57 thoughts on “For Gun Controllers

  1. Jim

    Good questions.

    My questions for anti-gun controllers:

    * Why should we have mandatory background checks for some gun purchases but not others?

    * Should the federal government be allowed to keep a database of legally purchased guns?

    * Is there any type of gun that should be banned from routine private ownership?

    * Should gun owners have to complete mandatory training and certification?

          1. Jim

            Here goes:

            What gun law would have stopped Newtown?

            I haven’t heard anything proposed that would have stopped it. I can imagine laws that would have stopped it or reduced the carnage (require biometric locks, ban multi-shot guns, ban all private guns), but they’re pretty pie-in-the-sky.

            The Newtown massacre seems to be creating more support for gun control laws than other events, perhaps because it is so out-of-the-ordinary. But its exceptional nature also makes it a poor test case.

            Does the Virginia Tech massacre affect your view of the efficacy of an assault-weapons ban?

            Yes. “Assault” weapons bans don’t seem very effective at preventing massacres. Most fatal gunshots come from handguns.

            Why has crime declined even as gun-control laws have been liberalized?

            We don’t really know why crime has been going down; there are a lot of plausible theories. Gun control laws seem unlikely to be a major factor in US overall violent crime rates.

            What new gun laws does New York need?

            I don’t know. I think it makes more sense to have uniform national gun laws. I’d favor universal background checks, mandatory registration, and mandatory training/licensing. I think the ATF should be allowed to keep a database of every gun in private hands. I think the NIH should be allowed to conduct research on the public health impacts of gun ownership. I’d like to see research into biometric gun locks, ways to trace bullets and casings back to individual guns, etc. I don’t think gun makers should be immune from product liability lawsuits.

            I’d support banning >10 round magazines (after buying up the ones already out there), but I wouldn’t expect it to do a whole lot of good.

            Why aren’t violent crimes routinely committed at gun ranges

            I imagine there are lots of reasons.

            Why do gun-free-school laws never succeed in stopping lunatics bent on murder from taking guns to schools?

            Because lunatics bent on murder don’t mind breaking those laws? I don’t think those laws are aimed at lunatics bent on murder.

            Would you feel at least a little bit better if an armed officer were guarding your child’s school?

            No. The odds of a particular school being attacked is extremely small, and massacres can happen even with armed guards onsite (see: Columbine). I’d rather have my school spend the money on something with a better ROI.

            In places where gun laws are the tightest, why do so many people own guns anyway?

            You’d have to ask them; I’m not in that group.

            do you favor stop-and-frisk policies to catch people carrying illegal guns in major urban areas?

            No.

            to make a public policy worth pursuing, should it have a discernible connection to its stated goal?

            Yes.

          2. someguy

            So, basically, a bunch of “I don’t know” answers, but you still think there is a justifiable basis for making people dependent solely on the state for their self-defense.

          3. someguy

            Continuing…pushed “Post” too early.

            About the only answer that had something besides “I don’t know” is a call for more government control and more government data collection on private citizens.

            Oh goody. Just what we need. More government bureaucrats with more information on the private populace.

            Don’t you get tired of wanting to be a subject, Jim?

            Don’t you want to be a free citizen?

          4. MfK

            ” Why aren’t violent crimes routinely committed at gun ranges?

            “I imagine there are lots of reasons.”

            I can give you one excellent reason. Someday, go up to the Gun Store in Las Vegas. It’s out on Tropicana Blvd. You can go in and rent any of a number of fully automatic weapons, and shoot them on the indoor range. I’ve fired a Thompson submachinegun, a Saw, an M-16 with a 100 cartridge drum, and a grease gun.

            On going into the range, I had a fleeting idea of what was preventing someone from opening fire and wiping out a whole bunch of people. Then I saw that the range masters had Glock 40 side arms…every single one of them. That’s why no one has opened up at the Gun Store.

            BTW, I recommend the experience to everyone. You will gain an appreciation of guns not available any other way, and will come away knowing that you never want to be on the other side of that muzzle…

    1. Al

      Because having at least a few makes the gullible feel like they’ve accomplished something. It’s the “placebo effect”.

      No.

      GAU-8.

