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Bloomberg’s Big Money Campaign For Gun Background Checks

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new $50 million dollar push for gun control. We’ll look at the plan to take on Washington and the gun lobby.

In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks a news conference in New York where he and dozens of shooting survivors and victims' relatives called on Congress and President Obama to tighten gun laws and enforcement. The former New York mayor, a billionaire and advocate of firearms regulation, plans to spend $50 million this year setting up a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling gun-control supporters to the polls. (AP)

In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks a news conference in New York where he and dozens of shooting survivors and victims’ relatives called on Congress and President Obama to tighten gun laws and enforcement. The former New York mayor, a billionaire and advocate of firearms regulation, plans to spend $50 million this year setting up a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling gun-control supporters to the polls. (AP)

The NRA makes American politicians fearful at election time if they’ve voted for any restraints on guns.  Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to make them quake if they don’t.  Americans overwhelmingly want background checks for gun buyers, says Bloomberg.  Now he’s partnering with like-minded moms who want fewer guns in the hands of killers.  And he’s putting $50 million into a campaign this year to push that change.  To try to counterweight the NRA.  Will it work?  This hour On Point:  a billionaire, angry moms and the push to build a gun control lobby bigger than the NRA.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Donna Leinwand Leger, breaking news reporter for USA Today. (@DonnaLeinwand)

Shannon Watts, co-founder, with Michael Bloomberg, of Everytown for Gun Safety. (@shannonrwatts)

Steve McMahon, Democratic strategist and media consultant. Co-founder of Purple Strategies. (@McMahonDEM)

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. (@larrypratt)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Bloomberg pledges $50 million to battle NRA –”Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is pledging $50 million to a new lobbying group aimed at undercutting the NRA’s political power in Washington. The money will go to Everytown for Gun Safety, which will launch a get-out-the-vote campaign to mobilize voters who support tougher gun-control laws.”

POLITICO: Michael Bloomberg plans $50M gun effort – “Bloomberg said both parties need to be convinced that the American public supports background checks. ‘And it isn’t gun control. This is simply making sure that people that everybody agrees should not be allowed to buy a gun — criminals, minors and people with psychiatric problems — make sure they can’t buy guns.’

CNN: We will fight the NRA with common sense — “In fact, the NRA’s reputation for political strength is wildly blown out of proportion and the election results from three statewide contests in Virginia this past November reflect that reality. Candidates who spoke out in support of common sense gun violence prevention policies were elected as governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. In the attorney general’s race, his campaign manager said that the candidate’s support for sensible stances on gun issues was a major factor in his victory.”

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  • HonestDebate1

    $50 million targeted at law abiding gun owners (NRA), terrific.

    • Ray in VT

      So this is “targeting” the NRA? Good to know. It must be a terrible injustice to attempt to buy a gun and be checked to see if one has some sort of criminal or psychological issue that would not permit one to purchase a gun. This is awful.

      • HonestDebate1

        ”Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is pledging $50 million to a new lobbying group aimed at undercutting the NRA’s political power in Washington.”

        • Ray in VT

          Source? Also, I don’t have a problem with someone combating the millions of dollars that the gun industry is dumping into the political process, which even derails widely popular issues like expanding background checks. What we have with the NRA is a private entity, closely tied to the gun manufacturers, which has managed to instill enough fear in elected leaders that they fear to back measures that have overwhelming public support.

          • HonestDebate1

            Source?

            Just scroll up a bit.

          • Ray in VT

            I rarely read the snippets.

          • John Cedar

            Did you seriously just say, “source?”?

      • John Cedar

        Ranks up there with having to show ID to vote.

        • Ray in VT

          Nobody ever killed a bunch of people with a ballot, unless you know of a case.

          Background checks have prevented hundreds of thousands of sales to people who were not allowed to purchase them. Most of the big “cases” of improper voting, such as in South Carolina, have been spurious. Background checks also don’t cost people who are attempting to buy a gun. IDs can often cost significant time and money, but seeing as how many of those pushing voter IDs lose the poor vote, then that may not matter to them.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Background checks have prevented hundreds of thousands of sales to people who were not allowed to purchase them.”

            How is that possible if we don’t have them? Tell me more about this new and novel idea you call “background checks”.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that you have done some thorough research on the matter. The idea has been around for a while, but maybe it is one of the many things of which you are unaware.

          • HonestDebate1

            “It must be a terrible injustice to attempt to buy a gun and be checked to see if one has some sort of criminal or psychological issue that would not permit one to purchase a gun.”

            As if.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. Such people never try to walk into stores and buy guns legally.

          • jefe68

            After reading this exchange one has to wonder how far into the realm of absurd analogies the right wingers are willing to go.

  • Michiganjf

    Amazing how such a relatively rinky-dink outfit like the NRA has kept politicians cowering for decades, WAY OUT OF LINE with the desires of a vast majority of Americans.

    It’s about time someone had the courage to take on NRA MONEY and the GUN-SELLING LOBBY!!

    Money is the ONLY language most politicians speaks, so “target” them where it hurts!

  • HonestDebate1

    Well, he’s off to a rousing start. What’s wrong with this picture? h/t Blaze

    http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/10153116_491469427642417_8890481117965615563_n-563×620.jpg

    • Matt MC

      Maybe the cartridge had its own cartridge. Lay off, he’s new at this!

      • John Cedar

        When AlGore is on his private jet he is faster than some bullets.

      • HonestDebate1

        Sorry, it’s my nature.

      • Don_B1

        No, since “The Blaze” is Glenn Beck, he is just lazy, and used the first picture of a “rifle bullet” he could find.

        • hennorama

          Don_B1 — psssst … the graphic is by everytown.org, and not TheDimness.com.

    • Roy-in-Boise

      This is a good example of why the anti-gun folks get little traction. Their collective lack of knowledge on the technicalities of weapons and how they work often distracts from their presentation. The brass casing which holds the powder and primer does not fire from the barrel of the firearm as this graphic depicts..

      • hennorama

        Roy-in_Boise — while you indeed have a point, artistic license is applicable here.

        • J__o__h__n

          Not really as it detracts from the message by its stupidity. In addition to not understanding bullets, their grasp of the legislative process is wanting.

          • hennorama

            J__o__h__n — Thank you for your response.

        • brettearle

          [There will be Grahams]

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        I don’t know if it is a “good example” but I agree, it would make sense for anyone hoping to sway opinion in an argument to do so with an accurate depiction.

        OR, this is new technology: 2 stage ammunition. Imagine how fast that bullet will be moving after the powder in the second casing explodes! ;-)

    • Arkuy The Great

      Recalls this oldie but goodie. ;-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2sAFHBptJE

  • Matt MC

    As long as one group of rich people are guilty about their absurd wealth, and one group enriches themselves at all costs, we will have a healthy, balanced democracy.

  • John Cedar

    The level of hypocrisy by the left and MSN is just mind numbing on this issue.
    All the crying we heard about Citizens United and Koch Bros.
    But this giant political contribution by Bloomie is just fine with them.

    • OnPointComments

      If liberals think it’s great that Bloomberg is spending $50 million on gun control, and it’s great that Steyer is spending $100 million on global warming, but it’s terrible that the Koch brothers are spending their money, they’re not against big money in politics, they’re against free speech.

      • Cutler Hamilton

        Nah. Most of us think it’s sickening that we have to watch this type of process play out in order for any issue to be a factor in society’s lives. Money does not and should not equal free speech. That is the whole issue behind Citizens United and McCutcheon. The only reason why SuperPACs exist now is because five conservative justices on SCOTUS believe that corporations are people and money equals free speech without the ability to corrupt. If you guys believe that, then you probably also believe that money is the best thing since sliced bread.

      • notafeminista

        But they are all about control.

        • Don_B1

          And you are all about “right [money] makes right” and all the chaos and injustice of the mythical “wild west.”

          Never mind that, soon, if the path of the right is not stopped, democracy will exist only on paper and not in anyone’s real lives.

      • skelly74

        Lets regulate free speech also. Actually lets regulate all the Amendments according to economic power and influence.

    • brettearle

      What choice does someone like Bloomberg have?

      Fight fire with fire–by playing by Existing Rules–or allow the slaughter to continue?

  • geraldfnord

    Oddly, I don’t think my countrymen inherently much more violent by nature than other countries’, so I think our much higher rates of violence has a lot to do with its being easier to do effectively, and that’s at which guns are good.

  • notafeminista

    May be time for the Left to admit they don’t find it objectionable to dump millions of dollars into the political process for causes which they support because they perceive their actions to be the best for everyone – they, after all, do know better.

    • Ray in VT

      The public already is in favor of things such as background checks. Perhaps this move will bring politicians in line with the public’s desires, as opposed to the desires of the gun lobby. One must fight fire with fire.

      • notafeminista

        And there it is. We know better than you do. Let us make your choiices for you.
        Will Senator Reid decry former Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts with the same vigor as the Koch Bros”?
        Not. a. chance.

        Maybe that’s how a “rinky dink outtit” like the NRA has kept politicians “cowering for decades”. Perhaps the “public’s desires” aren’t as in line with yours as you think.

        • Ray in VT

          An interesting read. I want to make “choiices” for you? Here I thought I was looking to even the playing field and make the politicians more responsive to the public and not a well financed, but numerically fairly small, lobby group.

          • notafeminista

            What on earth makes you think I need the playing field leveled?

          • Ray in VT

            True. Many people prefer to play on a slanted field, just so long as it is slanted in their favor.

          • notafeminista

            Funnier you think you need to do that for someone else though.

          • Ray in VT

            Someone has to. Maybe the free market will take care of it, though. Then no one will need to act.

          • notafeminista

            LIke the Left would ever allow that to happen.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, let’s get Bloomberg’s money out of the equation, and let’s get the NRA and their money out as well. Then we’ll see if something with the sort of support background checks can get through Congress.

          • notafeminista

            …and what if we don’t?

          • Ray in VT

            If we don’t what?

          • brettearle

            Excellent point.

            The President’s exasperation–in trying to pass legislation after Newtown–would
            never have occurred, without the Lobby and the Money and without the Political Influence.

            A number of Congressional members, otherwise, would have thrown their support behind the post-Newtown measures.

            Truly sad, when you consider that the nation had just endured a monstrous Tragedy [that was to be repeated, again and again, thereafter].

          • Don_B1

            Particularly since it is currently tilted in your direction.

        • J__o__h__n

          He should. If Bloomberg successfully targets Democrats in swing states, Reid won’t be majority leader.

        • brettearle

          There is no greater organization, which espouses Self-Righteousness, than the NRA.

          • notafeminista

            Except the entire Democratic Party.

          • Ray in VT

            Or that major leg of the GOP, namely the Religious Right.

          • notafeminista

            Or the entire – entire Democratic Party. Not one faction of it, not one portion of the politically Left spectrum. All of it.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. All of it. Every single one. No broad brush over simplification there.

          • notafeminista

            Seems like I just read something about fighting fire with fire?

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, which is why I mentioned the Religious Right. Just fighting your fire with my fire.

          • notafeminista

            Took ya a minute though.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed it did. I don’t hang on every word posted, and I question the worth in responding to comments such as yours.

        • PeterRodes

          To notafem: We are not saying “We know better than you do.” We are saying the majority of the American people know better.

        • Jill122

          The public as you call us, are NOT getting what we want. Have you checked out Congress’ approval ratings lately? The only people getting what they want in this society are the people with big bucks. The NRA may have convinced you that unrestricted gun ownership is what the 2nd amendment is about. Maybe back in the 50s the Marlboro Man told you that you really wanted a cigarette. Maybe now Sara Lee has you wrapped around her cake. Who knows?

          It’s not about one group knowing more than another. Turn off your TV, turn off your radio, sit down in a quiet room and ask yourself, do I want anyone in this country to have access to a gun? If not, what would I do about it? If yes, then you’re livin’ the dream (which includes Columbine, VA Tech, Aurora, Newtown, 62 mass shootings since 1986, 7 in 2012 alone).

          • notafeminista

            I don’t own a television and I prefer my playlist to commercial radio.

          • Don_B1

            You might find more than some support in an academic paper by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, linked here:

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/class-oligarchy-and-the-limits-of-cynicism/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body

            though couched in a broader context of the effectiveness of representative government when those with gobs of excess money can use it to get those elected to vote their way in opposition to the “will of the majority.”

            Professor Krugman’s post does not go into the absolute truth, with witch I think he would agree, that an elected representative should, and, if they are to perform their best service for the country, at least occasionally support laws that are not supported by their voters.

            One such issue that Democrats needed to support was further stimulus after the passage of the ARRA in February 2009. And doing that would have exposed them to the pushback which the huge economic innumeracy of the American public would accept.

            But Americans need to be open to learning about new issues on all their complications, which so many simply do not have the time or inclination to do the necessary work. It reminds me of the John Wooden quote: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

            And that quote applies to the radical right trolls here in spades.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The public also supports the Keystone pipeline and investigations into IRS abuses.

        • Ray in VT

          At rates close to 90%, as background checks have been polled at? The public also want clearer disclosures about money in politics, for instance.

          What you mentioned are also not laws. Ole’ Darryl is investigating away, yet links showing political direction of IRS actions from on high have not been discovered. Like with the Benghazi “investigations”, I think that this is a lot of smoke and little fire.

  • AnneDH

    It is my humble (mother’s) opinion that if a person or persons want to take out some human beings, they will find a way. Maybe gun control and background checks will slow them down, but they will eventually reach their goal (maybe being slowed down will make them even more lethal).

    • brettearle

      Anne–

      A crazed individual is going to be much more reluctant, in my view, to wield baseball bats in a Mall.

      • AnneDH

        Agreed. If determined enough, they will find out which households have guns & help themselves to them. Or make a bomb or two. That’s the point I was trying to make.

    • hennorama

      AnneDH — while that may be the case, the ease of use of firearms, combined with their accessibility, speed, range, etc., makes them more attractive as a means to both threaten and harm others, if one is so inclined.

      In addition, firearms are also a frequent means of suicide, some of which might be prevented or delayed without easy access to firearms.

      • AnneDH

        Please see my response to Jill.
        As for suicide, I will now speak as one with a history of suicidal depression: no gun? Well, there are many other ways.

        • hennorama

          AnneDH — Thank you for your response.

          I understand your point, as indicated in my having written “while that may be the case…”

    • Jill122

      20 children hurt by a young man with two knives. Just happened last week.

      26 people dead at the hands of a young man with 2 guns. Just happened a year ago.

      Dear mother — 20 hurt or 26 dead. You choose.

      • AnneDH

        I know I came across as against gun control- I am very much for it. I am only trying to make the point that people will still be able to get their hands on guns or turn to home-made bombs just because the guns & recipes exist.

        • PeterRodes

          AnneDH, how do you explain the much lower rate of gun violence in the UK?

          • AnneDH

            What comes to mind for a response is the fact that the UK is so much physically smaller than the US, thus crime prevention is just plain easier. Maybe I’m wrong, but this is my gut feeling.

          • Jill122

            The statistics are not about the size of the country, they are about per capita deaths per 100,000 persons. We still need that “human” who pulls the trigger.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that some definitely would turn to other means, especially the committed. However, I think that guns are easy to use and pretty readily available, so some, in high pressure situations, will turn to them out of convenience. I think that it is far easier to pull a trigger than to use a blade on someone (psychologically speaking).

          I think that gun owners also need to be more responsible with the firearms that they have in their homes. The number of people who leave loaded guns around is shocking to me. I don’t leave my weapons loaded, and my father never did.

        • Don_B1

          So does that mean that you leave sharpened knives around for your children, if any, to fight with, rather than the piece of wood, rock, or pins?

          Even the knives have uses other than killing, but guns have little use beyond threatening killing or actually killing.

          But their use is valued for hunting and target sports, and should not be kept from anyone who can show they can use them responsibly. But part of that responsibility means that they should willingly take the few minutes to demonstrate that they do act responsibly.

          But the possession of military weapons because they exist means that police need even more powerful weapons, and are now trained in military tactics to counter potential criminals who have access to weapons that are only useful in killing other humans. So now every member of this society is threatened by indiscriminate weapon use, by both civilians and police in the growing war between those parts of our society.

          One of the measures of a government’s ability to enforce the law is possession of the strongest force, the ability to bring to heel all those who would use force to oppose it. So the radical right’s conceit that it needs to possess weapons to keep their “freedom” is just a conceit which it will never be able to do through “force of arms.” But it will make everyone’s life less safe in their Quixotian attempt to achieve their fantasies.

  • J__o__h__n

    Weakening Democratic candidates in swing states is not going to result in gun laws more to Bloomberg’s liking.

  • OnPointComments

    Anytime there is a tragedy like Newtown, liberals typically propose a solution, usually involving government intrusion, that wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy if the solution had been in effect before the tragedy.

    • brettearle

      Who says that government regulation couldn’t, theoretically, do background checks on families where severe Mental Illness exists?

      Such measures might prevent future Newtowns.

      And such measures, had they been in place before Newtown, might have prevented Newtown.

  • Michiganjf

    The difference is the KOCH BROTHERS represent a FREAK minority with totally unreasonable, dangerous goals… on the other hand, Bloomberg is pushing for the balanced representation of the VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS and SANITY!

    Is the distinction so difficult that you can’t point it out yourself, Tom?

    Oh yeah… you must give equal time to the fanatical minority view… naturally.

    • notafeminista

      See? You justify it by making the Koch Bros freaks. You MUST know better than they do.
      I thought the Left was all about minorities, no?

      • Michiganjf

        Yes, my main point is how the Koch Brothers are freaks… brilliant, as usual.

        • notafeminista

          Then you missed your own point apparently.

      • brettearle

        Your anti-Left agenda forces you to adopt a distorted bias that twists words into literal interpretation–that is a noticeable departure from what the commenter meant.

        • notafeminista

          He didn’t mean the minority were freaks? Or did he mean he supported the Koch Bros and their efforts?
          Pffft.

          • Jill122

            The minority are not freaks. They have an unrealistic view of “rights” under the 2nd amendment (and some here believe that all the other rights are unrestricted, which also isn’t true).

            Not many support the Koch Bros either — at least when they understand that their only raison d’etre is to keep their own taxes very low and to continue to extract and peddle carbon loaded resources until the last drop is extracted from the planet. Everything else is just fluff. Most people in this country want background checks for all guns sold in this country. We believe that some deaths by gunshot will be stopped as a result.

    • Thinkfreeer

      Yeah, I’m sure a billionaire is interested in representing the vast majority of Americans (NOT).

    • Don_B1

      The Koch brothers probably don’t care about guns, except that they find it a convenient issue to distract from the policies their elected minions will vote in their favor on. They want the tax write-offs and deregulation which will allow them to continue to extract more and more money from the economy without doing any more for the 99% than is absolutely necessary, and they probably don’t care what happens to that 99% as long as they don’t oppose their rentier actions.

  • Thinkfreeer

    Your guest claims that the existing federal and state laws on guns are “unbelievably lax.” This is far from the truth.

    • jefe68

      Depends on the state.

    • brettearle

      Prove it.

