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Occupy Draws a Bead on the NRA


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: NRA< lobbying, political influence, news, gun control, propaganda, corruption, Koch Brothers, Occcupy Wall Street, radical right, government, usa )

Cal
- 451 days ago - motherjones.com
The movement that went after Wall Street has a new target.



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Comments

lee e. (114)
Monday April 29, 2013, 7:16 am
I've always maintained that the NRA is our domestic terrorist organization responsible for nearly 30,000 a year! Follow the money! Thanks Cal, and thanks Occupy!
 

Carol Dreeszen (364)
Monday April 29, 2013, 12:30 pm
The NRA stands up for our second amendment rights! Contrary to what Occupy and Obama does!
 

Carol D. (104)
Monday April 29, 2013, 2:05 pm
Its all madness in the USA never heard of a people so paranoid about guns and so many people getting killed all the time so senseless

Noted thanks
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Monday April 29, 2013, 2:32 pm
Well, I just loved reading this. Go Occupy! Thanks, Cal!
 

John B. (215)
Monday April 29, 2013, 4:17 pm
Thanks Cal for the link to the great article by Gavin Aronsen. Good for Occupy! Read and noted.
 

Lisa sick Windsor (154)
Monday April 29, 2013, 4:42 pm
Very good article, TY Cal!
 

Robert K. (31)
Monday April 29, 2013, 6:24 pm
"The NRA stands up for our second amendment rights! Contrary to what Occupy and Obama does!"

Bullsnot! The NRA srtands up for their right to get a royalty on the sale of every gun sold. In the 30s the SCOTUS ruled that the only "well regulated militia" in existence in America is the various states' National Guard. You have NO 2nd amendment right as a gun owner. You have a gun owner privilege. And why do you beliueve you should have free, unfettered access to something which when properly used as intended results in the death of another person, but there should be many restrictions on driving priveleges for something that when used as intended will allow you yo bring home your groceries?

I'l tell you why you believe that, because you're an ignorant subhuman slug.

Yes, I own a gun and I don't want to take yours away unless you're a danger with it, but every bit of evidence there is shows guns to be dangerous, even in the hands of the best people, and if you think the NRA is protecting you, you don't realize that the states with the loosest gun laws also have the highest levels of murder and other assorted gun violence. The NRA should be fined 1,000,000 dollars for each gun death and all their executives shouls be lined up in a fitting firing squad and dispatched as aiding and abetting 10s f thousands of murders every year.
 

Robert B. (57)
Monday April 29, 2013, 6:43 pm
The NRA leadership has no interest in the 2nd amendment. It has become a tool for right wing political hacks and greedy gun makers. How about the rights of over 900,000 lives lost due to uncontrolled gun violence during the last 30 years? Obama has NOTHING to do with taking anyone's guns. It is a stupid argument. We have to get background checks to get a job, yet the NRA wants just any moron to be able to buy a gun. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?
 

Jason S. (57)
Monday April 29, 2013, 7:52 pm
Good posting, thanks
 

Ro H. (0)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 4:34 am
ty
 

paul m. (93)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 6:12 am

Thanks for,,
 

Arielle S. (316)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 9:48 am
"You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last day." Thank you, Robert, for taking care of the bullsnot - I am mighty weary of hearing people hide behind that second amendment - it's just an empty excuse for stupidity. And yes, the NRA should be held VERY accountable for the gun deaths - if a pharmacy put out a drug that killed people, they'd be held responsible. But instead of making gun ownership safer, the NRA wants to sell you armor for your child to wear to school. Great people.
 

Robert O. (12)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 2:00 pm
I'm sick of the NRA and their bullying and buying their way. There's nothing wrong with the right to bear arms (though it does seem a bit outdated since it was enacted during the days of when people had isolated homesteads to protect) but it must be done responsibly via background checks that ensure those that do own firearms are capable of owning and using them wisely and putting a ban on high powered military style assault rifles which average citizen needs to own, save of course for those that use firearm ownership to boost their egos and as a crutch for their insecurity issues.

Carol Dreeszen, you can never resist an opportunity to take jabs at President Obama and the Democrats all while turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of your beloved conservatives can you?

Robert K., Robert B. and Arielle S., well spoken. Too bad some people prefer to bury their heads in the sand and turn a blind eye to the truth. PIty the fools.
 

Robert O. (12)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 2:03 pm
Whoops I meant to say putting a ban on high powered military style assault rifles which NO average citizen needs to own. Thanks for the posting Cal.
 

Jude Hand (58)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 2:17 pm
Noted. Good luck!
 

Birgit W. (140)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 2:57 pm
Noted
 

Joanne Dixon (36)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 4:09 pm
Don't you wish that Americans would spend as much time defending rights under the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments as they do with the Second Amendment? Bradley Manning would be free ... Joe Arpaio would be history ... etc. etc.
 

Aurea Walker (185)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 5:18 pm
I must be falling in love and they are all called Robert! K, B and O brilliantly said thank you GENTLE men. Carol darling when 90% of the United States of America wants background checks for gun buyers and it gets "shot down" (pun intended) what effing democracy are we living in? I am not against the second amendment, but you can bet I am against assault rifles, multiple repeating cartridges and background checks. Is that somehow anti the 2nd amendment? By the way were you in the military? My daughter was a USMC expert markshooter and she sure as heck is pro background check et al. Oh and my nephew left a leg in Irag during your georgie porgie and evil cheney WAR! Obama may not be perfect, but oh my goodness a McCain & you betcha drill baby drill or mr.47% make president Obama damn near perfect.
 

Aurea Walker (185)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 5:22 pm
Oopps am FOR BACKGROUND checks! I mustn't let my slow hands get in the way of my fury to the NRA get in the way of my thoughts!
 