      No.

      Precisely the same approach as used in protecting the unsuspecting populace against something mightier than the sword.

    2. f1b0nacc1

      If they are good questions Jim, why don’t you answer them for us?

      Lets answer yours:

      1) The so-called ‘gun show loophole’ in fact occurs when guns are sold at a show, where the primary purpose of the show is NOT to act as a clearinghouse for guns. Hence the transaction is secondary to the function of the show. This is roughly akin to the suggestion taht if you and I met through Craigslist, for instance, that I should have to pass a mandatory background check before buying a gun from you that I heard you mention in an online conversation. Fact of the matter is that this is just a loophole for the gun-grabbers to use to try to shut down gunshows and private transactions through regulatory fiat. The courts don’t agree with you here, the voters don’t…and this sort of pseudo-clever manipulation of friendly regulatory agencies won’t pass scrutiny.

      2) No. The federal government doesn’t register guns, states do, and not all guns require registration. This is clearly an overreach on the part of the federal government, and once again, the purpose is obvious. If the ‘right to privacy’ is sacrosanct to you (see: abortion, justification for), you are hoist in your petard here.

      3) My inclination is to say no, but perhaps heavy artillery and the higher yield nukes. I should point out that automatic weapons are already heavily restricted (essentially impossible to own in all but a few extremely rare instances), and I don’t see a lot of fight about that.

      4) The certification loophole is simply used as a trojan horse to ban guns through restrictive regulation. You are trying the same trick that segregationists tried to stop blacks from voting post-emancipation with literacy tests, etc. Nice try, don’t bother playing again….

      Now, why don’t you answer the original questions yourself?

      1. Jim

        This is roughly akin to the suggestion taht if you and I met through Craigslist, for instance, that I should have to pass a mandatory background check before buying a gun from you that I heard you mention in an online conversation

        Exactly. You should have to pass a background check before buying a gun from me. Otherwise what’s the point of doing background checks?

        If the ‘right to privacy’ is sacrosanct to you

        The right to control one’s body, and the right to own a gun without the government’s knowledge, seem like very different things to me.

        Criminals use guns, and routinely take them across state lines. Federal tracking of guns strikes me as an obvious law enforcement function.

        automatic weapons are already heavily restricted

        My point is that it’s obviously legitimate to regulate some guns more tightly than others, due to their greater lethality.

        You are trying the same trick

        Cars are dangerous, which is why we don’t let people drive them on public roads without mandatory training and licensing. Having something similar for guns doesn’t strike me as unreasonable, and could cut down on the number of gun accidents.

        1. Gregg

          “The right to control one’s body, and the right to own a gun without the government’s knowledge, seem like very different things to me.”

          And pray tell why does that *seem* like two ddifferent things to you?

          What is more basic to control of one’s body than the ability to defend said body?

          “Cars are dangerous, which is why we don’t let people drive them on public roads without mandatory training and licensing. Having something similar for guns doesn’t strike me as unreasonable, and could cut down on the number of gun accidents.”

          Gun accidents are the tiniest fraction of gun injuries. You are focusing on the smallish issue and using that to remove people’s Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

          If you REALLY cared abotu people’s safety, you’d be screaming from the rooftops about the 50,000 vehicular deaths that occur EVERY YEAR …. and the thousands of children who are killed by drunk drivers EVERY YEAR. And the other thousands of kids maimed by drunk drivers every year.

          But you don’t. You are happy with a laughable testing regime for drivers and shrug off those deaths because they …what? mean noting to you?

          What you want to to remove icky guns from law abiding citizens just because…that’s what you want.

          There’s zero logic to your positions.

          And not a whole hell of a lot of compassion either.

          1. Jim

            What is more basic to control of one’s body than the ability to defend said body?

            The government’s knowledge that I have a gun does not keep me from defending myself with that gun, any more than the government’s knowledge that I have a car keeps me from using that car.

            If you REALLY cared abotu people’s safety, you’d be screaming from the rooftops about the 50,000 vehicular deaths that occur EVERY YEAR

            Fortunately it’s down to about 32,000 now.

            But you don’t.

