A grab-bag of Boxing Day thoughts on guns, gun control, and the law

So this thread is sort of meant to piggyback on eeyn's on the issue of Doing Something in the wake of the recent shooting. So, here's a general presentation of facts that we'll need to deal with in discussing firearm violence:


1) Homicides are at sixty-year lows. Seriously, our murder rate hasn't been this low since men wore dapper hats in public non ironically.


1a) America's homicide rates are generally way behind Western Europe and Canada, but ahead of the former USSR and developing world.


1b) Spree killings are horrifying, but statistically, they amount to a rounding error in tallying up the number of gun homicides.


1c) Something seems to have caused the number of spree killings to kick up recently, but it's hard to know because these events are rare enough that it's hard to figure out trends.


2) The framers of the Constitution pretty clearly intended the Second Amendment to apply to an individual right to own firearms.


2a) But they also intended this right to exist in an environment when all Military Age Males could be called on for militia service.


2b) Even in the days of the early Republic, militias were mustered by city and state governments and reported to the state government. Even a citizen militia reports to its state government.


2c) The days of those state militias are long-gone. These days the state militias have been replaced by the National Guard. Your average citizen doesn't report one weekend a month for drill and spend a month in summer training.


2d) All of which having been said, we still have an individual right to keep and bear arms that both recent legal scholarship and the courts have said is there.


2e) But even Scalia has said that an individual right can be regulated.


3) If you've argued for flexibility on the Fourth and Eighth Amendments and Establishment Clause, you can't really huff and puff with indigantion about the Second Amendment.


4) The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was, by the time it reached WJC's desk, largely based on cosmetic elements. If you want an effective ban on assault weapons, you'd need to basically outlaw any weapon in which the gas discharged by a round going off drove the bolt into position. But that ban probably runs into constitutional limits.


4a) There are already so many military-grade rifles in circulation that you'd basically need to confiscate existing weapons to have a ban be at all effective. And then you run up against the Constitution.


5) Since 1968, the manufacture of fully-automatic weapons for civilian use has been illegal. But in some states you can still own machine guns made before then, although they're subject to a strict licensing regime.


5a) You almost never see a spree shooting that happens with machine guns. Machine guns tend to be the preserve of the well-heeled hobbyist and stay out of the hands of the unbalanced. The level of regulation that applies to Class 3 weapons might be a good place to start for keeping guns safe and legal.


6) Any actual gun control legislation is a dead letter while the GOP controls Congress, so immediate calls to Do Something aren't going to go anywhere.


7) You can do a rather effective spree shooting with a bolt action rifle or pistol, but it does raise the threshold of competence for the would-be spree shooter.


8) Any proposal to train kindergartners to launch banzai charges at spree shooters or to give all teachers a 9mm is not an actual proposal but the conversational equivalent of a squid blowing ink.


Did I miss anything?

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Speaking Of The Law. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .much to my surprise, the death penalty remains on the books in India for "the rarest of rare" circumstances. A certain collection of (innocent until proven guilty) raping, murdering bastards may be finding that out the hard way. The cognitive dissonance the effort to do so (or failure to attempt to do so) generates should be fascinating to watch.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I'd be more than happy to see the perps swing


(But then, I'd generally prefer more hangings and firing squads--folloiwing a fair trial, of course--all around).

The death penalty is a poor deterrent. And this is avoiding the

mmghosh's picture

real issue of change in a violently patriarchal, reactionary and conservative society.



freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Chicago's grim milestone

Bird Dog's picture

500 homicides in 2012, the highest since 2008. Of that number, 87.5% involved firearms. For decades, Chicago has had one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. Perhaps Mayor Emanuel should think of other ways to address this failure that is happening under his watch.

In California, gun sales have risen while gun-related injuries have fallen.

More on the subject here. I thought this was interesting.

