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Well, That's Reassuring

Senator Obama says he's not going to take our guns away, because he doesn't have the votes in Congress. What a politically brilliant thing to say in Pennsylvania. And he says that he's not going to take them out of our house. What he doesn't say is that he doesn't want us to take them out of our house, either.


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Brock wrote:

Weak and Fail. He sounds pretty plaintive in that last remark.

Martin wrote:

"If youíve got a gun in your house, Iím not taking it."

The fact that he needs to add a conditional clause to this statement doesn't fill me with confidence. Or for that matter the fact that he needs to make it at all.

There's a scene in an old Star Trek episode: They've gone back in time and are on Earth. McCoy is jacked up on some kind of drug and out of his mind with paranoid delusions. He tries to reassure a bum who's running away from him by yelling "Come back. I won't kill you."

Obama's remarks here kinda remind me of that.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Actually, he's sounding almost as desperate as some of our recent anonymous trolls (for whom, in case anyone was wondering, I've been providing appropriate names).

PeterH wrote:

Some of us are more interested in what he'd do if he did have the votes in congress than what he won't do because he doesn't have the votes. Would he disarm good citizens, leaving them vulnerable to thugs? I think he would.

Chris Gerrib wrote:

Well, when I read the article, I see Obama saying:
1) I don't want to take your guns away.
2) EVEN IF I DID, I can't.

Point #2 reinforces point #1. BTW, I am a gun-owning member of the NRA who's still voting for Obama.

Brock wrote:

Chris, his statement was far more limited than that. He said: (1) If it's in your home (2) I'm not taking it away.

#1 suggests that carrying your gun outside your home is subject to debate.

#2 does not preclude DC-like laws requiring trigger locks, disassembly, and being unloaded.

Given Obama's record here I don't think I'm being unfair.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Yes, Obama thought that the draconian DC gun ban was constitutional until he didn't (after the Supreme Court knocked it down). He can't be trusted on guns.

Chris Gerrib wrote:

I've not heard Obama say anything about gun control. It's not appeared to me to be a big issue with the Democrats. I've heard Republicans say "they'll take your guns" which is not the same thing.

So I did some Googling, and came up with Obama's gun platform (scroll down). He's:

1)against the Tiahrt admendment (whatever that is)
2) supports closing the gun show loophole (which I agree with)
3) Supports child-proofing guns (don't know how I feel - devil's in the details)
4) Supports the assault weapons ban (which I oppose - it's cosmetic feel-good BS).

I see Obama made one statement against concealed carry, to wit "I am personally against it."

I couldn't find McCain's official policy page on guns (maybe somebody here has it to hand) but this page which appears to be non-partisan suggests McCain:

1) Also wants to close the gun-show loophole
2) supports banning "cheap" guns
3) Supports child-proofing weapons.
4) voted against the assault weapon ban.

The closest McCain statement I can find on concealed carry is a statement that he's "in favor of the Second Admendment" issued after the Virginia Tech shooting.

I'm not seeing a lot of gap here between the top of the tickets.

Rand Simberg wrote:

As I said, Obama used to think that the DC gun ban was constitutional. That is, he believes in the second amendment, as long as it doesn't actually strike down any gun laws. He is on record of supporting bans on gun sales within five miles of schools. Which would essentially ban all gun sales in any city.

Leland wrote:

Obama used to think that the DC gun ban was constitutional.

Another Obama issue modified by MiniTru. The narrative is now that Obama clarified his viewpoint and disavowed any comments made by members of his staff.

Bob wrote:

I think it would be great if a McCain partisan followed up Chris's point and told us more about McCain's positions compared to Obama's.

Andy Freeman wrote:

The House and Senate are going to be Dem, and the Dem leadership is still anti-gun.

Is McCain or Obama more likely to go along with them?

Brock wrote:

I think it would be great is Bob learned how to use Google and took some responsibility for educating himself on a topic he has expressed interest in.