            You may not pay much attention, but I do scream from the rooftops (figuratively, in comments on this blog) about it. Speeding the development and use of robot cars should be a top priority of government and industry — we could be saving 90% of those lives within 20 years if we really tried. I care much more about making cars safer than I do about gun control.

    3. Leland

      Why should we have mandatory background checks? How about mandatory background checks for voter id?

      The key word is legally purchased. Why should the government keep track of people obeying the law?

      Define gun.

      Certification for what? What would a person be certified in relation to keeping and bearing an arm? Jim, do you need training in how to keep something and bear it? Is the concept difficult for you?

      1. Jim

        Why should the government keep track of people obeying the law?

        The government keeps track of drivers obeying the law, pilots obeying the law, chemical companies obeying the law, etc.

        What would a person be certified in relation to keeping and bearing an arm?

        Why would a person be certified to drive a car or fly a plane?

        1. Leland

          The government keeps track of drivers obeying the law, pilots obeying the law, chemical companies obeying the law, etc.

          And what benefit does it provide? All those people still have to provide a copy of their license when ever a government official asks, so apparently that database you think they have, doesn’t do much for anyone. So much for keeping track.

          Why would a person be certified to drive a car or fly a plane?

          You can’t be serious.

        2. gregg

          Jim writes:

          “The government keeps track of drivers obeying the law, pilots obeying the law, chemical companies obeying the law, etc.”

          No they don’t. They look for people disobeying the law. A big difference.

          They cannot physically keep track of people obeying the law – too many people and not enough trackers. They don’t patrol the suburbs nearly as much as they patrol the inner city for example.

          So you look for people disobeying the law.

    4. CT

      Here is the question I posed to you a week ago Jim, which you’ve yet to answer:

      The lefty loon gun hater comment that I hear most often is probably “More guns in school is not the answer”.

      So to those people (Jim/Dave/Gerrib) I pose this scenario:

      Your child is in a classroom and it just so happens you are visiting that day. Someone has just killed a half dozen people in the front office, is shooting others in the hallway and is headed toward the classroom where you and your child are located.

      A crazy right wing gun nut teacher goes to a locked briefcase he has in his desk, unlocks the case and produces a .45 caliber handgun which he has illegally brought into the schools “Gun Free Zone”.

      What is your reaction?

      Do you say:

      A – “Great, shoot that SOB!”
      or do you say
      B – “No, put that away, more guns in schools is not the answer”?

      If you are really true to your claimed position you’ll say B.

      But if you’re not a complete idiot you’ll say A, and admit that leftist anti gun hysterical position is utter foolishness.

      1. Jim

        I’d be very grateful for the presence of that gun nut (assuming he was successful in stopping the killer without increasing the body count of innocents), and I’d want him prosecuted for bringing the gun to school. But it’s a silly question. What’s best for one person in a particular contrived situation is not necessarily the best policy for an entire country to follow, all the time.

        1. CT

          It is not a silly question, it is a real world question. Would a responsible adult with a gun make a difference in stopping a madman with a gun? Clearly the answer is yes and you just admitted it to be so.

          And technically you are correct, the person in my scenario should be prosecuted for breaking the law. And if common sense were to prevail he would get a simple wrist slap and the state legislature would then institute teacher carry laws state wide and name the bill after the hero law breaker.

          The leftist bumper sticker meme “more guns is not the answer” is simplistic, sophomoric nonsense and you know it.

          By the way, why do you add the “without increasing the body count of innocents” stipulation? Is it because you don’t think common civilians can possibly have some special “careful aim” gene that only armed government agents have? How would you explain the incident where 8 or 9 innocent bystanders were shot by the POLICE in New York City a few months ago? I didn’t hear any cries to disarm cops after that, but you can bet your last dollar that if a concealed carry civilian had accidentally shot even one innocent bystander your kind would use that as proof that concealed carry should be halted.

          Your position on civilian firearms policy is morally and intellectually bankrupt.

          1. Jim

            it is a real world question

            It’s a lazy, after-the-fact, 20-20 hindsight question. It’s like asking whether I wish civilians had snuck guns onto the 9/11 airliners. Of course I do — they could have shot the hijackers, and saved thousands of lives! But that hardly means we should let or encourage people to carry guns on planes.

