Illegal Weapons and Gun Laws

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

With the recent school shooting in Florida have come increased calls for further gun control laws. So before considering new laws, I thought I should look to see what the current laws are regarding who can legally purchase and own guns in the US. Here’s what I find:

Purchasing A Firearm From A Dealer

Provided that federal law and the laws of both the dealer’s and purchaser’s states and localities are complied with:

An individual 21 years of age or older may acquire a handgun from a dealer federally licensed to sell firearms in the individual’s state of residence

An individual 18 years of age or older may purchase a rifle or shotgun from a federally licensed dealer in any state

It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer a firearm unless the federal firearms licensee receives notice of approval from a prescribed source approving the transfer.

Sale of a firearm by a federally licensed dealer must be documented by a federal form 4473, which identifies and includes other information about the purchaser, and records the make, model, and serial number of the firearm. Sales to an individual of multiple handguns within a five-day period require dealer notification to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Violations of dealer record keeping requirements are punishable by a penalty of up to $1000 and one year’s imprisonment.

Ineligible Persons

The following classes of people are ineligible to possess, receive, ship, or transport firearms or ammunition:

Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for over one year, except state misdemeanors punishable by two years or less.

Fugitives from justice.

Unlawful users of certain depressant, narcotic, or stimulant drugs.

Those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents or those committed to any mental institution.

Illegal aliens.

Citizens who have renounced their citizenship.

Those persons dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.

Persons less than 18 years of age for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle.

Persons less than 21 years of age for the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle.

Persons subject to a court order that restrains such persons from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner.

Persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Persons under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year are ineligible to receive, transport, or ship any firearm or ammunition. Under limited conditions, relief from disability may be obtained from the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, or through a pardon, expungement, restoration of rights, or setting aside of a conviction.

Prohibited Weapons

illegal weapons.png

The main federal law governing fully automatic weapons is called the National Firearms Act, or NFA. First enacted in 1934, this federal law regulates:

fully automatic weapons

large caliber firearms

suppressors (silencers)

short-barreled rifles and shotguns

and destructive devices such as bombs or grenades. 

So for those advocating for more gun laws, and I’m open to that argument, here’s my difficulty:

Given the above existing laws, just what other restrictions do you want to put on gun purchase, legal types of weapons, and ownership?

Serious question, not rhetorical, it would be good if there were an answer. I put the list up because I keep hearing people saying things like “mental patients shouldn’t be able to own guns”, not realizing that that is already illegal.

If you’d be so kind, please restrict yourselves to laws that at least have a chance of passing Constitutional muster …

A final bit of trivia to consider in this question, about what are called “assault weapons” such as AR-15s. The numbers are quite clear. Every year, many more Americans are murdered with rocks and clubs (hammers, ball bats, golf clubs, etc.) than are killed, not just by assault weapons, but by all types of rifles and shotguns combined … go figure.

I’m not seeing any magic bullet in there, to use an unfortunate metaphor, to solve this problem. I mean, the obvious stuff has already been covered as to who can’t own guns—criminals, people under a restraining order, people convicted of domestic violence, people dishonorably discharged from the Military, and the like. And everyone buying a gun already has to have a background check.

Now yes, we can make “bump stocks” illegal, and we should. But there’s been exactly one crime committed with a bump stock so it won’t make a big difference. I don’t see a whole lot of visible avenues left to recommend … so, suggestions welcome.

Best to all in this marvelous and parlous world, stay safe, dear friends,

w.

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77 thoughts on “Illegal Weapons and Gun Laws

  1. There may be a side issue here – SSRI’s. Karl Denninger holds-forth on the topic at length, as he has for a couple years; I’ve seen other notes on the matter creeping-forth from time to time – and it’s an issue EVERYBODY ignores. It’s his market-ticker.org post #232986 (I’m not comfortable putting-up URL’s on somebody’s blog, they’re mostly spam and usually filtered-out (as they usually should be)), I’m interested in your thoughts on SSRI’s.

    And the legal control of things-that-go-‘bang’? Good for certain items that’ve proven themselves wantonly destructive, and storage/access laws very good for preventing “hey let’s play cops ‘n robbers”; “COOL! My dad’s got a REAL gun – I’ll go get it!”. But gun laws didn’t help Paris; and in general, the people who obey your law and turn-in their private property (universally without compensation, because said property is “too dangerous for public ownership anyways”), are people you didn’t have to worry about anyways; and the ones you do have to worry-about are criminals by-definition because they don’t obey laws. Several parts of the world suffered significantly increased criminal depredation after disarming their citizens (notably Britain, where violent crime is (reputedly; I’m terrible at statistics) 4-times what it is in the U.S., Australia and Jamaica (which turned-into a jungle after the Gun Court)).

