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The Gun Control Debate Thread - Say hello to my little thread

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Really? 

 

1)  Being able to travel isn't a right?  We (the country as a whole) are cool with restricting citizen's right to travel, but telling them that can't have a gun, well, that's going too far?

Did I say that? I've been critical of all this **** the whole time, but the government manages to get away with it because we've recently decided the government has every power not expressly forbidden it even though that's not how the constitution works. In this case, however, the constitution specifically protects the right of gun ownership.

2)  And there's no due process at all, with these lists?  Granted, our government masters won;t tell us what the procedure is, for putting people on these lists.  But I'm pretty sure that there is a procedure.  (It's the government.  they have procedures for how to wipe their noses.)

Secret procedures is not due process.

3)  Please tell me what you think is the minimum criteria that must be met, constitutionally, before the government can say "You can't have a gun"?

I prefer not to play the "what's the least" or "what's the most" game. What I will say is that that is not a reasonable method.

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Per multiple sources, Obama Executive Order to mandate background checks on all gun purchases...  Thoughts?

Noting that all three sources agree that said proposals don't even exist, yet. And they're just speculating on what might be in them.

 

(And none of the speculation even says "mandate background checks on all gun purchases".) 

 

As a practical matter, I would say that in my opinion, his ability to do much, via an executive order, is really limited.  To pick a different example, I assert that the President has the authority to choose not to prosecute illegal immigrants.  It's another matter entirely for him to try to criminalize something, without a law being passed. 

 

Now, though.  The first article did mention something that I found intriguing. 

 

A proposal Obama is reportedly considering would classify more sellers as high-volume dealers, which would close a legal loophole that allows many sales conducted online or at gun shows to skirt existing background check provisions.

Now, I'm going to talk about my own personal perspective on the "gun show loophole".  (I really hate that term.  But it's the one that the public has latched on to.) 

 

 

Maybe 15-20 years ago, I was living in Oklahoma City.  And my sci fi club needed to do some fundraisers.  And so we wound up working concession stands at the Oklahoma state fairgrounds. 

 

Two of the events we worked, were gun shows.  Big huge exhibit hall at the fairgrounds, occupied by maybe 50-100 vendors standing behind folding tables, selling guns. 

 

Now, the Brady bill had recently been passed, which mandated that all gun purchases required a three day waiting period, during which the local police could run background checks on the purchaser. 

 

I'm taking a break, wandering around the exhibit hall.  And my ears perk up when I hear one of the dealers tell a potential customer that he can buy that gun without the waiting period and background check. 

 

Because, the dealer explained, he's not a dealer. 

 

Now, when the law was being debated, I recall reading that the law said that anybody who sold more than three guns a rear, was a dealer.  This guy is standing behind several folding tables, where probably 200 handguns are on display, and long guns leaning against the wall behind him, and several large boxes behind and under the tables.  (But they may have been empty.  Maybe those were the boxes he carried the guns in, in.) 

 

You see, the dealer explained, all 200 of these guns are owned by other people, and the dealer is just selling them for these other people.  He's got a recipe box behind the counter, containing the name of the owner of all of these guns.  And if you want that pistol, there, then Farmer Bob will sell it to you. 

 

And therefore, this dealer proudly explained, I can sell you multiple weapons, today, and have no waiting period, no background check, and no records of the sale at all.  (That way, he explained, the only way the government can come after him, is to try to prove how many guns he's sold, without any records.) 

 

 

That's why, to me, I mentally think of "the gun show loophole" as the "I'm not a dealer (no matter how many guns I sell)" loophole. 

 

I look at that (speculated) executive order, and

 

1)  I think it's a good law.  I think (granted, based on one 20 year old anecdote) that there are way too many guns sold in this country by "people who aren't dealers".  It seems to me to be far too large a "loophole" for people to use, to just declare themselves exempt from laws. 

 

2)  And I'm not sure that it's beyond the Executive's power.  To me, if the law sets forth what is or isn't a dealer, then that's it, it's the law.  But if it just throws around the terms "dealer" and "individual", then I would think that the Executive branch's job is to determine detailed rules for who fits in which category. 

 

I'm not sure it's within his power, but I'm not sure it isn't, either. 


 

Did I say that? I've been critical of all this **** the whole time, but the government manages to get away with it because we've recently decided the government has every power not expressly forbidden it even though that's not how the constitution works. In this case, however, the constitution specifically protects the right of gun ownership.

I was planning on coming back, and adding this to my post. But got busy typing up a long-winded post to somebody else.

 

Yeah, I have problems with the "no fly" list.  At least as I understand it, it's way too easy to wind up on it, for no reason whatsoever.  (I read about three year old kids being on the list.  Far as I'm concerned, there is no credible reason for a three year old to be on the list.)  And there appears to be no way to get off the list, once on it.  No appeal process at all. 