            How would you explain the incident where 8 or 9 innocent bystanders were shot by the POLICE in New York City a few months ago?

            That tells me that even trained professionals can make things worse when they intervene with deadly force. Nothing about that incident makes me wish we had more people, with less training, intervening in such situations.

          2. CT

            You don’t like the question Jim because the only sane answer to the question shows your worldview on civilian gun ownership to be morally and intellectually bankrupt.

            9/11 and guns, yes I wish the pilots of those flights were armed, and guess what: now airline pilots ARE allowed to arm themselves! So after the Sandy Hook tragedy I say we follow the same course and allow teachers to arm themselves. Thanks for making my point.

            As for “trained professionals” the average CWP holder practices with his/her pistol at least as much as the average cop.

        2. M Puckett

          So obviously Jim, by that line of reasoning, you want David Gregory punished for breaking DC Law as well?

  2. JJS

    A practiced shooter can change a magazine in less than three seconds. Most could do it even more quickly. Without an armed defender in that location, the best you can hope for is a three to five minute response from the police. It will probably be a lot longer in most cases. So, all this talk about small capacity magazines will just necessitate that a shooter carrying perhaps three or four more magazines. This is hardly an impediment to someone bent on committing serial murder.
    On the other hand not knowing if he will be confronted by a random defender may actually will send him somewhere else. Perhaps an enlighten college campus where less thought of consequences and human behavior aren’t considered

    1. Jim

      So, all this talk about small capacity magazines will just necessitate that a shooter carrying perhaps three or four more magazines.

      Yes, it isn’t much of an impediment. But it’s an attractive option for politicians, because there’s public support, precisely because restricting magazines won’t inconvenience law abiding gun owners either (or, at least, not very much).

      send him somewhere else

      The Columbine shooters presumably knew there were armed guards there; they attacked anyway. Last week’s NY arson shooter invited armed policemen to the shooting. Shooters aren’t necessarily deterred by armed victims.

      1. CT

        “Yes, it isn’t much of an impediment. But it’s an attractive option for politicians,”

        So you admit that these laws are for show only, not to actually effect any sort of desired change in crime.

        Thanks for admitting what most of us already knew.

        1. Jim

          So you admit that these laws are for show only

          Some of them, yes. The NRA is very good at stopping laws that would make a real difference, and the laws that are for show seem to have more public support.

          1. CT

            Yes the NRA wants to stop laws that would actually lessen gun crime because more gun crime is so good in advancing their cause.

            You really are an idiot.

      2. someguy

        Jim, the restriction itself is already an inconvenience. It is a restriction of my freedom to purchase what I choose, when I choose, and how much I choose based on nothing except emotions because “big clips are scary”.

        And, no, 50%+1 of people wanting to do something does not make it right.

        No public safety is increased, so it is against the whole idea of individual freedom to require government permission to do it.

        Freedom is the ability to act without permission from anyone else to do so, or in other words “self-government”, or “government of yourself”. And the restriction is that my right to act for myself ends when it interferes directly with someone else’s ability to act for himself.

        Since my owning a 10-round or 12-round or 30-round magzine, or 10 or 100 or 10,000,000 30-round magazines, doesn’t impede anybody else’s ability to act for himself, it is wrong to restrict ownership of magazine’s based on round capacity, or really any other feature.

        1. Jim

          It is a restriction of my freedom to purchase what I choose, when I choose, and how much I choose

          Yeah, well, welcome to civilization.

          1. someguy

            Bullcrap and more bullcrap.

            I see you missed the rest of the sentence you are quoting: “…based on nothing except emotions because ‘big clips are scary’”.

            And you also missed the rest of the posting further expanding the point.

            “Civilization” requires no such restrictions.

            “Civilization” can get along fine with people buying as many ammo magazines as they want. If I buy 1000 30-round magazines tomorrow, based on no other reason than “I want to”, no one is harmed.

            The problem is that you can’t seem to grasp a nation of independent individuals that in the general case are not being controlled by the government at every turn of their lives.

          2. M Puckett

            Jim, you realize there are likely over a hundred million hi-cap magazines in circulation in the US?