Search for "McCain" and "guns"; First result:

"Prosecute criminals, not citizens for gun ownership"
"Don't hold gun manufacturers liable for crimes"
"Opposes restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition types"
"Voted against Brady Bill & assault weapon ban"

And of course I don't think we need any sources on how Sarah Palin feels about gun ownership

OK. I'm done trying to deignoranitify Bob.

Anonymous wrote:

I think it would be great if a McCain partisan followed up Chris's point and told us more about McCain's positions compared to Obama's.

I think it would be great if an Obama partisan would actually do work on there own and quit expecting others to take care of them. Perhaps by definition of "Obama partisan", that's not possible.

Indeed, it's the first link when you Google: Mccain Second Amendment

Bob wrote:

Let me try again. I was interested in a comparison. I'm not a gun owner or a gun enthusiast, and I don't really know what is important and what isn't important to gun owners.

What I really wanted to know: If you care about guns, are the candidates really that far apart? Chris, who I believe prefers Obama, seems to be answering "not so much".

Now Brock and Anonymous have grumpily answered that I should do my own damn research and pointed me toward McCain sites. But a) that's not a comparison, and b) while I can find my own comparison websites, I'm not qualified to know what matters and what doesn't.

For example, while I think "child safety lock" sounds like a good idea, I know there are tradeoffs in engineering, and I don't know what those tradeoffs are, so I don't know how much child safety locks would matter. Chris' comment that "the devil is in the details" is what triggered my question.

When people ask me about something that I know and care about, I happily tell them, rather than telling them to do their own reseach, and I imagine the two of you are the same way. I don't know why you both sound so grumpy, but I do apologize for being inarticulate, and I apologize for not asking the right question.

Bill M wrote:

JM and BHO are VERY far apart on guns. I don't have kids at home but under some propsals, I would still have to "childproof" them. Would BHO veto such legislation? I think not. I think JM would, basing this on their past statements and positions. Chris, as a gun owner, if you really want to keep all the guns and rights you have now, you're voting against your own self-interest just like BHO hopes you will.

Mike Puckett wrote:

Yeah, he won't take them, he will just not let you or any other law-abiding citizen have any more.

This is the same joker that tried to abolish prison for felons as a Illinois state senator upon urging from his mentor Ayers.

Yup, BHO wanted to eliminate prison.

Expect to hear more about that in the weeks to come.

Bob wrote:

So, here's me, doing my own research. Is this the answer if child proofing is (or becomes) mandatory?

Brock wrote:


Sorry if I was grumpy. We get a lot of trolls around here (I have no idea why), and I read your question as snarky. Chris was either deliberately attempting to mislead or is ignorant of John McCain's position on guns. They're way apart.

For what it's worth, the site I pointed to you was not a McCain site. It's just a site that collects quotes and votes of everyone running for office. "Just the facts, Mam."

Leland wrote:


I think you are giving Bob too much credit. He's a troll. I provide as exhibit A:

I should do my own damn research and pointed me toward McCain sites. But a) that's not a comparison, and b) while I can find my own comparison websites, I'm not qualified to know what matters and what doesn't.

Why is he entering into the debate? Why is mine (I'm the anonymous, by accident) McCain's website not acceptable, but Chris Gerrib's link to Obama's website is the right approach for Bob? Indeed, Brock provided a link to the same place as Chris Gerrib, but that's not acceptable? Brock, you were being helpful, you responded to Bob with exactly what he asked, and he attacked you. Your tone was no different than his. If he wants to be treated better, then perhaps he should start with his own attitude.

Exhibit B: look at the link he provides. Bob claims he wants a comparison between Obama and Mccain, but he provides a link to a business peddling goods. It's a non-sequitur.
If you want to see how off Bob's link is, try doing a few searches to see if you come across his link:
Gun Locks: nope
child safety locks guns: nope
Heck, try smartbullet or smart bullet or dogpile: smartbullet: nope
Perhaps Bob can explain how the casual person hardly interested in gun safety comes up with this company? Maybe Bob will explain how "ontheissues" doesn't allow him to compare Mccain and Obama's position, and how a business website does?

