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Old January 9, 2010, 09:01 PM   #1
Nore
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1986 Gun ban

Do you think this law will ever get repealed?

If so how? How can anybody help get it repealed?
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Old January 9, 2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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I think the best way to get that done would be to deal with it like it was passed. Insert it's repeal as an amendment to a bill the Administration really wants passed. Just like National Park Carry.
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Old January 10, 2010, 12:01 AM   #3
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no, i think the growth in NRA along with the power of media including internet forums like this, has taken this off the table.
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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The only reason gun laws are as ridiculous and illogical as they are (particularly with regard to NFA weapons) is that the vast majority of Americans don't know anything about them or care. Until that changes, 922(o) is going to remain the law.
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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I think a better system can be emplaced. Maybe a one time permit which is reasonably easy to obtain for a law abiding citizen, do away with the whole registering/tax song and dance, and lift the import/manufacture ban.
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Old January 10, 2010, 01:20 PM   #6
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What ban?

Quote:
1986 Gun ban
There was no ban, in law. It did have the effect of preventing future additions, but there was no ban. Every gun legal to own before 1986 was still legal afterwards. (Yes, I know it really is a ban, but legally it isn't until a court says it is, and then we can get it overturned, using the Heller decision, maybe.)

We've discussed this alot before, and the general consensus is that there is no way to obtain sufficient public support to pressure lawmakers to repeal the relevant laws. And bringing the issue into the public eye is much more likely to result in MORE restrictions, not less.

Face the reality that, no matter how much we find these guns fun, useful, desirable, and safe, the majority of Americans do not. They have been told, taught, trained, and shown for decades how bad and how dangerous they are, and there is "simply no reason for civilians to own them".

Forget the fundamental rights issues, while the principle does apply, it will not overcome current, historical, and likely future public perception. The FOPA 86 did more good than harm, even with the Hughes amendment. The amendment was meant to be a poison pill, to kill the bill. In that, it failed. We got the greatest good, for the greatest number of gun owners. We had to take a hit to do it though.

We whine and gripe about the things that law keeps us from being able to do, while conveniently forgetting all the good the original bill (without the Hughes amendment) does. Without the FOPA 86 there would likely, by now, be thousands of cases of innocent gun owners and dealers being prosecuted for minor technical violations of state and federal gun laws.

Before FOPA 86, people went to jail for making a mistake on a gun registration form (a misspelling or transposing a couple of digits got you a felony conviction!). People went to jail for having a flat tire in a gun restrictive state as they passed through, even when their guns were unloaded, cased in the locked trunk, and legal where they coming from, and were they were going. Got guns on a plane, and it has to make a forced landing in a state where registration is required? You just became a criminal! These and many more things put a number of people in jail, with felony convictions, and no more guns for life! FOPA 86 provided a blanket protection for millions of us from these kinds of abuses.

Its too bad we had to accept closing the NFA registry, its too bad you can't build some guns from all foreign made parts. It shouldn't be that way. But it is. And we aren't going to change it with a public opinion campaign.

The only way we are ever going to get that law changed is either by a court decision (possible, but it will take even more years, even after the case finally gets in the system, and may not go our way in the end), or by quietly slipping in language in some "must pass" bill to make an "editorial change" to public law XXX.XX. And to do that, we need some legislators firmly in our camp, in the specifics, not just 2nd Amendment supporters.

If it gets into the court of public opinion, the most likely outcome is that not only will we lose, we will lose more than today's status quo. The unpleasant fact is that those of us who fancy these kinds of firearms are a minority of gun owners, and a virtually insignificant minority of the general public. That's why they were able to do it to us in the first place, and why we stand almost no chance of getting it undone. That is democracy in action.

Maybe that is why our Founding Fathers set up a Republic, and not a democracy?
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Old January 10, 2010, 02:01 PM   #7
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44 AMP,

About as well said as could be said. The only other thing I would add is that I think the public perception is encapsulated in one sense concerning FA. THe public puts FA in a whole other category psychologically. What I mean is that fear and loathing of FA does not necessarily transfer to other firearms unless/until the Bradys start trying to equate them as they did with the AWB thru appearance. That, however, is a fight we CAN win in public opinion but it requires effort. IMO the public draws the bright line with FA and so their fear will not necessarily transfer to say shotguns or handguns.
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Old January 10, 2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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Face the reality that, no matter how much we find these guns fun, useful, desirable, and safe, the majority of Americans do not.
I have learned that the majority of "gun people" do not, either. It would be an uphill battle, with many potential pitfalls.