Stuart Thomas (505)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 6:10 pm
Noted. Thank you, Cal.
I am glad that Occupy has gotten involved with this effort for more gun control.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 9:05 am
Carol Dreeszen – So, let’s say that you happen to have a couple of felons on your block, along with some pedophiles, and some very mentally unstable individuals nearby as well. And, low and behold there’s a gun show on the weekend where as these individuals all go by assault rifles.

Shortly after, many people in your neighborhood, including your husband and your three children, including your new born infant, are slaughtered with these military style weapons. Will you still be having the same rosy perspective of the greedy, money first at all cost, leaders of the NRA???

And, will you still feel making it extremely easy for felons, the mentally ill, terrorists etc., to buy whatever weapons they desire, without even the slightest questioning or background check, is a wonderful idea?
 

Eddie O. (95)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 9:40 am
Sadly, the NRA isn’t the problem as most people in the NRA appear to be sane people who readily want to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and hateful, mentally ill, and unstable people who can be extremely dangerous to our communities and country in general.

And, the motives of the leaders of the NRA are very transparent, out in the open, and straight forward. These leaders obviously appear to be extremely greedy, wanting more and more money from the sales of weapons to anyone and everyone they can get money from. It doesn’t appear to matter to them if these people are escaped felons, crazy people, or terrorists, as long as more money goes into the pockets of these “leaders” all is fine in their minds.

Still, these very greedy, incredibly callous leaders of the NRA aren’t the real problem. The problem is that we have extremely cowardly, corrupt, members of congress who don’t have the guts and courage to do what’s right. These paid employees of ours have no interest in what’s right for “We, The People”, they only care about getting more and more money, and getting re-elected.

To stand up to this greed and cowardice is common sense logic, coming from caring, compassionate, hearts that easily understand that having universal background checks will absolutely diminish the rampant increase in mass killings that we are experiencing.

No sane, compassionate, human being can honestly argue in favor of leaving it extremely easy and instant for criminals, crazy people, terrorists, etc. to buy whatever weapon they so desire, and then blow away whoever and as many people as they so choose. Only corrupt, greedy, people, who gain financially from each weapon sale, and have absolutely no compassion, would argue for making/keeping easy, instant, access for anyone and everyone who wants to buy these weapons, without any background check at all.

With that in mind, I feel all of the sane people, the ones that feel terrorists, felons, mentally ill people should not have ready access to assault and other types of weapons need to truly unite and take action. We all need to become aware of all the cowardly people in congress who sided with the extreme leaders of the NRA and make sure these politicians never, ever, get re-elected again!!! I will certainly not vote for such cowardly “leaders”.
 

Dianna M. (13)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 3:37 pm
Oh, isn't that cute, a 5 year old just got his first gun.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/5-year-old-get-22-caliber-birthday-rifle-shoots-and-kills-2-year-old-sister?akid=10386.298261.-LB0Tt&rd=1&src=newsletter833535&t=5
 

Robert Tomlinson (64)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 4:06 pm
Cal, thanks for sharing this info.
Good for Occupy! Anything that shows the NRA in a bad light is a good thing.
 

Fred Krohn (34)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 5:18 pm
With What??? The OWSheeple are a load of incompetent freeloading hippies and what can they do against a well organised constitutional militia? It's the OWSheeple who should be targetted and exiled from the USA for life for being as stupid as sheep!
 

Scott haakon (4)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:25 pm
The NRA is like any other group with an agenda. Most of the people upset over this Background checks never considered that it would have no difference in any of the violence. I read the bill and found it to be unnecessary use of taxpayer funds as it duplicated stat laws already in effect. It is apparent that emotion over rode easy research and critical thinking.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 7:30 pm
Victory Over Violence - http://vov.com/pledge

The VOV Pledge

I Will Value My Own Life.

Today, again, I will reach beyond my doubts, taking concrete steps to uncover my unlimited potential. Recognizing that a lack of self-identity and hope for the future are at the root of all violence, I will strive to realize my dreams, even if they seem impossible.

I Will Respect All Life.

Through understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity, I will see beyond superficial differences. I will awaken to a deeper sense of interconnectedness with those around me by reflecting on the common humanity I share with all people.

I Will Actively Pursue Dialogue.

With care and consideration for the dignity inherent in others, I will make continual efforts to reach out to people each day, especially those different from myself. Through genuine friendship, I will break through feelings of isolation and hopelessness that can lead to acts of violence.

I Will Inspire Hope In Others.

With courage, I will resolutely stand up against violence, be it passive or physical and teach others through my own example. I will support others and encourage them to follow their dreams.

 

Judy C. (106)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 9:44 pm
Great discussion, and good article, Cal. Gotta love Occupy! Signed the VOV Pledge, Eddie. Thanks, Cal.
 

Patricia N. (8)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 12:05 am
I don't know how anyone in the States would think they could fight a revolution against the U.S. Gov't with weapons. With all the military weapons the gov't has....just the drones alone and maybe other weapons the general public doesn't know exists, the revolutionaries would be wiped out. That leaves only one way to fight an unjust gov't....non-violent protest.
 

paul m. (93)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 12:49 am

Noted..
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 1:01 am
Odd story here: Murders like those of Brishnell Jones are actually used as a reason to support the NRA, not oppose it. AK-47s like the one used to kill her are illegal for sale in the U.S. The NRA apparently goes to some length to keep those things off the streets. On top of that, this happened in D.C., where law-enforcement could not have hoped to stop such a murder. Her case was exactly the sort used to support demands to expand licenses to carry in order to deter criminals in areas like D.C. where law-enforcement cannot handle matters. She fits the bill of "NRA poster-child". The other people, who talked about gun-violence in places like Philadelphia, also kicked up support for, not just opposition to, the NRA. Its objective with gun-proliferation, is to deter violence as would-be assailants assume that others in the area will be armed.