            We are well past the point of closing the barn door on this horse, it is far into the next valley by now. Plenty of supply untill 3D printing becomes common.

          3. Jim

            If we are going to restrict sales of some magazines, and are doing it for more than show, we should also buy up the ones in circulation, and then make private possession illegal. It won’t make all of them vanish, but it will make it less likely that a Nancy or Adam Lanza would own one.

          4. Bilwick

            “Civilization” in Jim’s lexicon means: “My right [which I made up] to force you whatever I think is for the common good [which I determine].”

          5. wodun

            Good luck seizing guns and gun accessories Jim. If Obama and the Democrats continue down this line, it wont turn out well for them at the mid terms, ruining all of the preparation that has been taking place since the election.

      3. cthulhu

        “Last week’s NY arson shooter invited armed policemen to the shooting.”

        That’s called suicide-by-cop (yes I know he shot himself; doesn’t matter – he was planning on not surviving, and wanted to take some LEOs out with him).

        Look, I’m sympathetic to background checks, reasonable waiting periods (7 days is fine), even mandatory training, even some limits on magazine size. I don’t see these infringing substantially on Second Amendment rights. Registration and limiting what weapons can be purchased beyond the current restrictions is too much additional government power in my book. But these measures will do little to nothing to combat gun violence, and would not have stopped or slowed down the Newtown shootings. Gun violence, as with all other violence, has been declining for quite a while. As Megan McArdle said (and she was explicitly not advocating this course of action), the only way to stop Newtown would be to get rid of guns in private hands entirely. Six-sigma events such as Newtown by definition are extremely rare and typically involve novel combinations of failure modes. For example, the only way to totally eliminate airliner crashes is to give up air travel; if we’re not willing to do that, then we can expect to have airliner crashes every so often (5-10 years at the outside) with death tolls in the 50+ range, just because airliners are complex machines with lots of failure modes (including human ones), and very rarely they will all line up. Airliners are extremely safe now and they will continue to get safer, but pretty much all of the low-hanging fruit for airline safety has already been harvested (except the travesty that is the Airbus automatic flight control system, and don’t get me started on their seeming basic inability to do robust redundancy management – I try not to fly Airbus unless there’s no choice), so improvements will be small at best.

        It’s hard to hear that there are no easy answers for something like Newtown. And we as Americans need to have an honest discussion about private ownership of guns: the costs (it should be mostly beyond arguing that, in some situations, availability of guns is the difference between unfortunate and tragic), the benefits (it should also be mostly beyond arguing that, in some other situations, availability of guns is the difference between tragic and unfortunate), the limits (what guns can be produced, bought, sold, etc., by private citizens), etc. But there is a fundamental principle at work: the Second Amendment is the law of the land and provides a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms, and cannot be bypassed by legislative and/or executive fiat, whether you like it or not. If you want to change that, then you had better start on the constitutional amendment process (which is a totally legitimate thing to do, whether you agree with the proposed content or not), and if you want your amendment to have a chance to pass, you had better start facilitating that national discussion I mentioned earlier. For those proposing changes, you would do well to start by assuming that those on the other side are good and thoughtful Americans, instead of bitter clinger enablers of mass murder. And those who oppose additional action, you would do well to start by assuming that those on the other side are also good and thoughtful Americans at heart neither Stalin, Mao, nor Hitler (sorry, don’t want to Godwin this right off the bat).

        1. Jim

          these measures will do little to nothing to combat gun violence

          I think they’re worth a try, or at least research.

          pretty much all of the low-hanging fruit for airline safety has already been harvested

          Yes, and that’s thanks to extremely intrusive federal regulation of aviation. We lose far more lives to guns than to airplanes. The low hanging fruit hasn’t been touched.

          the Second Amendment is the law of the land and provides a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms

          Yes, that’s the case as of Heller. But none of the things mentioned above (mandatory background checks, registration, training, waiting periods) are barred by Heller.

          1. M Puckett

            I suppose you heard Canada recently determined that Gun Regisration was not worth the opportunity costs and wisely abandoned their failed experiment?

          2. Leland

            The research has been done. There’s a long history explaining what happens. We’ve provided the research. What you want to do is ignore the research and do what sounds good. Jim, you’ve already said as much to CT above.

