.9999%. 

I'll leave the math to you, but a higher percentage of automobiles cause deaths each year in this country than do guns/magazines.  Yet you don't want to ban cars... curious. The fact is that more people DROWN each year than are killed by guns... and that includes criminals killed by police.

You said: "Bottom line is that I think the public is fed up with mass murders in which assault rifles and high capacity magazines are used." - I know I've made this point before, but it looks like it's time to make it again.  We've already had a ban on "assault weapons" and "high capacity magazines"... and the ban did not reduce crime rates!  The average number of mass shootings per year did not reduce during the ban period, either.  Or after, for that matter.  Why do something THAT WILL NOT WORK?  Until you answer that, all the discussion of weapons and magazines are just a smoke-screen to advance an agenda for a total gun ban.

You said: "If gun advocates persist in opposing any regulation, you will simply play into the hands of those who want a total ban." - It's actually a no-win scenario, here.  Either way we move closer to total gun bans.  So I'll stick to my principles.



[ Parent ]
It isn't me using wrong facts (0.00 / 0)

The 1994 law reads

"(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine has at least 2 of'

Not one, my friend but Two.

Your argument that the vast majority of high capacity magazines are not used in crimes is a complete avoidance of the point that the vast majority of mass murders since 1990 have involved assault rifles with high capacity magazines.

As to your next point - please tell me what mass murders occurred during the 1994-2004 ban.

I simply ask that instead of regurgitating NRA talking points  you give this some independent thought.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
I stand corrected... in part. (0.00 / 0)

I moved to a different source for the text of the assault weapons ban and you are correct.  The first source had that mistake in it though, as far as I can see, the rest is correct.  That said, a handgun could still be banned without being "a semi-automatic version of a fully-automatic weapon" as you asserted.  It just would have needed one of the other features included in the list... such as a threaded barrel or a barrel shroud.

You said: "please tell me what mass murders occurred during the 1994-2004 ban." - Your question was phrased as a challenge, as if you honestly believe there were no mass shootings in the decade that the assault weapons ban was active.  I won't even try to list all of them.  However, didn't the Columbine shooting occur in 1999?  (12 dead, 21 injured)  April 20th, I believe.  In 2000 there was the Wakefield Massacre (7 dead) and a similar event at a Wendy's in New York (also 7 dead). Other examples exist in the time period under discussion, such as the Lillelid murders in 1997 and the Greyhound bus murders in 2001.  But I think you get the point by now.  Or you should... yes, there were mass murders in the time period when the assault weapons ban was in effect.  If I'm not mistaken, the Columbine murders were, at the time, one of the worst events of this type that we'd seen.

You said: "Your argument that the vast majority of high capacity magazines are not used in crimes is a complete avoidance of the point that the vast majority of mass murders since 1990 have involved assault rifles with high capacity magazines." - Do we ban things because a tiny minority of them are used in crimes and/or cause deaths?  In that case, let's get rid of cars and knives on the same basis.  In pushing for a total ban on them, you completely avoid the fact that the overwhelming majority are NOT misused... so why ban them and take them away from their owners?

You said: "I simply ask that instead of regurgitating NRA talking points  you give this some independent thought." -I see.  Have I insulted you or accused you of not thinking?  As it happens, I am not a member of the NRA, nor do I use them as a source for information.  Next inaccurate accusation?

 



[ Parent ]
To be fair (0.00 / 0)

I did some research into the examples of mass shootings you provided. The results are interesting to say the least. But before I discuss them, a couple of other points need to be made.

The FBI defines a mass shooting as one where 4 or more people (excluding the shooter) are killed at one time.

Second point - the 1994 "ban" prohibited the manufacture and sell of assault weapons and high capacity magazines (more than 10 rounds) after 1994. It did not regulate assault weapons sold before 1994 and it allowed assault weapons manufactured before 1994 to be sold. Same for high capacity magazines. Further it did not prohibit the transfer of assault weapons bought before 1994.