The problem is that "People are getting attacked and killed" is not, alone, a reason to promote gun-control because pro-gun arguments also start from the same position. I don't have a problem with people trying to reduce the numbers of guns out there. I actually have an idea as to how to do that in a way that even pro-gun groups would accept, and which would save a lot of lives. Still, activists should do their homework first.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 1:29 am
Hi Patricia :)

There are very good reasons why Americans think they could fight the government.
First, should tyranny actually arise, a chunk of the military would probably abide by its oath to oppose domestic threats. Aside from that, the U.S. military depends heavily on a complex logistics-train, continuous manufacturing, etc., and any U.S. rebels would be right on top of those. While the American military is very well set up to crush foreign enemies, it is very poorly set up to fight large-scale foes on U.S. soil. In fact, its deployment would be slow enough that elements which the rebels oppose could easily be crippled first because until a rebellion is recognized (which politicians would try very hard not to admit having incited), it is illegal to deploy the U.S. Army on U.S. soil.

Second, look at Iraq. Those guys caused a lot of trouble. Now consider the fact that those rebels barely knew how to fire their guns. The U.S. military is very, very bad at counter-insurgency. It has, however, benefited from the fact that its enemies tend to be poorly trained and disorganized, American rebels would be individually far more dangerous. I am not even American, but should I decide to side with such rebels, I could, personally, manufacture WMDs. How many would-be rebels do you think could do the same?

Hi Eddie,

First, full assault rifles are illegal for sale in the U.S. These are not the same as the "assault weapons" for which bans have been considered. Assault rifles have, by definition, a fully-automatic firing-mode, small calibre, and low power so that the recoil from firing does not prevent aiming of a second shot in rapid succession.

Second, background-checks are required for people to even attend gun-shows, and those places tend to be crawling with law-enforcement to keep anybody not cleared for presence out. The mentally ill and felons would be unable to "extremely easily" acquire weapons in the way that you describe. Here is how they could do so: It is, apparently, easy to manufacture bullets using only household goods and appliances. A length of high-pressure pipe can serve as a gun-barrel, and it is apparently easy to construct the rest of the gun. If they manufacture bullets to fit a pipe, they have a gun, a very low-quality gun, but still a gun. Nothing has ever been proposed to stop that.

Hi Robert,

First, maintain a civil tone and apologize to Carol.

Second, when used properly, a gun usually does not lead to injury or death of anyone. Like any other weapon, the threat of their use is usually enough to achieve desired results. When they must be used by reasonable people, it is normally because someone is going to get hurt anyways, and their use just determines who it is.

Third, no the National Guard corps are not the civil militia. They answer to the government directly, act as auxiliaries to the U.S. military, and are professionals. The first objective of maintaining such a militia is to make the U.S. unconquerable by outside forces or tyranny, by making it impossible to hold the territory even if the people's government is disabled. The second objective is to enforce democracy because power flows from the barrel of a gun, not the voices of the people. Without an armed populace, should the army decide that it doesn't like the results of an election, democracy disappears. This happens all over the world. Aside from that entirely, a "militia" is by definition not a professional force. The National Guard corps have good functions, but they fit neither the intent nor the letter of the 2nd Amendment militias in any way.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 1:36 am
I realize there may be some confusion as to how an armed populace helps to secure democracy. Like I said earlier, power flows from the barrel of a gun (to paraphrase Mao), not the voices of the people. Arming the voters allows the majority, normally, to establish dominance in force, so that nobody has the power to disregard the vote and take control. (Normally, in such a case, the armed forces would side with the majority-voters, tipping the balance even if the country is split nearly 50/50. again, for the reasons I pointed out to Patricia, the army would be a balance-tipper, not an overwhelming force.)
 

James Maynard (66)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 8:51 am
The NRA needs to be shut down for the gun
running, terrorist organization that it is........
 

Eddie O. (95)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 1:25 pm
Stephen - Needless to say, I very much disagree with much of what you think and write. For one, the difference between a semi-automatic assault weapon and a fully automatic assault weapon is a few dollars for parts, (readily available), and a bit of time on the person customizing the weapon.

Also, the insane theory that arming everyone with weapons makes us safer is ludicrous. Should me, and everyone else on my block, in my city, in my county, stockpile dynamite, just because one person is so paranoid that he feels safer doing so??? I absolutely do NOT want everyone on my block and in my community having assault weapons, or stockpiles of dynamite either!

And, you speak of doing our homework, but it's obvious you're not very accurate on some of what you say. For instance, statistics show that if you own a gun you are 4.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by a gun. Of course, there are varying aspects to this statistics, but still as a general rule you increase your chances of getting killed by a guy by 4.5 times.

Also, you act like it's hard to buy guns at gun shows without a background check. Almost everyone knows that this is very inaccurate. Just a few weeks ago I saw a special on this whereas they had one guy go to a gun show and see how many guns he could buy in an hour or so. I forget the actual number of guns he bought, but it was something like 20, with one of the first being an assault weapon. And, he was never asked any questions, never had to show an ID, and of course never had any request to fill out any form for a background check. When he pulled out the money, the guns were his - NO questions asked.

Bottom line, here however, doesn't even pertain to stopping gun sales, or preventing people like you from having as many legal guns as you desire, the main point here is to have common sense gun control starting with background checks for ALL. If you’re in favor of selling guns to any and everyone who wants them, with no background check, then I feel you’re a major part of the problem, not the solution.

And, some say having universal background checks won’t make a difference, but the reality is quite different. Obviously, initially it may not have a drastic effect as our streets are overflowing with illegal guns. As it becomes more and more difficult to buy guns, no questions asked, the availability will diminish and less and less of the “bad” guys will be able to get guns.

Lastly, look at other countries, that have much more compassion and sanity than us, and whose people aren’t filled with immense fear. Some countries like Japan, and others, have less than 100 murders a year, whereas we have hundreds and thousands of murders each day. How does this make sense??? And, how can anyone with their eyes open say that giving everyone a gun will make us safer?
 