Using Ezra Klein’s logic, Brady’s “A”-graded, low-gun states should be the safest. But when collated with CDC firearms murder rates, an inconvenient correlation appears: more gun control, higher black homicide, lower Caucasian homicide.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009


HankP's picture

how many times do I have to explain that there are no internal borders in the US. That's why you see articles like Out of State Guns used in Most NYC Crimes and Georgia Big Source of Crime-linked Guns. Individual state laws won't change that unless you get all 50 states to agree to some minimum level of control, and there are some states that will never do that.


I blame it all on the Internet


Bird Dog's picture

There are federal minimums, just not as much as the gun grabbers want.

If Chicago were serious about cutting the murder rate, they would severely penalize those who possess and use firearms illegally. But they won't do that because of racial politics. The liberals in Chicago are making guns the boogeyman because they're afraid to incarcerate more black and brown people. The sad part is that Chicago's murder victims are mostly black. Through July of this year, 78% of those killed were African American but they only make up one-third of the population.

NYC's laws on guns are much more liberal yet the murder rate is one-third of Chicago's. NYC is serious about enforcing the laws they have, and are doing so with success. Rahm Emanuel's problem has to do with his failed law enforcement priorities and failed crime prevention tactics and failed efforts at stemming gang activity, not the Big Bad Gun Boogeyman.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

What a laugh


its funny your links don't mention New York city which has restrictive gun laws and just saw a record low in the number of murders. Now an honest discussion of this discrepancy would look at a number of different factors. Unfortunately honest doesn't seem to apply to your sources. For example the quote you included should probably note that the states with the lowest murder rates are mostly small and rural and only account for a tiny fraction of the US population.


If it was really interested in being honest it would also point out that when comparing New York to North Dakota that other factors such as the difference between large cities and rural areas might come into play.


Bird Dog's picture

NYC's gun laws aren't that restrictive, not like Chicago's decades-long ban on handguns. NYC requires registration and they ban assault weapons as well as clips with more than 10 rounds. Chicago pols are laughably short-sighted, trying to grab guns and failing to try other methods, such as the ones that worked in NYC such as stop-and-frisk. Bloomberg added some regulations in 2006 but fell well short of gun-grabbing.


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Not For Lack Of Desire To Do So

M Scott Eiland's picture

It would be more than fair to describe the demographic for "serious" gun-grabbing efforts to be "mostly Democrats, with a sprinking of RINO clowns like Bloomberg and David Frum."

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Another sad year-end obit...

Jay C's picture

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., USA (Ret.) dead at 78.


And unlike so many of his departed comrades, past and present Stormin' Norman at least went out with one unambiguous victory to his credit. The outcome of Desert Storm may have left as many questions as it answered, but they are unlikely to go on Schwartzkopf's account. 



One thing gun advocates don't want to admit


is that lots of legal gun owners are so fscking stupid they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near them. Things that I have personally seen.


1. Folks who think it's OK to knock back a few cold ones while using firearms are too dumb to be allowed to own guns.

2. People who fire guns without any regard to where the bullets are going to wind up are too dumb to own guns. (One of my family members has had bullets flying past their house on more than one occasion during hunting season).

3. Any adult without prior training who purchases a firearm without going through a safety course is to dumb to own guns. I don't care if they injure of kill themselves through stupidity but all to often someone else winds up paying the price.

4. People with young children who have unsecured firearms in their houses are too dumb to own guns.

5. People who want to convert a semi automatic weapon to full auto are to dumb to own guns. This was a common topic of discussion at a shooting club that once I belonged to and kit's and plans were not hard to come by.

I'm continually torn


In between thinking how silly it is for liberals who smoked weed in their 20s to talk about prohibition accomplishing anything, and what collosal small-dick-compensating idiots most 'Proud Gun Owners' tend to be.

One difference


if the guy down the road want's to smoke weed on his back porch it doesn't impact me at all. On the other hand if he spots a deer crossing his yard and decides to take a shot at it and misses that can impact me very easily. I'm not against gun ownership. Just irresponsible gun ownership.

Can I Vote for Floater? Is there Some Important Position He Can



...be appointed to by President Obama?


Somebody that has guns is being sensible.