  • Phyllis Craine

    I have one comment: just take a drive on Rte 66 west heading out of DC to Fairfax and the NRA’s complex is right by the highway. It is HUGE, as big as any Fortune 100 corporate headquarters. The NRA has more than money – they have resources, infrastructure and several thousand employees. A group of volunteers cannot fight the Firearm Industrial Complex unless it mobilizes and scale up to the NRA’s level as an organizational force. (and I support this initiative btw)

    • notafeminista

      So does the NEA, the SEIU and the Mornon Church. Your point?

      • Phyllis Craine

        Evidently you didn’t read my comment

        • notafeminista

          Never mind.

        • Don_B1

          Asking any of the radical right to respond directly to a point is like asking cows to jump over the moon.

          • brettearle

            Although if they are CIA special forces cows–equipped with Strontium 90 Dairy–they may be trying to prevent the Russians from reclaiming the dark side of the Moon

    • hennorama

      Phyllis Craine — you might be correct. However one can point to the impact that organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving have had.

      • Phyllis Craine

        I sure hope so, however the NRA also has a budget of $231 million dollars so Bloomberg will need a lot more dinero than $50 million

        • Don_B1

          Any real hope of making inroads on the NRA’s power lies in the possibility of ALL the groups arguing for the responsible use of guns to get together on a common approach that does not demonize gun owners while appealing to their desire and need to act responsibly in using guns, and the need to establish guidelines for that responsible use.

          There are efforts from groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns and groups against gun violence to work together using such an approach. Senator Chris Murphy (D, CT) is a leader of this effort.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I’ve said it before:
    The NRA does NOT represent even close to a majority of the voting population. Even if EVERY member is old enough to vote, it is less than 2%.

    This effort to get ALL politicians to recognize this fact can nullify the threat by the NRA to derail a candidate’s run for office simply because they do not toe the NRA line.

    The majority of people do not believe that all guns should be taken from all people. But there are reasonable checks and balances that will reduce gun violence. Yet the NRA is knee jerk against anything along those lines.

    • notafeminista

      And still I thought the Left was all about minorities.

      • Don_B1

        The left is for justice for all, not just a few. If those who want to trample other people’s rights through intimidating use of guns, such as the Nevada rancher who wants to steal money from the U.S. government and thus all other American taxpayers by aiming sniper rifles at legitimate law officers, are allowed to succeed, the American democracy experiment will be lost, just as the Russian-speaking groups in Ukraine are trying to subvert the legitimate government in Kiev.

  • Thinkfreeer

    It is NOT common sense to willingly become a victim of violence. That is what gun carrying people are trying to defend against. If you say we can’t do that, you are removing a basic human right.

    • Don_B1

      The level of violence is actually increased as more guns are carried and people are given the impression that they can settle disputes with a gun, either through the intimidating display or actual use of gun(s).

      As just one example, some five years ago, the state of Missouri removed all requirements for gun checks for purchases and have seen a 15% to 20% increase in gun violence (deaths) while the neighboring states have seen close to a 10% drop in gun violence.

      A second example is the increased use of guns in states with “Stand Your Ground Laws” which seem to apply only to white men, not minorities or, particularly, minority women, when you consider the outcomes at trial.

  • Scott B

    The NRA used to be about gun safey and marksman ship. Now it’s about being shill for gun makers. They almost drove one classic American gun maker, Smith & Wesson, into bankruptcy when S&W tried to make their clips proprietary, so that the high capacity clips and magazines from older guns, and guns with intetchangablel clip, couldn’t be used.

  • hennorama

    Background checks are supported by the vast majority of Americans, as well as owners of firearms. Per the third item on “Tom’s Reading List”:

    Ninety percent of all Americans — and more than 80% of gun owners — believe that all people should be subject to such checks

    • wysoft

      There are already federally-mandated background checks on all commercial firearms sales, and all inter-state transfers of firearms between private individuals.

      The issue at hand for “universal background check” bills is whether or not private sales should be allowed at all between two individuals without a background check via a middle-man who can conduct the NICS background check, typically a middle-man consisting of a Federal Firearms Licensee.

      The carefully-worded Quinniapiac study that is often referenced to achieve the 90% figure, simply asked “Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?” – a rather vague question that suggests to respondants that background checks either exist, or do not, and that there is no grey area in between.

      http://www.quinnipiac.edu/images/polling/us/us04042013.pdf

      Meanwhile, criminalizing private sales remains practically impossible as far as enforcement is concerned, and many of the UBC bills that would criminalize private sales, are so poorly-worded that they make felonies or misdemeanors out of simple and common actions such as allowing a friend to shoot your gun out in the woods, gifting a firearm to a close friend or relative, or allowing a friend to borrow your hunting rifle.

      You can see why some people that are familiar with the actual laws and the proposed “solutions,” don’t immediately support UBCs as commonly proposed.

      • Don_B1

        Your complaints about the proposed regulations for transfer of ownership between “private citizens” would appear to also apply to the similar transfer of ownership of automobiles but that does not seem to have any traction there.

        I think that your argument is thus both invalid and specious, built to appeal to those who don’t question its assumptions.

        • wysoft

          The comparison to automobiles is largely null. There are no laws against conducting a private sale of an automobile that is not intended to be used on public roads. If you want to license the vehicle for use on public roads, that is where you will need to conduct a title transfer, bill of sale, etc.

          It may not be common where you live, but out west, many “farm trucks” never leave private property and are thus never registered or licensed, and often sold privately without the state’s involvement.

          Nevertheless, the existence of a large criminal black market in stolen guns will continue on regardless of the introduction of “universal background check” laws criminalizing private sales conducted without a background check.

          That is the ultimate target of UBC laws, despite the fact that UBC laws are practically unenforceable with regards to their intended target.

          I do not suspect the local crack dealer will be asking their customer to submit to a background check before buying a stolen Glock.

      • hennorama

        wysoft — thank you for your thoughtful response.

  • hellokitty0580

    I think it’s always important to have counterpoints to such large contingencies, such as the NRA. We have a serious violence issue in this country and guns and gun promoters are not helping. I think we need a group of people helping protect the innocent from guns. It’s time. I applaud Bloomberg. There are many things I don’t agree with Bloomberg on, but I can get behind him on this.

  • hoshiar1003

    I applaud Mr. Bloomberg and Shannon Watts for their passion and efforts to curb the epidemic of gun violence in USA. What is needed is a strong grass root organization to counter the NRA obsession with guns and intimidation of politicians.

  • Yar

    The political power of polarization. By reducing people into single issue voters, their voice is actually away to elect leaders that serve them. Life is more complicated than guns, abortion, marriage equality, or any other single issue. Is Mayor Bloomberg trying to build his own political power through this ‘single issue’? We need to move away from polarizing politics and also get away from big money elections, this is done by having real conversations away from all the yelling of polarizing politics! Social media can counter big money in politics, the current power structure knows that their position is precarious and they fan the flames of polarization to keep us from communicating with each other. Tom, you are part of the problem in your choice of single issue topics. How about a series of shows on how everything is related.

    • brettearle

      You may be on to something: something important, perhaps, that needs to be reemphasized and reemphasized.

      Please focus your presentation.

      As Chris Lydon would say, “Put it on a Bumper Sticker”.

      [I don't mean this, necessarily, literally, of course.]

  • Ray in VT

    I was reading some reaction in New York state’s SAFE Act, and a decent amount of the reaction against the law was this fear of confiscation by the government.

  • Ray in VT
    • Don_B1

      I am glad you provided the explicit reference link to the point I made in response to thinkfreeer earlier in this program thread.

      • Ray in VT

        I can’t remember on what website I originally saw this story referenced, but the story did stick in my mind.

  • MrNutso

    What might the IRS political views be?

    • Che Bianchi

      Trouble is MrNusto neither you nor I know about the IRS and what the do nor think.

  • Ray in VT

    Mr. Pratt is pushing some pretty questionable information.

    • Che Bianchi

      So is Ms Watts and Tom

      • Ray in VT

        If so, then not nearly to the same degree.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    I would like Shannon to explain exactly how her proposal for background checks would work and how it can do so without gun registration. Specifics please.

  • Che Bianchi

    Tom, we do not call for the same restrictions on speech or religion, why pick out one right and destroy it? Tom and Ms. Watts do not love my freedom, they are tyrants and have an evil agenda.

    • Jill122

      We DO have restrictions on free speech AND religion. You cannot say anything you want — “fire” in a crowded room is NOT permitted because it will harm the general public. You cannot libel and slander someone without paying lots of $$$$. As for religion, would you like to explain to the Mormons why and how their religious freedoms have been abridged? How about those who come here from a culture where a girl must be stoned to death for infidelity or mutilated to be considered pure?

      • Che Bianchi

        FIRE!!!

        • Don_B1

          Just don’t try it in a dark, crowded theater, at least not when I am there, unless you really want your “freedom” restricted for a nice period of time to enable you to reflect on your life.

          Even Justice Scalia admits that the right to possess and use firearms can be Constitutionally restricted.

    • brettearle

      Anything that, potentially, can be proven to be a threat to society, is susceptible to having its Rights squelched.

    • warryer

      Once one of the amendments is altered, you have precedent to alter all of the others.

  • Che Bianchi

    Background check your Free Speech, Ms Watts???

    • Jill122

      There are limitations on free speech. You can’t say anything you want.

      • brettearle

        You’re right and he’s wrong.

        There are restrictions on what we can necessarily say.

        What’s more, for one thing, we are all compromised, legitimately and illegitimately, by government commitment to security.

        • Che Bianchi

          You like free speech brettearle? You may know the law but you don’t know freedom. Limit yourself but back off on limiting me.

          • Ray in VT

            So a background check to see if you are not a convicted felon, for instance, is a limit on your freedom?

          • Che Bianchi

            If DOJ was universal in prosecution of all, 300 M would be felons in the US. Give me 10,000 felons & the funding the size of DOD and I will give you freedom in (name the oppressed country here).

          • Ray in VT

            Okay Rambo. What’s his face at Blackwater might have a job for you.

          • brettearle

            Very good, Ray…

            It’s never too early, in the day, for my Endorphins to be released.

          • Don_B1

            When your “freedom” impacts my freedom, neither of us has the perfect “freedom” that you claim is yours but not mine. What gives your rights priority over mine?

      • Che Bianchi

        Jill122, Holmes was wrong, Unlimited free speech baby. I can say what I want and you and your team of lawyers cant stop me. I do not respect the USSC on limits on free speech, look at the time and reason why OWH made that USSC ruling.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          “FIRE!” Not in a crowded room unless their IS a fire.
          “I have a bomb in my carry on. Just kidding” – will get you a very fast trip to interrogation at the airport.

          • hennorama

            BHA_in_Vermont — one might also wish to be mindful when greeting On Point analyst Jack Beatty by his first name — “Hi, Jack!”

            (tongue firmly in cheek as to the above)

        • hennorama

          Che Bianchi — just out of curiosity:

          Are there any other points on which you “do not respect the USSC [U.S. Supreme Court]“?

          • Che Bianchi

            Many decisions are not predicated on the constitution but on a pro business agenda, read about the percentages in modern times in the NYT. They are unanimous on biz, social issues not so much.

          • hennorama

            Che Bianchi — Thank you for your response.

            So, nothing as specific as your disrespect of SCOTUS “on limits on free speech,” as you wrote?

            Thanks again for your response.

        • Scott B

          This is so typical of too many on the far, far Right. They only want to obey the rules they judge right, never mind the whole 3 branches of gov’t check & balances thing, or SCOTUS rulings , because somehow they’re above them, being the “real Americans” , the only ones that really understand how the Constitution and laws work.

    • Scott B

      I didn’t realize that a background check were in Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings about free speech?

      But seriously, why is it that the Right holds the 2nd Amendment as sacrosanct, superseding all other Amendments and not subject to any conditions? Point to any right, such as free speech, as there are checks to it. A person can’t yell “Fire!” in a theater if there isn’t one. There are laws about slander and libel. There are voting laws regarding age, location, citizenship, and SANITY. But the 2nd is somehow untouchable? It was decided almost 100 years ago that automatic weapons shouldn’t be in the public domain, but somehow “weapons of war” (Gen. Stanley Crystal, Gen Colin Powell, just for two examples, whom I believe everyone would agree that they would know of such things) should be in the hands of the public?

  • Scott B

    The same people trying to prevent any background checks, and gun restrictions of any kind, saying they want better help available for mentally disturbed people, are the exact same people that support politicians that o defund, and want to defund them by billions of dollars more, the social safety nets that would provide the help these people need.

    • brettearle

      Excellent connection.

      Although Mental Illness, of course. has incidence all the way, up and down, per capita income.

    • Che Bianchi

      So the mentally ill should not have free speech or freedom of religion, right to assembly. When I worked for OU Med school dept of psychiatry, I went hunting with some suffering from PTSD and felt safer than I do with the rhetoric of Bloomberg and Watts. You dont love my freedom and liberty nor do you respect it.

      • Scott B

        I never said any of that. Nothing about freedom of speech, religion, assembly. That’s all in your head. Try reading what was said, not what you want it to say.

        I said that those that need help, as Lanza clearly did, often can’t get help because the system is constantly being defunded. They can’t get into see a professional, they can’t get meds, they can’t get a bed, because the fund aren’t there. Instead they end up committing crimes and we put them in jail, where they don’t get treatment and it cost society in the same ways over and over. It doesn’t matter if it was someone with an AR, or they pushed a person off a subway deck onto the tracks as the train approached.

        BTW, Chris Kyle, America’s best sniper ever, and Chad Littlefield, another vet, were gunned down by a vet with PTSD at a shooting range. I’m sure Chris and Chad also felt safe with the vet that killed them.

  • J__o__h__n

    Shannon Watts, please tell the Republicans this is a nonpartisan issue. For $50 million, Bloomberg should have hired someone more competent.

  • Thinkfreeer

    Laws should not derive from popular opinion – no matter how popular. Laws which potentially interfere with stated rights protected by the Constitution should always be carefully considered and questioned, not rammed through with influence.

    • Jill122

      HOw do you think we got such lax gun control laws in many states? You think the feds did it?

    • adks12020

      “Laws should not derive from popular opinion” – Where exactly should laws come from then? Are you completely oblivious to how a representative democracy is intended to work?

      • OnPointComments

        Rasmussen 03/31/2014
        40% of Likely U.S. Voters now think the United States needs stricter gun control laws, down nine points from last May and the lowest level of support for stricter laws since February 2012. Fifty-three percent (53%) do not think the country needs tougher gun control laws, the highest level of opposition in over two years.

        Rasmussen 03/25/2014
        Seventy-eight percent of American voters said they supported the requirement by some states to show proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, and only 19 percent opposed it.

      • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

        we’re a republic, not a democracy. in a republic, majority (“might”) does not make right. we are not majority rule when it comes to our inalienable rights…

        • Ray in VT

          Republic or a “republican form of government” refers to indirect representation as opposed to direct representation. Nothing in either form of government inherently protects minority rights.

  • hellokitty0580

    I don’t understand what gun owners are so afraid of. In so many other countries, citizens aren’t allowed to own guns and yet their societies don’t crumble. I don’t understand the fear. As a non-gun owner, frankly, I am more afraid of all the private citizens that own guns in this country than I am of the government and a future where there is less gun ownership.

    And can someone speak to Justice John Paul Stevens’ new book where he proposes change to the 2nd amendment which would essentially take away most private gun ownership?

    • Che Bianchi

      hellokitty0580, have you lived in a Soviet or Nazi Germany? How about Cambodia? What country are you talking about with our same “diversity” certainly not Europe, Japan or Korea.

      • hellokitty0580

        I’m thinking Britain and Britain is very diverse. Many countries in Europe don’t allow gun ownership. There are safer countries in the world than the United States that don’t allow gun ownership. And Nazi Germany doesn’t exist anymore and as far as I know they didn’t ban guns, so I don’t know what you’re trying to say.

        • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

          and there are many safer nations that do allow guns — and some that even require men to enroll in the military and own a firearm.

          • Don_B1

            Yes, and Switzerland has rigorous training, beginning at a young age, where responsible use of firearms is front and center, unlike here in the U.S.

            But even there, there is significant doubt about the freedoms that lead to a lot of crimes of passion and suicides. See:

            http://www.npr.org/2013/03/19/174758723/facing-switzerland-gun-culture

            for a more complete coverage of all sides of the issue.

        • Che Bianchi

          UK is not as free as USA, I lived in both.

  • skelly74

    There is a saying that goes: the world would be better off without so many lawyers, until you need access to one.

    The same theory can hold true for guns.

    Hopefully one never needs the service of lawyers or the power of a gun, but if it came to be that you need these tools, it would be sad if only a few select individuals or groups had access.

    Don’t give up your rights, you’ll never get them back.

    • Don_B1

      Unless I am a hunter or like target shooting as a sport, any gun I might possess just occupies space (which means strongbox with locks) and is an “investment with no return.”

      But when others possess guns, and use them in threatening ways as the militias do in Nevada in “support” of a tax scoff and grifter, I am less safe just by the presence of such guns and my possession of one or more guns is unlikely to make me safer.

      As an additional downside, the fact that large numbers of people possess such heavy artillery means that the police and state troopers, and also the members of the F.B.I. will “arm up,” forming S.W.A.T. teams with often undisciplined shooting when disagreements break out, with much higher danger to innocent people who can easily get caught in the crossfire.

      So much for your “fantasy” world of armed insurrection that might actually succeed. If by some weird circumstance it did, the resulting country would be much more likely to NOT have many of the freedoms that exist today. It would more likely be some form of fascist state.

      • skelly74

        I respect your opinion not to own firearms. I actually believe those who feel uncomfortable and intimated by these tools should not own them especially if don’t want to take care of them.

        We have all seen the fantasy’s played out in the movies and literature of social breakdown and armed conflict and I believe, as you seem to, that these are fantasy’s of the imagination. I don’t believe average citizens fear armed insurrection ( your fantasy not mine ). How about a natural disaster? Is this unimaginable? How about a disaster worse the hurricane Katrina? Would you be able to protect your family from a small group of hungry and thirsty men with steel pipes desperately searching for fresh water and something to eat? Is this too much fantasy? Maybe. Sure, why not share what you have to help a fellow human being. Maybe you’re willing to give it all away, your family’s share too. So be it. Wait for the authorities.

        The world would be better without weapons. Agreed. But if there are weapons out there and we have a right to own simple firearms. I’ll take one. I feel comfortable with that. I’m not intimidated by the tool.

        Be it a wild beast or a wild man, the great equalizer sets the odds.

  • PeterRodes

    First off, I completely support Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts, but there is a point of confusion about the motivation of the gun lobby.

    The average NRA member is NOT motivated by the desire to increase the profits of gun manufacturers. They are driven by the fantasy that they and other gun owners will prevent the US government from becoming a tyranny. They basically see the US federal government as an enemy, so any federal involvement in the regulation of guns must be fought against.

    • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

      i’m a software developer, avid NPR listener, and patron to the arts. and i no more want my name in a federal gun database than a woman would want her name in an abortion database. registration of that sort is the first step toward revocation.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        I am a retired software engineer, avid NPR listener (ALL ‘slots’ on my car radio are set to public radio stations) and patron to the arts.

        I wouldn’t give a rat’s patootie if there was a requirement to register the fact that I own one or more guns. Moot point of course since the last gun I owned was a Daisy “1894 Spittin Image” BB gun when I was a kid. But if I were to feel the need to have a gun, put me in the database, I have nothing to hide.