Aurea Walker (185)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 1:50 pm
Stephen Brian, please get some FACTS STRAIGHT! I was in Houston, Texas two weeks ago at the reliant center to do a trade show, so was the gun show. I meandered over to "check" it out. Crawling with cops - oh so NOT! I have been doing a trade show 4 X a year for the last 16 years at the Reliant Center and the gun show is there twice a year. So I know what I speak of. Where the cops are is where we are, why you ask? Because it is a fine jewelry show. You also mention you have ideas on how to solve our gun challenge, yet fail to do so? Oh please I would be thrilled to read your treatise on how to resolve OUR COUNTRIES INSANITY WITH GUN LOVE. we are in the 21st century but the NRA is taking us back to the Wild West days. Not a pretty thought.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 2:59 pm
Hi Eddie,

Do you know how to modify a gun for a fully automatic setting? Do you know how much greater the stresses on the thing would be? At high caliber, it cannot be done at all. At low caliber, I don't think manufacturers waste money building their guns to withstand stresses under which they would never legally be placed. I could check with a small-scale manufacturer on this, but I'm willing to bet that you would have to replace much of the gun to get fully automatic, and I don't gamble.

No, not everyone needs to be armed. However, for deterence to work, there needs to be a reasonable fear by would-be criminals that should they try anything, there will be bystanders in the area who are armed.

Statistics also show that two-thirds of gun-related deaths are suicides, so that's 2 of the 4.5 even before considering accidents. Then let's look at regional distribution of guns: If you live in an area where people feel the need for expensive weapons to protect themselves, you are probably lowering your chances of dying by bullets by getting a gun. In rural regions, people get guns either because police response-times are too long or because guns for hunting and sport are a larger part of the culture. Those regions also have poorer coverage by mental health-professionals, and higher suicide-rates. Correlation is not causation. On top of that, what are your chances of getting killed by other means should you possess a gun? If guns are used in two thirds of homocides, and gun-owners are generally not subject to that other third, then perhaps we should be talking not about 4.5 to 1, but 4.5 to 1.5 (to account for total targeting-rates for homocide), with at least 2 of those 4.5 already covered by suicides, and some more from living in dangerous areas (whether due to poor mental healthcare or crime-rates).

Yeah, the guy in the special had to pass a background check to gain access to the gun-show. He just didn't have to go back through it at the show. I get this information from regulars at such shows and vendors who sell at them. How, exactly was "assault weapon" defined for the purpose of the special? Was it like in the laws where the difference can come down to a wooden or plastic stock, or the colour of the gun?

I have seen similar arguments about background-checks for ALL sales. There are exactly two kinds of sales for which there are no checks. One is black market, which is already illegal. The other is private property-sales, for which similar laws have already proven unenforceable. Did you know that if you sell a collection of stuff at a garage-sale for more than the original buying-price, you are supposed to pay capital gains-tax on it? Did you know that if you make something, a work of art or whatever, and sell it at a garage-sale, you are supposed to pay sales-tax? Those taxes have never been collected because private sales like that are impossible to police, so relevant laws are unenforceable. Now imagine trying to enforce laws on background-checks in such sales. Universal background-checks from licensed vendors already exist, and while more checks for private vendors may help, they are impossible to make happen. Illegal sales, of course, are already illegal.

As for murder-rates, yes, there are countries with official lower rates, and Japan is officially among them. So are Syria, Bahrain, and a few other such interesting places. Seriously, though, there are healthier societies than the U.S. around, including in at least some ways Japan, but guns are far from the only difference. Also, many of those countries with less than 100 murders per year have populations so low that had they had the same muder-rate as the U.S., they would sitll have had less than 100 per year. (Many of them actually have higher murder-rates than the U.S.)
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 3:43 pm
Hi Aurea,

It wouldn't solve all of the gun-related problems in the U.S., but could seriously cut down gun-related deaths. Gun-storage laws have been found not to reduce accident-rates and suicide-rates. This is because, given time, household goods, and opportunity, a half-intelligent adult, or even a teenager, can get the gun, whether by getting the key, waiting until the box is left unlocked by accident, or by whatever other means. Gun-storage laws do not keep members of the gun-woners' households away from the guns.

Background-checks on the entire household of a would-be gun-owner, on the other hand, could keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. Issuing licenses to households rather than individuals, and revoking them should a member of the household cease to meet the necessary criteria, would not fix everything, but I think it could do some good. Not only that, but such an initiative could probably even get support among conservatives, and be politically viable. I don't know how many gun-related suicides, accidents (not by children), and homocides are committed by someone other than the legal owner of the gun, but the Newtown shooting told me the number was non-negligible.

I don't know about the Houston Gun Collectors' Association gun shows at the Reliant. What I do know is that they have been there for 30 years and I could not dig up a single article online suggesting that anything newsworthy had happened there. Something tells me there were ATF agents or police present, even if as customers.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 4:44 pm
Stephen - I have no personal experience modifying assault rifles, but I did see on TV a while back research done in that direction and it was definitely easy to do and very reasonable. My understanding is that the guns are actually made to be automatic and are dumbed down to make them semi-automatic to get them to be legal.

I do want to say I was quite surprised hearing that you are in favor of background checks on entire households considering how vigorously you are opposing universal background checks on individual gun purchasers. That would be very hard to enact, however, as people come and go from households and non-gun owners and non-users most often have nothing to do with using the guns. The responsibility falls in the hands of the buyer and user of the guns to keep them secured.

And, yes, 100% security from crazy people's guns is impossible, but as responsible, compassionate, caring people we should surely be open to do whatever we can, even if it just prevents 5% or 10% of the massacres.

They don't keep pharmacies unlocked saying the bad guys will just break in anyway. NO, they lock the door to deter, make it more difficult and prevent as many bad guys from getting at the drugs, even though they know it won't be 100%. The same should apply with background checks - they won't stop 100% of the "bad" guys from getting guns, but they will obviously stop some percentage of it by making guns less accessible.
 

