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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19841 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 07:16

View Postawm, on 2022-June-02, 23:12, said:

It seems to be a common belief on the right that the world can be divided into good people and bad people in a straightforward way. Since bad people are presumably willing to break any law, banning guns will only prevent the good people from getting them, leading to a world where only bad people are armed and therefore not really preventing gun deaths (all of which are presumably due to the evil actions of the bad people).

But this is not really how things work. A great number of gun deaths are suicides, accidents, or spur-of-the-moment events where people got into an argument and happened to have firearms on hand. None of these situations result from nefarious plans by bad people with mob connections or something -- they're just ordinary people who happen to get depressed or drunk or angry or forget to lock up their weapons where their toddlers can't get at them. All of these sorts of gun deaths are likely to be reduced if guns are harder to get.

As for the mass shootings, most of these are executed by depressed loners who aren't likely to have serious criminal connections. Random pissed off 18-20 year olds don't necessarily have the resources to obtain illegal weapons. In any case, if the guns were illegal it would give police one more way to track and prosecute possible criminals.

It's true that large-scale criminal or terrorist organisations would still be able to get weapons, but one property of such groups is that they are organised -- and the very fact of this organisation can make them easier for police and security agencies to watch and go after. In any case, a lone "good guy with a gun" is not going to stop Al Qaeda or ISIS -- this requires much larger, more organised, and better-equipped groups like the US military or FBI/CIA.

One interesting data point -- when the US Capitol was attacked on January 6th, why did the "peaceful protestors" attack with flagpoles and baseball bats and fists and not guns? Surely many of them owned guns, and some of the white nationalist groups that were present in the crowd are heavily armed and seem willing to use their weapons. Turns out most of the "protestors" left their weapons outside Washington DC because of the city's strict gun laws. Without those laws, we might not have a republic in the US at all any more!



There is a lot to like in this post and I could add several things but I will try to restrain myself. Laws reflect, or should reflect, the attitude of society. Right now the law is out of sync with a good size chunk of society. There are people who will reach for the gun no matter what the law says and there are people who would never do so. But there are many others who look at the law and say "The law says it's ok so I guess I will take my gun with me to settle this quarrel" but if the law were changed they would say "I better leave my gun at home". And, of course, if they could not even legally own a gun that could be used to kill many people in a short time then many would not. If even the OathKeepers decided to leave their guns in a Virginia hotel because of strict gun laws in DC, that demonstrates that a law can have an effect. Very few people are either a this or a that, and so what the law says matters. Not to everyone, but to most of us. It is both a tragedy and a national embarrassment that we do nothing substantial about this.


Oh. Recently there was a WaPo article, Becky saw it I didn't, about how the two guys in the Pennsylvania GOP Senatorial run-off were trying to out-brag each other on their enthusiasm for guns. Please voters, please. Show both these guys to the door.

Sorry, I tried to be brief.
Ken
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#19842 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 07:24

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-June-02, 23:56, said:

You might as well try to have a rational discussion with a sheep.
The answer is always the same: but I want my gun.

And yes, they should take away his little piece of nickel plated NAZI memorabilia.


Yeah, but whataBAHt?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19843 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 09:09

View PostChas_P, on 2022-June-02, 19:00, said:

I agree wholeheartedly. The crux of the matter is what should those "serious measures" be?

Me too. I still have a couple of shotguns and a few pistols. I have a nickel-plated 9mm Radom that my father-in-law brought back from Germany after his tour of duty there during WWII. Do you really think surrendering yours or me surrendering mine will convince the thugs and criminally insane to surrender theirs?

In my opinion it is. If someone can come up with a way to confiscate (and prevent future purchases of) firearms by those with evil intent I'm all for it. I just don't believe that confiscation of firearms from law-abiding citizens like you and me is the answer.

My dad, also a WWII vet--one who survived the Battle of the Bulge and considered himself fortunate to have done so--gave me my first rifle (a .22 single-shot) when I was in 7th grade. But that was not before he taught me how to use it and not before he instructed me on how not to misuse it. And I knew for sure that if he had ever gotten wind of my misusing it in any way I would no longer have that rifle (to say the least).