Bob wrote:

Leland, if you knew more about my personal background, you would understand why I'm actually sincerely interested in gun laws.

I used to favor gun bans, and reading this blog - for years - has transformed my thinking. Commenters ( Mike Puckett, in particular) actually convinced me that I was wrong. I remain hung up on arguments which are reductio ad absurdium such as "what about restrictive laws on war machines and weapons" but neverthelesss, I have been transformed.

The notion that the candidates aren't actually all that far apart on the practical issues that matter to gun owners interests me, and I'd like to learn more. In particular, I wonder if they mostly differ on issues that don't make a difference to typical gun owners.

Aside from the candidates, child safety locks are interesting to me -- they partially addresses the argument that having a gun in the house is more dangerous than not having one. Laws on child safety lock are also interesting -- are they infringement on rights or not? How do they compare to other safety provisions (pill bottles, saws, etc)? And from an engineering point of view, they are also interesting -- can engineering overcome gun owners' concerns? Chris' comment that the devil I typed in something along the lines of "child safety lock" and convenience and gun, or maybe "child safety lock" and "gun" and "law" - I really don't know - and found what looked to me like an ultra-convenient solution. It has nothing to do with the candidates, but I was curious whether a solution like this would mollify critics of child safety lock laws?

Trolling is stupid -- I don't think commenting here is going to change anyone's votes. Rand is a provocative guy, he attracts provocative commentors, and I'm interested in hearing what they think, especially in response to contrary thinking.

Leland, you've repeatedly attacked me personally and called me a troll. It is annoying, and I wish you'd either stop, or that I could resolve to ignore you completely, but also I wonder why you do it. I think it might be because your worldview doesn't include the idea that someone might be interested in talking to, and learning from, people who don't agree with him. What do you think?

Rand Simberg wrote:

Just for the record, Bob, I don't think you're a troll, and your comments are always welcome here.

Chris Gerrib wrote:

Bob - the problem with "child-proofing" guns is that they are mechanical devices - what will function on one weapon may not on another.

The safest gun is an unloaded one, and in environments like trap and skeet shooting, the weapon is kept unloaded until the shooter is ready to fire. This is obviously problematic for a self-defense weapon.

In general, I am okay with laws that state "guns shall be kept safe from children" and have a problem with laws that tell me how to accomplish that.

I don't own any "assault weapons," for the same reason I don't own a fishing pole - no use. And the big problem with an "assault weapon" ban is that true assault weapons (= "fully automatic") are already heavily regulated, so the ban ends up being based on cosmetic reasons.

McCain got a "C" from the NRA, so he's no knight is shining armor for gun owners. Since Palin as VP has no authority on what bills he signs, I'm not sure what relevance her positions have.

My original point, buried way up there, was that the Democrats aren't interested in gun control right now. It's not high on their agenda.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Since Palin as VP has no authority on what bills he signs, I'm not sure what relevance her positions have.

She would be a tie vote in the Senate on any related legislation that comes up. She also may end up with non-zero influence over McCain.

My original point, buried way up there, was that the Democrats aren't interested in gun control right now. It's not high on their agenda.

Of course not. At least not until they're back in power.

They've finally figured out that it's a losing issue for them (They lost the Congress over it, at least partially, in 1994, and it probably cost Gore the election in 2000 as well). It's not that they aren't interested, but that they have to at least pretend that they don't want to take away the guns, as Obama is doing.

Leland wrote:


You asked a question to elicit a response. You got the response the same way you asked the question. You then complain that everyone else is being rude, instead of addressing the comments you received. You then link to a website promoting a topic not being discussed by any candidate or person on this blog.

Now you are saying that you are interested in child safety locks. You are moving the debate to your topic (I say that's trollish).