          3. gregg

            Jim writes:

            “I think they’re worth a try, or at least research.”

            You don’t try or research something that’s so hugely anti-constitutional. Although I suspect you don’t place much value on the Constitution.

          4. Gregg

            “I think they’re worth a try, or at least research.”

            Theyhave been tried – dozens of times. They’ve always failed. Right now all you have to do is look where the gun laws are strictest and you will see that crime is highest.

            And you will see the reverse..where gun laws are not strict, crime is low.

  3. Gregg

    Jim doesn’t answer questions. Can’t be bothered.

    For example for over a week now I’ve posed the following question in several threads and he has refused to respond. I’ll try again:

    Jim,

    If there was an armed teacher at Sandy Hook who, after a very few shots were fired by Lanza, drew his weapon and ended the problem, would that be better than what happened?

    Or worse?

      1. CT

        Why not?

        If good guys with guns can’t stop a school shooter why do cops rush to the scene of a school shooting with their guns drawn?

        Why is it good for cops to show up 20 minutes after a school shooting has started but it’s not good for a teacher with a gun to be at the scene when the shooting starts?

        1. Leland

          I still wonder what might have happened at Sandy Hook had the Principal, who ran to the sound of gun fire, been armed herself.

      2. Gregg

        “Better. That does not imply that it would be better for every elementary school to have armed teachers.”

        So by your logic, street lights that help to organize traffic at one intersection in the nation do not imply that it would help elsewhere?

        Are you *serious*? Or are you just looking for a way to wiggle out of the obvious?

        Well tell me what does it imply to you? And by what logic do you use to say it would not be netter for every elementary school to have armed teachers?

        1. Jim

          If there’d been passengers with guns on the 9/11 planes, the World Trade Towers would still be standing, and over 2,500 lives would have been saved.

          By your logic, that means we should let passengers carry guns on every flight.

          1. someguy

            Sounds fine to me.

            I would only say that if the private airline company wishes to stop me from privately carrying, then that is their right as the plane is their property.

            Maybe then we can get rid of the X-ray scanners that allow some TSA thug to see me naked.

            Thanks TSA, your security theater is awesome.

          2. Gregg

            Jim Blathers:

            “If there’d been passengers with guns on the 9/11 planes, the World Trade Towers would still be standing, and over 2,500 lives would have been saved.”

            Absolutely.

            “By your logic, that means we should let passengers carry guns on every flight.”

            Absolutely.

            What do you think would happen if a nutty gunman stands up on an airplane and waves a gun and the passengers are armed?

            Right – the gunman wouldn’t even step on the plane because he knows he’s dead.

            But I’m for arming teachers, principals, and maybe having armed patrolmen (either policemen or ex military hired for the purpose) not the students so your “application” of my logic is flawed – as is just about everything else you say.

          3. MfK

            “By your logic, that means we should let passengers carry guns on every flight.”

            Actually, it only implies that the pilots carry guns on every flight. That used to be a requirement for a pilot license…

  4. Rich

    So, in the U.S., where private ownership of guns is largely legal, “…violent crime declined in the United States during the past 20 years even as gun ownership has ticked up…”

    But in the U.K., where private gun ownership is largely illegal: “…violent crime is on the increase…”

    So their response is: ban kitchen knives!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4581871.stm

    ….don’t think that after they ban guns (or even just “assault weapons”), that they will stop trying to disarm you …….

    1. Leland

      Thanks Rich. You know, if you ignore the particulars, it appears the goal is to ban self-defense. After all, the criminals using the weapons are already committing crimes regardless of the weapon of choice. Banning the “weapons” only makes the previous law abiding public, law breakers too.

      1. Gregg

        If you ban self defense, then you place those people totally at the mercy of the government.

        Gee, who is it that we know that works towards that?

  5. Bilwick

    Unless I missed it, I’m still waiting to hear why the State-shtuppers’ desire to feel safe confers on them a right to use force against peaceful (i.e., the vast majority of) gun-owners. (Odd that they never fear the State, despite its incredibly bloodstained record.) Or why A murdering B gives statist C the right to attack me.

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