      • hennorama

        kyron — can you point to any such instance in US history?

        As a counterargument:

        Automobiles and firearms are present in the US in approximately the same numbers, and there are similar numbers of annual vehicle-related deaths when compared to firearms-related deaths.

        We accept all sorts of regulations related to automobiles, including registration and insurance requirements when they are used on public roadways, yet reject similar ideas pertaining to firearms.

        Despite all the regulations related to automobiles, the damage they can inflict, and the number of annual deaths related to their use, there is no mass-confiscation or “revocation” effort.

      • PeterRodes

        Kyron, thank you for illustrating my point.

      • Don_B1

        Interesting that it is conservatives like you who want to put the names of women who have had an abortion in a database.

  • J__o__h__n

    The caller who couldn’t even pronounce Massachusetts was wrong. No one in Boston was actually safer for having a gun when the police were searching for the terrorist bomber. He didn’t invade any houses. Their one post bombing victim was armed.

  • Thinkfreeer

    You make it sound like the NRA does nothing but use its power to influence politicians and get their way (and that therefore there should be a well-funded group who demands influence in the other direction). There is a much wider purpose for the NRA. We also spend much time and money to promote gun safety. I don’t know of any other group which does so much for gun safety. We even teach gun safety and gun handling to law enforcement.

    • hellokitty0580

      But no one can deny that they don’t mostly try to influence politicians and public policy. Look what is happening to the surgeon general nominee, Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy!! He was stating facts about public health and guns and the NRA came down on him! It’s just undeniable that no matter what the NRA does one of their main objectives is to influence the US government.

    • John Roberts

      So how’s all that ‘gun safety’ working out for the 80+ people shot dead every day?

      • Don_B1

        A huge percentage by guns that were in their own homes !

      • Thinkfreeer

        You are contributing to the lies with your attempt at using a statistic of total gun deaths to relate it to safety? 52 of those deaths are suicides. Suicidal people are not interested in safety. Even many of the other ones may have been killed though safe use of a firearm, such as police officer shooting, or someone defending themselves. Many of the accidental shootings are by people who simply don’t care about gun safety.

  • Scott B

    Listening to Scott, the NRA member, compare murder rates by kitchen implements or shop tools to those by gus doesn’t follow. Sandy Hook, Columbine, the Aurora Theater shooting, et al, weren’t done by someone with a bag of hammers or spatulas.

    These people are unstable, at best, but they’re smart enough to know what assault-style weapons, and handguns, both with high capacity clips/magazines, will do to the human body in a crowd in short order.

    • Che Bianchi

      and if they tried it in my town, shooter would be dead before police heard it from dispatch. I dont need safety as much as I need freedom.

      • Scott B

        Way too many people think that they’re going to suddenly turn into some Bruce Willis movie-type, where they have their adrenaline and emotions in check, have shooting skills that rival Annie Oakley, and keep their skill levels constant with the dedicated training that professional law enforcement officers are required to maintain.

  • John Roberts

    In Canada there were 30.8 guns per 100,000 people, in the U.S. there were 89 per 100,000 (2007). The death rate by firearms in the U.S. was 10.2 per 100,000 people, whereas in Canada, the rate was 2.4 per 100,000 (2011)
    Gun control has never been an ‘election’ issue in Canada: what do they know that we don’t?

    • MrNutso

      WIthout reading the Canadian Constitution, my guess is Canada does not have an ambiguously written amendment regarding the right to bear arms.

    • brettearle

      Their cultural pathology, and the mental illness among their citizens, may not be as high as in the US.

      If you can’t eliminate the pathology, you must eliminate the guns.

      • Che Bianchi

        and brettearle likes to control and limit my freedom, no thanks.

        • brettearle

          I only want to change your distorted definition of Freedom.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — I dunno. Northern latitudes tend toward increased incidence of SAD persons. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

        Or not.

        Per http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10363665

        “CONCLUSIONS: The influence of latitude on prevalence seems to be small and other factors like climate, genetic vulnerability and social-cultural context can be expected to play a more important role. Additional controlled studies taking these factors into account are necessary to identify their influence.”

        One learns something new, every day.

        • brettearle

          “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”

          [If I hadn't thought of quoting such a great line, I would have tried to have refuted your argument]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TYFYR.

            I thought I knew the correlation, but a quick web search has shown me otherwise. Damn you Interwebs!

            [PS: that's actual "verification before posting" in action.]

          • brettearle

            What made you single out SAD–regardless of SAD possibly being a greater geographical hazard for our Northern Neighbor–when the DSM-IV has a plethora of pathologies to so gloriously present to us?

            [`gloriously' was sarcasm, as a commentary against Psychological Reality]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — I thought (incorrectly, as I quickly discovered) Canada = higher latitudes = higher incidence of SAD, when compared to the US.

          • Ray in VT

            At present Canada may be more sad because they could only get one team into the Stanley Cup playoffs. ;)

          • brettearle

            Ha!

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — yeah, but they at least have one NBA team in the playoffs — the Toronto Raptors.

            Not that the fan devotion is similar, of course.

          • Ray in VT

            True, they do have the Raptors, although I’d bet that Toronto would rather have the Leafs in the playoffs. Some are talking about bringing baseball back to Montreal. That would be awesome as far as I am concerned. I’d love to be about 1.5-2 hours from a MLB team again.

          • brettearle

            No, I meant pointing out SAD, to begin with–regardless of whether your supposition was accurate or not….

          • hennorama

            brettearle — no doubt it is due to some anecdotal familiarity with SAD, combined with my misimpressions as to its incidence.

          • Don_B1

            Some corollaries:

            “Mother Nature responds badly when you attempt to fool her.”

            “Mother Nature takes umbrage when someone attempts to fool her.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “Gun control has never been an ‘election’ issue in Canada”

      I don’t believe that statement is accurate. The most recent gun control issue in Canada was the abolishing of the national gun registry –and that was in 2012.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Canada

      • John Roberts

        Yes, but it was never a key election issue, and no Provincial or Federal election has ever been won or lost on the gun registry issue

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          Perhaps they do not have elected officials beholden (or afraid of) a huge gun ownership lobby.

          • John Roberts

            Exactly. There is no gun ownership lobby.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          You may be right but see this item in the wiki article caught my eye:

          “Referring to Bill C-68, John Dixon, a former advisor to Deputy Minister
          of Justice John C. Tait, stated that the Firearms Act was part of a
          policy exercise by the Liberal Party of Canada so as to appear to be “tougher” on guns than Prime Minister Kim Campbell, and thus defeat her in the 1993 election.”

    • Che Bianchi

      Move to Canada John Roberts.

  • Scott B

    Until some Republican politician gets directly effected by a mass shooting by some idiot with an AR with a hundred round magazine, they will continue to line up like ducks and vote with who’s paying them: The NRA; and to sacreliize the 2nd amendment, as if it supersedes all other Constitutional amendments, as if none of the other rights listed in the Bill of Rights don’t have limits placed on them.

    • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

      who said the other amendments dont matter? they have no bearing on this conversation.

      • Scott B

        They do matter, and no one said otherwise.

        They do have bearing in this conversation as the 2nd Amendment, as well as the 1st, have been used in the discussion as en example of our freedoms, and those other amendments have limits placed within them.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The gun restriction lobbyist claims she was motivated to create more restrictive gun laws after the Newtown tragedy. Yet, more restrictive gun laws wouldn’t have prevented Newtown. A classic case of “don’t let a crisis go to waste”. Pretty sad.

    • Jill122

      Background checks are NOT more restrictive if you feel that guns belong in the hands of hunters and those who would use them for recreation. It’s ONLY restrictive if you are someone who should NOT own a gun in the first place, FELON, DIAGNOSED AS UNSTABLE. Responsible people want other responsible people to own guns.

      • Che Bianchi

        Guns like mega phones and places of worship for all freedom lovers.

        • Jill122

          There’s no such thing as unrestricted free speech, or unrestricted religion. If you believe that you are completely out of the touch with the laws of this country.

    • Ray in VT

      How many people can a person kill in a small space with a six shooter or a bolt action rifle with only a 5 or 6 round capacity? A lot fewer than with a civilianized M-16.

      • Che Bianchi

        How about using a Shakti-1, no background check for that is there?

        • Ray in VT

          Are you referring to a nuclear device? If so, then you can always trade some old pinball parts to some Libyans.

    • Jill122

      You have no idea what would have happened in the case of Adam Lanza. It’s very possible that his mother would have been a more responsible gun owner if the laws in CT restricted the use of those guns to her and her alone. The laws might have made a difference to her or are you assuming that she was a scofflaw?

      • wysoft

        The CT police report explained fairly well that Lanza killed his mother before breaking into her locked safe and taking the guns stored inside.

        Although he did use an unsecured .22LR rifle to kill her first, he could’ve just as easily bludgeoned or stabbed her to death, and achieved the same result.

        What legal solution do you have to the “Lanza scenario?”

  • OnPointComments

    Who believes if a law was passed mandating universal background checks that there wouldn’t be further limitations proposed? Universal background checks are only the first step to the ultimate goal of making gun ownership illegal.

    • Jill122

      Oppose it when it comes. We already did Vietnam on the domino theory — isn’t there a way for you people to learn from that failed policy?

      • OnPointComments

        Jill122,
        If there was a law for universal background checks, could we count on your fervent opposition to further gun control measures?

    • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

      agreed. who feels women should have to register in a federal database for abortions? not me. and i dont my name in a gun database, either.

    • Ray in VT

      Sure it is.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Not me. Specious argument by the “government is out to get us” crowd.

      • Che Bianchi

        WE ARE the government BHA_in_Vermont

        • Don_B1

          But your “opinion” is not the dominant opinion as to what the government should do, just, at least so far, the loudest one.

          But that can change!

      • OnPointComments

        BHA_in_Vermont,
        If there was a law for universal background checks, could we count on your fervent opposition to further gun control measures?

    • hennorama

      OPC — the “slippery slope” argument can’t be your best, can it?

      • OnPointComments

        Hennorama,
        If there was a law for universal background checks, could we count on your fervent opposition to further gun control measures?

        • hennorama

          OPC — thank you for your question.

          I have no objection to the ownership of firearms, have owned several, and have fired a wide range of them under a variety of conditions and circumstances. I have also been fired upon, and threatened with firearms violence. Unfortunately, I have witnessed the aftermath of such violence on numerous occasions, as well as the damage inflicted by accidental discharges.

          Universal background checks are not “gun control measures” in the usual sense, in that they are not directed toward any particular firearm type or feature. Instead, they are intended to keep potential purchasers, who are already prohibited from ownership, from purchasing firearms.

          In other words, they are public safety measures, and are somewhat analogous to a visual acuity test being required to obtain a license to operate a motor vehicle. All U.S. states have visual acuity requirements for licensure.

          To answer your specific question: No, as I rarely commit to “never” in regard to anything.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • Don_B1

            Well said!

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — thank you for your very kind words.

    • brettearle

      Bull.

      Political paranoia at its worst.

      • OnPointComments

        If there was a law for universal background checks, could we count on your fervent opposition to further gun control measures?

        • brettearle

          Maybe.

          Maybe not.

          A lot of people would feel the same way.

  • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

    US policy should not be written by billionaires — whether the Koch brothers, or Bloomberg.

    the money the NRA raises is from millions of individuals like me, not the oligarchy.

    • brettearle

      So your money, in promoting gun violence, is better than Bloomberg’s, which saves lives?

  • Bigtruck

    We need some well regulated bravery in this country. Men that can leave their houses without a weapon and still feel like men.

    • Che Bianchi

      Have you ever been shot Bigtruck?

      • brettearle

        Refute the statistics which say that those who own guns are more likely to run up against the potential of gun violence, or actual gun violence, than those who don’t.

        • Che Bianchi

          I have stopped more violent criminals and saved more lives with my little finger than you will ever know brettearle.

          • brettearle

            What’s your point?

            What you said tells me nothing.

        • Che Bianchi

          Please read, “Armed and Female” by Paxton Quigley, former aide to Robert Kennedy.

          • brettearle

            Thank you.

    • Jill122

      Amen, Amen Amen. The definition of “manhood” has simply got to change.

      • brettearle

        Not in a culture where the one with the most toys wins.

      • notafeminista

        So the woman in Florida who fired a “warning shot” inside an occupied dwelling in the presence of and very possibly in the direction of grade school children was asserting her “manhood”?

        • Ray in VT

          Alleged woman. Take a drive down and see if her claim checks out.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t understand the caller who said that he carried a gun with him everywhere that he could. I live in a rural area, but I have also lived in some urban areas, and I have never felt threatened in such a way that I felt that I needed to be carrying a gun.

      • brettearle

        Never underestimate the paranoid sector of the American population.

      • wysoft

        I have never felt the need to carry a gun everywhere that I go, and I’ve never carried a gun on a daily basis. The disagreement comes in when people start actively trying to prevent me from doing so when I make the conscious choice to carry a gun.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t have a problem with people carrying, but I wonder about when people speak about either the need to, and obviously some people may have a need for one due to work or personal conditions, such as if threats are made against one. However, I don’t even understand the want to carry one around all of the time. If I was to go for a long walk in the woods up behind my house, then I might take one, as one of my neighbors has reported the presence of bears there, but I wouldn’t take one to the grocery store. I also sort of wonder about those who are sort of actively, and very publicly, advocating and exercising open carry. Again, I could do that here where I am, but what is the need? I think that here it is also considered to be in relatively poor taste to be hauling around a piece if it isn’t hunting season.

          • wysoft

            Ray, you’re given at least one scenario in which you indicate that you might feel that carrying a gun would be a smart option for you.
            Do you feel that it would be appropriate for you to have to go before your local authorities and demonstrate a legitimate need before being allowed to carry a gun in those circumstances? What if they say no?

            Do you believe that there is a possibility that these authorities may in fact not have your best interest in mind, but rather a political agenda and the ultimate goal of an imagined sense of well-being for the general public that they believe can be attained by denying this right to all but the very politically well-connected – as in the case of Mike Bloomberg himself, as an example?

            FWIW the only time I’ve open carried a pistol is while hiking, hunting, and generally times of being way out of the way of civilization. I hiked a large portion of the Pacific Crest trail several years back carrying a pistol, and nobody seemed to mind. Most people are already carrying bear spray or some other similar device.

    • hennorama

      Bigtruck — there’s no reason to limit it to men, is there?

      • Bigtruck

        Ha! No, I guess woman should be able to feel like men too if they choose

        • hennorama

          Bigtruck — or vice-versa.

          Your essential point remains unchanged, however.

    • skelly74

      Bigtruck, are you a cattle rancher? Do you deal with prods and corrals?

      • Bigtruck

        Am I a cattle rancher? no, but I do enjoy a porterhouse steak, cooked on a grill from time to time. Rare, ok medium rare.

  • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

    it’s not irrational when it came out the the NSA was, in fact, spying on us, was it?

    it’s the opposite of emotion — it’s rational thought. i dont want to be in a federal gun database. just as my SO wouldnt want to be in a federal abortion database.

    • Ralph

      Point made that not all fears are irrational. As the old saying goes, “Even paranoid schizophrenics have enemies.”

      How do we help people differentiate between the rational fears and irrational fears? It’s irrational to fear all government because of the occasional government overreach. The reality is that it’s neither all bad or all good.

      Good government requires constant tweaking and updating, just like any well run system, physiological, financial, mechanical, whatever. Systems break down when they become unbalanced. The unbalanced approach of the NRA is maintained by fear.

  • James

    I’m so tired of this line of thinking, The second amendment was not written to protect hunters and target shooters.

    I also like how his idea of a good argument is a plea to emotion, regarding a case that universal background checks won’t have helped prevent!

    • brettearle

      A gross simplification of the complexity of the Issue.

  • CeCe Bee

    Anyone wanting a gun should not only have a background check, but should be required to complete a “driving course” or to say, go through certification, period.

    This isn’t about crime or criminals, this is about people existing together in a civilized society. It’s about placing safe guards on the use guns in public places.

    Crimes are a completely different issue – a totally different arena — and how best to fight crime is best decided by our lawmakers on all levels.

    Practical gun laws are about conduct in our society, that’s it — it isn’t about fighting criminals — it’s about safe, respectful, conduct in a public forum.

    If I am in a theatre, the last thing I want is a gun toting, self-elected hero trying to shoot down someone else in a gun attack,

    …or some overheated situation in a public forum ending with gunshot in an emotional charged argument.

    There are better ways people can be aware of their environments and protect themselves w/o needing a gun.

    I am not against guns, I simply believe I have the right not to be around people how carry them in public places.

    • brettearle

      Well-said.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “If I am in a theatre, the last thing I want is a gun toting, self-elected hero trying to shoot down someone else in a gun attack”

      Which theater do you think the crazed wanna-be mass murderer will go to — the one that advertizes itself as a “gun-free” theater or the one without the restriction?

      You are free to go to the “gun-free” theater and FEEL safe. Many others will make a different choice.

      • Che Bianchi

        I have never seen a crazed wanna-be-mas murderer on my ranch or on my gun range.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          And I doubt there are many who are in favor of background checks and other sane regulations who care one bit that you are safely shooting at your private range.

          There are a bunch of hunters on my road. You know when deer season is nigh as they all start siting in their .30-06 hunting rifles. One has a range in his back “yard” and target shoots all summer. Doesn’t bother me at all though I do wonder what one of those guns is – WOW what a report, sounds like an elephant gun.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        I can only imagine the mess in Aurora if a bunch of conceal carry folks whipped out their guns and started shooting at the shooter. How many get killed as “collateral damage”? And then the cops show up and don’t notice ONE guy is wearing a big BLACK hat and a bunch of others are wearing big WHITE hats. In fact, the “white hats” wouldn’t know that there WAS only one “black hat”.

      • TheDailyBuzzherd

        “Gun-Free” theatre? Sounds like a version of Jim Crow to me. Not buying.

    • Che Bianchi

      Use that same standard in the expression of your faith, CeVe Bee. Why stop there, register all posters on the internet, make them learn to write as well as you.

      • CeCe Bee

        And we all could learn to read and comprehend accurately,

        …gun laws for society are about safe guards, a safety switch – not about infringing on rights to own a gun and not about fighting criminals who will find a way to carry out their malicious intent in any case.

        it’s simply about my right to exist in a public place where carrying a gun is unlawful.

        • wysoft

          So would you support the possibility of gun safety training becoming available again to children as a high-school activity? Perhaps marksmanship and archery classes?

          • CeCe Bee

            Good question. I think educating our children on all levels, including skills for self protection, learning to be responsible for their actions and learning how to deal with actions of those around them — moving beyond the test, getting out from behind the computer,addressing real world situations. If we are going to allow guns in this society, we should teach anyone, in any appropriate forum. And high-school may be a good place to start, marksmanship is important. But also by the time they are in high school, they should know not to “play” with guns. So when do you teach children that a gun isn’t a toy? I’m not sure when, but way before high school. Which brings up another point, marksmanship has moved beyond the shooting range and is well developed in cyberspace.

          • wysoft

            Fair answer.

            I just find it odd that many people are very much against the idea of actually teaching gun safety to youngsters – even voluntarily by way of extracurricular activities in or outside of school.