Tony Smith (0)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 4:45 pm
ty
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 6:09 pm
Hi Eddie,

It's not that I oppose background-checks on all purchases. It's that expanding them beyond their current enforcement would be impossible, and attempts to do the impossible by legislation invariably lead to trouble. From what I understand, what I think is the single most damaging piece of legislation in the U.S., for example, comes from an attempt to outlaw bigotry by employers against job-applicants. It's not like I support such bigotry, but repealing that law and introducing a few measures to address institutions that have grown dependent upon the system it produced would go a very long way towards fixing education in the U.S. and restoring socioeconomic mobility (and the American Dream) while generally improving worker-produtivity in large companies throughout the U.S.

Background-checks on households would be more of a hassle than hte current system, but households aren't really that variable. In traditional households, kids are born and move out, and sometimes back in, but that is not exactly a fast process. In cases of apartment-sharing or house-sharing, changes are generally no more than once per year, and generally one tries to avoid moving in with people who have active mental illness or a felonious history anyways. In those cases, if entire households are required to pass those checks, they may have to sell them privately (which cannot be stopped), store them outside of the home (at a range, in a storage-locker, or with another household of eligible people) or give them up. They probably would not want to hang onto the guns with such roommates anyways. The reason I support this is because it is not possible to reliably secure the guns from adult or even adolescent members of the household where it is stored. Between a thinking, half-capable human with loads of time and some motivation, and a lock, the human wins. To stop break-ins, for example, we need locks, aware bystanders, and police-response because the locks themselves wouldn't work, while any member of a household can have ample time home alone.

I checked out the slide-fire stock and the trick with tying the string around the back of the gun. I don't think most guns would survive that for very long. Apparently M-16s with fully-automatic mode are just variants of the AR-15s, but the M-16 I fired a long time ago looked like it used a different barrel from any AR-15 I have seen. I can check this with a gun-manufacturer, but this is what I strongly suspect, given that he has said repeatedly that the toughest part of building a gun (and he has built AR-15s) is getting a barrel that can handle the stresses (and heat) of firing and fits the bullets well enough to work.

Besides, without some serious training, assailants are probably less dangerous with a fully automatic weapon than with a semi-automatic. Guns are often held below the barrel, so the kick rotates the gun to point upwards. Aim disappears very quickly. This is actually why Western forces took so few losses (given the scale of the conflict) in Afghanistan and Iraq: The other guys would mostly just fire all of their ammunition way over anybody's head. It almost got funny when a news-agency interviewed a Libyan rebel who revealed that his marksmanship-training consisted of watching Rambo a bunch of times. This is why I said that armed American rebels really could take on the U.S. armed forces in case of tyranny.
 

Shirley B. (5)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 8:41 pm
TY Cal.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 11:11 pm
Does the second amendment guarantee that a five-year old has the right to own a gun? A few days ago, in the state of Kentucky, a five-year old boy accidentally shot his two-year old sister with "HIS OWN" rifle. The little girl died from her injuries. Here's an excerpt of an article that appeared in the Washington Post on April 30, 2013:

"BURKESVILLE, Ky. — In southern Kentucky, where children get their first guns even before they start first grade, Stephanie Sparks paid little attention as her 5-year-old son, Kristian, played with the rifle he was given last year. Then, as she stepped onto the front porch while cleaning the kitchen, “she heard the gun go off,” a coroner said.

In a horrific accident Tuesday that shocked a rural area far removed from the national debate over gun control, the boy had killed his 2-year-old sister, Caroline, with a single shot to the chest...."

So what is more important? The right of a five-year old to gun ownership, or the right of a two-year old to not have her life cut short due to irresponsible gun laws? I simply can't believe the mindset of these parents! And the companies that actually manufacture guns designed specifically for children are beyond redemption!
 

Arielle S. (316)
Friday May 3, 2013, 7:55 am
We would not allow a five year old to drive - or drink - or vote - but golly gee, he can have his very own rifle!
This is apparently, not an isolated incident either... recent cases include a 4 yr old who shot a deputy's wife with a handgun, a 2 yr old who shot his mother in the stomach, and a 4 yr old who shot a 6 yr old. Is this our future?
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday May 3, 2013, 8:29 am
I know about kids who began shooting at the ages of four and seven, and while they might be allowed to handle a gun if mature enough, they should never be allowed to touch the thing unsupervised. In Burkesville, the mother forgot the first rule of gun-safety: "The gun is always loaded. If you just unloaded the gun, cleared the chamber, and spun around, while your back was turned the ammo-fairy came and loaded it."

It is not a matter of the kids owning guns, or even the parents owning guns and allowing kids to use them (which is legally the case). It's about parents being careless with dangerous machinery and accidents happening. If a drunk teen driver hits a kid, do we demand that the driving-age rise, or blame the teen's friends and family for allowing him or her to get behind the wheel drunk? It's tragic, she should have known better, but it's not a rampant social issue.
 