    Ultimately of course, one doesn’t have to be paranoid to be deeply suspicious of politicians proclaiming “We must DO something!” How did the one Obama-era politician phrase his thoughts on the topic? – “sensible, common-sense gun control…” – and everybody knows how little that phrase means coming from a politician. Cue Humpty-Dumpty – “When I say a word, it means exactly what I want it to!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • YK, Not sure where you get the idea that UK & Australia are hotbeds of “violent crime”. While the figures referred to by OSSQSS below from wikipedia appear questionable in many instances, the homicide rate for Australia on latest figures from Crime Statistics Australia is 1 per 100,000 of which only 13% were by guns This is well below US rates. Total death rates from guns in Australia are about 45% of US rates.
      While gun death rates in Australia have only declined slightly (alrady low) since the gun ban they have not risen.

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  2. More regulation of gun ownership seems a fruitless objective. As you point out, gun sale regulations are already in place and they seem as restrictive as can be. Also, there are millions of guns presently in private ownership which with minimal maintenance, will last forever. Retrieving these guns seems a near impossible task both politically and socially. What doesn’t last forever is ammunition. It gets consumed. So regulate the sale of ammunition. Restrict who can buy it, the quantity they can buy, and the quantity possessed.

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    • But, think for a minute about how restrictions on ammunition sales and possession would solve ANY of the murders and suicides by gun. How much ammunition to restrict? One round per person per month? 10 rounds? 30 rounds? 500 or 1000 rounds? Restrict or eliminate private reloading? Nonsense. An evil person who can find a gun will find ammunition for it.

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      • Or a truck. Or a can of gasoline. Or a machete. Or a piece of metal pipe. Crazy people do crazy sh*t. Nikolas Cruz could have just as easily stolen a truck and run over 17 kids, because crazy people do crazy sh*t. Restricting the rights and activities of everyone will not stop crazy people, it just makes more readily available victims for them.

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    • I guess I’m ignorant of all the gun regulations already in place. I’m aware of state-by-state regulations, but again, unaware of national regulations. Having said that, I’m also aware of recent failures of federal agencies to properly assign prohibitions on certain individuals. As a quasi-libertarian, I am all for less government. But if that which is in place is failing, then I’m also unsure as to the ‘fix’. We all know that blaming the failures doesn’t solve the problem. What will?

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  3. Yet another layer of laws will change nothing. This shooter was red flagged for several years by school administration, he was turned in to FBI and they interviewed the person who turned him in. Existing laws ARE NOT being enforced. THAT is the problem.

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  4. A problem in the United States is that gun laws are repugnant to the Second Amendment of the Constitution and are therefore, all 50,000 of them, void prima facie (“on the face of it”).

    And our young shooter – apparently he was interviewed by the police 39 times beforehand. This is both a terrible weakness (” – can’t be arrested until he commits a crime…”) and a great strength of western democracies’ legal systems – remember what it’s like in many, many other countries in the world. “Why’s that one in jail?” ” – Because I SAY SO! – but don’t worry, he’ll be gone next week.”

    And if one was to discuss gun statistics, Bill Whittle has an item on youtube, “Number One With a Bullet”, that not only looks at the numbers (“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”), but points-out that virtually all of the murder-epidemic areas in the U.S. are Democrat-controlled cities with lots of tough gun laws – the rest of the country suffers so little gun crime that it’s statistically among the northern European countries. Like Switzerland. And pundits who claim that guns cause higher rates of suicide, might contemplate Japan and South Korea where there’re very many suicides and private gun ownership is virtually unheard-of.

    The bromide that covers it – “In half of the States, you can walk into a store, buy a gun, strap it on and walk down the street, no questions asked. But 80% of the murders happen in the other half of the States, so who’s crazy?”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Willis,

    Reading your quoted text on the National Firearms Act (NFA), it is listed under “Prohibited Weapons”. They aren’t prohibited, they are just heavily controlled and licensed along with being very expensive. This licensing is on top of the ordinary background check. Automatic weapons prior to 1986 I believe are legal to purchase, but are exorbitantly priced at around $10,000 per weapon.

    Aside from that, I have asked the same question of anyone who has advocated for more laws to combat these senseless killings. Another question I ask is, prior to the 1990’s there used to be gun clubs in schools and students used to bring guns to school in their vehicles regularly in some states with no mass shootings. You could even purchase weapons thru catalogues with no problem. What changed? It wasn’t access to weapons.

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  6. “fully automatic weapons”

    This was a restriction that passed Constitutional muster. So called “machine pistols” etc. are an examples of automatic weapons that could/should be prohibited. However, these seem to be obtained by people who are already flaunting the law so laws in and of themselves are not sufficient. The classic AR-15 and its derivatives can be made to behave as an automatic weapon. This issue pertains to its magazine capacity. A 6 round limit magazine to be sold legally would be a start. By limiting all magazines to 6 rounds, including pistols would limit the kill potential of any one magazine and require the shooter to carry and be adroit enough to change magazines rapidly or carry multiple firearms.