            There seems to be an attitude that by ignoring the very existence of guns, they can be made to go away. This approach never works with regards to sexual abstinence, so I can’t understand why many believe that it will work with guns.

            A number of schools are reintroducing archery programs. Why not marksmanship via air rifles?

            Guns are part of American culture and history, and as much as some may not like that, it’s simply not going to go away by pretending that that part of American culture simply does not exist.

            My dad used to shoot .22 rifles in the basement of his high school in Seattle. Today, such a thing would be heresy in the typical political environment of a large city.

    • Che Bianchi

      Thanks Nana :)

    • skelly74

      I like you points. I believe some states require gun safety certification and believe people should be monitored by an expert that they could handle the tool.

      I also like your reference of the “driving course” appro

    • skelly74

      I think the best word to use for gun is “equalizer” for self explanatory reasons. The choice is yours.

  • Lorena Orantes

    1) Bloomberg is a hypocrite – depriving the commoners of NY from defending themselves, while reserving the right for himself:

    “The mayor also takes along a police detail when he travels, flying two officers on his private plane and paying as much as $400 a night to put them up at a hotel near his house; the city pays their wages while they are there, as it does whether Mr. Bloomberg is New York or not. Guns are largely forbidden in Bermuda — even most police officers do not use them — but the mayor’s guards have special permission to carry weapons.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/nyregion/26bermuda.html

    2) This weekend marks the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which was started by Jews (with 10 “illegal guns”). Bloomberg should be ashamed of himself for disarming the Jews (and gays, and blacks, women) of his own city.

    3) Unlike every other cause you can think of – Megan’s Law, Amber Alerts, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to name a few – gun control seems to be the only area where people are so eager to propose legislation that would do nothing to avert the tragedies upon which they’re predicated.

  • skelly74

    Let’s repeal the 2nd and 22nd Amendments. We will have decades of Bush and Clinton “kingships” and we can conquer the world abroad and have a complete nanny state on the home front. A no worries Utopia.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Shannon, You did as expected, returned to one of your “talking points” without, in any way, answering my question. The American public will want these specifics and unless you provide them you’ll be wasting 50 million dollars of Mr. Bloombergs money and nothing will change.

  • OnPointComments

    From Frontline. Unsurprisingly, background checks and other gun control laws don’t effect those who acquire guns illegally.

    “…one of the most common ways criminals get guns is through straw purchase sales. A straw purchase occurs when someone who may not legally acquire a firearm, or who wants to do so anonymously, has a companion buy it on their behalf.

    “The next biggest source of illegal gun transactions where criminals get guns are sales made by legally licensed but corrupt at-home and commercial gun dealers.

    “Another large source of guns used in crimes are unlicensed street dealers who either get their guns through illegal transactions with licensed dealers, straw purchases, or from gun thefts.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html

    • Ray in VT

      And why do they turn to the black market? Because we have made it much harder to buy them through legitimate channels.

      • Che Bianchi

        Very funny Ray, are you playing this club all week?

        • Ray in VT

          I see nothing funny about the facts.

      • wysoft

        Yes and that works quite well for the “war on drugs.”

    • brettearle

      Men and women, who are mentally ill or deranged, may not often try to acquire guns illegally

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    Three things:

    (1).
    John Roberts, in just a very short period, has already become one of the worst ‘Chief Justices’ in American history; and it has nothing to do with Conservative ‘values’.

    Rehnquist was a known ‘Conservative’, but respected in the sense that many knew/felt that he at least actually considered the issues – was thoughtful – in shaping his analysis’ and assertions.

    Roberts, on the other hand, is clearly an Ideologue whom already has his mind ‘made up’ before he even hears the issue before him!

    (2).
    RACE is all over the gun stuff!!!!!!!!

    (3).
    Don’t like Bloomberg at all!!!!!!!

  • Danny

    First, I am a major supporter of gun control especially background checks. Some argue that background checks will allow the government to make a list of gun owners. The truth is they already can. If you own a gun and paid with credit/debit cards, have a hunting license, or a conceal carry your name is already on a list of potential gun owners.

    Next, I work with people who suffer from mental health and/or substance abuse issues. Many have never committed a criminal offense, much less a felony. Of those who have committed crimes, the vast majority are nonviolent drug offenses. My question is, if we are going to limit the rights of one group of people just because they have a mental illness, how do you decide which person with a mental illness should not have a gun?

  • CeCe Bee

    What I think is shameful is how the “mentally ill” the “crazy ones” are maligned in this conversation about guns laws.

    They are least likely to commit violent acts – ( although it seems we see more of it, does this mean an increase in mental stability overall)?

    There should be separation in the argument for stricter gun laws and the mentally ill.

    Addressing issues of the mentally ill isn’t about better gun laws, it’s about better support from our government (that’s us btw) on treating and supporting mental illness and the families having to care for them.

    It’s also about caring for the children in our society – to ensure they get the help and education they need — so that they do not find themselves ending their lives with a final act of desperation — and this has very little, next to nothing, to do with stricter gun laws.

    The two issues could go in tandem, but that doesn’t appear to work since the conversation becomes confusing and the NRA can then easily obviate the issue by stating that none, none, of the proposed gun laws could have prevented Sandy Hook – and they would be right. Only better care of our children, and those with mental care needs can stop this type of deadly desperation.

    And we need better gun control laws, too.

    • Danny

      I agree. It is grossly inappropriate to equate people with mental illness to criminals

    • Che Bianchi

      CeCe Bee, neither you nor the “professionals” can predict human behavior of an individual. You can not tell me what, when, nor where a violent act will occur. If you could you could make billions as a day trader.

      • Danny

        History is best predictor of future behavior. The fact of the matter is that the majority of people who are diagnosed with a mental illness are not violent. I do agree that some clearance is in order for those diagnosed with a mental illness, but an all inclusive denial of privileges is not the way to go.

        • brettearle

          Many people–who are violent or who are more likely to become violent–are not necessarily recognized, nor diagnosed, with Mental Illness

          • Che Bianchi

            you are forgetting evil Evil is the reason not mental illness.

          • Danny

            are you suggesting that people with mental illness are evil?

          • Che Bianchi

            No Danny. Mental illness is defined differently over time/place. Evil is universal over the entire human experience regardless of how the psych profession defines it.

          • Ray in VT

            So is it your contention, then, that what society has thought of as “evil” has been consistent throughout history and across cultures?

          • brettearle

            That’s a good point–and it is one that should be researched and scrutinized.

          • Ray in VT

            My contention is that while some may view it as an absolute, cultures across history and civilizations have had very different standards for what likely constitute “evil”, although there are generally a few relatively agreed upon standards for what is, at the very least, wrong, although maybe not evil.

          • brettearle

            Agreed.

            It’s an intriguing and significant issue.

            While the following may not be directly analogous, it does come to mind:

            Have you ever seen the film, “The Last Wave”?

            If not, I can briefly explain….

          • Ray in VT

            No. I don’t even think that I have heard of it.

          • Danny

            Psychologists don’t define evil, we leave that to the more qualified :)

          • brettearle

            There IS a difference.

            Though certainly not always.

          • brettearle

            You are trying to say that Mental illness can only be defined according to the inclusion of Evil.

            That is blindly prejudicial and tragically arrogant.

      • CeCe Bee

        We can only provide better support, and these methods have Proven to reduce crime, recidivism, etc…

        My Point Isn’t about predicting behavior,

        …to your way of thinking, why are we a society at all, why do we bother to teach our kids – we do this to help them survive, to live, to grow, to increase the chances…!

        • Che Bianchi

          Parental guidance is different than mandated control of adult behavior in order to oppress. Responsible behavior with a weapon is ageless, does not need any nuance or government to regulate.

          • CeCe Bee

            So only parents offer guidance – and to think anyone can possibly live their life without authority.

            I disagree with your argument,
            …but along those lines, if weapons are ageless, so are tyrants, rulers, and czars – let’s see who owns a gun then.

            Guns are not the equalizer, rather it’s the people who know how to organize, and how to form governments for the people.

    • J__o__h__n

      We should both make sure that the mentally ill get proper care and keep them away from guns.

      • Danny

        Not all people with mental illness are a danger to themselves or others. At one time people who are homosexual were listed as “mentally ill” does that mean that the lgbt population should not be allowed to purchase guns? What about people with adhd, learning disorders (dislexia), or others? Are they not to be “trusted” too?

        • J__o__h__n

          It should be limited to the mentally ill with conditions that have been associated with increased risk of violence or lack of ability to perceive reality. Homosexuality is not a mental illness so its past erroneous categorization is irrelevant. If someone with dyslexia goes on a shooting spree, I don’t see a lawyer claiming that he shouldn’t be held responsible for this actions due to being mentally ill.

          • Danny

            That is my point exactly. It should be well defined. I am well aware that some people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness are prone to and have committed violent acts against themselves and/or others. If we are going to limit the rights of someone, the criteria should be well defined and not be a broad sweeping policy.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        PRESUMING that their mental illness suggests they would be (more) dangerous if they had a gun.

      • anamaria23

        All countries have those who are mentally ill, yet the gun violence is not near ours.
        A trauma surgeon commenting after latest Fort Hood shooting stated that the US has the best trained surgeons in gunshot wounds in the world and even help train doctors on the battlefield, There is little need of such expert surgeons in other countries. He knows it is the ease of access to guns that set us apart.
        Physicians are among the leading proponents of background checks, yet the narcissistic NRA can only see their own “rights’, dead victims be damned.
        At least Bloomberg is advocating for a greater good, not the narrow self-interest of the NRA who are at odds with the majority of citizens.

        • Iraq veteran

          Are you refering to battlfield medicine or civilian medicine? Not trying to be smart. Genuinely inquiring. :)

          • anamaria23

            The surgeon (sorry, do not have the name) stated that many US doctors are such expert in gunshot wound treatment that they train physicians in war zones.

          • Iraq veteran

            Ah. In my personal experience, the situations were reversed. However, your point is still valid. It is tragic and the solution not simple.

    • brettearle

      Well said, yet again.

      Although, I would argue your implied point about the Lanza family.

      Specific kinds of background checks–had they been in place–might have prevented Newtown.

  • StilllHere

    Aren’t we sick of billionaires sticking their noses in politics, or is it just some billionaires?

    • brettearle

      When don’t Critical Causes need a great deal of money?.

      • notafeminista

        Critical being relative of course..

        • brettearle

          I agree.

          But, if we had our respective ways, we would be much worse off–rather than if I only had my way.

          Of course, my view, above, is written with a great deal of humility, bereft of self-righteousness…..which is more than I can say about the,

          Indignation of the Right….

          • notafeminista

            “But if we had our respective ways we would be much worse off — rather than if I only had my way.” – was written with humility? Who are you kidding?

          • brettearle

            Only you

    • Fredlinskip

      Unfortunately the conservatives on Supreme Court keep making it easier for them to do so.

  • SoundScience2

    I think its important in discussing the financial support Bloomberg is offering the cause for gun safety, its critical to reference the self-serving millions corporations (namely gun manufacturers) are pouring into the NRA/gun lobby.

    Today, New York City’s comptroller is even calling attention to Clayton Williams, an energy corporation and primary corporate funder of the NRA.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/APd67e9b9083184674945bff6e95e49293.html

    The reality is these corporate contributors wield undue influence over both the NRA and by extension gun policy at large. Its a reality that organizations like Corporate Accountability International and the Gun Truth Project are exposing and challenging.

    At the same time, this reality creates an urgent need for a counterweight in the realm of what Bloomberg is offering.

    • brettearle

      Thank you for This.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that the funding behind most of the groups and individuals in the lobbying and political realms leaves much to be desired at present.

  • HonestDebate1

    Gun ownership is up and violent crime is down all over America. So there’s that.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Is that in number of guns or number of gun owners?

      If the first, it is likely second (third, 20th) purchases by current owners which spikes every time there is talk of gun regulation.

    • Ray in VT

      Gun ownership rates, while up in the last year or two, are still much lower than 20+ years ago, when crime was much higher. So there’s that.

      • jefe68

        HD does not want facts to cloud his ideology.
        But do carry on…

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — and there’s this, from the 3rd item on Tom’s Reading List, above (emphasis added):

        In Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware and New York, local citizens helped lead the successful push for legislation that closed loopholes in background checks laws. In Washington state and Wisconsin, citizens helped pass laws that keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers.

        In Colorado alone, the new law stopped more than 160 prohibited buyers from getting their hands on a gun, and as Coloradans know too well, it only takes one to devastate a family, a community, a nation. And the law hasn’t gotten in the way of law-abiding gun owners, who bought more firearms in 2013 than in any preceding year.

      • HonestDebate1

        What I wrote is true and does not contradict your claim. According to Bloomberg himself citing the ATF there are 300 million guns in America which is an all time high, although there is no real accurate way to measure it. We are free to own them after all. A poll of self reported households is of little use. I certainly would not answer some pinhead pollster accurately.

        In Australia the opposite is true violent crime is way up after stricter gun laws were enacted.

        Violent crime has been on a steady decline in America since 2006. You can confirm that here but I know you hate this site. Stay away from table 43.

        http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1

        • Ray in VT

          Yes, but your statement implies a correlation, which research does not bear out. It is a commonly used argument, but it has little backing in terms of evidence. Surveys also indicate that while the number of guns owned is up, the percentage of people owning guns is down. Go ahead and dismiss the polls. That worked so well in 2012. More “honest debate” I guess.

          Assaults are up in Australia, however homicides and robberies are down.

          The violent crime rate in America peaked in 1991, and it has been declining since then. You cite since 2006. There has been a roughly 20% decrease in violent crime during that period, although from 1991-2006 there was nearly a 40% decline.

          What’s in table 43?

          • HonestDebate1

            No the percentage of households is up according to your gospel poll. Make up your mind.

            I did not suggest anything other than a correlation. There is also a correlation between relaxed gun control (concealed carry permits being allowed) and less violent crime. Can you show me anywhere that stricter gun control laws have reduced violent crime? Chicago had very strict gun control and is a cesspool of violence. They finally enacted concealed carry and the rate is dropping.

            I’ve posted table 43 and others from the same site many times before. It is where the racist sites you peruse get their numbers.

          • Ray in VT

            In the last couple of years it is up, but it is still below the early to mid 1990s numbers when violent crime was much higher. Perhaps you missed that. You seem confused, but that is merely the norm.

            There is a correlation between the absolute number of guns, but it’s just that some people own a lot more guns. The odds of randomly breaking into a home that owns a firearm, for instance, is lower, because fewer households report owning firearms.

            Claiming a correlation between concealed carry and a drop in crime does not make it so:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/do-concealed-weapon-laws-result-in-less-crime/2012/12/16/e80a5d7e-47c9-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_blog.html

            Just making a claim and ignoring evidence to the contrary is not honest debate.

            Showing an absolute correlation either way is difficult to “prove”. In Great Britain, for instance, many categories of crime have declined since the mid 1990s. Some saw a spike in the late 1990s and have since seen significant declines.

            As for Chicago, I have previously cited how crime, specifically murder, there has been dropping for a decade. So, did passing concealed carry less than a year ago do that? Inquiring minds want to know.

            I only visit racist sites when attempting to track down the white supremacist supplied figures that you have used, as you have attempted to spread the panic about the “epidemic” of black on white crime. Please provide me with the FBI report that says what you claim are the “facts” about black on white crime. I have asked many times, yet you will not produce it. Perhaps you are confused there as well.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — perhaps this explains it:

        Violent crime is down, and U.S. demand for carrots is down by nearly half, from 18.2 lbs./person in 1997, to 9.8 lbs./person in 2010.

        See:
        http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/vegetables/carrot-profile/

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Pass a law that says “background check AND gun safety training on the weapon”.

    The NRA would not be able to pass up the income from classes and would support the law ;-)

    • brettearle

      Pretty funny.

      That, there, is a Kimmel or Letterman one-liner.

    • Jill122

      The NRA was begun as a training program. Ironically enough, they were given land in NY to begin a program to teach union soldiers because a couple of generals thought their marksmanship skills were wanting. It was never going to be a shill for gun manufacturers.

      PS there’s not nearly as much $$$ in training as there is in pushing gun sales.

      • anamaria23

        Recently browsing through a little book on “the Coming of Age of a Plymouth colony Town” (late 1600′s) gun ownership went with great responsibility including periodic demonstration of safe gun handling and frequent accounting of gun powder supplies. There were rules and laws aplenty for every new town in the early settlements put in place by the townspeople.

  • AC

    i’m all for this. but while we wait on legislation, can you please have a show on what to do/say/act if you are confronted with a mentally unbalanced person with a gun? i’ve wondered if there is a survival tip/trick psychatrists should analyze and release…..

    • brettearle

      It’s a good point.

      There may, however, be no, one clear strategy.

      If you’re somewhat away from the actual site of a shooting-in-progress, playing dead might be one possibility.

      Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem if the violence has not, as yet, occurred.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      One cannot reason with crazy.

      • Ray in VT

        “One cannot reason with those who have abandoned reason” was an opinion that I read in a piece last week.

    • Jill122

      Up close or very close? Fake an epileptic fit. Try to throw up or excrete in your clothing. Whatever you can do to make yourself seem disgusting. Not annoying — that’s very different and may get your shot right away. Disgusting is the key.

    • HonestDebate1

      The absolute best way to deal with it is to pull out your concealed weapon and blow them away. Absent that, pray that someone else nearby does it for you.

    • hennorama

      AC — you have already received the predictable “get a gun, learn how to use it, carry at all times, then shoot first” response.

      Did you intend to add the caveat “if you are unarmed”? If so, you might consider editing your post.

      There is no one effective strategy one can employ when confronted by any armed person, whether they are “mentally unbalanced” or otherwise. You can improve the odds that you will emerge unharmed with added distance and cover, as a general rule

      • HonestDebate1

        Sorry, you are wrong. There is an effective strategery and it is the one I suggested which BTW did not use the word “first”.

        • HonestDebate1

          He’s bombastic but I think he is right. Skip to 1:55 for his addressing the concern directly.

      • anamaria23

        I have often thought that there should be a less lethal way to disarm one who is a threat such as a substance that would one could have quick and easy access to such as in a bracelet or ring. It seems a good product for an enterprising person to develop.

        • hennorama

          anamaria23 — TYFYR.

          Putting aside the various safety and other concerns about such a substance, including the risks of self-immobilization, etc., the idea would require one to possess such a substance.

          In contrast, putting distance and cover between yourself and an armed person does not.

          • anamaria23

            Indeed, one would have to possess it, but it need not to be fatal to disarm a threat if directed toward the face.

          • hennorama

            anamaria23 — TYFYR.

            My point is simply that your idea has merit, but some limitations. One might point to pepper spray as analogous.

        • AC

          AM23, brilliant and simple! i was telling hennorama i like your idea (above). i think there may exist something like this, not sure, but that too, could be used for ill in a way. still, love the diea!