Aurea Walker (185)
Friday May 3, 2013, 8:51 am
Dear Stephen, I never inferred that anything occurred at the reliant center gun selling show. My point is, there are no background checks there. Hand over the money, get the gun, move on. My concern is what happens after the gun is purchased. I agree with you on many of your prior comments, however, most people do not need to have guns in their homes without proper not only background checks for them but family members as well. Does the surname Lanza ring a bell. His mother not only bought, but trained her son on the usage of these weapons. Mrs. Lanza was also thinking of institutionalizing her son, yet she DID NOT REMOVE the guns out of the house. Result - 20 children and 6 adults slaughtered. I do not own a gun because to me it (the gun) becomes a no win. Again, I repeat background checks do not impede or cancel out the second amendment. 90% of Americans want it, that is a majority is it not? So where is democracy? Sold out too by our bought and paid for politicians.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Friday May 3, 2013, 9:47 am
Stephen: I don't know about you, but I've never come across anyone between the ages of four and seven who was "mature" enough to handle --much less own-- a real gun. And if a drunk teen driver hits a kid, no, we don't demand that the driving age be raised because that teen had to reach a certain age and had to undergo extensive training and testing before he was allowed to legally drive that vehicle. By law, the vehicle itself must be insured so that if an accident did occur, any victims of that accident would be afforded some level of protection in terms of medical care, compensation for themselves and those who depend on them, etc. There are laws against drunk driving, there are "designated driver" programs, police are on patrol watching out for erratically-driven cars, and other drivers often call to report cars that appear to be driven by someone who is impaired. I wish the same could be said for children with guns. It's up to their parents to supervise them. Unfortunately, they have to go to work, get preoccupied with their other children and responsibilities at home, or they themselves drink too much --and disaster can easily happen.

Every holiday season, news outlets provide us with photos of families proudly posing with Santa Claus --with all the children holding a gun-- which serves as their family Christmas card. Even the newborn has his or her fingers wrapped around the barrel of a gun. If that isn't the epitome of irresponsible parenting, I don't know what is. The only other explanation for it is "insanity." And the gun manufacturers laugh all the way to the bank. They've been blessed with yet another generation of proud customers. And even in their wildest dreams, I don't think that's what our forefathers had in mind when they ratified the second amendment.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday May 3, 2013, 10:08 am
Hi Aurea,

My understanding, from people who attend these shows regularly, is that they are pre-screened. They don't go through the checks at the show because they have to have gone through the checks to attend as customers. Lanza's case is actually the one that got my support for household-checks: If the whole household had to pass the check, then the son's history of mental illness would have forced her to remove the guns from where he could access them. This would usually not be an issue as people would not want to keep guns and unstable people in the same household, but where it is, I would be glad to see household-checks have an effect. About 90% wanting stricter background-checks, have you checked the statistics on the numbers who know the current extent of the checks? Those are small. The demand for "stricter" checks is meaningless if people do not know how strict they already are.

Hi Susanne,

I have met a lot of people who had the maturity before starting grade-school to understand, "This is not a toy. Do not touch it unless a parent says you should, and then only do what your parents say." That includes guns, and I know someone whose whole family (including her) handled them since childhood. It is illelgal for a minor to purchase a firearm.

The "child's gun" is owned by hte parent on the child's behalf. If a child is caught handling a loaded firearm without knowing what he or she is doing, the police would stop as fast as they would an unlicensed driver. There are training-programs and gun-safety programs for children and parents. Police are definitely watching for criminally negligent endangerment of children. Children can get car-keys more easily than they can guns, and parents don't always watch those keys. The supervised handling of guns, especially ones that have just been verified as unloaded, or have been outright disabled, is not excessively dangerous.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Friday May 3, 2013, 10:31 am
There are certain rights that are guaranteed in our Constitution - but even so, there are limits to these rights. One of the most basic is the right of Freedom of Speech. However, can anyone legally abuse this right by screaming "fire" in a crowded theater?

Absolutely not as common sense, responsible and rational thought, and the health and safety of everyone else in the theatre takes precedence over the individual’s right to Freedom of Speech. Hence, laws make it illegal to scream fire and similar laws should and must be enacted to help prevent guns from being in the hands of crazy people, felons, etc…

Rational and Reasonable Laws regulating guns should and must apply to gun possession. There needs to be rational, fair, and responsible laws doing their best to regulate who can purchase these destructive weapons. This is only common sense and must happen for the sake of all the innocent people that are in major danger, due to the irresponsible easy access for the worst of the worst to acquire guns with no background check, just a wad of cash and no questions asked.

And, laws change as we examine the consequences of various laws. For instance, the drinking age used to be much lower where I’m at and due to many more deaths and adverse effects, these laws were amended to help prevent many needless deaths.

So, now that we’ve examined the major loopholes making it extremely easy for felons, etc., to purchase guns with no background checks, we absolutely need to change the laws and close these loopholes, which will absolutely help prevent/minimize the thousands and thousands of needless, senseless, deaths due to trigger happy idiots who should never, ever, have been allowed to purchase these guns in the first place!
 

Eddie O. (95)
Friday May 3, 2013, 10:44 am
Again, Stephen, some of what you say is absolutely not true. There is no pre-screening in many, many, cases of gun shows. Whoever wants can just go take their money and buy as many guns as they desire without any questions at all being asked. This was demonstrated very clearly and recently on a TV special as I stated previously.

Also, 20/20 or some similar program did a special a couple of years ago where they took kids from various families, who's parents swore up and down that their kids would never touch or play with a gun as they had been thoroughly trained not to do so.

So, the kids were placed in a room with various toys out in the open and in toy boxes. And, there was an unloaded, real, gun placed in hiding in the room. The parents all left, but the video cameras caught what shocked the parents very deeply. Almost everyone of those kids played with the gun when it was discovered, even pointing it at the other kids and pulling the trigger. It was a MAJOR eye opening to all of those parents that would have bet the world that their kids knew much better than that.

Kids see guns on TV all the time, are desensitized, and have no clue the seriousness of the irreparable damage that can be done by just moving a finger a quarter of an inch. I would certainly not want to be riding in a car driven by a five year old, and I certainly don't want five year olds having and using guns anywhere near me.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Friday May 3, 2013, 11:07 am
Stephen - in doing some research I discovered where some of our disagreement may come from. Namely, the laws are NOT universal with only 7 States requiring background checks for all gun sales. Seven States out of our entire country is very, very, disappointing as something this serious should be enacted on a National, and universal level. So, if you're a felon or can't pass a background check, you just cross the State border and buy your guns next door. And, as the following information shows, even this isn't necessary at times as people can get around the laws that do exist if they want. We must put a stop to this easy access of firearms and assault weapons.
____________________________________

Gun Shows by State

A total of 11 states require background checks for at least some gun purchases at gun shows. Seven of those states require background checks for all gun purchases, while four states require background checks for only handgun purchases.