    However, the straw person purchaser; the gun show purchaser; the neighbor or relative purchaser all have the potential to circumvent the law. Force all firearm purchases through licensed gun dealers. Many states/provinces have liquor laws that liquor purchases have to go through licensed state/provincial stores. Cycle all firearm purchases through a state/provincial store. All state/provincial stores would be connected to a national data base.

    Some of the implicit rights conferred by the 2nd Amendment will need to be abridged to addressed our nation’s heterogeneous population which includes people with diseased minds.

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    • RiHo08 February 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      Some of the implicit rights conferred by the 2nd Amendment will need to be abridged to addressed our nation’s heterogeneous population which includes people with diseased minds.

      There’s no chance of changing the Second Amendment. However, right now it’s illegal for those with mental illness to purchase guns, and that’s been upheld by the Supremes as far as I know.

      w.

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      • “right now it’s illegal for those with mental illness to be denied guns” – this is not true Willis – form 4473 asks the question about being adjudicated with mental illness. If you have been, you may not purchase a firearm. Question 11.f.

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        • ““right now it’s illegal for those with mental illness to be denied guns” – this is not true Willis ”

          OK, change “illegal” to “unconstitutional” then – that’s how I read what Willis wrote. YMMV.

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        • Adjudicated being the point. Just a mental health professional making the diagnosis is not good enough, has to come from a court. HIPPA makes it illegal for LE to search for people’s health records to determine who does and does not qualify to purchase/possess firearms. Has to be done through the judicial system. And people can still lie. Nikolas Cruz appears to have lied on at least 3 lines of that background check form.

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      • The above seems like a reasonable start – cannot quite see the harm in that. If they demonstrate compos mentis, they can reapply for the firearm purchase. It’s not thee fix, it’s merely a start – everything else to date is political rhetoric.

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    • >>
      A 6 round limit magazine to be sold legally would be a start. By limiting all magazines to 6 rounds, including pistols would limit the kill potential of any one magazine and require the shooter to carry and be adroit enough to change magazines rapidly or carry multiple firearms.
      <<

      So you’re saying that if I can’t protect myself with six rounds in a magazine, then I don’t deserve to protect myself? While I’m unlocking my weapon or changing magazines, a murderous criminal or criminals breaking into my home will just wait for me to be ready with my weapon? That I’m an amazing shot, so if six criminals are involved, I can hit every one with one bullet each–while nervous? The purpose of having a firearm for protection is to save one’s life and the lives of your friends, family, and loved ones. The only purpose of the gun-control crowd is to make sure you can’t do that.

      Jim

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    • I’m always wary of a false (or maybe more accurately) an altered flag event. There are oddities circulating about circumstance. I seriously doubt we will see security camera evidence or anything conclusive. I hope to be wrong. I proved to myself that the Pulse shooting did not happen as the mainstream media would have you believe. It presses credibility that there was 0 helicopter coverage for a 3 hour event and that 6 (or 8 I don’t remember) doctors treating all 150 victims in a single hospital. It seems like it should have been triaged and farmed out to other hospitals.

      But the altered evidence was right on the TV I saw it twice on new 13 Camera pans left to right as “victims” are being assisted walking from left to right. At the far right of the shot was the big pink P. They were escorting victims towards the front of the pulse. And a little more creepily several weeks later when they were repeating the shot the shot now ends before turning fully right. Someone figured out and ended the shot for timing I’m sure.

      I looked at one of the stills. Identified the “Radio Shack” banner on the side walk. Used Google earth, found the location and you can’t get it in the same frame because of the street view FOV but turn a hair left and it’s the front of the Pulse.

      Finally on too long a reply. If there was one narrative that people would take away from this shooting, is that it’s fatally dangerous to hide and call 911. The police are only going to get there to take the report and clean up.

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      • taz1999 February 17, 2018 at 10:28 am

        But the altered evidence was right on the TV I saw it twice on new 13 Camera pans left to right as “victims” are being assisted walking from left to right. At the far right of the shot was the big pink P. They were escorting victims towards the front of the pulse.

        I don’t understand. There may have been transportation waiting there. The shooting may have been entirely over. The shooting might have been in the back. They may have been thought to be in more danger where they were. I can think up ten more reasons without breaking a sweat.

        So I’m sorry, but I’m not believing it was a hoax just because at some point the participants were being moved.

        w.

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        • Didn’t call it a hoax. Just don’t believe the official story. Won’t even speculate on what actually happened. But I will speculate that during a shooting crisis the ambulances don’t pull up to the front door. So it still doesn’t jibe why you don’t come pick up the wounded rather than walk them back.

          btw forgot to mention that I really appreciate you talking to a situation that can be very un-pc. When you’re over target…

          It’s not gore porn but there should be security footage (it’s every where) that makes the case slam dunk. So far rounds up to 0.

          I’m mostly with your analysis; there’s a Simpson’s NRA parody seen where you walk through the metal detector and if you didn’t set it off you had to pick a weapon out from the box.