Now to your examples:

2001 Greyhound murders - a man cut the throat of a Greyhound bus driver while the bus was in motion. 7 people died in the subsequent wreck of the bus. Considering the weapon used was a knife and we are discussing guns, I find this one irrelevalent.

Lillielid - 3 members of a family were killed. It does not meet the FBI definition of a mass shooting.

Wendys - 7 people killed by a coworker with a 380 pistol. Since, as you have repeatedly pointed out, such handguns were unaffected by the 1994 law, I fail to see how it reflects on that law. 

Wakefield - 7 killed. Among the weapons used was a preban AK-47,which was banned under the 1994 law, however was exempted because of when it was manufactured.

Columbine - weapons used were two sawed off shotguns, a TEC-9 pistol and a 9mm carbine. The TEC-9 is a semiautomatic version of a fully automatic pistol designed for the South African military. It was also advertised by its manufacturer as being "highly resistant to fingerprints". The TEC-9 was specifically banned by name in the 1994 law. The one in Columbine had been manufactured and sold prior to 1994. A high capacity magazine was used. The shotguns and carbine were purchased at a gun show by a 18 year old from someone other than a licensed dealer - thereby avoiding a background check and a waiting period. "The gunshow loophole". The TEC-9 was also sold to juveniles by a private owner thereby evading the background check and any waiting period.

One final stat I found - Between 2006-2010 there were 156 mass shootings according to the FBI. 774 people died in those shootings, including 161 children.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (0.00 / 0)

You originally asked for what "mass murders" occurred while the 1994 assault weapons ban was in effect, then dismissed several of them because you didn't think they "were relevant."  I submit that you are wrong.

You see, when tighter gun controls are passed, this often encourages criminals to become more bold... they think they can do so more safely.  Look at the UK... their "gun crime" rate is much lower than ours, but then it always has been.  But if you look at the numbers, you'll find that the gun crime rate ROSE after handguns were fully banned.

If you only consider a gun in the hands of the criminal as relevant, you may not see a connection... that doesn't mean it's not there.

You even dismissed Columbine for various reasons... thus proving my point about the ineffectiveness of the assault weapons ban!  Even the law you want re-instated won't stop this kind of thing... so why pass it again? 



[ Parent ]
As to crime rates... (0.00 / 0)

Not a single study that evaluated the impact of the assault weapons ban on violent crime rates concluded that it measurably reduced violent crime.  Even the Brady campaign is reduced to arguing that the ban was a success because the percentage of "assault weapons" used in violent crime dropped... though the BATF says it cannot confirm their claim.

The ban didn't work, so why reinstate it? 



[ Parent ]
Need (0.00 / 0)
Since when has "need" been the deterimining factor as to legality?
 
At least as long as costs have been compared with benefits.
 
For example, I don't need a tank although it'd be fun. 
 


[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (0.00 / 0)

I think there MIGHT be other arguments against tank ownership than "you don't need one."  Just sayin.

If we're going to compare cost-benefits of gun ownership, I think we'd find against banning them.  Freedom + self-defense vs "hope it reduces crime"... it's a no brainer.

 



[ Parent ]
let freedom ring (0.00 / 0)

"Freedom + self-defense vs "hope it reduces crime"... it's a no brainer." 

Costs: murders, accidental gun deaths, militia cults, minutemen, macho death lust culture and assorted fantasies.

Good thing guns = freedom, though.  I was getting worried over the lack of democracy, social mobility, control over working conditions, and impending inexorable climate doom.

The next time I'm distraught over my inability to meaningfully shape my material conditions of existence, I'll be sure to let freedom ring.



[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (0.00 / 0)

Skipped that part about self-defense, didn't you?

Or did you WANT this family to die?
http://www.examiner.com/article/armed-homeowner-shoots-intruders-while-children-have-sleepover 

You may WANT to ignore self-defense usages of guns , but you may not do so.



[ Parent ]
Enjoyed the debate (0.00 / 0)

It will be interesting to see how it plays out on the National stage.

Meantime - MERRY CHRISTMAS to you Poitics and to all others who contributed to or read this discussion and HAPPY NEW YEARS



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


Great discussion (0.00 / 0)
Merry Xmas to you too and thanks for starting the thread.

[ Parent ]
Okay, here is a first. I agree with everything OP said. (4.00 / 1)

In order to preserve the rightness of the universe, I will nitpick one point...#4.  We must continue to treat mental illness as an illness, not a crime.  OP is being a bit insensitive in saying "we must not worry about placing a stigma on the mentally ill." There must be a middle ground, perhaps a waiver of HIPAA controls that must be agreed to when buying a weapon. 

 



Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

"Elizabeth, its the big one" (0.00 / 0)

Piggieheart agreed with everything I said  'Elizabeth, I am coming to join you, Honey"

Now PH, lets see who else is old enough to understand what that is a reference to?

Probably was insensitive on #4. My point was that too many people with a history of mental issues are able to pass the current background check. I don't think the waiver of HIPPA idea works because it would still require the mentally ill person to disclose (otherwise how would you know where to look for the records). I would advocate that the onus be on mental health professionals to report treating anyone for mental illness and there be an exemption in HIPPA to allow that for the purpose of background checks for weapons.

I would also require there be a background check for private sales as well.

 

 



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
One last comment, in response to politics (4.00 / 1)
"Stand your ground " laws are not of any value whatsoever.  I will add my law enforcement experience to OP's prosecutorial background on this one.  Self-defense statutes served a perfectly adequate need, but going beyond that to a "look for any excuse to kill someone" law is not defensible.  "A man's home is his castle" should never be extended to say "chase down someone walking in the neighborhood and shoot him for wearing a hoodie."

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

What? (0.00 / 0)

You said: " "A man's home is his castle" should never be extended to say "chase down someone walking in the neighborhood and shoot him for wearing a hoodie." - Nobody is saying it should be... and for the record, that's not what the Florida statute in question said.

Personally, I think the shooter in the Treyvon case instigated the confrontation and is therefore ineligible to claim self-defense under the law, but that's just me. 

So you're saying that if two guys confront me in the street and pull knives I have to try and run first?  Sorry, that's a lousy option.  I'd rather draw and give THEM the option to run.  I mean, they instigated the whole encounter, so they only have themselves to blame.

And I'm sorry if you find that offensive or objectionable, but you have to realize where ultimate responsibility lies, and that's with those who initiate a violent confrontation.



[ Parent ]
Lets use your example (0.00 / 0)

Lets say you are in your car and see those two guys with knives approaching. You can safely retreat by simply driving away. The old self defense law required you to do so."SYG allows you to roll your window down and kill both of them.

Don't like the car deal? In your example, under SYG you don't have to give them the option of running nor the option of surrendering, you can simply kill them.

 

 



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]
I don't think so... (0.00 / 0)

...because the evidence shows that he wasn't in imminent danger.  Knives outside of a car?  Constitutes evidence that the self-defense claim isn't true.

Different scenario.  A couple walking down the street is confronted by a knife-weilding assailant who (standing no more than five feet away) demands money or he'll cut them.  Your standard requires them to try and get away... prosecution would argue they could simply have turned around and run away.

But the SYG laws require that lethal threat to be present to kick in... why do you want to punish those who are forced to use self-defense by arresting and/or prosecuting them?



[ Parent ]
You hit the nail on the head (0.00 / 0)

The person in the car is not in imminent danger because he/she can safely retreat - the very thing SYG says he doesn't have to do.

You second scenario doesn't fly. Under the old law, you were not required to attempt to retreat every time,  the duty to retreat was required only if you could do so safely, which would not be true under your scenario.

BTW Police are taught that the danger zone for a person with a knife is within 7 yards, at that distance they can stab you before you can draw your weapon.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


[ Parent ]

 

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