      • AC

        yes, i suppose i should have qualified that i’d be unarmed. to be honest, i’m not that into this as an issue except for the mentally unbalanced part. this is for ‘traditional’ weapons, no mention on 3D/home made guns, etc.
        i’d rather have ‘know how’ on how to escape/control a motivated killer during their elevated epsiode (or however psych speech puts ‘in the middle of a tantrum’).
        i really like anamaria23′s idea. i thought they do have some sort of harmless spray foam that can suppress movement already available, but that may be something i read in a scifi story & mixing it up w/real world tech. i’ll look into it, but if it does exist, i wonder why reg people don’t have access?…..prob because real people include those few crazies who would likely freeze people in place to kill them slowly or something… sheesh, guess i’m having a dark morning today!!

        • hennorama

          AC — thank you for your response.

          As I wrote to [anamaria23], her idea has merit, but limitations, including the one you expressed. Imagine such a substance being used nefariously, similar to how some use Rohypnol to incapacitate a potential sexual assault victim, to name just one added example.

          That doesn’t mean one should not pursue the idea, of course. It’s just that the strategy of added distance and cover requires little but instinctive response, and instincts are innate within us due to their past success.

          My secondary point was to note the assumptions inherent in the “shoot ‘em” responses, as your original post contained no actual direct threat other than the presence of a firearm, and did not mention the “mentally unbalanced person with a gun.”

          Despite this, you received multiple “shoot ‘em” responses, all of which implies the added word “first.”

          Thanks again for your thoughtful response, and keep us posted as to what you discover in your search.

    • hennorama

      AC — have you noticed that the “shoot them first” respondents have ignored the absence of any actual threat in your hypothetical, such as the firearm being pointed at you, or it having been discharged by the “mentally unbalanced person”?

      Apparently, for these respondents, the simple combination of firearm + “mentally unbalanced person” = justification to “shoot the MF’er” and/or “blow them away.”

      This leads one to question exactly who might be “mentally unbalanced” here.

      • HonestDebate1

        Who are these idiots who advocate shooting first?

  • hennorama

    As a point of general knowledge, here’s the Federal list of those prohibited from receiving firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). Emphasis has been added regarding the issue of mental health:

    Federal Categories of Persons Prohibited From Receiving

    A delay response from the NICS Section indicates the subject of the background check has been matched with either a state or federal potentially prohibiting record containing a similar name and/or similar descriptive features (name, sex, race, date of birth, state of residence, social security number, height, weight, or place of birth). The federally prohibiting criteria are as follows:

    A person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or any state offense classified by the state as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than two years.

    Persons who are fugitives of justice—for example, the subject of an active felony or misdemeanor warrant.

    An unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance; for example, a person convicted for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; or a person with multiple arrests for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past five years with the most recent arrest occurring within the past year; or a person found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided the test was administered within the past year.

    A person adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, including dispositions to criminal charges of found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial.

    A person who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

    A person who, being an alien except as provided in subsection (y) (2), has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.

    A person dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.

    A person who has renounced his/her United States citizenship.

    The subject of a protective order issued after a hearing in which the respondent had notice that restrains them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such partner. This does not include ex parte orders.

    A person convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime which includes the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon and the defendant was the spouse, former spouse, parent, guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited in the past with the victim as a spouse, parent, guardian or similar situation to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.

    A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

    See:
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/fact-sheet

    • Deborah Edwards

      This is all well and good–as far as it goes. The problem is that approximately 40% of gun sales are purchased from someone other than an FFL! If you are a felon, domestic abuser, mentally ill person, etc., etc., you know you are not going to pass a background check, so you go to a “private seller,” which could be someone online, someone in a parking lot, or someone on a street corner. It could be a seller who bought the gun they are selling legally and just don’t want the “inconvenience” of selling through a dealer so that the background check can be done, or someone who bought multiple guns in a state that has lax gun laws with the intention of selling them to others with no questions asked, or it could be a criminal who got the gun illegally and is selling or giving it to another criminal. Responsible gun owners are the ones who follow the law–why shouldn’t everyone be required to?

      • hennorama

        Deborah Edwards — thank you for your response.

        As to the “40% of gun sales are purchased from someone other than an FFL” stat, that is a bit squishy, but your essential point is not invalidated by such squishiness.

        My intent in posting the list of prohibited categories was two-fold: to inform those who seem to not undertstand the categorical prohibitions; and, to show that the actual [mental health] prohibition is rather narrow.

        Thanks again for your response.

  • AliceOtter33

    Andrew Solomon’s interview with Adam Lanza’s father is worth a read: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/17/140317fa_fact_solomon?currentPage=all

    The article’s task was to grapple with the question of “why”, but the takeaway for me is the painfully obvious answer to the question of “how” Adam Lanza was able to do what he did with such ease and efficiency. He had direct access to firearms within his own household.

    Could he have acquired firearms elsewhere or carried out his attack by some other means entirely? Of course.

    Yet, Adam was a deeply withdrawn and depressed kid who went to extremes to avoid live social interaction, even with family members. The leap from plan to execution was made more efficient and thus, more deadly by the fact that he had access to these particular weapons at home.

    There’s no single solution to the “why” of these atrocities. But can we at least agree on the fact of the “how”? Isn’t the unencumbered access to what are essentially weapons of mass destruction worth reconsidering?

    • Jill122

      Two small children dead this week because of guns in the home. One 12 year old was teaching his 8 year old sister how to shoot (in an effort to remove the live ammo he accidentally killed her). This child was never held by the authorities, they ruled it a terrible accident.

      In another, an 11 and 10 year old playing with a gun in the house and one is dead. This child was taken into custody and charged with murder and held in jail for at least a week.

      Anyone here want to take a guess as to why? I suspect liberals will know immediately.

      • AliceOtter33

        Why? Serious question.

      • Cutler Hamilton

        Why? Asking why the kids are dead or why children are in jail?

        • Deborah Edwards

          And why isn’t the adult gun owner being held accountable for failing to secure his or her weapon?

          • brettearle

            Study the Lanza case. It may be edifying.

      • HonestDebate1

        I am not trying to be confrontational or conspiratorial but I must ask, what would you propose to do about it? It seems to me, assuming the guns were legally obtained and the parents were not felons or mentally impaired then the only answer is confiscation of the weapons. Is that what you advocate?

        As tragic as it is, children are killed every day. Sometimes they are left in a hot car. Sometimes it’s a POS boyfriend who strangles them so he can play video games.

        • AliceOtter33

          Of course, confiscation of weapons is a non-starter as a means of prevention of gun violence.

          But owners of legally obtained guns are increasingly being charged with criminal negligence or manslaughter in connection with accidental shooting deaths.

          This basic accountability for the ensuring the safety of others around one’s own gun could be a real common ground issue that could prevent shooting deaths without gun confiscation.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree there are already laws to address the concern but I still don’t know the legislation you advocate. Trigger locks? Gun safes? If so how do we enforce it and square it with the 4th amendment? And what good is a gun if it is not readily accessible?

          • anamaria23

            How about technology that the gun can only be fired by the owner which I believe is in the works. If there are two adults in the home, perhaps they should each have a gun.
            Thousands of gun owners have managed to keep their guns out of reach of their children down through the generations. Those who fail to do so should be prosecuted. No four year old should be able to get hands on a gun.

          • HonestDebate1

            It sounds reasonable but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. But thanks, that’s a valid point.

            My main beef is the assumption some don’t care about 4 year olds getting guns if they oppose stricter gun control laws.

        • jefe68

          Your analogy of children being killed everyday is off base and pointless.

          Of course the parents should lose their right to bare arms if they cannot secure their weapons. In my opinion it’s that simple. All that was needed was gun lock and this accident would never had happened.

          We don’t let 12 year olds drive cars now do we.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — please excuse this attempt at comic relief, and thank you for adding to the list of Typos/Autocorrections/Freudian Slips That Make Me Smile:

            right to bare arms

            Image credit:
            http://www.lookhuman.com/design/47965-right-to-bare-arms

          • HonestDebate1

            I can agree with your conclusion but it is impossible to enforce in the real world until it’s too late. How do you propose to enforce gun locks and square it with the 4th amendment? And how can Adam Lanza’s mother be punished any more severely than she was? Her baby boy shot her in the head and killed he’d dead.

          • jefe68

            Not sure. It’s the elephant in the room.
            In the case of the Lanza family, well they made a lot of huge mistakes buy even having a gun that home.

      • hennorama

        Jill122 — while I am not a liberal, based on the context, I infer that there was some racial/ethnic difference involved.

      • jefe68

        A 12 year old should never be allowed to handle a gun without adult supervision. Where were the adults in this tragic story?

    • brettearle

      People, such as Lanza’s mother, are in dangerous and tragic Denial that firearms accessibility can’t lead to violent death….especially where there is an unbalanced individual in a household; and regardless of whether–as well as because of whether–that individual had received training.

  • Danny

    I agree with your 3 points of gun control. Guns used for sport and (in rare occasions) defense are not inherently the problem. I would also add that gun owners must, in some way, prove that they are able to keep their guns safe ie gun safes. I am indifferent about how these policies are in acted but if states refuse to take action, then the federal government can by all means lead the way.

  • hennorama

    Unlicensed Dremel — can you explain how your strategy fits with the statistics regarding the use of firearms by those who have received the most intensive and ongoing training in the use of firearms: members of law enforcement?

    Various studies have shown a very low level of them hitting living targets, including when they are shooting at animals that are perceived as threatening or dangerous.

    • HonestDebate1

      Again with the “shoot first” thing. Who is advocating that? Do you see zero wiggle room between being armed and shooting first?

    • Iraq veteran

      Unfortunately law enforcement training on this isn’t all that intensive. Law Enforcement budgets and manpower just don’t allow for intensive training in that aspect. Ongoing, absolutely almost all agencies require “in-service” training at regular intervals. It varies by department and covers many different aspects of law enforcement activities. It’s extensive to say the least. The best we can do is send off a few officers to various seminars or schools to try and specialize in a given area, then return and from that limited experience attempt to train fellow officers at irregular intervals. However, only larger city, county, or state agencies have this luxury

      • hennorama

        Iraq veteran — thank you for your response, and for your service to our nation.

        The point is that members of law enforcement (LE) are generally more highly-trained in the use of firearms when compared to the general public. The vast majority of LE have also undergone pre-employment psychological evaluation for suitability to act as LE officers. This evaluation is not a mental health exam, of course, but generally considers one’s judgment, impulse control, and abilities to act under pressure.

        If LE members have low success rates in hitting the living targets they aim at, why would one expect positive outcomes from arming people who have less training, and who have not been psychologically evaluated?

        Thanks again.

        • Iraq veteran

          Ah. I was hoping you would reply. You’re welcome for the service. For the most part I would agree with you. It concerns me when people talk about everybody that can have a gun should have a gun like it’s some sort of civic duty to be a gun owner.
          I made my point about the training earlier… Really im trying to piggy back on what you stated earlier. The condition is commonly called survival stress but is called other things as well. Military and law enforcement are the only people that even really get educated on it. It needs to be more openly addressed as well as responsibility and taking responsiblity for what we do and don’t do in our everyday lives.

          • hennorama

            Iraq veteran — TY again for your clarifying response.

            I agree wholeheartedly that survival stress should be more openly and widely addressed.

            First thing, let’s rename it, as it is easily confused with the term survivor guilt. Any suggestions? Maybe a term with a catchy acronym?

          • Iraq veteran

            Hmmm… I have not a clue at the moment.

          • hennorama

            Iraq veteran — understood, and no worries.

            What resources would you recommend for those who might want to learn more about the issue?

            You might also consider suggesting Survivor Stress as a possible topic for On Point. There are all sorts of links to other topics of concern, such as how members of local law enforcement are personally dealing with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing, and how it differs from the Survivor Guilt some may have experienced.

  • Danny

    Honestly, I don’t know you or what you have done in the past. I don’t know if you are a good parent/spouse or if you beat those under your protection on a daily basis. I don’t know if you have never committed a crime or have been running drugs from Mexico since the 80s. What I do know is that with universal checks, the likelihood of you being a gun toting criminal or wife beater diminishes greatly. A national database is necessary to determine if you fit this criteria because without it, you could just move each time you are convicted and by a gun somewhere else. No state has the resource or the right to maintain a national database to prevent this, so it must fall to the feds to provide this information. So, if universal checks are the standard, then I know if I see you carrying your gun, you *probably* are not a criminal and if you see me with one you can *safely* assume the same.

    As far as maintaining a database of registered gun owners, even if you by your gun from a private transaction, you still need a license to use/carry it in public. I bought my guns from a private dealer but I am still required to purchase a hunting/fishing license and a conceal carry permit. The info is already in some database. Besides, I trust the state/feds more than I do you or any stranger for that matter. At least I can see them coming.

  • warryer

    Exactly how is the bill of rights “out dated”? If these rules are open to be changed, then do they really have any force at any time?

  • HonestDebate1
  • Bigred2989

    10,000 homicides is not what I call an epidemic compared to the other things that can kill you. Hell, it’s easy to tell where the majority of shootings are and what is used thanks to information from the CDC and the FBI: In impoverished minority neighborhoods where gang activity is high and with small caliber handguns, most of which aren’t effected by most gun control legislation such as assault weapons bans.

    • hennorama

      Bigred2989 — your post ignores the thousands of annual firearms-related suicides, hundreds of annual deaths related to accidental firearms discharges, and the much larger number of non-fatal firearms-related injuries.

      • Bigred2989

        I ignore the suicides because they don’t matter. When guns aren’t available in an area or country, the method of suicide just changes (jump off a building, jump in front of a train, etc). And accidents with firearms have been dropping like a stone in this country for years, and that is even with more and more people owning guns.

        • hennorama

          Bigred2989 — thank you for your response.

          Please allow for some astonishment at your words, that “the suicides … don’t matter.”

          Do you have some evidence, related to the United States, that, as you claim, “When guns aren’t available in an area … the method of suicide just changes …”?

          One also notes your continued lack of any expressed concern about the large number of non-fatal firearms-related injuries.

          • Bigred2989

            Simple: Statistically speaking, they are ****ing pointless.

          • hennorama

            Bigred2989 — thank you for your response.

            I infer from it that you have no evidence to support your claim, and that you are unconcerned about thousands of firearms-related suicides, and the large number of non-fatal firearms-related injuries that occur annually in the US.

            Please correct any misinferences.

          • Bigred2989

            I do find them terrible, but I do not see how more restrictive gun laws will do anything to mitigate them. I also hear plenty of evidence that gun control in many US cities and other countries has lead to MORE violence. Brazil has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, but you hive gangs in the favellas armed with legitimate assault rifles and most police responses involve a lot more shooting and death then they ever do here in America, where there is rarely ever a crime with a long gun or rifle. Compared to the rest of the world, we are actually the safest county in the world that allows private gun ownership. Compared to countries with no allowed civilian ownership we have even more personal freedoms and, somewhat of an opinion, less corruption in government.

          • hennorama

            Bigred2989 — TYFYR.

            Still waiting for anything other than your own unverified claims.

            Please allow a repetition of the earlier, still-unanswered question:

            Do you have some evidence, related to the United States, that, as you claim, “When guns aren’t available in an area … the method of suicide just changes …”?

            If so, please present it.

          • Bigred2989

            I suggest you do you own research. I don’t have time for this anymore.

          • hennorama

            Bigred2989 — thank you for your suggestion.

            I infer it to mean “I, [Bigred2989] cannot support the claims I make, and am retreating to avoid having to admit this embarrassing fact.”

            Please correct any misinferences in the baove.

          • HonestDebate1

            That is exactly what I was talking about on another board.

            “It’s even more shallow when that person tacitly declares victory by avoiding that coherent argument if there is no source given. Just shred the argument in the arena of honest debate… if you can.”

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that it is too much to ask someone to back up one’s arguments with facts and sources.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — it is rather fascinating that such unverified and unsupported claims are made without regard [as] to how to respond when asked for verification and support.

            It is rather basic to be able to support one’s arguments, unless one is merely interested in dishonest pontification.

            Using myself as an example, earlier today I initially posited that the incidence of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) increases with latitude, but discovered my error during my normal process of verification of the information I post.

            I posted the entirety of the above, in near-realtime, as an example of what one should do in order to be able to support one’s arguments, [as well as how one's assumptions can be completely incorrect].

            Of course, that’s just me.

          • HonestDebate1

            In your dreams.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I would not say that at all but in this case, It’s just a cheesy move on Hennorama’s part. Look at it, is there a source that measures suicide methods as related to gun laws? I doubts it. Further, if Rush or the NRA did such a study would that satisfy the Henpecker? I doubt it. And yet further, where exactly s the line between suicide and a cry for help? In other words if someone is truly intent on killing themselves without regard to a rescue or second chance, what’s to stop them? Certainly not a gun law. there are a gazillion ways to off yourself that are much easier. So there’s all of that.

            However that is not the cheesy part. That would be Henny’s shameless pin balling. Bigred was making an entirely different point. You have to scroll up a long way to get to it but suicide had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Nothing, Hennorama introduced it to the debate. I applaud Bigred not accepting the irrelevant premise. No truer words were spoken than when he wrote, “Statistically speaking, they are ****ing pointless.”

            So now we get to what my crude bandmates and I used to refer to as the real “Richard Velveeta” (figure it out). Hennorama avoids the essential point, eschews honest debate and demands a source that most likely doesn’t exist for a topic she introduced. When the absurd, ridiculous and irrelevant request is not honored she thumps her breast and declares victory. The shallow idiots rejoice. It’s stupid as hell and the antithesis of honest debate.

          • Bigred2989

            No, I’m tired on being on a liberal message board trying to change anyone’s mind here.

          • hennorama

            Bigred2989 — enjoy your retreat to the comfort of the confirmation bias likely present on whatever other sites you participate in, and where your unverified claims perhaps go unchallenged.

      • OnPointComments

        Are there any statistics on background checks preventing firearms-related suicides, annual deaths related to accidental firearms discharges, and non-fatal firearms-related injuries? I haven’t seen any statistics, but my guess is that background checks would have a negligible effect.

    • brettearle

      So because 10,000 is not an epidemic we need to play it down?

      • Bigred2989

        No, you need to look at why is happens (poverty, organized crime), and leave the people who didn’t do anything alone. I fail to see how making guns harder to get legally or easier to lose through legislation is going to stop crime in the worst neighborhoods in America. How about investing more money into bringing an economy to those areas, removing blight, and creating jobs for people who can only make ends meet slinging dope as their 9 to 5? How is banning the AR-15 going to stop a thug with a cheap revolver?

        • brettearle

          People who are not career criminals kill and murder.

          • Bigred2989

            No, they aren’t. They are desperate people who can’t get a legitimate job so they turn to selling illegal drugs or robbing homes. Give them better opportunities instead of more punishments. Or hell, get some of these neighborhoods to be more self sufficient. Instead of increasing welfare for these areas, how about a stimulus package for the ghettos so they can make legitimate businesses and have legit schools and educations? It doesn’t make sense that places like Chicago are closing so many schools in the poorer areas of the city and then act surprised when more people and children die to gang violence.

          • brettearle

            If social ills can’t be solved–at all, easily, or readily–then you do the next best thing:

            You save lives at all costs.

            And that can be done without destroying basic rights.

          • Bigred2989

            If you believe that there is nothing else the government can do to help the impoverished that doesn’t include gun control then you have a screw loose.

          • notafeminista

            Well, unless it comes to the climate of the planet…then its all about population control.