Later, having kids around (and now grandkids), all our firearms are stored in a heavy safe, inaccessible to young ones: Way too many kids get hold of weapons and shoot themselves or others.

Let's look at the text of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution:

Quote

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.

Today it seems pointless to go back and forth on whether or not everyone who buys a firearm is part of a Militia. But the words well regulated also appear in the amendment. There is nothing well regulated about an 18-year-old going into a store and walking out the door with an AR-15 style weapon.

We require an automobile driver to be licensed and to pass driving tests before receiving an initial license. We require periodic renewals to ensure that the driver can still be trusted behind the wheel. We take away the license of a driver whose violations demonstrate an unworthiness to hold a license. We require additional training and special licensing for drivers of heavy trucks and other special vehicles. We require the registration of a vehicle to establish it's rightful owner. For the common good, we require that the ownership and use of vehicles be well regulated.

On it's face, the Second Amendment provides for the well regulated ownership of firearms. I would suggest the following:

  • Requiring training and a license to own and use any firearm.
  • Requiring additional specialized training for a license to own and use an assault rifle.
  • Requiring periodic renewals of any firearms license.
  • Requiring all firearms to be registered to their licensed owners.
  • Revoking the license of anyone misusing a firearm.
  • Confiscating the firearms of anyone without a license or who loses a license.

Given the proliferation of firearms already in the US, these regulations would need a year or so to be phased in. But implementing these measures would allow us to distinguish very quickly the good guys from the bad guys. The bad guys will fight against establishing and abiding by these regulations. The good guys will work (and vote) to put them in place.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#19844 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 10:16

View PostPassedOut, on 2022-June-03, 09:09, said:

On it's face, the Second Amendment provides for the well regulated ownership of firearms. I would suggest the following:

  • Requiring training and a license to own and use any firearm.
  • Requiring additional specialized training for a license to own and use an assault rifle.
  • Requiring periodic renewals of any firearms license.
  • Requiring all firearms to be registered to their licensed owners.
  • Revoking the license of anyone misusing a firearm.
  • Confiscating the firearms of anyone without a license or who loses a license.

Given the proliferation of firearms already in the US, these regulations would need a year or so to be phased in. But implementing these measures would allow us to distinguish very quickly the good guys from the bad guys. The bad guys will fight against establishing and abiding by these regulations. The good guys will work (and vote) to put them in place.

I'm not opposed to any of that. I'm not sure how practical it is, but it looks good on paper.

#19845 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 10:37

I think it is very important for people such as PassedOut, and hopefully I am included, to contribute to this conversation. It's not as if we dissolve into a pool of Jello the moment a gun is mentioned, but we are up for discussion on the serious problem that we have.

In the case of my own dad, he was 18 at the end of the first world war. I don't know if they would have taken him. Probably at 18 they would have, but he did not join. He considered it after Pearl Harbor, but as I understand it my mother used 2-year-old me as an argument not to do so unless he was drafted. At age 41, he wasn't drafted. He worked in a defense plant during the war. One way of putting it, he was prepared to serve but did not just rush out there and say gimme a gun, gimme a gun. My own approach was along those lines. I finished high school in 1956 and was considering the navy, but I got a scholarship and enrolled at the University of Minnesota, taking a student deferment. When most all student deferments were canceled in 1966 I believe I took my physical as instructed. I was 1-A, but I was also 27. Some headed off to Canada, I stayed put, with the idea that I would serve if drafted but by then Viet Nam was looking like a really bad idea and I was not going down to the draft office clamoring to join up. Make of it what you will.

I can imagine some people, because of the environment that they live or work in, might find a gun useful. Hopefully, they can change that environment. But danger is sometimes unavoidable.

I would add one more item to PassedOut's list. I think everyone who owns a gun, a firearm of any sort, should be required to learn relevant laws regarding the use of that firearm. Yes, there are times that you are permitted to use a firearm in self-defense. But way too many people interpret that right far too broadly. Something akin to "Well, the guy stepped on my toes on the bus so surely I was entitled to shoot him". Or perhaps a more realistic scene: In some conflict, a guy who does not have a gun would look for a peaceful solution. A guy with a gun sees no reason to look for a peaceful solution since it's hey, if things get tough, I have a gun.