Thanks Trav but I'm pretty sure


that I would make a lousy politician or government official.

How about FORVM moderator?

Jay C's picture

It can give you a chance to show off your tendencies to terroristic autocracy leadership skills in a fairly benign setting....

Moderator Elections are Due! Ha, Like Virgins to the Volcano...



....we sacrifice our best to parse out our sins of written commission. Sins of omission we keep to ourselves...lol


Actually, it seems to me that the Moderator position has in fact gotten easier...and this surprises me a  little. Things seem less crazy...


Of course being not in the moderator seat, I could be wrong in my perceptions in this regards.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Right on Schedule...


...a week or two after the election the place became collegial again.


But we did have a few rough patches before then.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.



Was just clarifying that prohibition is generally ineffective, regardless of it's merits.  


I don't see what prohibition accomplishes given how many guns are already out there and the desire for them.

Plenty of hobbyists who are armed to the teeth with knives,


bows, pistols, and bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles are perfectly decent law-abiding people. But they're not the ones out waving their surrogate dicks out in public.

I'd also add


that anyone who wants to use a rifle for home defense probably belongs in the Shouldn't Own a Gun category (since rifle rounds will, in general, travel right through the walls and doors of your average house).

Good thing you qualified that statement

brutusettu's picture

Some fine hard working taxpayers paying under 15% in taxes could have another wing of at least one of their houses that is a prime real estate for rifle based home defense.

The David Gregory lesson

Bird Dog's picture

If you outlaw 30-round clips, then only outlaws will have 30-round clips. The irony is delicious.

How perfect can you get? Mr. Gregory interrogates Mr. LaPierre on the subject of whether to ban a magazine that it is illegal for Mr. Gregory to display but apparently easy enough to acquire in time for a Sunday morning broadcast. So here we have a possible indictment that would be entirely nonsensical of a journalist who was trying to embarrass an NRA official over an ammunition ban whose impact would be entirely symbolic.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Your link is behind a paywall

HankP's picture

and it's not ironic, it shows how useless state (or district) level laws are because this kind of stuff floats across state borders all the time.


I blame it all on the Internet

They are useless for more reasons than that

Bird Dog's picture

One of those reasons being selective enforcement.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

How are they being selective?

HankP's picture

if they didn't open an investigation of Gregory, that would be selective. Or did you want them to just storm the studios with guns drawn?


I blame it all on the Internet

"Highly principled" calls for Gregory's arrest

brutusettu's picture



Bird Dog's picture

The authorities said don't do it, but he did it anyway. Yep, selective enforcement.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

You Are Missing Outright Confiscation...The Societal Will to...



...make important things happen.


It won't happen today, but it can happen over time and can be true tomorrow.


I am of the age when no one thought that Drunk Driving Laws could be changed, could be make effective, could pass constitutional muster.


I can no longer really practice DUI Law because they can't be won anymore.


We Only Need:


1. A organization like Mothers Against Drunk Driving


2. Passage of highly restrictive laws against Automatic hand guns and Assault type Rifles, revolvers, shot guns and long rifles are fine. Brand people who oppose as being in favor of the murder of 12,000 Americans every year. Let them scream like pigs, but call them the murder enablers they are.


3. When struck down by the Supreme Court Pass new laws exactly similar. Openly dare, year after year, for the Supreme Court to strike them down. After a decade of this, they will find a means and manner to uphold such laws. If not, then continue for another 10 years.


4. Convince women that it is their husbands, their sons, their daughters being murdered. What kind of mothers are they to allow this to continue?


5. Everyone needs to show a little courage. If a friend bitches about these proposed chances, make sure they cease to be a friend. Be vocal, be public, be open why you no longer will associate with this family of gun owners.



This is a long game we are looking at here, 25 years out, this is doable.


I hate to do the dreaming for you younger guys, but this is possible, this should be your dream.


Have I left anything out?