    • jefe68

      Sometimes it’s a good idea to get all the figures in, not just the ones that frame you argument.

      Every year in the U.S., an average of more than 100,000 people are shot, according to The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

      Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention, the Brady Campaign reports.

      Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns — more than the population of St. Louis, Mo. (318,069), Pittsburgh (307,484), Cincinnati, Ohio (296,223), Newark, N.J. (277,540), and Orlando, Fla. (243,195) (sources: CDF, U.S. Census; CDC)

      One person is killed by a firearm every 17 minutes, 87 people are killed during an average day, and 609 are killed every week. (source: CDC)

      This was compiled in 2013

      • Bigred2989

        My rule of thumb when quoting statistics is you don’t get them from groups with a bias. I don’t look at NRA data or even look that hard at NSSF data (unless it’s about how much money firearms earn this country in taxes every year), so paying attention to data from a group with a bias like the Brady campaign or the Violence Policy Center is very flawed.

      • notafeminista

        Since almost 62% of the 86 deaths each day are by their own hand, it seems mental health care is a greater imperative than gun control.
        Perhaps a system of requiring someone to commit to in-patient psychiatric care for at least month is in order.

  • Sy2502

    It doesn’t surprise me in the least that people like Bloomberg will appoint themselves king and will try to do away with the most basic liberties in favor of his pet idea of utopian society. What suprises me are people who vote for him.

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” – Samuel Adams

  • Charles Vigneron

    I was raised by a WWII combat veteran, proud NRA member. ‘The American Rifleman’ was childhood reading along with ‘Boys’ Life’ When I was twelve I was allowed to assist reloading of shotgun, rifle, and revolver rounds. My dad called me ‘Shotgun’ his entire life, to address me, or, when speaking of me to others. (to his wife’s irritation) He was one of the local gun-nuts. A stickler for firearm education. My hobby for decades.

    My dad thought it may be reasonable to require range proficiency for a Concealed Weapons Permit. He thought men who beat their wives or girlfriends should be required to surrender their firearms. The Second Amendment is a privilege of citizenship. It is not absolute, but conditional to lawful behaviour.

    I’ve been reading lots of early American histories at high school or college level. I’ve tried to find the earliest published 18XX from each of the early states at archive.org or books.google.com. What an eye-opener in a world where the greatest explosive power was black-powder.

    Towns had armouries to store explosives. To their history, the Gunpowder Plot was the great terrorist act (failed). They were mindful to control its use and prevent it from falling to the hands of pirates and criminals. Muzzle-loaded weapons were inspected and fines levied to militia for poor maintenance & broken equipment. Applying 18th century legal framework to 21st century technology is inane. “More guns make us safer” is defied by fact!

  • Momsfor26

    Thank you for providing coverage of this important issue for our Country- I support Shannon and Mr. Bloomberg for the efforts in passing gun law reform- it is absolutely insane to allow citizens to own semi-automatic rifles that fire off high capacity magazines- further, it is a completely rational sensible law to require a background check to purchase a gun- we have background checks for all kinds of things- the founders of the Constitution did not envision the world that we are living in- this Amendment is actually archaic although I understand the culture behind owning a gun and can respect it to some degree- the minority against changing our laws are the 10% absolutely insane population and probably are the ones who shouldn’t own a gun, – they believe the government is conspiring against them and this is a paranoid extremist position that is not even worth speaking to because nothing will change their minds- we need to just keep moving on at a grassroots level, and as Shannon said, this is a marathon and we will keep pressuring elected officials until we succeed

    • Iraq veteran

      “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.” -Benjamin Franklin

      “They that can give up essentioal liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.”
      -Benjamin Franklin

      “Government in any form is but a necessary evil.”
      -Thomas Jefferson
      I could go on but I’ll leave it there. Our government is made up of people we scarcely know. Treat them with the same suspicion that you would any other person you don’t know. This sounds extreme, because it is, but it needs to be said.

    • hennorama

      Momsfor26 — regardless of the merits of your position, you will likely have little long-term success if you describe those on the opposite side of your positiion as “absolutely insane” and/or “paranoid extremist[s].” Such terms make your arguments very easy to dismiss out of hand, and turn off many of those who might otherwise support your position.

      Just my $0.02.

      • Momsfor26

        Yeah, I know what you mean. You have a good reminder point. Probably better just to stick to the merits of my position rather than labeling, even though I cannot foresee ever trying to be able to persuade someone with this kind of mind set, truthfully. But we are certainly going to try. Tks for your feedback and your help!

        • hennorama

          Momsfor26 — You’re most certainly welcome.

          Believe me, I understand the impulse to demonize one’s opponent, and certainly have been guilty of such behavior on occasion. However, one must always remember that if one is successful in an argument, one still will need to live with those on the other side.

          Best wishes, and best of luck with your quest.

  • Questions

    To me, this all comes down to an issue of TRUST.
    By lobbying against legislation to ensure background checks for all gun sales- the NRA is saying “all gun owners are self-regulating and responsible… Just trust us and don’t interfere with our right to obtain deadly weapons- no matter how untrustworthy we are”.
    But many of these gun owners are the same ones who are buying guns at a record rate because they DON’T trust anyone- from their own government, to their neighbors and fellow citizens.
    How can they ask us to just trust them (to be responsible gun owners/not a felon, terrorist, stalker, domestic abuser, mentally unstable) when they themselves trust no one?

    • Momsfor26

      This segment of the population is entirely irrational and their perspective is warped and insane

      • Iraq veteran

        You are aware that the ENTIRE United States military, by your definition is warped and insane. Right?

        • Momsfor26

          I am talking about the minority population who are not in favor of background checks. Period. And, I know many military personnel who are in favor of background checks and agree that military style assault weapons with high cap mags should not be in the hands of civilians

          • Iraq veteran

            Sorry about the double post. Working from a tablet with shoddy wifi. Will delete one when I figure out how. My opinion is this, the civilians of this country are the reason we’re American and not British. We would not be able to overthrow a tyrannical government without them. I really hope I’m not coming across as a extreme nut job… If the government goes rogue we won’t be able to just say ok you’re fired. Time for new elections. Those corrupted by power will not give it up. Look to Syria and Lybia for recent examples. Our own history is an example. Who are the citizens fighting in Syria? Who did we fight in 1776? An organized military force. It’s purely historical in my eyes not political.

          • jefe68

            And how are you going to fight a bought and paid for government? As in the oligarchy we are now moving towards? Do you really think that being armed with a few semi-automatic weapons is going to stop a nation with the firepower of the US? How do you define tyrannical? By letting corporations call the shots? Or telling you that having large capacity ammo clips are against the law?

            Also, we are not Syria or Iraq for that matter. And speaking of history, you seemed to have left out the Civil War, not the one against King George III, which is not the way I would parse the war for Independence, but the one that tore this nation apart, for decades since 1865.

            Speaking of history, you mentioned the British, well I bet there a few Irish men and women who would beg to differ on your comment about our differences in context to fighting for independence.
            Not to mention the Scots.

      • Iraq veteran

        So… the entire military is irrational, warped, and insane? You probably don’t really mean what you said.

      • Carla

        Like I said, I intensely dislike gun culture, but it’s not helpful to try to dismiss them by calling their beliefs warped and insane. It only feeds the fire. It won’t engage a conversation. They do have a right to their views, as much as I disagree with them.

        • Momsfor26

          Yes Carla I agree they are entitled to their own views,

          • Momsfor26

            But I must continue to say that believing the entire government is trying to overtake american citizens and that they need their guns to defend themselves against our own military is quite extreme and irrational you must admit- a conversation is great but it does not lead anywhere with this group of people, I have tried on many occasions, it does not matter what the issue is for them really, it is whenever the government takes any action they are opposed to it, not just on gun issue,but on every other issue

    • Carla

      Good point. I don’t understand gun culture and dislike it intensely. Far too much emphasis on right to bear arms, beyond reason. If you own a gun for self-protection you are already thinking more about the possibility of killing, why would you want to go there? Why carry a gun on your hip, can’t you find another less dangerous mode of self-expression? I lived in Boston ten years so can well imagine how I would have felt when the marathon bombers were on the loose, the desire for a gun would not have crossed my mind. (In response to the NRA caller’s comments.) However, I don’t really trust the government to improve things with background checks, regulations usually cause more problems than they solve

  • hennorama

    Unlicensed Dremel — thank you for your response.

    Do you have any evidence, that you can point others to, that supports your various claims, and demonstrates that any of your claims are, as you wrote, “proven unequivocally”?

    If so, please share the evidence, so that others might verify your various claims.

  • notafeminista

    Apparently the Left doesn’t like minorities as much as it claims to.

    • Ray in VT

      Of course. That is the obvious conclusion to draw.

      • notafeminista

        Given the parameters of this discussion it is not a huge leap. I’ve lost count the number of times “tiny fringe minority” group v. what the majority of Americans want has been mentioned.
        Maybe the Left just likes certain minorities.

        • Ray in VT

          So, a small group should be able to thwart the desires of a vast majority of the populace? I wonder how you feel about such issues when you feel that you are the one in the minority. A bit different I would suspect. Majority rules and minority rights is a good system, and I don’t see how something like expanded background checks infringes upon the rights of the minority. Which minorities are you championing? Only with ones with which you agree?

          • notafeminista

            “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
            ‘Thwart’? Wow.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, as in a small, committed, gun industry linked lobbying group can prevent expanded background checks that have historically prevented sales to those who are not allowed to legally purchase guns, despite overwhelming public support. They’re truly the lunch counter sitters of our generation.

          • notafeminista

            And why not?

          • Ray in VT

            Why are they not the lunch counter sitters of our generation? If that is the question that you are asking, then the answer should be pretty self apparent, even to someone like you. Although, based upon some of your expressed positions, then perhaps not.

          • notafeminista

            Meaning you don’t have an answer. This isn’t about guns or no guns. This is about control plain and simple. Look at the expressed positions just on this board alone. People don’t give a flip about guns, they don’t like people who like guns, which is a significantly different thing.

          • notafeminista

            As if it matters. Assume the Left doesn’t get its way IE background checks, gun stamping and all the other suggestions fail either at the ballot box or the legislative level.
            If they fail, the Left will just take it to court to get their way – regardless of how “the people have spoken”

          • Ray in VT

            Funny. It doesn’t seem as though “the Right” minds “judicial activism” and “courts thwarting the will of the people” as long as the decisions go their way.

          • notafeminista

            Really? What sort of example would you like to provide? Specifically speaking of course of an instance in which the “the Right” lost at the ballot box and then took it to court anyway. Pick one.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Sharron Watts ducked the question so I’ll ask it of others whose mantra is “Universal Background Checks” for all sales and transfers. How, exactly, would such a program work without establishing a registry of purchases and transfers? Bloomberg is saying firearm registration will not occur, just background checks. Details please, I’d really like to know before supporting such a program.

    • hennorama

      Steve_in_Vermont — simple. Have Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) perform background checks for private sales and transfers. FFLs already perform these checks before transferring firearms to their own potential purchasers.

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        Then you acknowledge this will establish a firearm registry because the FFL dealer will be required to keep a written record of the gun(s), including the serial number, off all transactions. All that would be needed to make this a national registry is for lawmakers to require the dealers to submit this information to the government. The registry cannot verify compliance with this requirement without a written record, including a description of the gun(s).

        • hennorama

          Steve_in_Vermont — Thank you for your response.

          The FFLs’ records are not a “national registry,” but you certainly can imagine them to be if you so choose. You can also imagine a scenario under which “… lawmakers [would] require the dealers to submit this information to the government …,” should you choose to do so.

          It is indeed somewhere along the spectrum of possible outcomes, but would require a sea change in legislative actions.

          From the AFT’s website, with emphasis added:

          Q: What are the record keeping requirements for FFL’s?

          Licensees must maintain records of all firearms receipts and dispositions, including the name, age, and place of residence of purchasers. 18 USC 922(b)(5) and 923(g)(1)(A). Licensed importers and manufacturers are required to identify firearms they import or manufacture by means of a serial number, which must be recorded in licensee records. 18 USC 923(i). Licensees are required to respond immediately to ATF firearms trace requests. 18 USC 923(g)(6). Reports of multiple sales of two or more handguns sold at one time or during any five consecutive business days are also required to be submitted to ATF. 18 USC923(g)(3). Licensees who discontinue business must deliver their records to ATF. 18 USC 923(g)(4).

          These requirements enable ATF to carry out one of the principal purposes of the GCA—to assist State, local, and foreign law enforcement officials in tracing firearms used in crime.

          The United States government does not maintain records of licensees’ firearms transactions, other than the previously mentioned out-of-business records, reports of multiple handgun sales, and records of firearms traces. The assimilation of the information from these records provides valuable leads in the identification of illegal gun traffickers and their sources of firearms in the United States.

          Regulations at 22 CFR 122.5 require that records of all transactions authorized by export, temporary import, and temporary export licenses must be maintained by the applicant for a period of 5 years. The records must be made available to United States Customs officers upon demand. These transactions are also computerized at the Department of State and Customs ports.

          See:
          https://www.atf.gov/firearms/how-to/become-an-ffl.html

  • davecm

    I think a back ground check is a great idea for all gun buyers,
    just like a photo ID is a great idea for all voters!
    Do we all agree????

    • notafeminista

      - all check cashers
      – all motor vehicle operators
      – all employed persons

  • hennorama

    Anay — earlier, I posted the Federal list of those prohibited from receiving firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). This is the one specifically related to mental health/illness:

    A person adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, including dispositions to criminal charges of found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial.

    As you can see, this is rather narrow. As far as can be determined, Mr. Bloomberg is not proposing any changes to this category. He is simply proposing that it be applied to private sales and transfers not involving a FFL.

    The original post is here:
    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/04/21/bloomberg-gun-control-nra#comment-1348928267

  • Anay

    Hennorama – Thank you. I figured as much but I wanted to put that out there so we can clarify what would be considered a mental illness under tighter gun control measures.
    The soldier who shot the other soliders in Texas was not considered incompetent or unable to handle his own affairs. There’s a really thin line here that needs more attention and deeper analysis in this discussion of mental illness.

    • Iraq veteran

      We must tread carefully when we enter our military into a discussion such as this. Though the situation appears similar there is one very large difference that can not go without acknowledgement. Desensitization.

    • hennorama

      Anay — you’re welcome.

      As stated, what is being proposed by Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Watts is not any tightening of the Federal categories of prohibited persons, but simply making background checks more widey used.

  • harverdphd

    Looks like a funny way to get money out of politics…banking and corporate lobbyists must go but it’s ok to pay lobbyists to undercut the NRA….

    Oh well, at least he walks the walk for 50 mil out of his 33 *BIL*…but if the NRA’s political strength is blown out of proportion, why the fuss? Seems the trend is already established at the ballot box.

    Good news , though, for Con lawyers and staffers…think of it as a stimulus program for out of work college kids.

  • Fredlinskip

    If only good people had guns, people wouldn’t need guns for self-defense.
    Hand ‘em out to everyone.

  • VinceD2

    This is great, if you believe that gang bangers and drug dealers will buy their guns on the legal market. Believing in the Tooth Fairy makes more sense than this.

  • Iraq veteran

    One thing that I’ve noticed over and over again is how we by and large have two views on this sort of event (active shooter scenarios). Depending on your view it’s either A: More guns should be involved. More people (teachers, janitors, principals etc) should have access to and know how to employ them, or B: Less people should have guns, be it mentally unsound persons, criminals, or the general public (repealing the 2nd Amendment). Each have their merits and flaws. The real problem as I see it is people to dismiss the signs and red flags of a person in need. “Oh they are just having a hard time right now they’ll be fine in a day or two.” Or, “Not my child, I have an angel that wouldn’t do something like that.” Why do we just dismiss these things. We all know when someone is not ok, especially when we have regular direct dealings with someone.

  • John Cedar

    Typical MSN ultra left wing bias. The phrase “gun rights” is not used by any of the MSN.
    But if the topic were abortions that take place the hour before natural child birth would occur, it is always described as “reproductive rights” rather than abortion reform or rather than taking on the pro abortion cult with common sense.
    If the topic were about the public sector union cartel and the unreasonable compensation packages they extort from the tax payers, it is always described as “union rights”. It is never described as “public union reform” or taking on the unions with “common sense”.

  • Fredlinskip

    If a law could be passed whereby anyone attempting to purchase weapons and clips that have the singular capacity of firing as many bullets as possible in shortest amount of time, could be immediately be recognized as “mentally impaired” and subject to arrest on the spot; much of our nation’s gun problems would be alleviated.

  • Fredlinskip

    Much ado about one run on sentence that is our 2nd amendment.

    Our Supreme Court, in it’s great wisdom, has recently interpreted it to mean- “everybody gets to own them there guns”.

    Never mind words such as “well-regulated” (which meant back then “well-disciplined”) or “militia” or protecting “the security of our free” nation; the Founders simply meant ” everybody gets to own them there guns”.

    “Everybody gets to own them there guns”.

    Brilliant!

    Personally, I don’t believe the founders were all that simple.
    Many of our recent SC Justices, however, seem to be simpletons.

    • Mark G.

      Well regulated could also mean a modern-for- those- times firearm in good working condition with plenty of ammunition. And that you had to keep your marksmanship level up. We must remember , back then there was no real money for any standing army of any size and a lot of soldiers had families. Citizens had to protect themselves and their country at a moments notice. That kind of necessity still exists to this very day.

      • Fredlinskip

        I agree for most part . Back then, there was no standing army- in fact after what happened with the Brits, most Americans didn’t wish for a standing army. Therefore there was a need for everyone to be “disciplined, well-trained”, because there were very REAL threats of invasion from the Brits or.. The French… or Spain.. Or even Injuns.

        That threat today isn’t as prevalent. We do have a National Defense (And How!), and we are not so much threatened by our immediate neighbors.

      • HonestDebate1

        In the late 1700′s “well regulated” meant well trained and disciplined, basically “well-fuctioning”.

    • PaulD

      In the 2nd Amendment, which words tie gun ownership to membership in a militia? It says that a militia is necessary for a free state. It also says that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Finally, it’s the second in a list of personal rights.

      So please tell me which words say that only militia members can own guns.

      • Jill122

        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

        • PaulD

          That’s a non answer. which specific subset of words in there ties the “keep and bear” for an individual to being in a militia? Also, do you consider it logical that a collective right might be included in a list of individual rights?

      • Fredlinskip

        I’d love to have time to answer, but it will have to wait for after work this evening.
        Otherwise I have a couple clients likely to shoot me.
        Later.

      • Fredlinskip

        It says these things in one sentence not two, therefore it would seem fairly apparent that the first part of sentence was meant to relate to the second.

        2nd amendment in 21st century speak reads:
        (Because) a militia is required for the security of a free state (country), people should be allowed to own guns.

        B of R amends an important document called the Constitution.
        In it reads:
        “Congress is granted the power to use U.S. militia for THREE SPECIFIC MISSIONS:
        ***.. to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.” (This of course before America had a “standing” army).

        The right to bear arms was put in constitution explicitly so the “people” could come to nation’s aid in time of need.
        They were granting the privilege of bearing arms specifically so “well-disciplined” folks would be prepared to aid our nation in time of need – ***at DISCRETION OF CONGRESS.