It could start slowly, perhaps with easing restrictions on parts of the NFA, like suppressors.

Perhaps make full-auto legal, but limit it to .22 caliber with a minimum 16" barrel length. That'd get the bug out of the system for some folks, and it wouldn't scare the mainstream too much.
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Old January 10, 2010, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
I have learned that the majority of "gun people" do not, either. It would be an uphill battle, with many potential pitfalls
This is the unfortunate truth. I can't recall how many times in threads on full auto, either on this forum or others, that gun owners have stated that they don't see the reason that anybody should own a full auto. If we have this sentiment amongst ourselves we will never get any support outside of the gun community. Sometimes as gun owners we can be our own worst enemy with the elitist attitudes. How many times have we heard someone say "there is no reason for this cartridge or that gun".
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Old January 10, 2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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So far it seems there haven't been any real teeth to most "gun ban laws" other than to make prices on certain items (high-cap magazines, "assault weapons", etc.) to skyrocket.
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Old January 10, 2010, 05:57 PM   #11
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From what I have seen, NFA ownership is increasing among the population, suppressors especially. As more and more people see suppressors as a safety device, the more they will see the entire NFA act in a negative light that should be eliminated.

It is ironic that the governments deliberate efforts to debase our currency is having the unintended consequence of making NFA ownership affordable again.

Edit: Oh yea, and if the DC ban could be overturned then so could the 86 ban. Afterall, the DC ban didn't "ban" guns, it just banned new handgun gun registrations after 1976.
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:36 PM   #12
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I disagree somewhat on the idea that it is a fight that is an inevitable loser with public opinion.

True it is/would be difficult - but there are some points that could be argued very effectively in regard to the 1986 hughes amendment and parts of the 1934 NFA.

For overturning the 1986 hughes amendemnt.

1. cast it as merely seeking to restore the law to pre-1986 and point out that the controls for all the thousands of legally owned machine guns will still be in place for any new ones.

2. point out the arbitrary nature of it

3. point out the fact that legally owned machine guns have not been used in crime or murder, except for 1x by a police officer, since 1934

4. imply it might be overturned in court as unconstitutional due to it's arbitrary nature and due to the ATF's aknowleged faulty record keeping.

5. educate the public on the NFA 1934 and hurdles and safegards to own a machine gun and wage an education campaign.

6. then get it attached to some must pass liberal supported legislation as a revision of existing rules.


In regards to reforming the 1934 NFA -

1. shall issue type sign off of local law enforcement if all requirements are met - otherwise it could be held to be a discriminatory process - unfair to minorities ect....

2. surpressors as hearing safety devices - identifying their acceptance in many other countries as normal nonregulated safety devices as in many countries in europe - educating people on how they really work - not like the movies

3. getting rid of the barrel length crap - this one could easily go down in the courts anyway.

4. redefining full auto so that tri-round burst is not full auto.

I believe the above are all doable or possible with time and effort and luck.

Last edited by mack59; January 11, 2010 at 09:13 AM.
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Old January 11, 2010, 11:36 AM   #13
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Part of 44 Amp's post contained this:

Quote:
If it gets into the court of public opinion, the most likely outcome is that not only will we lose, we will lose more than today's status quo. The unpleasant fact is that those of us who fancy these kinds of firearms are a minority of gun owners, and a virtually insignificant minority of the general public. That's why they were able to do it to us in the first place, and why we stand almost no chance of getting it undone. That is democracy in action.
Agreed. In addition, the Brady's, the other anti gun groups, and the anti gun rights folks in congress, along with the MSM (main stream media), will use the reverse slippery slope argument: "If we legalize machine guns, what's next? Hand grenades? RPG's? Shoulder fired rockets? Howitzers? Nukes? We'll turn the US into the next Afghanistan. There will be buildings blowing up everywhere. How long before government buildings are attacked by right wing extremists armed with RPG's and shoulder fired rockets?"

I can just hear them ranting and raving with their hands in the air, and yelling, "The sky is falling! We must run and tell the King."