We have to get away from this adolescent tough guy mentality. Being tough can at times be a very useful trait. But being reasonable is much more often a much more useful trait.
Ken
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#19846 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 11:28

View PostPassedOut, on 2022-June-03, 09:09, said:



On it's face, the Second Amendment provides for the well regulated ownership of firearms. I would suggest the following:

  • Requiring training and a license to own and use any firearm.
  • Requiring additional specialized training for a license to own and use an assault rifle.
  • Requiring periodic renewals of any firearms license.
  • Requiring all firearms to be registered to their licensed owners.
  • Revoking the license of anyone misusing a firearm.
  • Confiscating the firearms of anyone without a license or who loses a license.

Given the proliferation of firearms already in the US, these regulations would need a year or so to be phased in. But implementing these measures would allow us to distinguish very quickly the good guys from the bad guys. The bad guys will fight against establishing and abiding by these regulations. The good guys will work (and vote) to put them in place.


I would like to concentrate on twos parts of your post. One, why allow assault rifles at all? It is not as if there is no precedent for limiting the types of weapons that can be owned, namely automatic fire weapons such as machine guns. As I pointed out in another post, the rights in the second amendment cannot be infringed, which means removed entirely, but there is nothing about abridging (reducing or limiting) those rights, which is stated specifically about first amendment rights such as free speech and freedom of the press. The frothers who argue that gun rights are to protect against our government are as stupid as they are nutty - the right was intended to arm a militia to safeguard a fledgling government.


Two, I would argue, though, that it is not bad people who don't want gun regulations but immature people, and they, like most adolescents, want no regulations on anything they wish to do. Their world is a fantasy of Bay Watch and Gunsmoke with a little 007 thrown in for good measure. I'm unclear how one requires mental maturity, though.

Myself, I have a 12-guage Remington pump shotgun and I have 00 buckshot, I don't hunt. I don't take the gun out of the house. I am not against gun ownership. I have no problem licensing this weapon or taking a test to own it. But then, I don't have any problem living in a modern society.




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#19847 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 13:23

View Postkenberg, on 2022-June-03, 10:37, said:

I would add one more item to PassedOut's list. I think everyone who owns a gun, a firearm of any sort, should be required to learn relevant laws regarding the use of that firearm.

Yes, I think that getting a license to own and use a firearm should requiring passing a test, just as we require for getting a driver's license.
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#19848 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 14:02

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-June-03, 11:28, said:


I would like to concentrate on twos parts of your post. One, why allow assault rifles at all? It is not as if there is no precedent for limiting the types of weapons that can be owned, namely automatic fire weapons such as machine guns. As I pointed out in another post, the rights in the second amendment cannot be infringed, which means removed entirely, but there is nothing about abridging (reducing or limiting) those rights, which is stated specifically about first amendment rights such as free speech and freedom of the press. The frothers who argue that gun rights are to protect against our government are as stupid as they are nutty - the right was intended to arm a militia to safeguard a fledgling government.


Two, I would argue, though, that it is not bad people who don't want gun regulations but immature people, and they, like most adolescents, want no regulations on anything they wish to do. Their world is a fantasy of Bay Watch and Gunsmoke with a little 007 thrown in for good measure. I'm unclear how one requires mental maturity, though.

Myself, I have a 12-guage Remington pump shotgun and I have 00 buckshot, I don't hunt. I don't take the gun out of the house. I am not against gun ownership. I have no problem licensing this weapon or taking a test to own it. But then, I don't have any problem living in a modern society.

In fact, I do believe that allowing the ban on assault weapons to expire was a mistake, nor do we own an assault weapon here. But I drew my list of firearm regulations to parallel existing motor vehicle regulations--regulations already familiar to most everyone and accepted by most everyone. In my experience, that basic approach of drawing familiar parallels makes any proposal easier to understand and tends to reduce unwarranted fears of change.