Best Wishes, Traveller






It won't happen, and it shouldn't happen

HankP's picture

because the cure would be worse than the disease. Unhappy about 4th amendment jurisprudence? This would dwarf that. It's just like laws against certain types of sexual acts, the powers you have to give to police to enforce it would make a Stasi officer smile.


We need registration and mandatory liability insurance. Also limitations on magazine size. That will take care of most of the problem. Then, as I've said before, we need something really simple. Have a policeman or sheriff just talk to someone applying for a carry permit for 15 minutes or so. Ideally an interview for everyone wanting to purchase a weapon.


It's not perfect, but we'll never get perfect. Just reasonable. If I've learned anything from our drug policy over the past 45 years or so it's that you don't want to make millions of people criminals. That's when the problems really start to get out of hand.


I blame it all on the Internet

Few things Hank,


First, here's a good reason why registration and licensing are opposed.  Lesson learned: Congratulations, here's your reward for complying with the law.  For the rest of you if you don't want this sort of information published then skip the permit and registration portion of firearm acquisition. 



'Have a policeman or sheriff just talk to someone applying for a carry permit for 15 minutes or so.'  States differ but I think the North Carolina model meets your intent.  It's not necessarily the police conducting an interview but a trusted agent with several hours of exposure to each applicant, I think that works.  It's a twofer, as there is a qualification requirement as well.  It's not a difficult qualification but those who fail really should not be licensed to carry a firearm in public. That being said, the standard is generally irrelevant, across the board carry permit holders aren't the problem regardless of the level of scrutiny they've received.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 


HankP's picture

looks like a useful tool for thieves to know where not to break and enter. Plenty of gun owners already post signs to the same effect in front of their homes.


I blame it all on the Internet

The 1st thing I thought when I saw that on the news was:

brutusettu's picture

Now buglers will have a better idea of who is not armed.


Moments later I was informed of the outrage by gun owners that people know there is a gun in the house.



I am confused on the outrage.


HankP's picture

We better tell Darth who's been stealing his paper clips.


I blame it all on the Internet

Damn you spell check!

brutusettu's picture

I better tap out before spell check bites me again.

Why is that a good reason Darth?


Are they embarrassed by their ownership of guns? I'm not. But if folks want the laws changed that allow for the information to be public they can certainly work towards that end through our political process. As for skipping the permit and registration part though I'm all for mandatory prison sentences if they get caught.

I'd suppose for the same reasons I don't


want all sorts of personal information about me in the newspaper.  I'm not embarrassed about my SSN, routing number, insurance policy numbers, alarm codes, license number, birth date, mother's maiden name, shoe size or brand of soap I use, that doesn't mean I'd like to see it published for all and sundry to digest.

Since the authority in question failed to safeguard information then a prudent person would have a completely rational hesitation in providing it.  Rather than take your suggestion to block FoIA, folks have worked through the political process to oppose registration, that is, not provide the information in the first place.  Nothing hard to understand here.  A state required information, the state flubbed and released it to the press, and we have a nice bright shiny example of what those sorts of laws can do for the law-abiding.  Sorry, this turd is in your guys' punchbowl.  Now you all have to push for registration when examples like the News Journal exist.  The odd thing is, it ought to be your side pushing for a block on FoIA in order to increase compliance.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

So hey just skip getting a drivers license right?


Or a social security card or any of the other things you mentioned. That's what you seem to have suggested gun owners do. But here's the thing. While you may not want your SSN or soap preferences to be public that information has no bearing on the safety of others. Drivers license's and firearms do. Sure I'm fine with putting tighter restrictions on government release of personal information but without knowing who has guns you can't take them from people who develop mental illness, commit crimes, engage in domestic violence or any one of a number of activities that IMHO should rule out firearms ownership.


The turd in your punch bowl (and it's a very large and smelly one) is that the gun lobby doesn't want to bear any responsibility for the costs to society of their desires.