The media would go bezerk and the public would be outraged. This will take stealth and cunning if we are ever going to repeal the Hughes amendment. The Brady's will lie, stretch the truth, and do whatever it takes, to create a nightmare in the minds of the public. The media will willingly pitch in to help scare "the people". I don't have a lot of confidence that anything positive regarding FA will happen in the near term, sad to say.
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Last edited by USAFNoDak; January 11, 2010 at 03:14 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling.
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Old January 11, 2010, 04:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
The media would go bezerk and the public would be outraged. This will take stealth and cunning if we are ever going to repeal the Hughes amendment.
Picture this:

Quote:
<cue up dramatic music and a shot of a helicopter rising over smoke in the desert>

"The gun lobby would have Congress legalize machine guns and other weapons of war."

<run shot of Somali children brandishing AK-47's, then fade to still pictures of mass graves in Darfur>

"If this happens, a teenager in Detroit can own the exact same weapons used by America's enemies abroad."

<cut to shot of Daniel Pearl, then to shot of the rifle rack of a suburban gun store. Long focus on AR-15's on the rack.>

The extremists at the NRA would allow white-supremacist and anti-government militias <cue footage of somebody brandishing a semi-auto AK-47 and a rebel flag> to arm themselves just as well as our soldiers.

Under this new law, anyone can walk into a local gun show and purchase a rocket launcher, a box of grenades, or Sarin gas without so much as a background check.

<cue to shot of someone carrying a WASR/10 at a gunshow>

Tell your Congressman that enough is enough. We won't stand silent while Kalamazoo becomes Kosovo.
This is exactly how the Brady Campaign would do it (and it would revitalize them), and this is exactly what the current administration needs to jump into the gun-control arena.

I know. I lived through 1993.

In a few more years, when funding has dried up for gun-control groups, and we're in a better political climate, we might consider a very cautious approach to repealing the Hughes Amendment.

For now, it's best we stick to fights we can win, both in Congress and in the court of public opinion.
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Old January 12, 2010, 12:51 AM   #15
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In the meantime I think we will be able to defend ourselves quite well with more unrestricted boring weapons like a plain old AR-15, Glock or shotgun?
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Old January 12, 2010, 09:34 AM   #16
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Some of the senarios here are over the top - one full auto is legal now - believe it or not much of the general public is already aware of that fact - the NRA (that is influential with politicains) does publically support full auto and the media is also aware of knob creek, where they could send a reporter and film crew to any time they wanted to, to play out the hysterical over the top senarios now. Hasn't happened has it.

The Brady Campaign and thier ilk do not have the ear of politicians and the current political mood is such that democrats are too worried about losing power in the 2010 elections to want to take on the gun issue. Machine guns are not going to take the focus off the economy (the worst since the great depression), health care, and the war and terrorism. Repealing the 1986 Hughes amendment would change nothing in terms of the 1934 NFA controls and thus could easily be presented as a simple revision of existing law and not a sea change - which is the truth.

Seems the real issue is that some here don't really believe that citizens should own machine guns. People also opposed the Heller case because they were afraid of what might happen if court ruled against an individual right.

The real feeling I get reading some of the posts in this thread is that machine guns are to some the pornography of the pro-gun movement. Like the crazy uncle in the attic.

Well, there are people who see no reason for anyone to own a semi-auto of any kind and people who feel the handguns are unnecessary too.

If one truly believes that full auto should be legal then when do you stand up for what is right? If not now when? After Obama possibly appoints two or three justices to the court. After the economy finally/hopefully recovers and the issues of health care and terrorism are not huge issues of public concern. After the Brady Campaign and their ilk have a chance to regroup and recover. The only way to overturn the Hughes amendment is to start digging and pouring the foundation for it now.
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Old January 12, 2010, 11:20 AM   #17
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Mack59 posted:
Quote:
The only way to overturn the Hughes amendment is to start digging and pouring the foundation for it now.
The question then becomes, where do we start digging and where do we get the "cement" to pour?

I'm afraid my state won't be much help. My two US senators are a joke when it comes to gun rights. Amy Klobuchar and the clown Al Franken are who I have to deal with. My representative in the House is Betty McCollum who is also a lefty liberal. All three of those people would vote for a renewed assault weapons ban in a heartbeat if they had a chance. I've written letters and made phone calls to all of their offices. Each time I was given a standard "anti gun" reply on how assault weapons are the choice of criminals and how we are arming Mexican drug lords with assault weapons since we don't ban them. I've also heard how the "majority" of police officers favor a ban on assault weapons since so many cops are killed with them.