I think it more effective to say something like, "Let's regulate guns just the way we do cars," than it is to say (as Beto O'Rourke did), "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47." For one thing, every item on my list is clearly constitutional. Confiscating weapons that were legally purchased--even if I disagree with the law--is more problematic. Including such a proposal on that list is bound to generate opposition to the entire list--and understandably so.

Given the disastrous policies promulgated by NRA-financed politicians for many years, we simply won't be able to solve this problem overnight. But that does not mean that we should give up now.

And yes, there are immature people who resist regulations of all kinds--including those for motor vehicles. But there are also bad guys who wish to preserve an option to shoot others for purposes of revenge, crime, or insurrection, with a reduced risk of detection.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#19849 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 15:43

FWIW, I have a somewhat different view about a lot of this.

I don't have a real issue if people want to own assault weapons or even, hypothetically, a machine gun.

However, I don't think that people should be able to carry these or even have them at home.
If you want an AR-15 or an AK-47 or whatever then it lives at the gun range and it doesn't leave the gun range.

Same with pistols in almost all situations.

If you want a weapon for home defense (and you want to keep it at home) then get a shotgun
If you want a weapon for hunting (and you want to carry it around when you're hunting) then get a bolt action rifle or a shotgun.

If its easy to hide and it throws a lot of bullets quickly then you don't to carry it around.

I can potentially see an argue that some people might be allows to have a six chamber revolver or some such.
I'm genuine torn on this.
Alderaan delenda est
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#19850 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 17:20

View PostPassedOut, on 2022-June-03, 14:02, said:

In fact, I do believe that allowing the ban on assault weapons to expire was a mistake, nor do we own an assault weapon here. But I drew my list of firearm regulations to parallel existing motor vehicle regulations--regulations already familiar to most everyone and accepted by most everyone. In my experience, that basic approach of drawing familiar parallels makes any proposal easier to understand and tends to reduce unwarranted fears of change.

I think it more effective to say something like, "Let's regulate guns just the way we do cars," than it is to say (as Beto O'Rourke did), "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47." For one thing, every item on my list is clearly constitutional. Confiscating weapons that were legally purchased--even if I disagree with the law--is more problematic. Including such a proposal on that list is bound to generate opposition to the entire list--and understandably so.

Given the disastrous policies promulgated by NRA-financed politicians for many years, we simply won't be able to solve this problem overnight. But that does not mean that we should give up now.

And yes, there are immature people who resist regulations of all kinds--including those for motor vehicles. But there are also bad guys who wish to preserve an option to shoot others for purposes of revenge, crime, or insurrection, with a reduced risk of detection.

I see your well-made point and I wonder if that and Richard’s idea could be combined. You may continue to own legally purchased asssult rifles but they must be stored in some type communal facility but ban future sales of such weapons,
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#19851 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 18:51

View PostPassedOut, on 2022-June-03, 09:09, said:

[*]Requiring training and a license to own and use any firearm.

I am curious as to how this could be enforced. It should be easy enough for new firearms purchases, just like new vehicle purchases; the dealer is responsible for title application and license purchase. But how would you suggest we get existing gun owners (including the thugs and criminally insane) to become licensed and register their weapons?

#19852 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 20:29

Chris Jacobs, Republican congressman from NY after taking a stand and getting his head handed to him by his party said:

Look, if you’re not going to take a stand on something like this, I don’t know what you’re going to take a stand on.

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a

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#19853 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 01:03

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-June-03, 15:43, said:

FWIW, I have a somewhat different view about a lot of this.

I don't have a real issue if people want to own assault weapons or even, hypothetically, a machine gun.

However, I don't think that people should be able to carry these or even have them at home.
If you want an AR-15 or an AK-47 or whatever then it lives at the gun range and it doesn't leave the gun range.

Same with pistols in almost all situations.

If you want a weapon for home defense (and you want to keep it at home) then get a shotgun
If you want a weapon for hunting (and you want to carry it around when you're hunting) then get a bolt action rifle or a shotgun.

If its easy to hide and it throws a lot of bullets quickly then you don't to carry it around.

I can potentially see an argue that some people might be allows to have a six chamber revolver or some such.
I'm genuine torn on this.


This is close to how it works in the UK for all firearms except licenced hunters with rifles and farmers with shotguns. Assault rifles not permitted at all.
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#19854 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 04:02

View PostChas_P, on 2022-June-03, 18:51, said:

I am curious as to how this could be enforced. It should be easy enough for new firearms purchases, just like new vehicle purchases; the dealer is responsible for title application and license purchase. But how would you suggest we get existing gun owners (including the thugs and criminally insane) to become licensed and register their weapons?


By passing a law and starting to enforcing it.
And not expecting perfection, but rather an improvement on the existing system.

It might make sense to start placing strict limits on purchasing ammunition.

If you don't have a licensed gun, then you don't really need to be buying ammo...
Alderaan delenda est
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#19855 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 06:15

View PostChas_P, on 2022-June-03, 18:51, said:

I am curious as to how this could be enforced. It should be easy enough for new firearms purchases, just like new vehicle purchases; the dealer is responsible for title application and license purchase. But how would you suggest we get existing gun owners (including the thugs and criminally insane) to become licensed and register their weapons?


Richard beat me to it with a reply and said about what I would say, but I'll add a bit. I distrust analogies but try this. Requiring drivers to be licensed does not totally stop the unlicensed driving of cars. But perhaps you would agree that if no license were required, there would be many more people driving cars who should not be driving cars.

To take a concrete personal example, I was arrested when I was 17 for some minor stuff, the details are boring, and I was searched. I did not have a gun but suppose I did. If a license were required and I did not have one, the situation would suddenly become a much more serious problem for me.

A point that I think has been made several times: No one claims that passing laws will totally eliminate gun violence. What we claim is that it can make a huge difference. For one thing, it would express society's view that gun ownership is no casual matter, it's different from owning a set of boxing gloves. Many people, not everyone but most of us, are at least somewhat influenced by society's expectations for acceptable behavior. Where I live, I wear a shirt when I mow the lawn, even though I would rather not. The laws of this country, for reasons that totally escape me, encourage people to carry guns.

Countries that have substantial gun laws typically have lesser gun violence. This is unlikely to be a coincidence.

So let's do it. It will help. Let's do it. Details need discussion. Of course, details need discussion. But let's do it.
Ken
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#19856 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 07:41

View PostChas_P, on 2022-June-03, 18:51, said:

I am curious as to how this could be enforced. It should be easy enough for new firearms purchases, just like new vehicle purchases; the dealer is responsible for title application and license purchase. But how would you suggest we get existing gun owners (including the thugs and criminally insane) to become licensed and register their weapons?

I see that Richard and Ken have already addressed this and I certainly realize that I have no complete and immediate fix for our predicament. As you point out, the easiest case to handle is at the point of purchase and would stop an 18-year-old from walking out of a store with a new AR-15 on the way to school. For the many existing firearms, compliance would be voluntary and people with ill intent would not do it.

However, folks who do comply would still be able to keep the firearms that they need (or think that they need) to protect their homes and families and for hunting. And, over time, more and more weapons would be confiscated for non-compliance. So far as I can see, we have locked ourselves into some tragic injuries and deaths for quite a while, but that's no reason to give up on trying to address our problem now.
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#19857 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 07:55

I would also like to point out that the mass shootings that come to my mind were carried out by those who were considered law-abiding citizens until they were no longer.
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#19858 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 09:27

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-June-04, 07:55, said:

I would also like to point out that the mass shootings that come to my mind were carried out by those who were considered law-abiding citizens until they were no longer.

An astute observation of the blatantly obvious. You might also point out that those who are willing to disobey current law would have absolutely no problem disobeying a new law.

#19859 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 09:34

View PostChas_P, on 2022-June-04, 09:27, said:

An astute observation of the blatantly obvious. You might also point out that those who are willing to disobey current law would have absolutely no problem disobeying a new law.

"No problem" in terms of their moral compass, perhaps. But the point of gun control is to limit their future opportunities to break laws either relating to or involving the use of guns.
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Posted 2022-June-04, 11:00

From Retire These Gun Myths by Mona Charen at The Bulwark:

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As I write, there are reports of yet another attack in Tulsa. Our mass shooting problem—there have been an average of two per month for the past 13 years —arises from a familiar stew of history, culture, law, and commerce. And certain facts loom large. Yes, we are among the most violent countries in the advanced industrial world, and have long been. Yes, guns have always been plentiful whereas mass shootings are a relatively new disease. Yes, mass shootings represent a small fraction of gun deaths in America. And yes, the Second Amendment makes limiting guns more difficult here than in Canada, Australia, or other places. Those are big, hulking obstacles to solving our problem. But there are other assumptions that are trotted out regularly in our hoary gun discussions that are less daunting than they appear.

Consider the matter of guns in circulation. We are often told that there are about 393 million guns in private hands in the United States—more than one per person. How then, some demand, can we expect to make a dent in the problem by instituting controls that affect only new gun sales? All that would do, they insist, is make it more difficult for law-abiding people to obtain guns, while criminals would always have easy access.

The sheer number of guns in private hands needn’t intimidate us into inaction. We have 289 million cars in America and manage to regulate, license, and control them in various ways. The number is not the point. It’s the laws that matter.

Here is a list of 22 mass shootings since 2012. The Aurora, Colorado shooter (I do not publish the names) purchased his guns just before killing people in a movie theater. 12 dead. The Navy Yard shooter purchased his guns before his rampage. 12 dead. The killer who attacked Charleston’s “Mother Emanuel” church purchased his Glock after a botched background check. 9 dead. The Roseburg, Oregon shooter purchased his guns. 10 dead. The San Bernardino shooter got a friend to purchase the guns he used in his attack. 14 dead. The Orlando shooter purchased his guns legally a week before killing people in a nightclub. 49 dead. The Las Vegas killer purchased 33 of the 49 guns found in his hotel room in the year prior to his shooting spree at a country music festival. 58 dead. The Sutherland Springs, Texas killer was able to purchase his firearms despite a history of domestic violence. 25 dead. The Parkland, Florida shooter purchased his weapon a year before attacking Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. 17 dead. The Pittsburgh assassin legally purchased his rifle and three handguns before shooting up the Tree of Life synagogue. 11 dead. The Thousand Oaks killer? Legally purchased. 12 dead. Virginia Beach? Legally purchased. 12 dead. El Paso? Legally purchased. 23 dead. Dayton? Legally purchased. 9 dead. Atlanta? Legally purchased. 8 dead. Boulder? Legally purchased a few days before a grocery store attack. 10 dead. San Jose? Legally purchased. 9 dead. Buffalo? Legally purchased. 10 dead. And Uvalde, legally purchased days before the attack on Robb elementary school. 21 dead.

Of those 22 cases, there were just three that did not involve a legal sale to the killer: The Midland, Texas shooter purchased his rifle through a private sale before killing 7 strangers; the Santa Fe shooter, who killed 10 at his high school, used guns legally owned by his father; and the shooter who killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut used guns bought by his mother.

Perhaps all of these killers would have been able to lay hands on guns already owned by individuals. Maybe. But it would have been much harder than walking into a gun store. In most cases, these killers are mentally unstable, impulsive, and socially maladroit. Purchasing a weapon via private sale would be more challenging.

So making it more difficult to purchase guns—say, by adding more complete background checks, increasing the minimum age to 21, requiring waiting periods, or adopting “red flag laws” that make it possible for family members or police to ask courts to have a person’s guns temporarily removed—would have inhibited the vast majority of the killers listed above.

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If we hope to unstick our politics and permit compromise and common-sense reforms for heart-wrenching problems, we’re going to have to reform the way we choose our leaders. GOP politicians don’t dance to the NRA’s tune for the money. They do it because that’s what Republican primary voters demand. And Democrats who grandstand about gun confiscation are appealing to their left flank—the voters who show up for primaries. In the matter of guns, as with other pressing national concerns, the solutions cannot be unlocked until the incentives facing politicians change—and that requires nonpartisan primaries.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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