No, not really. I'm suggesting gun owners


use the same political process you advocate be used, to avoid having laws imposed on them.  Laws that did nothing for the kids in Newtown while providing an easily accessible data base for irresponsible publishers in White Plains.  I'm not suggesting they roll back driver's license requirements or SSN any more than you are suggesting folks register baseball bats, sharp objects and various garden appliances. Now just the other day you said 'Try to base your assertions on what I've actually said and not on some fantasy about what you think I might say.' Have a change of heart?


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Darth maybe we can find some points of agreement


One thing that really bothers me is poor gun safety practices and the statistics on accidental shootings indicate that this is a problem in the US. My view is that it's an issue of both training and temperament. I think that a rigorous training course for anyone without a military or police background should be required. Right now in vast swathes of the country no training at all is needed to own a long gun and pistol permits are pretty easy to come by as well (concealed carry is not as easy). Temperament is harder of course since how does one judge?

Floater, then we wouldn't be blogging


When, I'm in an agreeable mood I spend time with the family.

OK, so let's just say we agree.  I'll get to whether I do or not in a few, but let's just say we agree.  What's the program?  Really most guns don't need to come with a whole lot of training.  Safe operation, loading, unloading and firing and an understanding of just how far the bullets go and what they'll penetrate. It could be a video that the owner gets when they buy the gun, maybe make them watch it in the store.  The manual for every gun I've bought pretty much lays all this out (though not the ballistics), flip it over and it's in Spanish.  A handout with pertinent laws signed before the gun is bought so the owner knows he's not buying something that may be illegal to use/own how he intends.  Any law should come with a strict safeguard against abuse.  No 160 hour courses only taught during leap years and the training should be applicable to the general population.  No high intensity room-clearing scenarios or any other crap that's designed to deny.

I could go for safe handling training in schools.  JKC and I chatted about this.  This is one where progressives need to push and stop acting like fundamentalists do toward rubbers.  Get it through the education wickets and I think you'll find no shortage of gun rights supporters willing to teach classes for free.

Ok, so do I agree?  Sure, but I also place this in perspective.  A person killed by a gun is no worse a thing than a person killed any other way.  We hear about the half of suicides with a gun, not so much the other half.  We hear about accidents, what 6-700 a year from firearms but 20k deaths because folks drive unsafely.  We're ok with weakly enforced modest fines (except for DUI) but when similar negligence is practiced by a gun owner you'd think the guy is Charles Manson.  Let a guy talk about buying an AK clone and he's an ape, but right here on this site we've had guys brag about driving cars at 2-3 times the speed limit and it was cool.  Perspective is missing from this debate.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Lets dispose of the statistical fallacy first


Since only about 1 person a year dies Base jumping that doesn't mean it's thousands of times safer than driving. Or that being an infantry soldier in Afghanistan is dozens of times safer than driving. Or that firearms use is 15 times safer than driving. People in the US spend vastly more time in cars than they do using guns so the direct comparison is meaningless. It also ignores the fact that outside of a few urban areas automobile transportation is a necessity for functioning in society while firearms use is not.


I agree that firearms safety training and licensing should not be overly onerous.  But the current status quo is that there is no training or licensing required at all in most cases. Plus outside of being convicted of a felony there is pretty much no way to lose your right to use guns. Contrast that with automobiles where training and licensing are required and you can lose your license in any one of a number of ways. Even if you're convicted of a felony there is no practical way in large parts of the US for the government to even know if you have guns.


The real lack of perspective comes on the part of the gun lobby. If you want to talk about fundamentalism you need to acknowledge just how far out the gun lobby is. Look at the push for legislation allowing guns in bars if you want an example of fundamentalism and insanity.


Floater, I can cut and paste this all day


'Try to base your assertions on what I've actually said and not on some fantasy about what you think I might say.'

Look, you asked if I could agree with some sort of training requirement.  I said I could but I suggested we ensure there's a proper sense of perspective  and you bring up base jumping.

I don't know much about the guns in bars laws.  Never really followed that but on the surface it sounds dumb.  I have found that when I thought the NRA was doing something stupid there often was a logic at work that doesn't make sense until you get into details.  I don't know if this is one of those cases or not.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Cutting and pasting is irrelevant



since these words are not my fantasy. It's what you actually said.