        I do not see anywhere in Constitution or B of R: “Anyone FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER can own any weapon they choose capable of killing as many people as conceivably possible in a matter of seconds”

        But perhaps this is an amendment that needs be made to update it’s meaning, …
        but I don’t think so.

      • Fredlinskip

        It says these things in one sentence not two, therefore it would seem fairly apparent that the first part of sentence was meant to relate to the second.

        2nd amendment in 21st century speak reads:
        (Because) a militia is required for the security of a free state (country), people should be allowed to own guns.

        B of R amends an important document called the Constitution.
        In it, it reads:
        “Congress is granted the power to use U.S. militia for THREE SPECIFIC MISSIONS:
        ***.. to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.” (This of course before America had a “standing” army).

        The right to bear arms was put in constitution explicitly so the “people” could come to nation’s aid in time of need.
        They were granting the privilege of bearing arms specifically so “well-disciplined” folks would be prepared to aid our nation in time of need –
        -***at DISCRETION OF CONGRESS.

        I do not see anywhere in Constitution or B of R: “Anyone FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER can own any weapon they choose capable of killing as many people as conceivably possible in a matter of seconds”

        But perhaps this is an amendment that requires consideration …
        but I don’t think so.

        • PaulD

          Yet that amendment was place with a group of others that was meant to restrict government power and guarantee the rights of individuals. It defies logic that such intelligent men would have mixed these concepts.

          Further, there are plenty of historical writings from the people that wrote the constitution bearing out that this was meant as an individual right and as a way of constraining the government from practicing tyranny.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

          As for “FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER”, it does say “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”.

          Really though, do some research on this topic. You’ve only stated your feelings.

          • Fredlinskip

            I’ve done quite a bit of research- there’s room for more. Yes B of R is about individual rights.
            Individual rights also have limits.
            I contend that the 2nd amendment isn’t as simple as you and Scalia make it out to be.
            The words “militia” and “security of our state” were put in there for a reason-
            not to be simply ignored.

            That was then, this is now.
            Presently gun rights advocates “freedom” to own most any weapon they like, often infringes on other Americans right to remain living and breathing.

          • PaulD

            It doesn’t say “security of our state”. It says “security of a FREE state”.

            The rest of the BoR has no prior restraints. That is, yelling fire in a crowded movie theater is not illegal. It’s illegal to maliciously start a riot by stating lies as an example.

            That 2A has all sorts of prior restraints. We already outlaw many types of guns at the federal and state level, we require background checks (yes, we already do plenty of them) and most states require licenses to carry a gun (some even require a license to own a gun at all, like MA).

            Parsing the the 2A logically, it gives a prefatory clause in the beginning stating a reason (historic writings give other reasons) and then states “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”. Logically, it doesn’t say that the people must be in a militia to exercise the right. Further, the definition of “militia” is codified in US law as being all able bodies men (I think we can allow for greater age given modern health): http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/311

          • Fredlinskip

            Yes it does say free state- the omission was not intentional.

            FF’s placed “militia” and “shall not be infringed” in the same sentence for a reason.
            At the same time, common sense would dictate that FF’s would understand that people would wish to own firearms for other reasons than defending their free state (country) in a militia- Hunting or self-defense of their homes for example.

            I would contend that by including “militia”, that FF’s, understanding they had no Army, wanted to stress the point that Americans would be likely called upon in the future to defend their nation; therefore they should be well-trained and hopefully bolster their training in militias.

            Militia codified to mean all able-bodied men also is simple logic.
            This is all common sense derivation of 2A.

            Likewise the fact “Congress is granted the power to use U.S. militia for three specific missions:
            *“.. to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions”, ties 2A to the fact that FF’s expressed the need to call upon this “militia” of all able- bodied men in times of need in defense of country.

            This is a FAR cry from the interpretation that 2A is about protecting ourselves from “tyrannical government”.
            I think that interpretation is off-the-charts horsepuckey.

  • Iraq veteran

    Back towards the main article of the topic… What Mr. Bloomberg is doing is fine by me. Why? Because he’s openly saying. “I support this.” This is fine as far as I’m concerned. Now, the problem in my eyes is when one wants to give millions and be anonymous. If you want to be anonymous give 25 bucks. There should be no anonymity in the “public forum.”

    • hennorama

      Iraq veteran — please allow me to extended a personal, albeit belated, “welcome to the forum.”

      Your reasonable and thoughtful comments are a bit of a breath of fresh air, and I for one look forward to more of them.

      • Iraq veteran

        :) Thanks. I intend to be here often.

    • HonestDebate1

      Absolutely. It would nice if we didn’t pick and choose when money was good or bad based on politics..

      • Iraq veteran

        Agreed

    • OnPointComments

      Ask the members of the Tea Party if they felt they were targeted because their names were known. Ask Frank Vandersloot what it was like after the Obama campaign published his name and disparaged him on a campaign website. Ask Brendan Eich about the repercussions of supporting a California referendum.

      • Iraq veteran

        The Tea Party wasn’t the only political group that was involved with the IRS thing. Democratic groups as well as others according to multiple news sources. CNN, NPR, BBC, AND MSNBC. Do I NEED to hyperlink it all?

        • OnPointComments

          You are wrong. There were other political groups that were investigated for cause, but only conservative organizations were targeted based solely on being a conservative organization.

        • Cliff Casavant

          This one you better. Because your info on this one is wrong…

      • TFRX

        “Felt”?

        We’ve gone past the point of “how the Tea Party feels” on anything as an indicator of how ginned up their persecution complex is.

    • John Cedar

      Have you ever heard of Publius and the Federalist Papers?

      • Iraq veteran

        Indeed I have. Read it also. The big difference between now and then though is that you don’t have me and my brothers and sisters in arms carting you off to be tried for treason today. Being anonymous in a revolution/civil war where the penalty for capture is death or imprisonment is very reasonable. Yes I said civil war, we were British back then. :P I hope I read your question right John.

        • John Cedar

          You read my question right.
          Did you read the Anti-Federalist Papers too?
          Recently a man was forced to resign from his job because of a political contribution he made ten years ago. Death was not involved and merely the loss of his career. In my mind it is too bad that he couldn’t have donated in anonymity.

          • Ray in VT

            Forced or felt compelled?

          • northeaster17

            He left on his own free will. The severance check must have been a beauty.

          • Iraq veteran

            What position did he hold? Was he elected or appointed?

  • Fredlinskip

    I didn’t use the words “dumb rednecks”.

    I simply paraphrased SC’s Heller ruling.

    I do agree with the many Americans that disagree with many of the majority rulings of this particular SC and did wish to express it with much emphasis.

    Just as I agree with the 90% of Americans that further background checks are in order.

    • TxAg

      90% of Americans? I think you’re overstating that one.

      Also, the only way to increase background checks would be to outlaw private sales of firearms. The so-called “gun show loop hole” only covers transfers between individuals within the same state, and even then it won’t protect a seller from prosecution if they sell a gun to a prohibited person, knowingly or not.

      A better solution would be for the states to actually use the current system to it’s intended potential. In many states there are thousands of felons who have been left out of the current back ground check system, mostly due to the bureaucracy currently in place.

      We don’t need more laws, or more “bans” as many on the left seem to be constantly calling for. We need to find a way to increase the government’s ability to competently execute the laws that are currently on the books.

      • Fredlinskip

        You may in large part be correct.
        I’m not big on the let’s do nothing option, however, which seems to be what most gun advocates seem to be calling for.
        I also, being a soft-hearted cuss, wish that something, almost anything, be done in tribute to those who have been murdered in recent mass shootings to lend some sort of meaning to the senseless loss of life.

        • TxAg

          I wouldn’t say that insisting on stricter enforcement of current laws would be doing nothing.

          I can understand you sentiment, but knee jerk legislation passed because we “must do something” often results in unintended consequences.

          Just ask the gentlemen who sponsored the USA Patriot act back in 2001.

          • Fredlinskip

            I confess I don’t have all the answers.
            Stricter enforcement of current legislation does not seem to be coming any time soon as far as I can tell.

          • TxAg

            I agree, and find it to be most unfortunate.

      • motherseer

        There are no laws currently on the books in many, many states. There is no requirement for ID or background checks in many states; there are no requirements for ID or background checks at gun shows; there are no requirements for ID or background checks for online sales in most states; please do the research before spreading the gun lobby’s disinformation. We do indeed need some new laws, not just enforcement of existing ones – because in too many states there are no existing ones, at least ones that make sense & contribute to the public’s – especially our children’s – safety.

        • TxAg

          The law the covers background checks – the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act – is a Federal law. It requires that all Federal Firearms Licensees (gun dealers) run background checks for ALL guns they sell, including those sold at gun shows. An overwhelming majority of legally obtained firearms are purchased through these dealers. The agency that regulates the manufacture, importation, and sale of ammunition and firearms – the ATF – is also Federal.

          The purpose of the background checks currently mandated under the Brady Act is ensure that guns are not sold to prohibited persons – anyone convicted of a felony, adjudicated as mentally incompetent, or convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

          The problem is that almost all of the conditions causing someone to be “prohibited” result from breaking state law. For example, felony assault is adjudicated at the state level, but will cause you to be unable to pass a gun purchase background check on a national level. This only works IF the states keep the information they are required to provide to the national background check system current – which many do not.

          The Brady Bill has been law for 20 years, and the system still isn’t working the way that it was intended. How does it make sense that adding additional laws and layers of bureaucracy will improve this?

          This isn’t a case of the “gun lobby” twisting the facts, and the “civilian disarmament” crowd is as guilty of spreading disinformation as anyone.

        • PaulD

          Is there any proof these laws will work?

  • Fredlinskip

    There is much talk of needing to keep out of hands of “mentally impaired”. I am of the strong belief that weapons capable of discharging dozens of bullet within a minute or 2 are NOT required for self-defense. Therefore I would question their desire for such weapons as possible indication of “mental impairment”

    If people like to play at the target range with such things at target range that’s a different story.
    But personally I believe these people should recognize the need for their right to “play” to be weighed against the fact that stricter regulation will decrease the risk of such weapons falling into less responsible hands.

    • TxAg

      There are many instances where citizens have defended themselves successfully because of the fact that they were able to possess a semi-automatic firearm with a magazine that held greater than Mr Bloomberg’s arbitrary limit of 7 rounds. After all, the police carry such weapons – primarily for self defense – because criminals are often armed with similar (illegally obtained) firearms.

      The idea that gun ownership is allowed because they serve a “sporting purpose” is a distraction and has little to do with anything written in the Constitution.

      • Fredlinskip

        Well how many rounds do you feel people need to defend themselves? And how quickly do they need be fired in succession?
        20 in a minute? Hundreds?
        Weapons are becoming increasingly more effective.
        How much is enough?
        Some of you folks must be REAL bad shots.

        • TxAg

          Machine guns are already regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.

          In other words, the fastest any gun that you or I can walk into a gun shop and purchase (after passing a background check) will fire is once per pull of the trigger. No faster.

          30 rounds per second, 60 rounds per second, all of that is smoke and misinformation. At best it’s a misrepresentation of facts by the uninformed.

          As far as magazine capacity, you might find this interesting:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa-joxi63xs

          • Fredlinskip

            Seems as if gun manufacturers need get that firing speed up a bit to a least one a second.
            Never know when you might have 50 or 60 robbers trying to break in your house all at once.

          • TxAg

            Again, you’re just ignoring my point and answering with empty sarcasm…

            I guess if you don’t have an intelligent counter argument all you’re left with is making fun other other person’s position.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps , but as efficiency of these weapons increase, perhaps regulation to ban certain weapons/clips may be in order.
            “Machine guns” may be banned, but as smaller weapons begin to match the efficiency of “machine guns” of an earlier era, what does it matter?

          • TxAg

            Again, your assertion is incorrect. The firearms that are legally available to American citizens today are no more “efficient” than those available 60 years ago. They may look different, be made of plastic instead of wood, and may have better ergonomics, but they are essentially the same as those available to our grandparents.

            Cosmetic features do not equate to function.

            Again, a semi-automatic rifle or handgun – even one manufactured in 2014 – is in no way the equivalent of a machine gun.

        • PaulD

          No, guns are not becoming increasingly more effective. In fact, handguns haven’t had any significant changes in 50 years. Neither have rifles.

          Have you ever tried to defend yourself with a handgun? Have you looked at the stats in police shootings for their hit rate?

          You are speaking from ignorance. You do not know anything about this topic and it’s plainly evident in your posts.

          • Fredlinskip

            Now you’re getting insulting.

            “Have you looked at the stats in police shootings for their hit rate?”
            Perhaps police should work on spraying fewer bullets around indiscriminately??

            I am for restricting the freedom of the ability to instigate mass murder- no one requires capability of putting 50 bullets in someone “in self- defense“.

            Somewhere between a squirt gun and a missile launcher there should be a line drawn as to what a citizen needs own to protect themselves.

            I am of the opinion that millions of these high capacity weapons in our country is not making us safer. In fact it increases the likelihood that they fall in “wrong” hands.
            I am not particularly proud that the Gun Related Death Rate is MANY many multiple times the average per capita rate of the other developed countries.

            We need deescalate. There are already plenty of weapons out there to do plenty of mischief.

            This seems plain common sense.

          • PaulD

            Well I’m sorry that’s insulting but you’re propagating misinformation. Pure and simple, guns haven’t become more lethal in many decades. The basic pattern for handguns, the 1911, is over 100 years old. The basic pattern for the “assault weapons” you so dread is also 100 years old (the Thompson).

            As for the police, I agree. They should work on being better shots but most of them qualify once a year and fire about 200 rounds during qualification (that’s not effective practice).

            As for whether these guns make us safer, how about doing some actual research? The number of guns in this country has nearly doubled since 1990 and the violent crime rate has gone steadily down since then. You’ll also find no correlation between lax gun laws at a state level and murder. VT, NH, MO, ID and other states have very lax gun laws and the lowest murder rates. By contrast, the murder rate in MA is much worse than NH and VT, yet it has among the strictest gun laws in the country.

            You say it’s all common sense, as do others, but none of them are willing to pony up any scientific proof that these gun control measures work. Further, gun ownership *has* been found to be an individual right and in this country, rights aren’t supposed to be rescinded without due process and strict scrutiny is supposed to be applied.

          • Fredlinskip

            I see “cat has your tongue” as far as my response to your question concerning 2nd amendment and militias above.

            As far as Gun Related Death stats in developed nations, more guns DO NOT equate with more safety. Too many innocent people are dying for no good reason.

            U.S has 2 times ownership rate & about twice gun- related death rate as Switzerland

            US has nearly 3 times O.R. & 3 times GRDR as Sweden

            U.S. has 3X O.R. & >5 times GRDR as Canada

            U.S. has nearly 3 times O.R. & 7 times GRDR as France

            US has 3X O.R. & >9X GRDR as Germany

            US has nearly 6X & >10X GRDR as Australia

            US has over 100X O.R. & >100 X GRDR as Japan

            Seems to be a pattern here.
            more guns, the greater the death rate-
            Sorta logical, don’t you think?

          • PaulD

            “cat’s got your tongue” equates to too long a response time? That makes no sense.

            As an extreme example, Japan has essentially no guns in private hands so yes, logically the gun related death rate would be low. However, it would be more logical to consider whether the presence of guns increases the death rate overall. Looking at the rate of suicide in Japan, it’s much higher than the US, yet they have no guns. By your logic, the suicide rate should be very low due to no guns but it’s not. How is that?

            It makes no sense to conflate murders and suicide as the dynamics of each are vastly different. If you go look at the suicide stats in MA, you’ll find that guns aren’t a major method but among women, they’re especially low. Even so, women in MA still commit suicide but they prefer different methods (OD, Hanging).

            Finally, none of those countries you mentioned have the drug and gang related problem that the US does. If you exclude places like Chicago from your murder statistics, you’ll find the murder rate in this country isn’t much different than the US. Once again, why is the murder rate in NH and VT so low given the lax gun control laws?

            As I said elsewhere in here, where is the proof that gun control will actually work? Also, what’s your plan for removing guns from those who don’t obey the law *before* you remove them from those who do? If you can figure out actual causation, as opposed to the very loose correlation you show, then you might have a hope of solving a problem.

            Since you want to look at other countries, pay attention to this guy’s point regarding what happened after major gun control efforts in the UK: http://youtu.be/Ooa98FHuaU0

            In closing, I’m all for lowering murder and other violent crime, but neither you nor the politicians pushing gun control have *any* proof they work and within this country, there is no correlation on a state by state basis between gun control laws and crime rates.

            A final link on those stats: http://freakonomics.com/2013/02/14/how-to-think-about-guns-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

            Regards.

          • Fredlinskip

            Appreciate much the civil discussion and the links.

    • PaulD

      The handguns that police officers carry on a regular basis are “capable of discharging dozens of bullet within a minute or 2″ and those guns are carried for the officer’s own defense. Why should a private citizen not be afforded the same capability?

      I apologize if this is insulting but you know next to nothing about the guns you wish to regulate.

      • Fredlinskip

        No insult taken.

        “Why should a private citizen not be afforded the same capability?”

        Well, for one, it doesn’t seem terribly outrageous a proposition that law officers should have better weapons than private citizens- if it is their charge to attempt to “keep the peace”.

        • PaulD

          In many places in the country, police response times are on the order of 30 minutes. Further, police usually show up with backup. A person in their homes has no such backup. Further, police have no duty to protect individuals. See these cases:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maksim_Gelman_stabbing_spree#Civil_suit_by_Lozito

          And as it is, police already have fully automatic rifles, which are essentially illegal for individuals, armored vehicles and are close to being a domestic army (see what happened in Watertown MA one year ago).

          Finally, you didn’t answer the question regarding why individuals shouldn’t be afforded the same capacity in a handgun or rifle as a police officer.

  • Iraq veteran

    Well… I will say this… The biggest infringement on our collective rights and liberties was the Patriot Act… Now it a big deal and the intelligence agencies are in alot of hot water. Bottom line? What they did was legal according to laws written by congress and deemed constitutional by the supreme court. You don’t have to be right or left to play the “scare the public” card.

    • TxAg

      Excellent point.

  • Cliff Casavant

    This is the example how everyone in our society ignores the outcry of a person in need. this person has mutilated himself destroyed his future and can pass a background check.
    https://scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1.0-9/p480x480/1002538_10152036615373314_8096744980922843834_n.jpg

    • Iraq veteran

      *shakes head in disappointment*

      • Cliff Casavant

        Yes I do to as the proposed background checks will not see what we see. Hence the problem with the proposed bill…

    • JGC

      This deserves comment, but not on this particular forum. Today’s program is about Bloomberg’s campaign for background gun checks. Maybe this should have gone on the Friday open program?

      • Cliff Casavant

        This is exactly to to point out the ridiculousness of bloombergs attempt as this kid can pass a background check. but clearly if is seriously messed up. Background checks in the system we have has far to little “background” you have to have committed a act of a certain level before it get reported…There needs to be a comprehensive system of reporting to a spreadsheet that collates the data. at this time back ground checks do not accomplish this!

    • Fredlinskip

      kinda gross.
      Did Bloomberg have something to with it?
      Does it have anything to do with today’s show?
      Is this supposed to bring some kind of comic relief?
      Or are we now supposed to all search the web and post equally offensive material in response?