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    • Having befriended several qwerky persons in my life, I’ll say there’s more benefit to this than just keeping them from going off the rails, although I’ll admit that in one case the thought of keeping tabs on and emotionally high-strung person was part of the reason. But in all instances, the qwerky ones were intellectually capable and just lacking some emotional intelligence that made people leery of them. The key is to find common interests and then be surprised by what you can learn.

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      • I know quite a few “qwerky” people! And yes, keeping tabs on them is, generally, a good idea. They can often be quite entertaining, its those “moments” that you have to worry about.

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    • Hey Willis, I read the “theres a way to stop mass shootings and you wont like it” article, and they make a lot of good points… though I still dispute the point they made about mental illness and gun control… they used a study that did some wonderful stuff with statistics that don’t quite cover the accusation, but seem to support the “not a mental illness problem” narrative… but they still have to deal with a horrible list of well documented co-incidences, like these: https://ssristories.org/.

      In my mind, the reason for a link between drugs and these mass shootings is simple… some drugs take most of the buzz from your life, and reduce the ability of the conscience to kick in (suppress thoughts like “what am I doing?”)… add to that people who do get a buzz from shooting things, and you have the potential for a mass shooting (like any addiction of things that make you feel better it escalates until something stops it).

      But apart from that, I agree that it’s the little people who have the most potential for a solution, not the big ‘ol government…. but there are still things the Law could do to help the little people… GVROs as listed in another of your posts are one example of the Government helping it’s populace to stop these things… and I’m sure there are others…. like others mentioned, forced sales through government/licensed stores, automatic correlation between gun ownership and certain types of drug-use (rather than relying on a survey you can lie on)… teaching how to engage with those you don’t like (rather than call them deplorables)…

      But while the Government is hooked on the narrative of “We can make you safe”, I doubt things will get any better.

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    • GVROs seem like a very reasonable tool for reducing the problem. They address the hole in current law (the inability to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unbalanced) while not trampling on the rights of enthusiasts.

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    • As long as Gun-violence restraining orders are not used by members of law enforcement as blanket orders to strip people of their rights they would be quite effective. I don’t trust the politically motivated leftists salted throughout our government, at all levels, from abusing such.

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      • It’s always possible for laws to be abused. However, in a recent case here the parents of an adult went to the cops and begged, begged them to take their son’s guns away because he was seriously disturbed. Cops couldn’t do it, no law to enable it.

        He shot a city councilman.

        The cops said, “We would have done what the parents asked if we could have, but our hands were tied”. And they were right.

        w.

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        • It’s always possible for laws to be abused. However, in a recent case here the parents of an adult went to the cops and begged, begged them to take their son’s guns away because he was seriously disturbed. Cops couldn’t do it, no law to enable it.

          Laws can always be abused; true. But it is incumbent on us —and our legislators— to make sure there is the least chance of abuse; to make sure the law can only accomplish its goal and not serve to enable or promote abuse. Civil forfeiture laws are a prime example of abuse promotion. Lots of examples found in domestic protection orders, which enter the record and become permanent in reality. Etc.

          The income tax was a “temporary WWI wartime measure”. I’m not arguing that the tax is evil or anything, but government history is to stretch every law and regulation to or even past its limits. I urge you not to dismiss it lightly as it takes a long time to claw back from laws once passed.

          An emotional reaction to immigrants (!) after WWI, and a couple 1960s assassinations led to significant legal restrictions on firearms ownership. Over thirty years later we have not entirely rescinded those useless laws, but every step of the way we see less violent crime. Like the assault weapons ban, gun control laws show either no effect or —most often— a negative effect.

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        • From that article I gleaned that this guy had a long and rocky history with law enforcement and was yet footloose and openly committing crimes when Mr Melo walked in on him, rather stupidly, and got shot. Sounds like there were multiple instances in this guy’s life when law enforcement could have intervened and didn’t. Even in Cali it is a serious crime to cultivate and sell marijuana, not to mention trespass and building illegal structures on land you do not own. GVRO sounds good, and such has been tried in various places, it just does not pass the Constitutional smell test, mainly because it would immediately be abused by lowlifes of all flavors in government. Just look at the abuse regular restraining orders over the years by estranged spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends, fellow employees and total strangers. That whole slippery slope thang rears its ugly head, once again.

          Nikolas Cruz had the police called on him 39 times, so far as we currently know, and the school district is hinting at a LONG list of issues they can not make public. I am not buying that he could not have been brought before a judge and adjudicated as being unfit to possess firearms, and having dealt with sales and purchases of firearms throughout my entire life you can stop mentally ill people from buying weapons, as long as that information is in the NICS database. Does not stop people from lying, using fake names or stealing guns. This idiot did not even try to hide his actions and lied about meds when he filled out the form, yet another crime to charge him with. What you want to bet the majority of crimes he committed in getting and using this weapon will not be on the charge list? He is already lining up the “not mentally competent to stand trial” defense, and getting a whole string of charges dropped is SOP in American legal system. Unless someone kills him in jail I figure this f**kbag will be in the street in 10 years.