We hear about accidents, what 6-700 a year from firearms but 20k deaths because folks drive unsafely. 


All I was doing with the base jumping example is pointing out that the absolute number of accidents is not a good measure. One also has to consider the number of participants and how much time they spend engaged in an activity. That being said the number of firearms accidents has been trending downwards but I believe that a good part of that is due to mandatory hunter safety training. If I am right then mandatory training for gun ownership might be helpful as well.


The guns in bars laws generally say that you can't drink alcohol if carrying but it's still an awful idea. It's a crowded chaotic environment full of irrational people and even if someone has a legitimate reason to use their weapon the chances of hitting a bystander (or even hitting your target but having the bullet go through them and hitting someone else) are really high.

I disagree on the value of the absolute number


While 'pound for pound' any given activity may have a higher chance of danger I'd prefer to see that activity that has the highest probability of causing me and mine harm to be acted on first, if at all.  Again, I don't have a problem with the concept of requiring training though I might have a problem with the training required.  Whatever it is ought to be fast, easy and have the goal of instruction rather than to deny.  In the event a gun purchaser can immediately demonstrate safe handling; loading, unloading, disassembly, placing the firearm into operation and safe storage they are as 'safe' as any training would make them and should be able to forego any training requirement.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Abolute number depends on


the inherent risk of the activity and the number of people who engage in it and the time they spend doing it. More people drive or ride in automobiles than use firearms and they spend vastly more time in them so yes the absolute number will be higher. And once again let me point out that driving or riding in automobiles is not an elective activity for most people while firearms usage is so trying to compare the absolute numbers for the two does not make sense.


I will say that if a gun owner kills or injures themselves because of their own stupidity or lack of training I don't care. In fact I feel that way about most human activities. Do what you want it it only impacts yourself. If it can affect others then government may need to be involved. We do that with automobiles and require training and licensing. Gun owners misuse of their weapons can certainly have a big impact on others but very little licensing or training is required.


I think we have different views of the purpose of training. You want it to be fast and easy. I want it to be effective. Consider hunter safety training. In my state it will take you about 15 hours assuming you have no prior background (study for the written exam, take it and then a field exam). The purpose of the training is not to deny and the evidence is strong that it works. A firearms only course could be a little shorter so maybe one full day.

By the way Darth


One subset of gun accidents that has dropped rather dramatically over the last 20 years or so is hunting accidents. While I can't prove it I think a lot of that has to do with mandatory hunter safety training which has become common in many states. Texas for example instituted mandatory hunter training in 1988 and has seen a huge drop in the rate of hunting accidents since then.

Hey thats why I included a question mark


so that you could clarify what you meant. Because it did sound like you were suggesting that gun owners skip the registration process.


For the rest of you if you don't want this sort of information published then skip the permit and registration portion of firearm acquisition. 



No, not suggesting. I was recognizing that


the majority already appear to do so*.  Compliance works best/most when compliance is made easy and downsides are minimized.  I presume the state of New York, the counties in question and even the paper would prefer to see compliance with the law.  They just introduced a downside which seems to be in the opposite of their stated interests. 

*Mileage varies but I've seen estimates of 1/2 million to 3 million unregistered firearms in NYC alone. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You Can Own 2 Dozen Guns and Keep it Secret...lol


...why shouldn't a person looking to move into a house have the ability to know that two addresses down is a residence full of guns?


If you own guns, be proud...let people know, why not? I find this complaint to be odd. Gun people are treating what they have like pornography...(which, at some visceral level it is).





It's Worth Remembering. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .why California made it illegal for the DMV to release the addresses of drivers. Other than "guns are ICKY!", I can't see why the same reasoning wouldn't apply to gun owners, and the fact that gun grabbers are so cavalier about the problems involved with release of such information fully justifies intense resistance to registration, since they clearly can't be trusted to be responsible with the information.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

OF Course He Shot Here With a Gun! Like the Chief's Player


...and the Las Vegas shoot his girlfriend in the face in the Lobby that I linked. There are so many of these killings that I can't keep track.