The seven states requiring background checks for all purchases include:
•California
•Colorado
•Connecticut
•Illinois
•New York
•Oregon
•Rhode Island

The four states requiring background checks for only handgun purchases include:
•Hawaii
•Maryland
•New Jersey
•Pennsylvania

In Florida, private firearms purchases are subject to background checks in some jurisdictions but not across the entire state. There are no laws regulating private firearms sales at gun shows in the remaining 33 states.

The Bloomberg Investigation

In 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group, stirred controversy and stimulated the gun show debate when NYC hired private investigators to target gun shows in Ohio, Nevada and Tennessee.

According to a report released by Bloomberg’s office, 22 of 33 private sellers sold guns to undercover investigators who informed them that they probably could not pass a background check, while 16 of 17 licensed sellers allowed straw purchases by the undercover investigators, a process through which a person prohibited from purchasing a firearm recruits someone to purchase the gun for them.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Friday May 3, 2013, 11:47 am
Brian: I'm guessing that you're a reasonable and well-intentioned person. I'm also guessing that you don't have children. Police do not monitor what children do in their homes or backyards. They're only called when a serious situation has occurred --often when it's too late to do anything about it. My husband is a decorated Vietnam veteran who served in the infantry. He has had plenty of experience with guns, and he never wants to handle a gun again. I wouldn't allow my children to play with friends whose parents owned guns, and I would have to have been "certifiable" if I had allowed my children to play with children who owned guns! You can't trust children to be responsible and you can't assume that accidents won't occur, and if their parents are irresponsible enough to buy a gun for a five-year old, a responsible parent wouldn't allow their children anywhere near their homes. You don't take chances with the lives of children. They can't be replaced. And they're the most precious gifts we'll ever have --until our grandchildren come along.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Friday May 3, 2013, 6:52 pm
Stephen - Most of us do know that it's extremely easy in a lot of cases to buy guns at gun shows with no pre-screening and no background checks. The following information demonstrates how easy it was in NY, even when the undercover agents disclosed that they would NOT pass a background check. Often times greed for money overrides people's decency at the common level, but it's even much, much, more so at the top of the NRA as there are millions of dollars at stake. The common citizens are tired of being used and abused by the super-rich, and especially when their children are the collateral damage! I deeply hope you can understand the seriousness of the situation and people's incredibly strong desire to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and felons.
________________________
The agreement was reached after undercover agents from the state attorney general’s office were able to buy weapons, including three AR-15 rifles, without any screening at half a dozen gun shows around the state.
“Our goal is to have 100 percent of the gun show operators on board, and then we have a good example for other states to follow,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who negotiated the agreement with the operators. “Once we demonstrate how easy this is and how it keeps people safe, it weakens the arguments on the federal level that guaranteeing background checks are overly burdensome or face meaningful opposition.”
The operators, with shows from White Plains to Cheektowaga, have also agreed to a broader system to track firearms at their shows and to guard against illegal sales in parking lots.
The 23 operators who have agreed to the protocols are responsible for more than 80 percent of the gun shows in the state.
The investigators, posing as buyers in 2011, were able to purchase firearms even after they told the sellers that they had orders of protection against them, in which case they would fail background checks. Among the weapons bought were AR-15 rifles, like the one that was used in the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December.
“The truth of the matter is most responsible gun show operators and gun owners in America want people to have background checks,” Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat, said. “The overwhelming majority of the folks I’ve talked to on this are crystal clear that they do not want people who have criminal backgrounds or mental health problems to get guns.”
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 12:47 am
Hi Eddie :)

I'm checking out the video here: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video?id=7282623

Yup, verbally forbidding a kid from ever touching something works with guns about as well as it does with alchohol or marijuana. I would never trust a kid from a non-gun-owning household around a gun. Those kids generally have never been told why they should never deal with guns, at least not in terms they understand. I remember one story from a guy whose daughter wanted to play with a gun and asked what it was. After he answered "It can make big holes in little girls", she understood why she should never touch them unsupervised and stopped asking. It wasn't just about telling her this, but having the gun present, she faced the reality of it under controlled circumstances, with a controlled introduction, which is also the most effective way to keep kids safe with intoxicants.

The background-check law for licensed vendors is federal. I guess the guy from whom I get most of my relevant information here must always perform checks, regularly or at shows, because he is a licensed vendor, and so cannot sell a gun even at a show without a check on the spot or pre-screening. The problem of private business at gun-shows is very, very difficult to handle legislatively because nothing legally separates a gun-show from a collective garage-sale. It might be enforceable at an organized gun-show, but inconsistent application of a law normally voids it (to prevent discriminatory treatment by authorities).

Hi Susanne :)

I don't have children, but I have been put in position to care for dozens of them. I usually wouldn't trust them with guns either. Still, they do dangerous things supervised all the time, from crossing the street, to sports, to riding bicycles. With proper supervision and judgment on the part of the caretaker, a gun can be as safe (though where I'm from, "as safe as crossing the road" doesn't mean much). Although sometimes that judgment must be not to let the kid touch the weapon, there exist many cases where more leeway can be permitted, especially after children go through supervised introductions to weapons. If I understand correctly, gunnery was a regular part of school for a long time, and accidents were not a common event. I can understand your reluctance to let guns anywhere near your children, especially if handled by other children, but that does not make them unsafe for other children who have been taught effectively to handle the things and are under parental supervision.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 10:05 pm
Stephen - I'm glad you're checking out videos and sincerely trying to learn as much as you can about this issue. We all need to do that and keep working towards making this a safer, happier, healthier world. And, while you may be right about some kids being responsible and trainable enough whereas they wouldn't be "likely" to kill others with guns, everyone is different and there's no blanket guarantee about kids not pulling the trigger of loaded guns.