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        • Here in the UK after one of these tragedies the knee jerk reaction was to ban various types of gun. What various senior police officers and police association members had been asking for was a small change from the police having to show a reason why someone shouldn’t have a gun to people having to prove a good reason why they should have a gun.
          One of the unintended consequences of the new gun laws was that some of the Olympic British shooting team now have to train overseas as their guns are illegal in the UK?

          James Bull

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  7. As U.S. citizens, we are responsible for protecting ourselves, our families, our communities, our borders and our shores, and to protect the aforementioned from from tyranny.

    A federal top-down protection of the individual is tyranny. He who gives up liberty for a little safety will soon have neither. The Federal Gvernment’s rightful job is to protect our borders and maintain our sovereignty.

    The solution starts with those principles. As an individual, you have to protect yourself. As a community – at most, the county level – the community must decide how to identify and neutralize potential threats within the community or that may come into the community from outside. I don’t see how gun control is any business of the Federal Government, and the Second Amendment should be taken as a strong encouragement for individual gun ownership of any type of weapon.

    Kicking the can upstairs until it reaches the bloated bureaucracy of the FBI is the wrong approach, as can be easily demonstrated by the mass shootings in gun-free zones. The correct approach is to start at the lowest level possible; family, village, town, county, and if need be, the State level.

    IIRC, our host was thrown into the loony bin because he refused to kill people who had done him no personal wrong. Yet – sorry to presume any knowledge of your thoughts, Willis – it would not surprise me in the least if Willis would have grabbed a firearm to defend his siblings if the ranch he was growing up on was attacked by persons bent on exterminating his family. I think help was more than a few minutes away when he was growing up on the ranch. (Feel free to shoot that one down and ream me a new one if that is not the case, Willis.)

    Forget President Trump or the FBI. School shootings won’t stop until each community hits on the solution that suits its unique situation. And in keeping with the Constitution, individual liberties must be forfeit at the lowest level possible.

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    • Oops! Forgot habeas corpus.

      And in keeping with the Constitution, individual liberties must be forfeit at the lowest level possible but adjudicated to the highest court necessary to ensure individual liberty as granted by the Constitution.

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  8. The solution is simple, but will never be allowed–get rid of “gun-free zones.” At a minimum, teachers and administrators should be allowed concealed carry. The gun-control crowd know full well that criminals think twice before committing crimes where there’s concealed carry. The stats show that when concealed carry laws are passed, there’s a reduction in violent crimes, murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults (but not so much for property crimes).

    The goal by the gun-control crowd is to remove guns from all law-abiding citizens (they don’t seem to care if criminals have guns). Somehow they managed to make schools gun-free. So our kids are exposed to any nut with a gun, and law enforcement is 20 to 30 minutes away. A lot can happen in 20 minutes.

    This playing with our kids lives for a political objective is insidious, to say the least.

    Jim

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    • Here in the UK schools are more like prisons where you cannot get in without being “Buzzed” through various gates and doors, which is good to keep the kids safe but it also engenders a feeling of being protected from the outside world which might not be such a good thing as the little dears have to live in the outside world.

      James Bull

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  9. Has anyone ever compared the number of teens killed while texting vs those killed in mass school shootings?

    Ban cell phones? Limit texts to 6 ea before requiring a phone restart to make us safer? Create “cell phone free” zones?

    I could really make a good case for ban or serious regulation of cell phones.

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    • There are about 1.6 million crashes in the US every year involving cell phone use, of which 500,000 cause injuries and 6,000 cause fatalities. Texting while driving is now the top cause of death among teenagers—texting and driving accounts for 11 teen deaths every day in the US. Overall, texting is involved in about 25% of all car accidents in the US.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texting_while_driving

      To put it bluntly, cell phones are much more dangerous than guns of all types. But cell phones can and do save lives when used properly so there is no need for knee-jerk reactions when there is yet another incident that should/could have been prevented.

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  10. I have a relative who is very liberal, anti NRA, a gun owner, a hunter and very much in favor of more gun control. My question for him was if guns are the problem when are your guns going to kill people?

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  11. From the other side of the pond, we wonder why there seem to be so many cases of people walking in to Schools and opening fire. It’s not a thing here. In fact, I’d say it’s “not a thing” accross most of Europe. So why does the USA seem to suffer so much?

    Oh, and to the “but what about the cars” crowd. As a parent, I understand that my kids driving is a risk. I don’t get that at any age, in a supposed place of safety, I have to even consider that they may die today.

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    • Because of “gun free zones”, a policy set in place by Senator Joe Biden and his fellow Democrat Party morons. Simply put wackjobs of all types know that NO ONE in a school will be armed. In the last few years efforts to have armed security in schools has increased, it is still hit or miss across the nation. In the last 3 days several municipalities and state legislatures have stepped up to have armed security and teachers/staff carrying concealed. The coach who died in Parkland should have had a sidearm, he would most likely still be alive and the assailant dead.

      As for the prevalence of school shootings/attacks, search using some search engine other than google, you will find it is not just in America.

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  12. I just wish the media would stop glorifying the killers. Remember back ten, fifteen years ago (hey, its been a while) when there were a rash of people running on to sports fields, getting their couple of minutes of national attention while the cameras followed their antics? These days an announcer just says some idiot has run onto the field, then the camera stays *away* from the action while he is handled. No names are mentioned. With no publicity that craze died out.

    These days you get some depressed nobody — who decides he is going to become national news for weeks. And does. What does that say to the next depressed nobody who comes along? You may not pay any attention to me now, but you will! I don’t know that that would solve the problem (or frankly any reasonable way to implement it other than to rely on the self-control of the meda — of which they have none) but I would think it would reduce it.

    geoff

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    • Actually that still happens routinely. Pretty much every major sporting event some idiot runs on the field. Killing these scumbags is a far greater deterrent, preferably by putting several hollowpoints through their lower abdomen and leaving them to scream their life away for a good, long time. THAT is the kind of “fame” they should be receiving.

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  13. Have had guns since I was 14. My Dad was WP, 1920. Boys Life mag used to advertise ammo and weapons. Been a soldier, trained on many weapons. This “sudden” deviation of killing needs a deep study of modern life. Skinner’s Box??? I doubt that, but something has come undone, and I suspect it’s about the family.

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    • Jim Quinn covered all this a couple of years ago, many school districts are doing this crap and it is exacerbating the problem of criminal behavior in minority children.

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  14. Well, France has very tough gun laws and that didn’t stop the Charlie Hebdo killings (with assault weapons) nor did they stop the 2011 mass murder of students by Anders Breivik in Norway.

    Trump made a comment about the number of mental institutions being reduced. The ACLU forced many people with severe mental illnesses to be released because they were “sane while medicated”. Couple that with things like video games such as “Grand Theft Auto” and you’ve got a scenario that is ripe for disaster. Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Florida were all done by people with mental problems.

    Funny too how you don’t see these wholesale killings in flyover country. Of course places like Detroit, Baltimore and Chicago have many more gun deaths but that’s retail rather than wholesale.

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  15. Mr. Willis;

    Your brilliance and eloquence is once again on display with this very touchy subject; for some people, truth is indeed a very touchy subject. Balancing when rights are in conflict is a very tough act.

    There is another related matter I wish to bring to your attention; Mr. Trump’s speech Friday morning at CPAC. The speech was fairly well covered; however, even Mr. Hannity missed what I felt to be one of Mr. Trump’s most compassionate heart-felt moments ever, when he spoke of his encounters with parents of the Florida students shot and their pain. You could hear a pin drop as the CPAC crowd sat in respectful silence listening to Mr. Trump convey the deep pain he felt for the victims. That short 5 minutes was very powerful as he didn’t just talk about a painful subject; his words actually conveyed, through his calm, measured demeanor, the pain he felt and the audience could feel it as well. Unlike most politicians, Mr. Trump showed that he connected.

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  16. In Canada, after training and a background check, you are issued a firearms license. The basic license is for rifles and shotguns, another license is for restricted firearms (all handguns, some semi-auto rifles including the AR-15).
    Like a driver’s license, the firearms license can be taken away if you no longer meet the criteria. The seller of a firearm must ensure that the buyer has a valid firearms license.
    It seems to me that that a similar system (with less restrictive rules for handguns and AR-15’s) would be the easiest way to ensure that legal firearms sellers only sell to qualified individuals.

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    • Beginning in grade school firearms education should be mandatory. THAT would go much farther in changing this situation than authoritarian government control of individuals can ever go.

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  17. mental patients shouldn’t be able to own guns.

    Sounds reasonable and simple in theory, but you need to define “mental patient”. Does this mean anyone who goes to a therapist? Or anyone diagnosed by a certified therapist with specific conditions? Or anyone committed to a “mental health facility”, or just those involuntarily committed? It is pertinent to note that James Holmes, who shot up the Colorado theater during the screening of a “Batman” movie, was under the care of a psychiatrist at the time, and Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook school shooter had been under psychiatric care on and off until about 6 years before the shooting. If trained therapists cannot reliably determine that a patient is a likely threat, just how can the rest of us?

    There is a bill in Georgia to remove a “loophole” in the law which currently provides that ineligibility to purchase a firearm is automatically removed for people involuntarily committed 5 years after they are released. I don’t know how many people are involuntarily committed anymore — after the public perception of mental institutions became so negative after One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the courts imposed strict limits on committment procedings — but I suspect this is a very small “loophole” in any case.

    I went to high school 50 years ago when there were a lot fewer restrictions on gun ownership and nobody shot up schools or movie theaters. Granted, nobody back then had an AR-15, but I don’t think that’s the critical difference.

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    • The law, multiple iterations in multiple states, is that you have to be adjudicated to be mentally incompetent to own a firearm. Doctor simply saying you are f**ked in the head does not fill the legal requirement, which is a good thing since most psychiatric “professionals” are hardcore leftist loons. Having dealt with a few over the last several years I can assure they are focused A. on increasing their billable hours and 2 advancing their leftist ideology. The other problem is so many leftist f*ckbags embedded in the judicial system. It is a cancer that is killing America.

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  18. “Those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents or those committed to any mental institution.”

    This law needs to be strengthened. “Adjudicated” does not allow police to do in cases of mental volcanoes who are obviously about to blow.

    The police in Florida had plenty of complaints that this guy was crazy and would be a shooter, including his own threats online. Neighbors were begging the police to do something. But they said they couldn’t do anything about it because he hasn’t done anything illegal yet. He wasn’t “adjudicated” as mentally deficient – yet. There needs to be a way to place someone accused by X number of people of being dangerous for mental reasons on a temporary do-not-sell-guns of any kind list. Yes, there are possible abuses of this but there needs to be a procedure to go through so that police have some way to make guns harder for them to get.

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    • They did not act because of the Promise Program, which was put in place to stop teens from getting criminal records. THIS crap needs to be ended. No new laws or regulations are needed, the EXISTING laws and regulation need to be enforced, and all those in law enforcement, child and youth services and school districts that have facilitated these criminal actions need prosecuted and punished severely. GOVERNMENT has created this nightmare and it is far past the time those responsible be severely punished.

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  19. Willis said “And everyone buying a gun already has to have a background check.” This is not true. Private sales in many states are unregulated. Also, those guns on the street in the Chicago hood never had a background check.

    When looking at What Changed, factor in drugging the boys so they behave more like girls.

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    • True, Terry, thanks. I’d like to see a requirement for background checks for all sales.

      As to the drugs, virtually every recent school shooting the boy(s) have been on prescription drugs. The overdrugging of our children is a national disgrace.

      w.

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  20. A view into the real “gun culture”.

    Guns are tools and different styles, types and calibers are needed for different uses. Same would apply with a saw (chainsaw, miter saw, saws-all, hack saw, hand saw, circular saw, etc.) User requirements change as often as the need for a different vehicle and varies with time. In a lot of circles guns are swapped as often as cars and pick-up trucks and often for pick-ups as well as cash or a washing machine or chainsaw. Marriage and kids may create the need to swap the sports car for an SUV or sedan. Moving to or from town may change the need to a different type of gun. No longer needing a shotgun, rifle, and a 4 wheel drive pick-up becomes a need for the sedan and a concealed carry self defense handgun. Trades among friends and neighbors are common in rural communities for trucks, guns, tools, fishing poles, archery tackle, fishing boats, etc. Not many folks are going to obey new laws hindering swapping their shotgun to their neighbor for a deer rifle or chainsaw. The result of new knee-jerk laws will simply create outlaws out of good people, neighbors and friends, but only on paper and resulting criminal records as a result of new laws.
    Real life example follows. Names were changed to protect the innocent.

    Joe and Steve are friends and neighbors. Joe buys a new pick-up and wants to sell his SUV. Steve now has 2 kids and the family is moving to town and he doesn’t have time to hunt and wants to trade his full “arsenal of guns” for the SUV. His “arsenal” consists of a .22 rifle for plinking and general varmints, 30-30 for deer, 12 ga and 20 ga shotguns for birds and rabbits, a muzzle loader for the deer season, a .44 mag revolver for bear hunts, a .22 revolver for snakes and plinking, a .243 for the groundhogs down on the lower 40 acres, a couple more modern rifles that he didn’t need but swapped with a neighbor who needed his old pick-up and chainsaw for getting firewood. Steve also has an old double barrel shotgun that belonged to his grandfather that he is afraid to shoot as well as several other old guns and a couple of old revolvers, an old black powder rifle as well as an old musket from granddad. He had others from when his dad passed away.