But since you brought up the Rebecca Schaeffer murder by a deranged fan of hers, if the gun data base had been open and available she very well might not have been killed because she would have known the danger he presented. They had met before and she sent him away...when he returned, had she known he had guns, she would not have engaged in another conversation with Mr. Brado, who then whipped out his hand gun and shot her in the chest.


You example works contrary to your conclusion.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Wouldn't Have Been Near Her In The First Place Without The DMV

M Scott Eiland's picture

Which moots your argument. Here's hoping that any fatalities resulting from the despicable actions of the "journalists" in this case involve burglars catching a face full of lead.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Wrongo Again, Why Can't You Admit Bardo Should Never Have Had


...a gun?


I would be curious to know if his brother had been prosecuted, if not for murder, then aiding and abetting?


] Bardo's brother helped him get a Ruger GP100 .357-caliber handgun because he was underage at the time (Bardo was then 19).[10]


And how about the Private Investigator in Tucson? Maybe he could have deduced and had a duty to understand that this person standing in front of him was crazier than hell and that earning $25.00 was not worth it?


Learning that Theresa Saldana's stalker, Arthur Richard Jackson, had tracked Saldana's address via a private investigator, Bardo approached a detective agency in Tucson and paid them $250 to track Schaeffer's home address via California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records.[8]


I'll grant you publishing DMV records is not a good idea. I will not grant you that publishing Gun Data is a bad idea. However, it is to be noted that Bardo only went to the PI because security at CBS was very good. I think he would have found her on the street somewhere regardless. Having a gun was his ticket to mental intercourse with this poor woman. Not unlike the 10,000 domestic violence cases seen every year.


What you will never be able to grant is that people like Bardo should never have access to a gun and that people like Bardo's brother should be very publicly prosecuted as aiding in these kind of murders. Many avenues for easy access for guns need to be slammed shut and people that recklessly handle deadly weapons allowing others to be harmed need to be prosecuted.


Gun people don't want any kind of responsibility for the harm their fetish causes.



Lex Talionis

M Scott Eiland's picture

Imperfect justice at best, but I'm not particularly sympathetic to any complaints the employees have about it under the circumstances.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Yeah, me neither. It was a totally ridiculous thing


for the paper to do.  They aren't the first publication to do this sort of thing but the response across the web this time might keep this sort of idiocy to a minimum in the future.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I think the problem with the [redacted for civility]s who


published the list of gun owners isn't the registration as it is that an FoIA request allows them to get people's personal information and broadcast it to their whole readership. I entrust all kinds of information to city, county, state, and federal governments--and even folks like Blue Cross, for that matter--that I wouldn't exactly be happy to have available for the readings of Forvmites.

Mandatory in Person Live Registration, Mandatory Inusurance...


...hand gun trigger locks and you have me almost where I want to be.


Magazine size restriction and the banning of assault type rifles and I am there.


I don't want to make anyone criminals, but impressing on gun owners themselves the seriousness of what they have is more than half the battle.


I'll still hate guns, and my real interest isn't in the spree killings but the broader slaughter and accidental deaths across our society, especially in domestic violence situations and bar/driving aggression.


Best Wishes, Traveller

If it's to be done at all


I mostly agree that the steps you outlined is the way to do it.


While the drunk driving analogy is instructive, I think the applicability to gun control is limited.  I would say in terms of the resistance its likely to encounter, it's closer to prohibition in the sense that it buts up against practices people feel very strongly about.


