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1 Political Atheist  Sat, Dec 14, 2013 9:20:40am

Next time the main thread is gun control, this link will be back and the proposals put out there. It was smart to put two writers with a open minded approach but opposite views on this.

2 William Barnett-Lewis  Sat, Dec 14, 2013 9:33:46am

Of these, only the first has even a snowball’s chance of passing. Even then its doubtful because most of the right wing don’t want a functional ATF, they want it destroyed because of their fantasy of what the 2nd amendment means. I could see the GOP House passing the rules and then refusing to fund it.

The complicated mess being proposed in 2 would be a bureaucratic nightmare to regulate and given the House’s refusal to fund ATF already, it’s asking for more trouble. In addition, as it stands, several states, particularity in the South, are very fond of taking away the voting & gun rights of people by increasing the penalties for for certain misdemeanors (Pot related especially) to a year and a day triggering the federal definition of “more than a year”. They aren’t going to willing give up the ability to keep those “others” from having rights.

Lastly, the background checks are a bit of a red herring. The biggest thing that could be checked for is mental health related problems but before you can do that you have to get real mental health therapy available. To do any good you have to get people into treatment. And the reality is that the most dangerous times for patients and those around them are early in the treatment process, access to firearms should be restricted. But that’s an instant “No Go”. Because as soon as you do people on the pro-gun side begin by assuming that everything will become a mental illness and used to “take ur gunz away!!11ty!” and they oppose it with a knee jerk that makes Bloomberg’s “for the kids” look small.

Combine this with the fact that far too many people who are seriously mentally ill REFUSE treatment. Once a person turns 21 it is near impossible to get them treatment if they don’t think they are ill or are afraid of the outcome of treatment. For a lot of people suffering mental illnesses they actually enjoy where they are at a lot of the time. For all of the lows, there’s often times much more highs which are like a drug to them. I know people that have said numerous times, during those times when they are lucid enough to talk about and acknowledge something’s wrong, that they will in no way, shape, or form take any pills. They’re afraid that the pills or other therapy would dull the edge that they get from the mania.

Look at the mug shots of Laughner. He looks happy and content. And Holmes certainly must have been enjoying his Joker fantasy. Same with the Columbine shooters. It was a real life video game for them. All mentally wrong to some degree and I highly doubt any of them would have accepted treatment if it had been offered.

Perhaps we need to take Texas and turn it into Heinlein’s Coventry. If you don’t want to live with the restrictions or health care of civilized society go there and have your libertarian fantasy world with a big wall around it and no way out… then the rest of us can live in a reasonable and safe place and they can have all the excitement that they wish.

That last paragraph is only half sarc, alas.

3 Political Atheist  Sat, Dec 14, 2013 9:37:35am

re: #2 William Barnett-Lewis

Well said. Thanks for a thoughtful comment. My best hope is the intransigent TP GOP will be out on it’s collective ass and the adults can return to the House.

But politics aside what do you think of the compromises in principle?

4 William Barnett-Lewis  Sat, Dec 14, 2013 9:59:55am

re: #3 Political Atheist

Well, I don’t much think much of them because they are so unworkable.

It’s going to take both houses of congress, the white house and a SCOTUS majority all the same, whatever that is, before there will be any changes. Once that is available, then we need to lobby and work out what is needed.

Right now the only way anything will happen on point two, for example, is if SCOTUS declares the current legal definition of a prohibited person unconstitutional (arguably it is, but that’s for another day). But that won’t happen because on the left side you have “think of the children” and on the right you have “tough on crime”. Between the fantasies of both sides, nothing happens.

5 Political Atheist  Sat, Dec 14, 2013 2:23:14pm

I think we have to set aside what might or might not pass for a moment. Let’s first sort out what to go for, exactly how to reshape the laws, and with some national perspective like national CCW training standards. Universal registration. Get after straw buyers.

6 Romantic Heretic  Sat, Dec 14, 2013 4:15:17pm

There will never be any new standards on possession and use of fire arms in the U.S., and the current ones won’t stand for much longer.

Because, ya know, FREEDOM!!!111!!

7 Dark_Falcon  Sat, Dec 14, 2013 7:59:04pm

re: #5 Political Atheist

I think we have to set aside what might or might not pass for a moment. Let’s first sort out what to go for, exactly how to reshape the laws, and with some national perspective like national CCW training standards. Universal registration. Get after straw buyers.

Universal registration is not very workable (it hasn’t worked well in Canada), would not produce a major benefit for long (gangs would find ways around it, if only because they have to), and frankly could not clear the Senate no matter which party has the majority.

For in terms of a registration bill it does not matter if a senator from Louisiana or Nevada is Democrat or a Republican; senators from states with heavily pro-gun populations will vote against gun registration because the people of those states do not want it. Universal registration of firearms is for that reason alone a pipe dream.

And lastly, I would once again say that a grand bargain is unlikely because of the dynamic nature of politics. Whatever scheme is adopted, sooner or later some asshole will go on a rampage and the anti-gun Usual Suspects will demand that government ‘Do Something’. Or some thug will victimize some decent person in a way that allows the pro-gun Usual Suspects to demand that government ‘Do Something’. Either way, any bargain is likely to fall apart within a few years due to political pressures.

8 William Barnett-Lewis  Sun, Dec 15, 2013 9:26:32am

re: #5 Political Atheist

I think we have to set aside what might or might not pass for a moment. Let’s first sort out what to go for, exactly how to reshape the laws, and with some national perspective like national CCW training standards. Universal registration. Get after straw buyers.

The only thing that might have a chance at passing would be a nation wide “shall issue” permit system that is required to be accepted in all states. Then you could have an appropriate training requirement as well as a continuing training requirement.

Say having x days of training to get the license, a maximum fee of ~$50 for background check and fingerprinting and it’s good for perhaps 5 years. To renew, proof of continuing training and a new background check, say max fee of ~$25. Also require that this be sufficient to qualify in place of the NICS background check for purchases of all firearms.

As for straw purchases, first there needs to be a better legal definition so that you don’t have issues like the one where the gentleman was prosecuted for purchasing a firearm for someone who was permitted to own firearms. Once that’s clarified you still have to get BATF adequate funding for training and enforcement of these laws and the GOP controlled house has shown, repeatedly, that they’d rather criminals have access to as many guns as they want rather than have an effective BATF.

Registration is never going to happen. Are you kidding, there is a vast contingent out there certain that somehow Obama is going to use the extant 4473’s to confiscate everyone’s “GUNZ!!!!11ty!”.

Things aren’t going to change any time soon until the demographics change sufficently - and it’s against the gun owner as much as it is against the GOP & the rural population - at which time we’ll be lucky if we end up with something like Czechoslovakia, Germany or Canada for our rules. Far more likely is that there will be an incident like Sandy Hook that will happen then and there will no longer be a big enough population of gun owners to oppose Australian or Great Britain level regulations.

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