    Joe don’t need the guns but wants to help Steve and since the guys in his hunt club are always buying and swapping guns he makes the trade. Steve got the SUV and a 9mm handgun which he may need in the city. Now Joe has become a “gun dealer”. Joe swaps a shotgun for an air compressor from one neighbor. Another neighbor needs a washer and dryer but needs to sell his AR-15 rifle to get the money for a washer & dryer. He didn’t know that an AR-15 was not legal to hunt deer because the cartridge didn’t meet the power/bullet size minimum requirements for deer hunting per the state wildlife regulations. So Joe swaps one of his deer rifles for a washer & dryer from one neighbor and then swaps the washer & dryer to the other neighbor for the AR-15. Everybody is happy. Joe wants the AR because several weeks earlier a pack of eastern coyotes were feasting on a local farmers calf and he only got off two shots, killing one, but realized that with the AR and a 15 round magazine he probably could have got a couple more. Joe sells some of the guns to guys in the hunt club and the .22 rifle and the 20 ga to parents in the boy scout troop he teaches. A couple more were sold or swapped with guys at the volunteer fire department/rescue squad where he serves. One old shotgun was sold to the man that owns the local country store to hang on the wall. The old guns were sold to a dealer of antique firearms at the local gun show. Joe was momentarily a gun/horse trader though no horses were traded. A lot of people got what they needed and others disposed of that they no longer needed. Everyone was happy. Joe is no longer a “gun dealer”. Capitalism or free trade or freedom?

    STOP!!!!!!! With a new law mandating background checks for all firearm purchases/transfers they would now all be criminals! The law is proposed to stop this type of behavior among our community.

    Joe said that he’ll be damned if he obeys a law those motherf***ers pass requiring him to go thru a bunch of bullsh*t while helping a lot of people out. Me too. I’m with Joe. There a lot of ‘Joes’ around.

    When freedom is outlawed … well …. I’ll be an outlaw too.

    Like

    • I received an M 1 Garand for doing a gutter replace job. I have traded several SMLEs between people over the years. Got a youth model .22LR bolt action for my son in exchange for a cord of split fire wood. Have won various guns on bets at shooting ranges/fish/hunting camps over the years. Received a Taurus .38spl for the simple reason the man could not get the side plate off to replace the sear spring. And guess what? Not a single one of these weapons had ever been used to commit a crime and since coming into my possession have never been used to commit any crime, nor have any which left my possession been used to commit any crimes. Funny how that works, ain’t it?!?!?

      The people screeching loudest for new laws are the first ones to screech for the firearms charge on a criminal to be dropped, or to block NICS from having access to all court documents related to mental unfitness to possess a firearm, and yet they want MORE,STRICTER laws to be passed. Which they themselves will immediately call racist and discriminatory. And around and around and around we go. Leftists do not want the “gun problem” solved, because that will remove it as a political tool they love to use.

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  21. We can’t have a political discussion without checking Hollywood’s feelings…
    http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/03/05/michelle-malkin-oscars-gun-control-hypocrisy-armed-security-celebs-lecture-america

    Michelle Malkin took on celebrities for “lecturing” Americans on gun control while being protected by a “phalanx” of armed guards at the 90th Academy Awards.

    The host of CRTV’s “Michelle Malkin Investigates” said hundreds of police officers and FBI agents were “armed to the teeth” Sunday night to protect the mega-stars as they walked the red carpet.

    […]

    She said most of the stars who advocate for stricter gun control live in gated communities and travel with armed guards.

    … and I’ll bet they don’t go into the crime zones all that much. On the other hand, they are experts in guns, since guns do play a very prominent role in the movies.

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  22. There’s a fascinating report on a CDC study of gun violence in 2013 here. Highlight:

    “Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent,”says a new report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The $10 million study was commissioned by President Barack Obama as part of 23 executive orders he signed in January.

    “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” the CDC study, entitled “Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” states.

    w.

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    • I remember when that came out, and promptly vanished. Would not surprise me if Barri had some people demoted and/or fired for that betrayal of his command to blame guns for,,,well, everything.

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          • Used to be able to edit your own comments in wordpress, still can in disqus. They changed several years ago in one of their “improvement” sprees. God save us from “improvements”, they have been the death of internet explorer, microsoft simply can not leave things that work alone!

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  23. “So for those advocating for more gun laws, and I’m open to that argument, here’s my difficulty:

    Given the above existing laws, just what other restrictions do you want to put on gun purchase, legal types of weapons, and ownership?”

    I hear “common sense gun laws”. Common sense to whom?
    And when those new restrictions do not work, what is the next step?
    Logic would dictate that if a given restriction did not work, it would be repealed. Logic fails, and yet another useless law clutters the books and troubles our lives. This is all part of the incrementalism the anti-gun folks want.
    The only gun law I’m aware of with a sunset clause was the Assault Weapons Ban. I’ll bet the grabbers are still ruing that compromise.

    It is said congress can’t compromise because the many politicians that are owned by the NRA.
    Compromise is a give and take. When the restrictions on the second amendment are discussed, the “give” is the restrictions. What do we gun folks take in return? Or do the grabbers think give and take consist of give more restrictive laws and take the guns anyway?

    Ultimately when someone talks of “common sense gun laws” and “compromise”, ask the question: What is their end game? When will enough be enough? What will satisfy? Confiscation? Buy back? Answers to those questions reveal that any discussions are being made in bad faith. Incrementalism will never stop. Incrementalism is a cancer on the people. Give and take? Ha!

    Forgive my ramblings.

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