 

But, to me, that's a reason to get rid of the list.  Not a reason to say that well, it's OK to restrict their freedom, but you have to let them pack a gun. 

 

To me, if it's valid to tell someone he can't get on a plane, then it's valid to tell him he can't buy a gun.

Edited by Larry
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I was planning on coming back, and adding this to my post. But got busy typing up a long-winded post to somebody else.

 

Yeah, I have problems with the "no fly" list.  At least as I understand it, it's way too easy to wind up on it, for no reason whatsoever.  (I read about three year old kids being on the list.  Far as I'm concerned, there is no credible reason for a three year old to be on the list.)  And there appears to be no way to get off the list, once on it.  No appeal process at all. 

 

But, to me, that's a reason to get rid of the list.  Not a reason to say that well, it's OK to restrict their freedom, but you have to let them pack a gun. 

 

To me, if it's valid to tell someone he can't get on a plane, then it's valid to tell him he can't buy a gun.

It would be a reasonable assumption that a reason to keep someone from flying would be a reason to keep them from owning a gun. But the issue is that the criteria to keep someone from flying is arbitrary, and we've somehow ceded the government the power to restrict freedoms not specifically enumerated in the constitution even though the document was meant to do the opposite (restrict the government to specifically enumerated powers). We, unfortunately, are unable to point to the right to fly in the constitution, so the government gets away with restricting it arbitrarily.

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It would be a reasonable assumption that a reason to keep someone from flying would be a reason to keep them from owning a gun.

 

See, this is how I think.

 

But I also recall reading tons of stories about people being put on no fly lists for absurd reasons.

 

One was a young child. Talking like 6 years old.

 

I actually tend to recall the no fly list being scrutinized by liberals because it was essentially a list of racially profiled people, but that was a long time ago. I could be making that up.

 

If I had faith the no fly list was an accurate representation of a list of people that pose threats to the united states, then I'd be OK with this. 

 

As it stands - I'm kind of just watching everyone else argue.

 

This seems to have become such a big deal after the SB shootings. Were either of then on no fly lists? I find it hard to believe she got her if she was, but I'm not putting that possibility past our always awesome governmental departments.

Edited by tshile

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Larry the Brady bill defines what a dealer is under that law, to change it is a job for the legislature.

 

but rather a waste of time to speculate on what O might do.

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Larry,

 

I was trying not to be a inadvertent Troll, but lots of radio shows and TV (Fox News) are saying that he is going to sign the "all guns" EO.

 

We'll see if it's true in the AM I guess.

Edited by Alaskins

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Larry,

I was trying not to be a inadvertent Troll, but lots of radio shows and TV (Fox News) are saying that he is going to sign the "all guns" EO.

We'll see if it's true in the AM I guess.

They say that every time.

I bet most of the people still saying it couldn't actually tell you his previous EO's without looking them up.

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Please tell me the EXACT thing you would propose for a new law that won't infringe on the Constituion (and if you can't/won't, please tell us why it is OK to ignore the Constitution here and not elsewhere).

 

Thanks.

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Plenty of things can be done that wouldn't infringe on the Constitution, the Supreme Court has already interpreted the 2nd as not unlimited.  It is broader than mere militias, but not unlimited.

 

Universal background checks and waiting periods would almost certainly fall under that umbrella, just as a basic start.

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Plenty of things can be done that wouldn't infringe on the Constitution, the Supreme Court has already interpreted the 2nd as not unlimited.  It is broader than mere militias, but not unlimited.

 

Universal background checks and waiting periods would almost certainly fall under that umbrella, just as a basic start.

OK, not trying to be obtuse, but specifically what would you propose?  

 

As far as I know, background checks are already in place, waiting periods in place, please, what am I missing.

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Please tell me the EXACT thing you would propose for a new law that won't infringe on the Constituion (and if you can't/won't, please tell us why it is OK to ignore the Constitution here and not elsewhere).

 

Thanks.

 

You could argue that existing laws are already unconstitutional and should be struck down.  Why is the Federal government  can prevent private citizens from buying an M249 SAW?  Or tanks with functioning main guns? 

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OK, not trying to be obtuse, but specifically what would you propose?  

 

As far as I know, background checks are already in place, waiting periods in place, please, what am I missing.

 

Universal versions of those.  Essentially closing the private sale loophole.  Making sure you can't sidestep it like in Larry's story.  Even for private seller to private seller transactions, going through a licensed 3rd party to make sure that the parties to the transfer are legally allowed to own firearms.

 

Repealing the PLCAA would be helpful too.

 

There are also lots of things at the federal level that are not enforced as strictly around the country.  Total ban on violent felons from owning firearms, same with convicted domestic abusers.  Those are illegal at the federal level, but out in the wild it doesn't always happen.