I was curious whether a solution like this would mollify critics of child safety lock laws?
Perhaps you could have asked that question instead of:
I think it would be great if a McCain partisan followed up Chris's point and told us more about McCain's positions compared to Obama's.
Maybe you can see the difference in tone, and if not that, then at least see the difference in the question.

To answer your new question:
Both candidates support legislation to mandate gun manufacturers supply gun locks for new weapons.
From Obama's website (see Chris Gerrib's link):
Obama also favors commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. He supports closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof.
From Mccain's website (see my anon link):
John McCain believes that every firearms owner has a responsibility to learn how to safely use and store the firearm they have chosen, whether for target shooting, hunting, or personal protection. He has supported legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices such as trigger locks in product packaging.

IMHO, there is a world of difference between making guns "childproof" and requiring manufacturers supply trigger locks. For starters, the 2nd Amendment doesn't have an age clause. You might think the trite or trivial, but I know people who properly train their children in firearms at ages below 10 years old. Indeed, in Texas, there is a youth hunting license for person under 17 (no bottom limit to the age). Should a child, properly trained in firearm safety, not be allowed to handle a firearm? Moreover, should that be federally mandated?

I think Chris Gerrib makes my point on this, when he wrote:
I am okay with laws that state "guns shall be kept safe from children" and have a problem with laws that tell me how to accomplish that.

On the otherside, is it against the Second Amendment for manufacturers to supply trigger locks? I don't see how it is. Where I think one crosses the line is mandating that the trigger locks be installed and functioning, which is what the DC gun ban mandated. That is why Rand noted that Obama was for the DC gun ban, then changed his mind with the SCOTUS ruling. It's significant to note that Obama wants to mandate use of trigger locks. Mccain wants to mandate that they come with new weapons. Read another way, Obama retroactively wants people to have trigger locks for all firearms. Mccain is fine with only new firearms having trigger locks.

As for smartbullet? Besides being a bad idea, it also has nothing to do with either candidate's position. If you think it does, how about you provide your rationale. In the meantime, check out this video showing how a competitors system works in a revolver. Do you not see any risks with that?

Chris Gerrib wrote:

Leland - I read your two quotes from the candidates three times. I see very little daylight between them. The only difference in the quotes is Obama's statement about gun-show loopholes. (I know McCain was for closing that loophole, based on other actions.)

Apparently my reading comprehension's slipping again ;-)

Habitat Hermit wrote:

"favors commonsense measures" = non-specific, undefined, political loophole ripe for misuse, likely statist


"every firearms owner has a responsibility" = emboldened/strengthened status quo, delegating power to the individual (and responsibility thus implied threat of prosecution), much weaker possibility for misuse by the government, non-statist


"legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices" = concrete suggestion, non-intrusive, choice-based for each individual, implied recommendation and ease of improvement (easily implemented for all at marginal cost and effort)

At least that's how I read it.

Bias: somewhat limited experience (about 10 000 shots) and rusty but had nearly sharpshooter level (according to the Norwegian armed forces who are likely in lockstep with any NATO requirements) with sidearms, assault rifles, and submachine guns (listed in order of precision). Somewhat less with machine guns, and only a little bit of experience with bazookas and recoilless cannons. I don't own any guns and don't plan to for the foreseeable future --but a good solid/metal baseball bat is somewhere towards the bottom of my shopping list ^_^

Anonymous wrote:

Any moment Chris, I expect you to remind us about Obama's executive experience as Director of the Joyce Foundation, and how that is exactly like Palin's experience as Governor.


Leland wrote:

Now, I know I put my name on that one... I think preview is dropping the data.

Not so Bob wrote:

You need to do some more firearm safety device research. The company that you refer to has firearm safety devices that fire from the pistol as if they were projectiles or remain in the barrel after firing, causing a dangerous blockage condition (especially if a live round were to follow). How could one imagine these as being a firearm safety device. Sarah Brady would do more for the RKBA than a person who knowingly sells defective "Safety Devices" for handguns!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 8, 2008 5:25 AM.

Defending "Community Organizers" was the previous entry in this blog.

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