      • Cliff Casavant

        I guess you only read the picture!!! that’s to bad!!!
        It has everything to do with today’s show. And in fact with you specifically see you clearly ID this kid is messed up and offensive but will not do ANYTHING to help him just walk on by and turn you head to a blind eye.That is the real problem and this messed up offensive kid can pass a background check. SINCE like i have posted the background check has NO continuity and therefore not worth the time I have spent pointing out your fallacy to our country.

        • Fredlinskip

          “I guess you only read the picture!”
          I guess I did at that and I suppose you’re comment had some relevance That said I still wouldn’t have posted such a picture just as I wouldn’t post a picture of someone who just got shot in the head to prove a point about gun control.

          But that’s just me.

          • Cliff Casavant

            Well IMO someone shot in the head does not mean anything as the victim in the pic may be war bound or movie make up and so on. To me the pic points out the lake of thinking threw this bloomberg issue.

          • Cliff Casavant

            OK here is the bottom line NO gun owner believes in NO gun safety. The problem is that folks who do not own gun or have little experience and pushing the effort. SO as a result completely ineffective ideas are being thrown out. GUN safety is paramount to a gun owner. AT least to the many who are putting up the fight because this discussion will ONLY effect us. Personally I wish WE would offer a idea because there are several that will work but then the gun controllers do not understand enough about “GUN SAFETY” and reject them as not honest.
            So how do we get the gun controllers to entertain a conversation??? the lady in this show was very combative when pushed in areas she was not informed.

    • brettearle

      Are you sure that this photo was absolutely necessary?

      We could have used our imaginations.

      We can do without the sensationalism.

      THIS ISN’T RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT….

      It’s a Free Country. But YOU are out of order….

      • Cliff Casavant

        OUT of ORDER. in fact this is exactly whats in the order you have Identified what a background check cannot see.

        • brettearle

          We’re not conducting background checks, here, SIR.

          You could have described it to us.

          Instead of providing photos.

          Your decision was gratuitous and unnecessarily provocative.

          It is beneath the quality standard of THIS forum.

          And trust me, when I tell you that I am NOT the only one who feels this way.

          • Cliff Casavant

            Well your last line does not surprise me to hear narrow minded. Negative comments to bully people who have another opinion which you dont share. and from a hidden name at that

          • Jill122

            You’ve brought something disgusting to the board. Be a man and own up. You believe because you are using a name that anyone here believes you are who who claim? You are less well informed that you would like to believe.

            If anyone is watching this board, they certainly don’t need your name to track you down. Any troll in the world can name himself Cliff.

          • Cliff Casavant

            Very interesting Jill, your continued personal attack has proven MY point and PRO GUNS POINT completely. dishonesty in your application. Because of course no one will EVER have someone buy a gun for them to get around a background check. Come on!!
            and further you pointed out that your a troll I was surprised you described yourself as accurately as I feel you are. But its so amazing how you support the reason why someone would like to have the ability to protect themselves. and lastly its disgusting??
            I and here to tell you that that person can pass a background check and is clearly messed up and you would not give your address to him. but YOU WILL JUDGE AND NOT ASSIST THIS POOR PERSON WHO NEEDS THE KIND OF HELP THAT YOU WANT TO USE AS A FACTOR TO NOT GIVE A GUN TO AND YOU WONT OFFER HELP.

          • Jill122

            It’s not dishonest to call you out for posting a disgusting picture. Yes it’s a personal attack. You made a personal decision to post something disgusting and now you are so thin-skinned you can’t take the consequences.

            Of course there are straw purchases and of course the background check isn’t going to solve it. But we can sure hike the penalties on a straw purchase — if we didn’t have a bunch of screaming meemies around claiming that any law was discrimination. How many times and in how many ways are the gun owners going to continue to play victim?

            Oh you were trying to solicit sympathy for this young child? Gee, your presentation skills could use a little assistance. I’m pretty sure most of the people on this board feel very sorry for this kid and would love to open facilities to take care of someone like this, who is clearly in the midst of some serious mental problems. I for one would like to catch him before he mutilates himself. As it is, one can only hope that he has removed himself from the gene pool.

            If this child purchases a gun, if this child commits a crime with said gun, I suspect the hapless gun seller would have a great deal of explaining to do. Were I a legitimate arms seller, I would not sell to this kid. Too much hassle later if he decides to do something bad. So yes, I would make a judgment call based on what he’s done to himself. Others may disagree or be greedy.

          • Cliff Casavant

            Holy smokes ….
            Your not calling me out on the pic I posted it because I to thinks it gross and untended to garnish reaction from it. But you have missed that point by as far off as your understanding is on the facts you try to apply to this topic. Which that miss understanding has fueled your opinion to be way off reality. As for som of your other comments like first amendment wow… Clearly your pationste albeit very uneducated on the subject and terribly miss guided. Also the assumptions you keep making makes me chuckle but then saddens me to see you do not understand that you are doing so.

    • HonestDebate1

      Where is that boy’s daddy?

      • Fredlinskip

        That’s Cliff’s son, Elmo Casavant

    • PaulD

      So you would deny him his civil rights just because of how he looks?

      • Cliff Casavant

        No bit that’s well said . the fear in the gun control is mentally unhealthy people and this person is that example.

        • PaulD

          It would certainly appear he has mental problems. However, in other cultures what he’s done wouldn’t be that far from the norm.

          The 2nd Amendment has been found to be an individual right and to deny that right is supposed to require due process. I’d be willing to accept a scientifically founded conclusion that he is sufficiently mentally impaired as to not be safe with a gun, but to go on looks alone? That’s how this country is supposed to work.

          • Cliff Casavant

            I agree 100% which is why I am aginst the background checks that system is not designed to do your above discription therefore only impeds honest people.

          • Jill122

            Background checks can be done within days — that’s hardly an impediment for a responsible person. If you are buying a gun because you NEED one right now this minute, no exceptions, I’d rule on the face of the matter, that you should NOT have a gun. If a responsible gun owner cannot wait three days for a background check, then something is wrong. I cannot tell you what it is, but I can absolutely tell you that something is wrong. So, no gun. Wait for the background check.

            It may not run smoothly for a while. It takes time to get a database up and running. But it will work. And it will save lives.

            Responsible people want other responsible people to own guns. FELONS shouldn’t own guns. And we can take them off the streets with a some time and background checks.

            Stop being so afraid. That’s not very manly.

          • PaulD

            We already have a background check system: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics

            It does ~10 million background checks per year. If each one were to take 3 days, most people’s right to buy a gun would be denied simply due to inability to keep up.

            Further, the current NICS system *does* do an effective job of precluding felons from buying a gun at a licensed gun dealer without a 3 day wait. I’m not sure where you got the idea that kind of wait is necessary. The NICS system is not used for gun sales between private individuals and without knowing who owns those guns in the first place, it couldn’t be enforced (hence people bringing up the idea of registration).

            As for whether or not someone should be able to wait 3 days, how do you *know* this? You must be bordering on omniscient.

          • Jill122

            3 day wait avoids a crime of passion. I don’t believe the NICS system works well and neither do they. Everyone is not participating, everyone is not submitting the appropriate information so that an informed decision can be made about a potential gun owner. Read about it besides the cutouts from the NRA. You’ll see what law enforcement thinks about NICS.

          • PaulD

            If the NICS system isn’t working, wouldn’t the first step towards fixing it be to prosecute those who fail the standards of the current background checks? http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/ATF/e0406/exec.htm

            Also, the main thrust of people like Bloomberg and Watts has been for background checks of private sales. How are those going to be effective without forcing current owners of firearms to register those guns?

            As for what the police think, you’ll forgive me if I don’t hold much regard for that. You see, in my state the chiefs of police hold sole discretion over who can or can’t get a license to own any gun (a power the chief’s association has actively lobbied for). The decision to deny a person’s right is NOT supposed to lie solely with law enforcement.

            It’s also worth noting that if the record of one of the founders of MAIG (Menino) is any record, “fixing” the background check system is far from the endgame. You see, MA already has full background checks and registration of all guns. Menino (and his friend Deval Patrick and people in the state legislature) hasn’t been satisfied with that though. He’s heavily lobbied for 7 round magazine capacity, outlawing of currently legal guns, liability insurance for gun owners, increase in license fees, 20% taxes on guns and ammunition, increase in training costs and a raft of other laws none of which have been proven to work. The strategy is, often, to price gun ownership out of most people’s finances. This has always struck me as less than Democratic.

          • Cliff Casavant

            Jill you have assumed many things here both on my life and how gun owners function. I will suggest its from the bad info being distributed because you are incorrect in almost every statement. A background check will no NOTHING to save lives. I will give you two versions here.
            A. a person does not decide to commit a crime plane it out plane out the gun she wants, then plan her goal and then go by the gun the day of… Just Silly.
            B. by that logic obtaining a driver licence means you will never commit a vehicular crime. the car is also registered.

          • Jill122

            Cliff, I don’t assume anything on [sic] your life. You posted a disgusting picture, you were called on it by me and others and you continue to defend it. Yuck. Do you find that’s a personal attack? How else should someone reproach YOU for such a poor choice? Free speech in decent society has it’s limits. You have a right to post, we don’t have to agree.

            I believe background checks will prevent deaths. I believe that many deaths are crimes of passion and without the deadly means to “resolve” the tension, it will be resolved by other means, not necessarily death. Of course, you’ll say if someone wants to kill, blah, blah blah. I’m saying if the means are not at hand, then it’s possible that the death won’t occur. I can’t prove a negative, no one can. All we have to work with are the stats (spelled correctly BTW) which are now being kept and they are incomplete because no one is charged with keeping good records. It’s against the republican way.

            How many people have decided to commit suicide, been stopped and are grateful for the second chance? How many people have accidentally killed others and have paid the mental price (if not jail time) for the rest of their lives?

            Guns kill. That’s their purpose. The fact that some people own them and don’t use them for killing is very nice. Hardly a NEED — more like a desire. We don’t need guns. There was a time when we did and that’s when the Declaration was written.

            I’d HATE to see some modern-day militia fighting for their freedom if the US government decides they are a threat to the common good. We’d have a couple of dozen willing to kill as many in an insignificant battle that would prove nothing. We don’t NEED guns, except to the extent that the advertising has worked on a segment of our society.

  • Iraq veteran

    Every documented active shooter situation is an example of where people saw signs and dismissed them. All the way back to the LBJ Library incident in the 60′s.

    • Cliff Casavant

      A additional example how these gun control people are looking for any excuses to displace the blame they themselves have on there compliance to these crimes.

  • William Rinn

    A caller to today’s OnPoint program stated that FBI data establish that more people are murdered with kitchen implements each year than by guns. This is obviously not true. It took me about 2 minutes to load up the table entitled “Homicides by weapon” on the FBI website. Guns are used in homicides more often than all other weapons combined — and by a wide margin. (source: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2008-2012.xls ). When we allow complete falsehoods to go unchallenged, we are allowing manipulators to hijack the OnPoint platform and venue to spread falsehoods. We can come to different opinions based on true facts, but if what we are hearing, even on OnPoint Radio, is not factually true, we cannot hope to arrive at well informed opinions. No information is better than disinformation.

    • VinceD2

      Don’t have time to go back and re-listen, but wasn’t that quote comparing murders with kitchen utensils with RIFLES?

      • Cliff Casavant

        Yes and that “statement” is by far higher in all the areas of gun violence…
        But as in the picture that I posted that was so offensive those states are largely domestic and therefore as we know we turn a blind eye…
        look at some state that really hurt is forcible rape..

    • brettearle

      It’s a good point.

      But you can’t expect everything to be verified.

      It will always be Listener Beware.

      The best quality news programs can screw up.

      Just like great surgeons do, on occasion.

      Imperfect world, here we are!

  • JGC

    Hello, hello…

    I am just back from a visit to western Pennsylvania, and here is a reminder that there is a big difference between the gun club organizations at the local level and those at the national.

    Here we have the “Gun Bash” held during the start of deer hunting season (mid-November,) and also the “Friends of the N.R.A.” fundraiser. Both are to promote and support hunting and sportsmenship. Unfortunately, two or so clicks within “Friends of the N.R.A.” will quickly land you within Wayne LaPierre-land at the national level, promoting only diatribes against President Obama and Senator Feinstein. This party politicization was not the original intent of the NRA; they mostly meant to promote the hunting safety and arts.

    • HonestDebate1

      Hey JGC, we have a “gun bash” right here on this blog too. They just love to bash guns.

      Do you hunt? I don’t, I’m more of a fisherman but I have friends who keep me in venison. We ate some last night. Mmm mmm, tasty.

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t see much gun bashing. I see some bashing of the gun lobby and how it seeks to bend the political process to its wants, but I see relatively little bashing of guns themselves. They, like most things, have benefits as well as problems.

      • JGC

        Smoked venison sausage: yum.

  • KOFH

    The only thing from the wing-nut checklist Larry Pratt neglected to mention was “Benghazi, Benghazi, BENGHAZI!”

  • TFRX

    In 1999, under President Clinton, 31 Senate Republicans voted in favor of mandating background checks at gun shows. In 1994, the year of the Angry White Man, 42 House Republicans voted for Clinton’s crime bill, and its ban on assault weapons. The era of Republicans working across the aisle are gone.

    The gun culture is the right’s problem. They’ve gone off the rails and the press corps hasn’t noticed the change.

    • PaulD

      Or it could be that the left keeps pushing for more and more restrictions and the right has had enough.

  • Questions

    Love of Guns vs. Love of Kids
    Which do you think has more determined and passionate defenders?
    Knowing Mother Nature’s power I vote for the Moms…

    • TxAg

      Emotions do generally trump logic and reason for most people.

      Why blame evil people when you can concentrate your ire on an inanimate object?

      • Cliff Casavant

        I will suggest its because you dont hurt the feelings of the object.

  • Cliff Casavant

    umm Clueless…

  • Cliff Casavant

    Why do people on here not have the gut to use the name ??

  • Arkuy The Great

    Number of people killed by gunfire in the US in 2012; 31,000 (FBI)
    Number of people killed in motor vehicle collisions: 34,000 (NHTSA)

    There are about 200 million cars and trucks on the roads and about 300 million firearms in private hands. The death rate per motor vehicle is over a third higher than per firearm.

    The NRA is not the enemy, Triple-A is!

    • ExcellentNews

      Hahaha, except that there are a few flaws in that logic.
      1) The purpose of cars is transportation. The purpose of guns is killing.
      2) Any car has to be registered in its state of operation.
      3) Any car operator has to be licensed by a state, and pass exams to earn the license. Licenses can be revoked for a variety of medical conditions or offenses.
      For the right, LOGIC is the enemy.

      • Arkuy The Great

        Cars are still far more deadly than guns. The stated purposes are irrelevant; dead is dead. Whatever licensing and registration regimens may be in place are clearly insufficient to stop the carnage. Meanwhile the right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally protected. There is no such right anywhere to keep and use a car. That is a privilege granted at the condescension of the state.

      • Cliff Casavant

        Well by that logic police do not stop everyone who they see violating every law.. So…

      • PaulD

        Yes. The purpose of guns is to kill, primarily though for defense. Police carry guns to defend themselves and the military carry side arms for defense. It’s also the main objection of gun owners to most of these laws and that is they won’t be able to defend themselves (while waiting for the police). There’s also no constitutionally guaranteed right to drive a car.

        You’re pretty clearly one who favors the licensing of gun ownership at very least, if not eliminating gun ownership among private citizens.

        So, what is your logical plan for getting criminals to comply before law abiding citizens?

      • ExcellentNews

        Thank you for the comments, guys. You truly helped me prove my point – LOGIC is the ENEMY. And no, I am not anti-gun. I own two, and see no problem with having rules to prevent nuts from owning guns.

    • Cliff Casavant

      LOL I would not mind you locating the “forced rape” sats

  • ExcellentNews

    A good idea with a terrible implementation. We need a people’s PAC to stand for the interest of the ordinary working American, and oppose the insanity of the countless PACs representing the 0.01% ruling oligarchy.

  • PaulD

    I was able to listen to this and Ms. Watts is either ignorant or disingenuous. She lauds the new laws in CT and NY and says her group only wants to implement background checks.

    Well, those new laws in NY and CT require people to get rid of lawfully purchased property (magazines), register guns and magazines and outlaw types of guns that are the very definition of “in common use”. So, yes, if the gun owners jumped through hoops, they were able to keep their guns. However, they can’t pass those guns down to family members and future adults won’t be able to buy new ones.

    “We don’t want to take anybody’s legal guns.” Bull.

    • Cliff Casavant

      Agreed as well as she threw facts out then back tracked,

  • Fredlinskip

    Tell me what you really think- don’t hold back.

    Obviously, if it was a law, Habeus Corpus would still be in effect.

    So let’s enter the hypothetical court room.
    Defense attorney, “Your honor, my client pleads temporary insanity- he TRULY believed he needed capacity to fire 60 bullets within a couple of minutes in ‘self-defense”.
    Judge- “well sounds like he’s plumb crazy crazy all right! There’s a padded cell a- waitin’”

  • Fredlinskip

    Missed this reply days ago.
    Appreciate the thoughtful response.

  • Thinkfreeer

    Well then less guns should mean less gun deaths, right? Then explain why Russia, which has very strict gun control, has twice the gun death rate of the US.

  • simonzee1

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg are all Jewish supporters of Obama who as C.S Lewis referred to as the classic do-gooders like we have come to expect from most left-wing liberals who want to rid the world of guns…upsized sodas and oil including the Keystone pipeline and a free internet.We also know that a very Jewish and post hippy Hollywood descriminated against Conservative Script writers for over 30 years..

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/07/13/hollywood-finally-admits-it-discriminates-against-conservatives-could-this-be/

    What marks out the tyranny of the way these lefties operate is that which marks the left of politics and liberal donors who want to take away your guns.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/democrats-democracy-alliance-liberal-donors-105972.html“

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.C.S. Lewis”

    These attacks on the freedom of the internet originate from Hollywood lobbying Obama to give away the last controls over the internet and failing that the FCC fast lane; Steyer his environment investments at expense of Keystone; and Bloomberg, a campaign against guns.

  • Carla

    people who can’t spell shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns. “you’re” not your

ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 28, 2014
Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.  (AP)

The message that will last out of Ferguson with New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.

Aug 28, 2014
Some of the hundreds of earthquake damaged wine barrels cover and toppled a pair of forklifts at the Kieu Hoang Winery, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. (AP)

Drought in California, earthquake in Napa. We look at broken bottles and the health of the American wine industry.

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Aug 27, 2014
The cast of the new ABC comedy, "Black-ish." (Courtesy ABC)

This week the Emmys celebrate the best in television. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the Fall TV season.

 
Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader meet. We’ll look at Russia and the high voltage chess game over Ukraine. Plus, we look at potential US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

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Why Facebook And Twitter Had Different Priorities This Week
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

There’s no hidden agenda to the difference between most people’s Facebook and Twitter feeds this week. Just a hidden type of emotional content and case use. Digiday’s John McDermott explains.

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Our Week In The Web: August 22, 2014
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

On mixed media messaging, Spotify serendipity and a view of Earth from the International Space Station.

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