 

 

How did we get from "Well-regulated militia" to...all regulation is a violation of the constitution? Seriously, I'm asking.

 

Because the 2nd Amendment uses clearer language than the 1st.  Duh.

 

Wait...

Edited by DogofWar1

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This seems to have become such a big deal after the SB shootings. Were either of then on no fly lists? I find it hard to believe she got her if she was, but I'm not putting that possibility past our always awesome governmental departments.

1). You don't think politicians would use a tragedy to push a feel-good piece of legislation that actually wouldn't have helped?

2). OTOH, I will note that "it wouldn't have helped, in this case", does not equal "therefore it's not a good idea". IMO, the question that ought to be used is whether the proposal will help enough, to justify its restriction of freedom. (In this case, I would assert that both the proposal's help, and it's harm, would be near trivial).


Larry,

 

I was trying not to be a inadvertent Troll, but lots of radio shows and TV (Fox News) are saying that he is going to sign the "all guns" EO.

 

We'll see if it's true in the AM I guess.

Lots of people yell "the government is coming for our guns", minutes after every mass shooting.

It's the primary reason why every mass shooting is followed by a spike in gun sales.

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Please tell me the EXACT thing you would propose for a new law that won't infringe on the Constituion (and if you can't/won't, please tell us why it is OK to ignore the Constitution here and not elsewhere).

 

Thanks.

Me? What do I think would be the biggest thing that ought to be done?

Registration of the owner of every single firearm. The ability to track the history of every gun used in a crime.

No, it obviously will not prevent every illegal use of a gun. Nor will it instantly affect every weapon which is currently running around there, "in the wild".

OTOH, it's also not some terrible, onerous, burden on the millions of legitimate gun owners, either.

And I do think that it will change the gun landscape in a few significant ways.

It will mean that, in cases like this one, the cops will have a paper trail to follow. Even if it will, I assume, simply point at a completely innocent person who simply performed a legitimate commercial transaction.

And I think (although, maybe "hope, without a lot of evidence that said hope is actually justified") it might make legitimate owners just a tiny bit more responsible with their weapons. Due to the knowledge that said weapon can be tracked back to them.

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How did we get from "Well-regulated militia" to...all regulation is a violation of the constitution? Seriously, I'm asking.

I think it was Predicto who posted a nice article, a few mass shootings ago, about this transition.

The gist was that this notion that the Second applied to individuals was essentially part of an AstroTurf movement, run by the NRA, over the last 30 years or so.

It seemed really surprising, to me. I mean, to me, it seems obvious that the Second applies to individuals. IT SAYS SO.

But apparently, for 200 years, it never did. No one even attempted to argue that it did. It never even occurred to anyone that the constitution prevented Wyatt Earp from banning all guns from Tombstone.

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I think it was Predicto who posted a nice article, a few mass shootings ago, about this transition.

The gist was that this notion that the Second applied to individuals was essentially part of an AstroTurf movement, run by the NRA, over the last 30 years or so.

It seemed really surprising, to me. I mean, to me, it seems obvious that the Second applies to individuals. IT SAYS SO.

But apparently, for 200 years, it never did. No one even attempted to argue that it did. It never even occurred to anyone that the constitution prevented Wyatt Earp from banning all guns from Tombstone.

Man it is so sad that we've come to the bolded part.

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But apparently, for 200 years, it never did. No one even attempted to argue that it did. It never even occurred to anyone that the constitution prevented Wyatt Earp from banning all guns from Tombstone.

Isn't the Constitution a guideline of rules for the government to follow, applied to free people?

 

I don't think gun owners constitute a militia, let alone a well regulated one, so how could the government not be allowed to have all the guns?

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I don't think gun owners constitute a militia, let alone a well regulated one, so how could the government not be allowed to have all the guns?

Well, now, granted, my knowledge of such things comes from remembering the glamorized tales of my youth. But I'm pretty certain that, for a long time, the militia was Joe Sixpack and his buddys.

 

As I understand it, the US Marine Corps was invented by three guys in a bar, who decided that they were Marines, now. 

 

But as a practical matter, whether the people were the militia or not is irrelevant.  (At least to the modern interpretation.) 

 

As I understand what I will call "the NRA interpretation" (and the interpretation which seems to be correct, to me.) is not "the people are the militia, therefore the 2nd says they can have guns."  It's "The 2nd doesn't say 'the right of the militia to keep and bear arms'.  It says 'the right of the people'." 

 

To the NRA side, it doesn't matter whether I'm the militia or not.  I have the right to be armed, because I'm a person. 

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Please tell me the EXACT thing you would propose for a new law that won't infringe on the Constituion (and if you can't/won't, please tell us why it is OK to ignore the Constitution here and not elsewhere).

Thanks.

Change the inventory review for gun dealers. You want to be disgusted with the gun lobby? Look up the current laws and who put them there.

Allow the ATF to track firearms from manufacturing on. I know people like to cite the various ways people acquire guns, but the truth is if you listen to the people that actually research the subject one of the first things you'll be told is that it is impossible to get a real picture of how people who commit crimes acquire the guns. I've seen some say they think 90 percent of guns used in crimes are coming from 10 percent of the dealers, but they can't know for sure.

Both ideas are vital to researching gun violence to even analyze the flaws of the system, and eventually to discuss policy. Until then nearly everyone is guessing because we simply don't know. And anyone who puts in any real effort is casted off as biased (regardless of which side they are on) because the fact checking isn't available.

Neither infringes on anyone's rights. Nothing about the ability to purchase, own, or use firearms changes.

But it will not be allowed because the NRA, a truly terrible organization, is only interested in protecting gun manufacturers.

And I'm someone who's pretty critical of gun control ideas. (Most often because their ideas are based on guessing and they show a serious lack of knowledge about guns)

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The most obvious and important first step that I would like to see is a very large investment in research (primarily through the CDC) to figure out the origins and possible solutions to why we have so many gun deaths each year.  That would at least be an acknowledgement that ~35000 deaths a year represents a real and serious problem that we should try to solve.  

 

My fantasy proposal (recognizing that its unhinged from reality) would be to truly put the states into a "laboratory of democracy" blender and apply dramatically different approaches to the gun death problem in each state.  Have one state where the gov't confiscates all the guns.  Have another where guns (and training) are given to every high school graduate.  Have another where mental health is the big focus.  Basically take 50 very different approaches to guns and violence.  See what happens to crime/murder/suicide.  Go with what works.  

 

I am frustrated that we are all arguing about what we think might work, when in fact no one really knows for sure.  I feel like more gun regulation and less guns overall would lead to less crime and death, but I know plenty of reasonable people who feel the opposite.  I am a scientist at heart (physician by trade) and would like to see some real data.  The congressional refusal to fund research (at the behest of the NRA) is to me the biggest frustration of the whole topic.   I feel like one side doesn't even want to acknowledge that the current state of affairs is a problem.  That drives me nuts. 

Edited by bcl05
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Jacksonville Daily Record - Police chiefs back revised open-carry bill

 

Acknowledging “momentum” behind a proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry guns, the Florida Police Chiefs Association said Thursday its board of directors had voted to back the controversial measure —as long as changes designed to protect law-enforcement officers are included. 

 

A spokeswoman confirmed that the police chiefs’ group had contacted the sponsors of the proposal (SB 300/HB 163), Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, who both say they’re on board with the changes.

“The police chiefs understand that momentum is building,” association spokeswoman Sandi Poreda said. “And because of their concerns for police officers’ safety, they wanted to go ahead and reach out to the bill sponsors and work on these amendments, which they believe will better protect officers.” 

 

If the measure passes, 1.45 million Floridians with concealed-weapons permits would be able to openly carry guns. Opponents — including a number of Florida sheriffs —warn that people who openly display guns could get hurt as a result, either by criminals or law enforcement. 

 

Gun bills will be heavily debated during the 2016 legislative session, which starts Jan. 12. Along with the open-carry proposal, lawmakers are looking at allowing people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses and are considering a proposal to shift a burden of proof in “stand your ground” self-defense cases.

 

 

Apparently, if I'm reading correctly, the cops were opposing the proposal, but reluctantly decided to approve it (if some amendments were added), when it became clear that the legislature was going to pass it, anyway. 

 

One amendment would add a provision to the Senate bill. The amended version would include House language stating that a person who displays a firearm “intentionally … in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense” is not covered by the proposed open-carry law. 

 

Second, both current versions of the proposal would allow fines to be imposed on people —including police officers — who infringe on others’ rights to openly carry guns, unless probable cause exists to believe that crimes have been committed. A proposed amendment would ease that standard for law officers, who would be required to have “reasonable suspicion” before stopping people to verify or investigate the carrying of guns. 

 

Third, the current proposal states that no one who infringes on the right to openly carry guns —including police officers — would be immune from legal consequences. However, the agreement between the Gaetzes and the police chiefs association specifies that nothing in the bill would be intended to restrict a law enforcement officer’s ability or authority to conduct investigations as otherwise allowed by law. 

 

“Sovereign immunity is a vital tool that allows law enforcement officers to perform their duties without fear of frivolous lawsuits,” Mercer wrote. “Officers will not fear losing sovereign immunity when investigating a person open or concealed carrying.” 

 

The fourth amendment would require a holster for purposes of openly carrying a firearm.

 

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