Even those who have had years of training can still have accidents, and obviously the more guns out there, especially in the hands of children, felons, or the mentally unstable, the more accidents and intentional killings that we will have in our society. Wouldn't it be nicer to work towards a truly healthy, respectful, society whereas we don't have to worry about all the gun created killings?

A few years ago, I believe it was a DEA agent, or another gun "specialists" who was giving a training demonstration on the proper way to handle a gun. You may have heard the story as it spread widely after it came out, with a video circulating on you tube. As he was going through his demonstrations he shot himself in the foot, or leg. Someone in class had been recording it on video and of course it eventually went viral. So, even those who think they are experts can have accidents due to momentary brain farts, stupidity, or whatever. Again, statistics show that many, many, many more "good" people get hurt and killed by guns than bad guys do, and often times these good guys are children, women, or other family members. What a horrible shame just because people are so filled with fear and paranoia and think guns will save them.

But again, the issue isn't whether guns should be allowed, it's just whether we can eventually have common sense laws enacted to help keep guns out of the hands of felons and the mentally unstable. How can that be asking too much???

And, while it is federal law that gun vendors at gun shows need to do background checks, it's obvious from the undercover agents that many do not do the checks. So, along with making background checks universal, we need to enforce the inadequate laws that do exist.

And, your comment about it not being easy to have private gun sellers do background checks makes me say - "so what"! Not everything is easy and when we're dealing with saving the thousands and thousands of lives that are taken by these illegal weapons, I feel we can't be cowardly, lazy, or ineffective. We need to do whatever it takes, and if you were a parent who lost a child to gun violence maybe you would feel that way too. I can only imagine how terrible it must be for the parents in New England, who recently went through this, and my heart goes out to them and I will readily fight for common sense laws to diminish these horrific massacres.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 12:33 am
Hi Eddie :)

It would be wonderfulnot to have to worry about gun-related deaths. I wish it were possible. Here's one reason why it's not:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/05/03/this-is-the-worlds-first-entirely-3d-printed-gun-photos/
In several years, I expect private ownership of the manufacturing-capability to build guns at home to be widespread. They cannot practically be stopped by legislation. Even before that, all it would take is some know-how (easily available online) to build bullets that fit to a high-pressure pipe, and some other easily available items, to build a gun and bullets to go with it. Even worse, the fact that so many violent deaths are gun-related is at least partly because they are weapons of choice, not just a cause for them to be so. Getting rid of guns and sending people back to muscle-power in violent confrontations would return the world to a more literal rulership of the strong, where they can literally strike at the weak with impunity.

It's not asking too much to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them in general. A 100% success-rate in anything, over a highly varied country of hundreds of millions of people, though, might be a tall order, though.

It's not just that it's not easy to get private vendors to do background-checks. It's far, far beyond the capabilities of modern law-enforcement agencies. I suppose guns could be required to have serial numbers, which could then be tracked to the last purchaser of the weapon from a licensed vendor, and then police could follow the chain of sales until they find one where a background-check would not have been passed, but that would require the gun to already have come to the attention of authorities. By then, it's too late. To actually catch the vendors before anybody dies would literally require police-surveillance in every home, far beyond their manpower, and entirely politically non-viable, for good reason.

We do need to do more, though. The best I can offer, aside from this "household-check" idea is an algorithm I wrote, which is just sitting on my computer, but should help to produce a more effecctive shooter-tracker, and give police an easier time locating a person who has fired a gun. That way they might be able to bring down an active shooter a little faster and save a few lives.

Also, I heard about the DEA story. Unfortunately, police officers, outside of SWAT teams, I think, are apparently not really that well-trained with guns. There is a description of their training by a guy who trains police-forces (the author of the blog) in here:
http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/
There is also a claim about every mass-shooting with over four dead being in a gun-free zone which I checked against hte Mother Jones study. (There are problems with the MJ study invalidating most conclusions popularly drawn from it, but extra events are not among them, I think.) I could only verify 95% accuracy for Correia's claim, and I think I found a single case in the study which contradicted it.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 11:11 am
Hi Stephen - I am happy to hear that you do keep pondering and acknowledge that we do need to do something about this issue. And, we are obviously in harmony acknowledging that we will never get 100% results. Still, whatever percentage we can and do get, means anywhere from one to thousands of lives saved. That's why I support giving consideration to all suggestions and possibilities, even if they do only stop a small percentage of needless deaths and unnecessary suffering.

And, it is true that we all have good and bad inside of us, and that our negative side can come out in violent ways. This negativity is leveraged, however, due to whatever technology and weapons are at our disposal. If we got pissed off at someone and chose to engage in fistfights people would still get hurt and killed, but the numbers and damage would be much more minimal than if we have an assault weapon, or even worse a dirty bomb.

So, obviously, we have to draw the line somewhere, and of course we've made bombs illegal. Assault weapons can cause massive casualties as well, in just an instant, especially in the hands of mentally unstable people and felons. For this reason I will always support universal background checks on all gun sales.

And, even though it would not be perfect, expanding the background check program would certainly save many people's lives. And, as technology improves, the level of effectiveness of these universal background checks would certainly improve immensely.

And, as to 3D printers making guns, we're still a little way's away from that, and I would bet a tremendous amount on laws and technology being enacted, preventing, or at least making it extremely difficult for that to happen. Crude guns, yes, but high quality assault weapons, I don't think so, at least no time soon.

Have a wonderful day,
Eddie
 

Heather O. (12)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:21 pm
Carol the NRA stands up for the right for people to be able to own semi automatic weapons which no citizen needs. The Government isn't trying to take guns away from people they are trying to control which idiots can get them and trying to stop gun violence. No one need semi automatic weapons period not to hunt or protect your home nor does any one need a weapons stock pile to be safe.
 
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