  1. Everyone is afraid of drunk drivers, or they ought to be.  Losing control of a vehicle for whatever reason is a common enough experience that we can all appreciate the level of danger.  At least when we're sober.  Not so with guns.  If you live in a safe neighborhood, know your neighbors and never hear gunshots, the danger never really hits home.  This is why the Brady campaign doesn't have the clout of MADD.
  2. The insane balderdash coming from the NRA about putting armed guards everywhere is rooted in the (false) sense of security and empowerment that comes from possessing a firearm.  The Luntzian phrase "gun-grabbing" resonates because it stokes fears about the government taking away your right to defend yourself.  It would be analogous to mandating that all vehicle frames be made out of rubber so as not to injure other motorists.
  3. Lack of redeeming scenarios.  Nothing good every came from someone getting behind the wheel drunk.  Conversely, movies provide us with endless action sequence where the hero saves the day by shooting bad guys.

I do see at least incremental progress.  First, filibuster reform that will at least test the resolve of the obstructing minority.  Then a SCOTUS vacancy among the five to be filled by a Dem, which will only happen if Gillibrand can eke out a win against Rubio (I've already called the 2016 primaries).  It's brutal arithmetic: Scalia (the oldest) is unlikely to retire or die before age 80, which he will be at the end of Obama's term.  The Dem-friendly demos start to take their toll on congressional races.  Eventually something similar to the 1994 ban gets back on the books and survives court challenges.


Of course this all goes to hell in the more likely scenario that Rubio wins in 2016, because of incumbency fatigue and Rebublican advantages in resources and willingness to play dirty.  So who knows.

Pretty good diary Andrew. Miss anything?


I'd say the only thing left off was mention of the thousands of gun control laws already in existence.  I keep hearing the quote of 22k laws but I really don't know what the number is.

5a) You have to lay your logic out.  I'd suggest the reason you don't see a very expensive and rare weapon used in fairly rare sorts of killings is because they are a very rare and expensive weapon matched up against a rare sort of killing.  I don't know what else is to be learned from that. 

4a) drop 'military grade', they aren't.  You covered military grade in 5)

That's about it really.


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

My thinking is that if you're the sort of imbalanced


person who'd want to empty several magazines worth of rounds into a crowd of bystanders, then a Class 3 weapon would really appeal to you. I mean, yeah, firing as fast as you can pull the trigger would appeal to most loons, but the urge to actually hose people with machine gun fire would probably be greater.


As for saying "military grade," I know that an AR-15, AK-47 knock-off, etc. that you'd buy legally don't have a selector switch to fire on burst or full auto, respectively, but otherwise it's the same weapon that a grunt in Afghanistan or Taliban fighter carries.

Yeah but look at what we're saying


1. Fully automatic weapons are easy to make.

2. Automatic weapons should appeal to loons who want to do a lot of damage. 

3. Many of the loons have prepared well in advance.

4. We're not seeing a lot of loons (if any) going on killing sprees with fully automatic weapons. 

I guess how I see this is that one of these statements has to be wrong in order for Class 3 restrictions to be a bigger factor than my supposition that the case is really long odds against rare subset of weapon being used in a rare crime. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

If it's not the restrictions, then, what factor


might it be? I can think of a couple of possibilities:


1. Both the ownership of Class 3 weapons and the conversion of semi-automatic rifles to fire on full auto tends to be the work of the truly dedicated hobbyist. The spree killer whose upset that girls would never talk to him might steal an AR-15 or pick one up from Wal-Mart, but he's not going to actually do the work in his garage that converts the weapon.


2. You can actually kill more people with a semi-automatic weapon. Just spraying with an automatic weapon is going to put holes in the ceiling rather than schoolchildren. Maybe the potential spree killer knows this and opts for more bodies rather than Scarface-level theatricality?

I'd add 5b) Many


I'd add

5b) Many semiauto rifles and pistols can be easily and cheaply modified to full-auto.

Yeah, forgot about that


It's trivially easy to modify an AR-15, AK-47 (and its variants), etc. to fire on full auto if you know what you're doing. Which leads me to suspect that the serious hobbyists--who are also the sorts of people who'd also have a machine shop in the garage that could modify the bolt and selector switch of an AR-15--aren't the ones that we have to worry about with things like spree killings.

Andrew, between us we left out something possibly important


Background checks do correlate with the decline in the homicide rate.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome.