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Gun control through the years

Forgive me this diversion from the purely local, but I saw something in an old newspaper that gave me pause.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with the students in Alyssa Neilson's journalism class at Half Moon Bay High School yesterday. In thinking about what I might talk about, I thumbed through some old yellowed newspapers I keep at home. I guess it's a occupational hazard; you probably can't find a newspaper editor who doesn't keep a pile of old papers lying around.

The date was June 6, 1968, the day after Robert F. Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles. The newspaper I kept from that day is The Atlanta Constitution.

At the bottom of Page 1 is the headline you see here. "Johnson picks panel to panel to study causes of violence in U.S." Then President Lyndon B. Johnson blames a "climate of extremism" for a year that also included the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. LBJ, who, of course, hailed from the gun-friendly state of Texas, called for "meaningful controls" on the sale of firearms.

As I spoke to the Half Moon Bay students, President Barack Obama was making a very similar plea to the American people ... more than 44 years later.

How did Johnson's effort at reform work out? Take a look:

Web Link

History repeats. I, for one, don't think meaningful gun control is very likely, do you?


No. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Where have we seen and heard this before? The people have no interest in preventing gun violence by taking any meaningful action and enforcing it. They instead prefer to blather on about how wonderful and useful the 2nd amendment is from the confines and relative safety of their living rooms. As long as the rabid NRA rules Congress and state legislatures, I don't see how anything will change. And the rush to buy assault weapons after each mass shooting of innocent people makes it depressingly evident that there are still too many people who don't truly care about what happens to others; they're too busy making it easier for this to happen again.

This post will be followed by post by all those gun activists who will go on and on, again, about.people's "rights." Ignoring the very real rights of people to live in safety from gun violence. Nothing about the rights of children to grow up, of citizens to attend movies with the expectation of leaving intact, of driving down the street and arriving at their destinations intact, etc. And don't change the topic here to traffic safety. That's another thread.

Until people care more about each other than about themselves, this will never change.

It is not possible in the U.S. to enact any legislation against a high-profile topic that is not supported by the lobby(s) who work for that topic.

So, no, I do not see meaningful gun control in the near/far future.

I believe that this time is different. The legislation will not go as far and completely as I would like, but there will be legislation.

Never since the assassination of RFK have we had such an involved public and dedicated President. Even the membership of the NRA supports most of the changes proposed by the President. It will be difficult for many Republicans and some Democrats to turn their back on the leadership and money of the NRA, but enough will to make some desperately legislation possible.

I would offer that it would depend on what one considers "meaningful gun control".

Johnson, who you feature in this topic, became President because his predecessor, JFK, was assassinated. As you noted, so was MLK and JFK's brother, Bobby. One would think the climate was 'right' for change, but...

Here we are over 40 years later and we're still having this discussion, with more gun violence victims littering our country than ever before. One would think that we would have learned by now; and maybe, just maybe we have...a little.

I have no illusions that guns will be outlawed entirely. Up until now, I didn't think anything would be done to at least restrict the sales and ownership of assault weapons, for example. But I can feel some momentum here this time; and that, as anemic as that may sound, offers hope.

I am also under no illusions that one act or action by legislators will solve this complex issue, but I can see a step by step approach and it appears that's what we're seeing now.

When the NRA, the recognized leader in supporting gun sales and 'rights' comes out after the horrific Newtown massacre and offers a solution of giving teachers guns, then follows that unbelievable option with attacking the President's kids because of their Secret Service protection, well...I think it's fair to say that they, the NRA, is showing a side of themselves that most are very uncomfortable with. Me? - I think they're idiots in their responses to this latest round of killings and I suspect that most agree; and this is where the funding comes from to oppose firearm restrictions?

If all we see is national regulation that mirrors what we have here in CA, that would be a huge step forward, while establishing a new platform to continue the work from.

Ban all assault weapons and large magazines. It's, if nothing else, a start.

In the meantime, let the NRA continue to demonstrate just what asses they are, and the momentum will continue to move forward toward realistic gun controls.

Gotta start somewhere. This is as good a spot and time as any, and it looks as though we may just see some positive movement.

Here's a very relevant editorial from the Mercury News yesterday:

Web Link

Another about how we can't count on law enforcement in many areas to uphold any federal bans that may squeak through:

Web Link

Wonder when and where the next mass shooting will occur? It will happen, and nothing but rhetoric will follow, again.

Speaking of history, here are some other tyrants that used children as props. Most of them liked gun control, too!

Web Link

Sad to see that so many people fall for the complete and utter piffle offered by our king. If there is so much public support for his proposals (which I seriously doubt), then why doesn't he submit legislation to Congress? Why don't the gun-grabbers propose a Constitutional Amendment?

over 300 Executive orders by George W. Bush. He was hailed for his strong leadership by the likes of Honey Boo Boo. The hypocritical outrage is veiled racisim as demonstrated by the likes of John Bircher Rand Paul and his fellow wing nuts.

Ronald Reagan was in favor of the "utter piffle" as was W.

Web Link

Right Wing Selective Memory Syndrome

In what is likely a foolish effort to reclaim this topic from the right/left we-got-the-spirit-how-bout-you thing...

Folks on both sides of the aisle take money from the gun lobby. Democratic congresses and presidents have failed to take much action. I'm not siding with the Republicans here, I just don't think its as simple as blaming "the other side."

You're unfortunately right, Clay. The outspoken gun supporters seem to be on the right, especially the far right, but the other side has not acted effectively either. The key word is "effectively." Lots of noise has been made and paperwork generated, but the NRA lobby still keeps nearly all the legislators in fear for their jobs, and few will put their money where their mouths are.

Until lobbyists are restricted from holding the power they have over the legislative process at all levels, nothing will change. By this I mean all lobbyists, not just the NRA, and all issues, not just guns. We all can name the big lobbies that control nearly everything in government: NRA, Big Agriculture, Big Pharma, and others... None of them represent safety, cost effectiveness, and the welfare of common people.

If the people could vote for national measures, some things could begin to shift. However, we can't, so we in the hands of the special interests who control Washington and every other government center.

Wow! Do I disagree with you about the people being able to vote for national issues would solve the lobbyist "problem". Look no further than your current state of residence...

The only solution to this, and any political overseer problem, is to have an electorate that actually understands the issues and actually gets involved with the voting competition and actually is willing to turn out the crooked incumbents. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened frequently in the entire history of human existence. We seem to require being lorded over, though in the U.S. we also deny that need... but reelect 99% of the incumbents while loudly complaining about their performance.

The lobbyists know that. Politicians know that. TV executives know that. Maddison Ave. executives know that. Professional sports owners know that. It's the way life in the U.S is, has been, and always will be, probably.

America has made many mistakes in its history. We allowed slavery, prevented women from voting, amended the Constitution to ban alcohol, put Americans in concentration camps during WW2 because they were ethnic Japanese, denied citizens of color the right to vote, prevented homosexual Americans from serving in our military despite their patriotism and qualities as fierce warriors. In every case we eventually saw the error in these laws and policies and we have corrected them.

Today a needless yearly carnage of 30,000 American lives lost to gun violence occurs thanks to our lack of sensible laws to restrict access to guns. When the American people realize that they are mistaken, that our laws and policies are wrong or unsuited for the times, we change them. That is our great strength as a nation and as a people.

This strength, a unique product of our diversity and dynamism, will not fail us now. We will solve this problem and we will pass laws limiting the access to guns. A proliferation of guns has created this uniquely American tragedy, we can end it.

JG, you're right, I didn't word that well at all. We cannot vote for national measures, and we don't turn out incumbents who reside in lobbyists' pockets. Trouble is there, they are all in somebody's pocket, so nothing short of a total and complete housecleaning could accomplish that across the board.

At the state and local levels, we have voter apathy and name recognition as the only qualifier earning a vote.

Most polls are neither scientific nor specific enough to be meaningful. The words "gun control" mean very different things to different people, anywhere from every single gun type to only specific gun types, such as assault weapons. VERY different issues and implications. The result is that polls essentially mean nothing and can't be used for meaningful dialog and change.

Unfortunately, I don't think the American people have the will to stop this senseless violence. They will rant on about citizen rights to own high capacity assault weapons and their ammunition. They will not bother to take the real steps necessary to accomplish valid restrictions that mean anything in the real world. After all, just look at the HMB City Council elections, where the incumbents responsible for all the illegal and incompetent expenditures of taxpayer money are happily sitting back in their usual seats, still raising eyebrows here on TA threads. The voters got what they asked for, yet again.

And if child and firefighter slaughter doesn't motivate people to care, it's hard to imagine what will. So far the NRA is winning.

I go a bit further. I don't think the majority of U.S. citizens have the ability to understand the issue(s). They react to stimulus, they do/can not analyze the either the cause(s) or the effect(s). So, despite instant reaction to the stimulus of multiple child murders, they then fold under the stimulus of fear of losing their right to bear arms.

Web Link

could not say it better myself

"The NRA lobby still keeps nearly all the legislators in fear for their jobs, and few will put their money where their mouths are.

They don't fear the NRA lobby, they fear that the voters will not vote for them. You appear to believe that there is something wrong with the proposition that if legislators act in a manner that voters see as contrary to their interests, they will lose votes.


"The lobbyists know that. Politicians know that. TV executives know that. Maddison Ave. executives know that. Professional sports owners know that. It's the way life in the U.S is, has been, and always will be, probably." - - - - - Insightful post, John. Don't give up. Things may improve. The attempt to trash the Constitution may be just the thing to impell the change. I know that folk who support an end run around the Bill of Rights with respect to the 2nd Amendement believe that it is for the best - but it isn't. The Bill Of Rights is what keeps us free. Lose it - lose everything. Perhaps folk will come to see that.

Barnus continues to espouse the pro-gun-violence, pro-gun-proliferation mantra that is absolutely devoid of evidence.

The pro-gun fanatics ignore that after our Revolutionary War Canada, Australia and India all achieved independence without bloodshed or the need for arms. They refuse to acknowledge that the armed revolutions in Tunisia, Libya, and Syria have all occurred in nations where the dictators who were overthrown all had bands on gun ownership. The obvious in-your-face point is that guns are not required to gain liberty and even where they have been restricted, the restrictions have not prevented armed rebellions to overthrow dictators.

It is time to see this flag waving pseudo patriotism of the pro-gun-violence, pro-gun-proliferation fringe for what it truly is - Madness. Regulating guns today is not trashing the Constitution, it would save lives and end gun violence.

Jim, I have put the lie to just about all of your points in the past and begged you, for your own good, to forgo name calling and disparagement in favor of honest, civil discourse. I guess that is beyond you.

Once again - you would do well to stop pretending that guns are not regulated. They are. Heavily. Everybody knows it.

They don't fear the NRA lobby, they fear that the voters will not vote for them. You appear to believe that there is something wrong with the proposition that if legislators act in a manner that voters see as contrary to their interests, they will lose votes.

Does that sentiment apply to the Union Lobby and its members?

Barnus, would you think differently if you knew that the people definitely were behind President Obama's proposal?

Survey says they are Web Link

Mr. Lambert,

I step into this ring with same caution one has towards an encounter with a rattlesnake, knowing full well that the delete button is micro-seconds from punctuation. I will thank you now for allowing me this privilege to rebut, in the hope to belay such action. Alrighty then, shall we?

My purpose is to offer a broader context other than the one provided – an executive wishing for broader powers other than those delegated to the executive by our constitution – so that I can demonstrate the weakness for relying on an executive who, under the colors of compassion, is exhibiting dictatorial tendencies; and to highlight the mistake of those above who, in their haste to make things right, would throw away not only their birthright of inalienable Rights as Americans, but would have all of us follow suit. With the ease of sheep herded to slaughter, I might add. I will also attempt to weave this penchant for patriarchal dependency, and the dire effects of its consequences, into the national fabric of our body politic.

I am arguing elsewhere on this board that the 23 decrees of President Obama do not address the prevention of further tragedies as the likes of Sandy Hook. In my humble opinion, these decrees are nothing more than the decades old wish list of those wanting to disarm the American people; which requires a thorough debate and approval process by the legislature versus having an executive issue decrees.

In its stead, we will look at the fact that our modern 21st century civilization has not triumphed over the basest of human nature and for this reason, we can judge for ourselves the necessity of separation of powers and the equal delegation of powers between the spheres of national and local governments as is embodied in our constitution.

Which then leads us directly to the wisdom and prescience of our Founders for their creation of this constitutional republic and the first principles therein, which safeguard the People from the tyranny of leaders prone to our baser nature. That the Bill of Rights anchors the US Constitution to these first principles is due, for the most part, to the observation of human nature that John Locke and the Baron de Montesquieu instilled upon our Founding Fathers. Let us now look to James Madison’s Federalist #51, Feb. 6, 1788 - for an illustration:

"…Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interests of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

I think it is well established that those in Congress and the White House are not ‘angels’, therefore, he goes on:

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficultly lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the People is no doubt the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."

For an example of Madison’s fears as to how easy it is to subvert the limits placed upon the federal government; let us look to ObamaCare for the federalization of your body and your relationship with your doctor, and the fact that the Oakland police department is on the verge of becoming federalized. If your conscience cannot be bothered with these abrogations, let us look at another aspect of federal intrusion upon individual and state sovereignty. How would you react if an executive issued decrees affecting abortion or gay rights? Changes the nature of this debate, does it not?

Voting, freedom of association, petition for grievance and free speech are the tools our forefathers guaranteed we the People against usurpation. When those fail, like it or not, the teeth for all of our Rights is the 2nd Amendment. For a recent example, research the story of the ‘Deacons for Defense & Justice , a working class band of armed black men in the Deep South who coerced LBJ into enforcing the ‘Civil Rights Act of 1964’ against the police, local governments, and the KKK.

I do not bring this story of courage lightly to this argument because I have quite a few friends and acquaintances who are police officers, who I admire and for whom I respect greatly for the dangers of their profession. However, I would have you take great care in thought before giving the police and the government sole access to the firearms of the 21st century.

Our 2nd Amendment is not about hunting, its purpose is the defense of life and property, and the respect that armed citizens engender as a check on tyranny. And for those who want to construe this as an incitement of insurrection; I would remind y’all that I am not the one drawing lines in the sand as the likes of the leader of the free world with these decrees from on high. I am calling for an honest and lengthy debate, on a justifiably emotional and constitutional issue, in the public square of proper jurisdiction, our legislature - the People’s House – because I do not see a band of ‘angels’ in our seats of power, rather, I see a den of vipers.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist

This lofty discussion i plies that everyone wants to ban possession of every weapon capable of firing a missile. This is nonsense. Some would prefer that, including me in a perfect world. However, that's never going to happen. The vast majority of people want to restrict some weapons that have no valid use in civilian society, namely assault weapons capable of firing multiple bullets in rapid succession without reloading. Hunters don't ned these, and in fact cannot legally use them for hunting. Personal protection does not require such weapons here in this country. Law enforcement and the military do have a valid use for them, civilians do not.

If a civilian wants to protect himself with a gun, and a handgun can't do the job, then the person using that gun needs to learn how to use it and aim it properly. Guns do not belong in the hands of anyone unwilling to spend the time and effort to use and care for it properly. That includes target practice at an approved range on a regular basis. With the right comes the responsibility, and few gun owners accept that responsibility. We have a license to drive a car, and it must be renewed on a regular basis. There's no reason why gun ownership should have any less requirements. Every person with access to a gun, including everyone in the home with access, should be required to pass tests and show proficiency, or else forfeit the gun(s).

That requirement and banning assault weapons would help prevent many killings. There are still mental health issues and criminal use to be considered in gun related deaths, but that's another whole subject that won't be addressed. If owners and their household members can't prove competency, their guns should be removed. That would be a start. It's not enough, but it's a start.

Barnus claims that reasonable restrictions on guns will “trash the Constitution”. He sees efforts to end gun violence as a challenge to the Bill of Rights. This is extremist logic and it is utter nonsense. There is not a lick of evidence to support this dire claim and plenty of evidence in past and current history that it is just plain wrong.

Consider this: the thirteen Colonies needed an armed rebellion to free themselves from British rule, but Canada, South Africa, Australia, and India all became independent without an armed rebellion. The recent upheavals in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and now Syria have all taken place in countries that had laws preventing citizens access to guns, yet this did not prevent the overthrow of dictatorial governments. The idea that an armed citizenry protects liberty is not true in the modern world. These examples from history and current events are clear evidence that change in the modern world. Guns DO NOT PROTECT LIBERTY nor are they required to obtain it!

Today the idea that the 2nd Amendment was meant to arm everyone is an extremist point of view. People who make this claim are mistaken. The NRA and its pro-gun-violence, pro-gun-proliferation political agenda is thinly disguised marketing campaign for the gun industry. They have attempted to wrap themselves in the flag proclaiming their defense of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – that is BALONY! More than half the money that pays for the NRA staff and their pro-gun-violence propaganda comes from the gun industry. The NRA should be identified by their real mission, it is to guarantee profits for the merchants of death, the gun industry.

Demanding responsible regulation of guns to end the senseless slaughter of 30,000 Americans who die annually due to the easy access to guns is not a threat to liberty, democracy or individual freedom. Anyone who does not want to be labeled as a pro-gun-violence extremist should consider their own views and statements. If you defend the policies of the NRA then that is exactly what you are – a pro-gun-proliferation, pro-gun-violence extremist!

"Does that sentiment apply to the Union Lobby and its members?" - - - - - Of Course. There is, however, a difference between lobbying and voting one's self interests and buying legislators with campaign contributions. I don't think much of the NRA, or any other group, doing that either.

"Barnus, would you think differently if you knew that the people definitely were behind President Obama's proposal?" - - - - - What proposal? There were many of them. Many were for laws or procedures that are already the law in many states. Most, if implemented, would be more or less harmless. They wouldn’t do much good – but they wouldn’t do much harm. Better background checks – including at gun shows and for transfers between individuals – why not? Some exceptions should be included, however, like transfers between husbands and wives or parents and children. Sexist California, last I knew, had just such rules – except that the exception was confined to fathers and sons??? Obviously some limit is needed on the type of weapons one may hold. There are such limits – but not everywhere. Individual citizens are allowed to own machine guns in most states other than California, if acquired and held subject to a federal license the obtaining of which is difficult and quite expensive. I have never heard of a crime perpetrated by a licensee with a federally licensed machine gun. Generally, the stricter the gun laws in a jurisdiction – the greater the crime in that jurisdiction. I am not saying that the restrictive laws are a cause of the crime, though that could be argued, I will say that is a pretty good indicator of the lack of effectiveness of strict gun control to reduce violent crime. Further, and more to your point, perhaps, poll results are generally determined by the nature of the poll. If those polled were asked “Do you support violating the Constitution to promote an agenda?” – I think that the result would be predictable – don’t you?

“Barnus claims that reasonable restrictions on guns will “trash the Constitution”.” - - - - - Nope. Barnus doesn’t think that and has never said anything to lead you to think that he does. As is your wont, you just made that up.

“He sees efforts to end gun violence as a challenge to the Bill of Rights.” Nope. Barnus doesn’t think that and has never said anything to lead you to think that he does. As is your wont, you just made that up.

“Consider this: the thirteen Colonies needed an armed rebellion to free themselves from British rule, but Canada, South Africa, Australia, and India all became independent without an armed rebellion.” Armed rebellion freed those nations from British rule. The rebellion took place here and taught the British a lesson which they took to heart. In fact, it taught the world a lesson which the world took to heart. Prior to that armed rebellion, every nation on earth was ruled by a king or emperor or despot going by one name or another. Our armed rebellion inspired and sometimes obviated others and initiated an age of democracy that is to this day held together by the force and threat of arms.

“Demanding responsible regulation of guns to end the senseless slaughter of 30,000 Americans who die annually due to the easy access to guns -----“ - - - - - There you go again. It simply is not true that 30,000 Americans die annually due to the easy access of guns. It is true that there about 30,000 gun related deaths in the US annually. That is where your accuracy or honesty ends. According to Wikipedia - “Two-thirds of all gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides. Of the 30,470 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2010, 19,392 (63.6%) were suicide deaths, and 11,078 (36.4%) homicide deaths.” I guess that the word “homicide” is used there in its broadest sense as it doesn’t break out accidents and justified shootings by authorities or citizens. While guns are often used in suicides, there is little or no information to indicate that the availability of guns affects the rate of suicides. This is borne out in the Australian experience where the confiscation of guns was followed by increases in suicides and violent crime. As to crime in the US – guns are used over a million times a year in the US to protect life and property – usually display of the gun is sufficient to cause would be killers or other lawbreakers to change their mind about what they are doing. . Most of the illegal shootings in the US – other than suicides – are drug related in some way. Most could be avoided by reformation of our absurd drug laws. There isn’t much interest in that – too much money involved in the “War on Drugs.”

“ If you defend the policies of the NRA then that is exactly what you are – a pro-gun-proliferation, pro-gun-violence extremist!” - - - - - Good one. Name calling is what you do best.

^^^ Barnus, would you think differently if you knew that the people definitely were behind President Obama's proposal? ^^^

Watch the LOFOs video linked to in a newer post. Now, do you think folks know what is in his proposal? Or, do they believe that what they want is in his proposal?

I think it is the latter.

Are there two bloggers using the moniker Barnus?

Here is what Barnus said earlier, see Barnus, a resident of Montara, on January 18, 2013 at 10:33 am, "The attempt to trash the Constitution may be just the thing to impell the change. I know that folk who support an end run around the Bill of Rights with respect to the 2nd Amendement believe that it is for the best - but it isn't. The Bill Of Rights is what keeps us free. Lose it - lose everything."

Is this a different Barnus from the one who now claims, "Nope. Barnus doesn’t think that and has never said anything to lead you to think that he does. As is your wont, you just made that up."?

Someone lacks verasity here and unless their are two people who claim to be Barnus, it appears to be him.

Barnus's poor memory is not the issue here, it is whether or not the NRA and their many pro-gun apologists can continue to prevent sensible laws regulating access to guns. Their phony patroitism and claims that their extremist interpretation of the 2nd Amendment protects liberty is just gun industry propoganda to keep sales high. The consequence is 30,000 deaths every year due to guns.

The point that half of these deaths are suicides is not a free pass from ignoring the evident fact that most of these suicides would not happen if guns were not so freely available today. Try killing yourself with a bottle of asprins; its possible but it will take a long time with plenty of opportunities to decide it was a bad idea. That is never the case when guns are involved, guns shots are not reversable.

The real point here is why we allow such easy access to guns when they have so little real value other than as lethal weapons used to kill other people or yourself? Guns are not required for a militia today and they do not protect our liberty.

The discussion on this topic sure seems to cover a lot of area. There are all sorts of facts, alleged facts, complete misrepresentations, lefts, rights, our rights and more coming into play on this one.

Since the assassination of JFK, this topic - gun control - has either been at the forefront or simmering just under the surface and every time something happens, whether it's the attempted assassination of Reagan to Vicksburg, to Newtown, folks come out from everywhere with a broad range of comments.

Personally, I would say that if we are to finally see some sort of real national regulation, a baseline and a better level to work from, we need to get past some of the points that, IMHO, are not germane to the brass ring.

For example: JD (above) presents a very well thought out, cogent and well articulated position that ranges from the 2nd Amendment to what a bunch a dead guys would think or say today vs what was said a couple hundred years ago. Interesting view and if I were asked to provide a comment to that view I'd say Bunk, baloney, along with other comments in that vein.

If we truly want to see a positive step to a national template of better gun control, we probably should take a strong look at what would work and focus on that issue or series of points.

Does anyone really believe (I know some do, but...) that banning the manufacture and distribution of assault weapons and 100 round clips is a Constitutional violation? Really? I don't see it that way. I don't believe one has anything to do with the other, but that's just me.

As I believe I said above, if we, as a nation, can just get CA's regs as a standard baseline nationally, that would be a start - a pretty good start, I think. It just makes sense to have a McDonald's style approach, where no matter where you are in these United States, the burger is the same and the gun regs are the same.

Now of course each State can exceed that baseline if so desired, but at least we'd all be on the same page, starting from the same vantage point and reducing the likelihood of more VA Tech, Newtown massacres.

This is, as anyone can see, a complex issue ranging from rights, alleged rights, mental illness and more to real movement in the direction of a safer nation. I would think that simplifying the issue, coupled with a real desire to stop (at least reduce) the senseless violence that doesn't always happen somewhere else would and will produce a better long term result, without violating our rights.

Above, when I ask about banning the manufacture and distribution of assault weapons and 100 round clips, I am referring to non-military of course. Just wanted to make that clearer. Thanks.


This is not an attempt at entrapment, merely an attempt to begin a rational dialogue from a point I would hope both sides deem agreeable.

Standardized background checks prior to sale. If we can start here, then we can proceed to the diagnosis of 'mental illness', a broad category with a big dragnet if made in haste.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist

Guns not people is the issue Mr Donovan, aka JD. You keep wanting to change the topic, but the fact is that in nations that restrict access to guns the number of annual deaths from gunshots is at most one tenth of those we experience here. That is in per capita totals.

I would surely agree that background checks prior to sale should/could be part of the process I mention above in the effort to create a nationwide uniform standard. I'm not sure, but wasn't that included in the restructure of CA law after the shooting incident at 101 California Street in the Financial District? Web Link

One would think that a national standard would include that.

Jim, I honestly can’t tell if you are hopelessly dishonest or just don’t understand the English language.

As you point out, I said “ - "The attempt to trash the Constitution may be just the thing to impel the change. I know that folk who support an end run around the Bill of Rights with respect to the 2nd Amendment believe that it is for the best - but it isn't. The Bill Of Rights is what keeps us free. Lose it - lose everything." You have read that to mean - “Barnus claims that reasonable restrictions on guns will “trash the Constitution.” Now Jim – that is either flat out dishonest – or you are unable to converse in English.

Another example: I pointed out that the availability or non-availability of guns does not affect the suicide rate – anywhere. Frankly, I was surprised to learn that – but it is true. There is no evidence to show that folk are less likely to commit suicide if guns are not available for the job. In fact, suicide rates are much higher in places where folk are not allowed to keep guns – like Japan. As I pointed out, the suicide rate WENT UP in Australia after guns were confiscated. You choose to simply ignore the facts and make up facts of your own. That does not advance your case.


The standardized criteria for prohibited buyers can be found at ATF website under the law: 18 USC 922(d).

Below is one of the criteria for a prohibited buyer/possessor that will be affected by these executive orders. These orders will also effectively turn all doctors into snitches (the language is in ObamaCare) and creates another liability issue for them as well. Which is why I believe these are legislative issues, not executive, and we must throw caution to the wind.

18 USC 922: "who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution".

I am puzzled as to why you would scoff at the constitutional issues that run amok throughout the fabric of this debate. This is not a "light and transient cause", messing with inalienable rights.

Anyhows, I know I'm not going to convince you otherwise, and I really don't want to beat up on you to drive home the importance for understanding the historical context that must be present throughout this emotional debate, therefore, let us part on an agreement to disagree. Besides, I have Mr. Larimer for entertainment..... heh, heh

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist

P.S.- the "light & transient" quote is Jefferson - The Declaration of Independence...... thought you'd enjoy one more bit of wisdom from a "dead guy"

editing button:

"must [NOT] throw caution to the wind"

JD: There are a couple of points you make that I would comment on.

First, the "standardized criteria" you point to is federal; obviously not good enough. Part of my whole point here is to try to raise that standard across the nation, one step at a time. I do not believe that I am asking for anything unreasonable or un-doable, and I don't believe that overreaching is the right way, the best way or even a good way. One step at a time, with expectations set at realistic goals.

I have heard the Constitutional side of this debate all my life and a lot more times than not, it clouds an already complex issue, is unnecessary and diverts from the first short term goal of trying to stop these heinous crimes against ourselves. Rhetorical question, but how would you feel if you were one of the fathers of the recently slain kids at Newtown? How would you explain what happened to your lost child's siblings? Where would your Constitution be then? In your back pocket, maybe?

Historical context is an important aspect of just about any relevant discussion on just about any important issue; I get that. Further, I believe you know me well enough to know how much significance I put on history; but does that really apply, the way you've framed it, here? I just don't see it.

The relevant part of history that I do see as very relevant here is that the carnage we've seen will continue, unless we focus on the issue(s) and do our level best to make change ... not just talk about it, complain, quote the NRA, or George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson and act like, even for a moment, that we know what they were thinking and that they could really fathom what those 13 little stubborn colonies full of charlatans, renegades and criminals would turn into over 200 years later.

Look, a simple national standard, perhaps using CA's gun regs, I believe would be a good first step - and I just do not see a Constitutional issue with it, as I've described it above. Further, and you and others have identified this; we need our federal legislators to grow some balls and do the right thing. If, as you and others have challenged, passage of a standard (or series of) regulations similar to CA's even smells of being un-Constitutional, don't you worry - it'll get challenged to death in court...all the way up the ladder to the Big Court / the Supremes.

Frankly, I would much prefer living with banned assault weapons, large clips banned, and background checks across the nation, in every state, and watch the legal battle unfold over a period of years than continue what we see.

It will take courage on the part of Congress and the President; courage that I have not seen from them to date on anything, but courage I have to believe they have - to work together and do so for us - all Americans across this land (& AK & HI).

If the President is cowboying this, I believe that to be a mistake. I have not yet read his recently signed docs. At the very same time, Congress could/should be doing something other than each side pointing their middle finger at the other - grow balls, eat good brain food, hire the experts necessary and appropriate, debate this thing and provide America with something real, something of substance and something that we all win with, including Obama and Congress.

There must be a grown-up in the room somewhere. This is the issue that can bring 'sides' together. This is an issue that can start other balls rolling. This is a very serious issue that I am hopeful will yield sensible, simple regulation upgrades and do so without touching any Amendments.

Maybe I'm just a few cards short of a complete deck; maybe I'm just naive; but I have absolutely no doubt that this is an issue capable of changing the dynamics on Capitol Hill and capable of saving lives going forward.

It starts with communication...communication with the people, not special interests. It is way past time for our elected officials to listen to the NRA's unbelievably stupid, hurtful, unrealistic and self centered comments. It is time for each and every legislator on the Hill and throughout the country to look inside, find out who they really are and step up. No more sidling up to the NRA or any other lobby whose sole interest is money.

I, for one, have had more than enough - but then I'm not a member of Congress.

Man, I just proofed what I wrote and it is long; sorry - just ranting.

"Look, a simple national standard, perhaps using CA's gun regs, I believe would be a good first step - and I just do not see a Constitutional issue with it, as I've described it above."

A good first step --- that is what worries me, George. It isn't clear and I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it appears that you are saying that this or that regulation is a start - a step in the right direction - with the ultimate unstated goal being the elimination of gun ownership by citizens.

Many believe that there are indeed Constitutional problems with California's gun laws. I believe that most are OK. I believe that waiting periods and background checks are fine - even if required for gun show purchases and transactions between individuals. I think that the extension of the rules to transfers between husbands and wives goes too far and serves no purpose. I do not believe that the record of purchases and background checks should be kept and treated as a registry - which is what is done now - probably in violation of the law. It used to surprise me to find that law enforcement people actually think little of the law and ignore it to suit their wills. It doesn't any longer.

As to assault weapons, I think we should ban the term. It is meaningless. Boney will probably remind me again that expired ban had a definition. I will remind him again that the definition includes characteristics that are merely appearance based and have nothing to do with functionality - and we will go round and round.

IF the 2nd Amendment has anything to do with militias, and it does - the one type of gun that it refers to is a military rifle. That should not, of course, be taken to extremes - like high caliber machine guns - or any machine guns for that matter - but the 2nd Amendment certainly guarantees the right of citizens to keep semi-automatic rifles capable of taking ten round clips. If it were up to me, all able bodied citizens would be required to keep such a rifle – locked up IF they wish.

There was a time, not long ago, when Americans could keep almost any kind of weapon they wanted to keep. While I am not saying there was a causal relationship, there was far less violent crime then. But, times change, and what once made sense or was at least harmless no longer fits. So we need regulations. As you like to say - I get it. But, when is see things like "a good start," I get scared. I think that I might be seeing an extremist at work. I don't think that you are an extremist, George, but I would like to see you say that the right to bear arms is an important, natural and Constitutionally guaranteed right. I would then feel better about your call for more regulation.

Waaaay too many words per post:

Let's just say it ain't the lobbyists, it's the money they toss.

Barnus, I can see and understand your point. It is a valid point and one I'm sure some, perhaps many believe, but that is not what I'm referring to.

You say (in part), "it appears that you are saying that this or that regulation is a start - a step in the right direction - with the ultimate unstated goal being the elimination of gun ownership by citizens."

As has been shared, this is a complex, thorny issue. As such, there are several sub-issues (if you will). One of them is definitions, for example. If memory serves, legislators have passed regulations banning certain automatic weapons (assault rifles) only to see the manufacturer tweak this or that to take that particular weapon out of the banned scope; a little game of cat and mouse. That just has to stop. I doubt Congress will get it right the first time and would not be surprised to see that linger over time.

Another sub-issue is mental health. That one, in some cases, would/will be easy to address, while in other cases will be one step short of impossible. Truth be told, we are unpredictable...for the most part under certain circumstances.

This issue isn't going to go away, but it is my hope that we can severely reduce occurrences and preserve more lives over time.

I am a gun owner; have been all of my adult life. I hunt, although I am not an avid hunter. I have taken gun safety courses, I have and still do practice my skills and am very familiar with my firearms; not one of which is an automatic weapon. There is just no way that I would willingly give up my firearms - at least not that I can conceive anyway, so I clearly understand the rational gun owner's position and caution is not unwarranted.

But we are talking assault weapons here - weapons that fire multiple rounds with just one squeeze that are limited only by the size of the clip - what we see in Rambo and other such films, or what one sees on a battlefield.

Although the definition is somewhat fuzzy, here's a fair description: Web Link

There are other sub-issues to deal with. For example; would the calibration of a weapon be considered? How many civilians need a 50 cal rifle, ... for hunting game?

When I say "it's a start", in no way should that be taken as a start to taking all firearms from Americans, which I oppose, but rather being realistic and making the effort to ban those weapons capable of the carnage we see on battlefields. Civilians have no need for them and neither do our streets, theaters, schools and so forth; no need at all.

A little common sense and a basic understanding of right and wrong should come into play. I see no room for extremism ruling the day and it is my hope that we never see the carnage we saw in Newtown, Vicksburg and the oh so many others again. But that will take rational minds and courage from our legislators. The "right direction" I refer to is the cessation of these senseless, needless attacks on our own people that indiscriminately take the lives of our youth and elders alike.

Hope that clears up my position a little. There's more, but JG is right - maybe I talk too much.

Lobbyists, smobbyists. It's a significant number of Americans that are part of a significant gun culture. But don't take my word for it:

Web Link

Talk is cheap. Actions expensive.

First, what good are background checks when others in the household would not pass one? People do not adequately prevent access to the guns in their homes. The examples of this would fill a library.

Second, what's with the militia excuse these days? We do have militias, called the National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, etc. They are well organized, well funded, well equipped, and most importantly, well trained. The civilian militias we see today are called gangs, and they are not exactly an asset to society, though they are well equipped and in many cases, well funded through criminal activities. They are responsible for a large proportion of the gun related deaths and injuries seen every day.

The other John Does with guns in our society are not going to join militias, whether they be gangs or military organizations. Some are hunters and a few own personal guns for personal security. No excuse here to own assault weapons.

The 2nd Amendment does not confer a right to defend yourself with a gun. The right to defend yourself is universal in every nation, but self defense takes many forms and guns are not necessary for that purpose.

George Washington's revolutionary army was very poorly equipped. A clear intent of the 2nd Amendment to encourage citizen soldiers to bring their own guns with them when called to arms.

That strategy for forming an army was proven to be inadequate in the War of 1812. This time a lack of guns lead to our defeat. Ignoring the pramatic intent of the 2nd Amendment in favor of one that is highly questionable is no reason to allow a yearly slaughter of 30,000 Americans to gun violence. It is time to pass some sensible legislation to restrict access to guns.

^^^ Talk is cheap. Actions expensive. ^^^

And those proposed actions are ineffective at achieving their stated goals while leaving law abiding citizens with less liberty.

But some people don't care, especially when it's liberty they don't value.

Another example of another assault weapon used to kill another 5 people, a whole family - by a 15 year old (who has been arrested for the murders) with an AR-15: Web Link

Now, just take a look at the picture in the link and someone please tell me what "legitimate" reason is there for ownership of such a weapon, for use of such a weapon. And please don't come around with hunting.

A whole family wiped out, by a 15 year old pastor's son, with the same weapon - an assault weapon seen on the battlefield - seen in both Aurora and Newtown. The manufacturer must be so proud.

And how, exactly, did a 15 year old get his hands on this AR-15?

We don't yet know who technically owned this gun, but was this yet another case of someone in the household owning this gun legally, and allowing access to it by others in the family who had not passed "background checks?" I use quotes because these checks, while eliminating some people, can not currently eliminate all those at risk of misusing these weapons.

If it was a household weapon, this is one more example of an irresponsible owner who did not keep it properly secured from unauthorized use. One term for this is "denial." One more piece of evidence that too many gun owners cannot be trusted with such weapons.

This boy planned to head for Walmart to commit a mass shooting there, and probably commit "suicide by police." Then the media would report more public outrage, people would again flock to gun stores to stock up on assault weapons and ammunition, the NRA and its supporters would again quote the 2nd amendment, people would complain and then again sit back and wait for the next catastrophe. Anybody see a pattern here?

Denial = "my mother, father, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, cousin, neighbor, friend, etc. would never do such a thing. It is universal. In every case many people were in denial about every killer who used assault weapons, and other weapons for that matter.

Remedy? There isn't one.

Here we go: Web Link "Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban Thursday"

Let's see exactly how the language is laid out, what her legislation would provide, and the responses from other legislators and special interests.

We already have the response from one special interest, the NRA: Web Link

Apparently, they feel they've shoved enough money into the pockets of those that will vote on this proposed legislation that they're comfortable enough to make statements like these even before the bill is formally announced.

I guess we'll see, won't we?

I posted the above on another similar thread. This might be the start I mentioned above. I hope so.


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