Now, all of that is a bunch of meadow muffins, but that is the mindset of the liberals. I can't imagine them moving to support a repeal of the Hughes Amendment if they are already of the mindset that they want to ban semiautos. The liberals have majorities in both houses of congress and they own the whitehouse. Not to mention they own most of the main stream media or at least have most of them on their side.

This may change in the fall, as more conservatives may be elected to congress. Let's hope that is the case. Niether of my Senators is up for re election. Betty McCollum represents the district which contains St. Paul, so she is a shoe in for as long as she wants to run. They'd vote in Count Dracula if he ran as a democrat and promised to tax the rich.

I give money to many pro gun rights groups and some pro gun politicians to make sure we keep them in office or give them a shot at getting elected. I've written letters to the editor of the local newspapers. Other than that, and trying to educate as many of my family members, friends, co workers, and casual acquaintences, I'm at a loss as to where and when to start digging. I'm certainly open to suggestions however. Unfortunately, my situation doesn't make for me having a high confidence level that we can take ground and hold it on this one. I would love to be proven wrong and am willing to help where I can.
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Old January 12, 2010, 11:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack59
I disagree somewhat on the idea that it is a fight that is an inevitable loser with public opinion.

True it is/would be difficult - but there are some points that could be argued very effectively in regard to the 1986 hughes amendment and parts of the 1934 NFA.
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Old January 12, 2010, 11:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mack59
The real feeling I get reading some of the posts in this thread is that machine guns are to some the pornography of the pro-gun movement. Like the crazy uncle in the attic.
I look at it another way. Except for extreme views of gun ownership which espouse; any gun, anywhere, anyone, the vast majority of both gun owning and non-gun owning folks believe there should be some restrictions on gun ownership.

The spectrum is wide in that area. Glenn Meyer, a moderator of TFL has used the term "bright line" however the challenge is where to draw it. I (and many others) draw the line at Full Auto and "above" for heavier regulation than other types of firearms. I am a gun owner, NRA Life Member and CCW so I am not anti-gun nor do I believe nobody should own FA. I just think they should be regulated more than other firearms.

The problem with Hughes is that while it has driven up the cost of FA there are not enough people who want to own them to generate the political pressure to throw it out. Prior to Hughes only about 100K owned them legally.

So, FA has fallen to the collector and hobbyist in the minds of most. In fact someone said in another thread that LEO signoff is easier now because only wealthy collectors own them and so the Sherriffs feel less fear about them owning them. I can't say that is a fact but it follows.

Arguments about the militia have no traction and in fact scare folks mostly, self defense doesn't work either since other firearms are available for those purposes, the courts will not help you (see Alan Gura's comments and case law), so what are you left with?

What argument can you make for widerspread FA ownership that will generate enough political pressure to change that law? That IMO is the issue you face if you want Hughes and even the NFA thrown out. Right now, I see no such argument.

Over to you Hank....
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Old January 12, 2010, 12:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Gentleman
Quote:
Originally Posted by mack59
The real feeling I get reading some of the posts in this thread is that machine guns are to some the pornography of the pro-gun movement. Like the crazy uncle in the attic.
I look at it another way. Except for extreme views of gun ownership which espouse; any gun, anywhere, anyone, the vast majority of both gun owning and non-gun owning folks believe there should be some restrictions on gun ownership.
In any case, we live in a pluralistic, political society, and in the real world there is going to be some "gun control."

There are a bunch of people out there who don't like guns (for whatever reason). There are also a lot of people who are scared of guns or of people who want to have guns. Some think guns should be banned and private citizens shouldn't have them at all. Some may be willing to go a long with private citizens being able to own guns as long as they were regulated. And these people vote.

We may think these people are wrong and that they have no valid reason to believe the way they do. We might think that many of them are crazy (and maybe some of them are). Of course some of them think that we have no valid reasons to think the way we do, and some of them think that we're crazy. But they still vote.

Of course we vote too, but there are enough of them to have an impact. They may be more powerful some places than others. But the bottom line is there would always be some level of gun control.

Of course there's the Second Amendment. But there is also a long line of judicial precedent for the proposition that Constitutionally protected rights may be subject to limited governmental regulation, subject to certain standards. How much regulation will pass muster remains to be seen. But the bottom line, again, is that we are unlikely to see all gun control thrown out by the courts; and we will therefore always have to live with some level of gun control.

How much or how little control we are saddled with will depend. It will depend in part on how well we can win the hearts and minds of the fence sitters. It will depend on how well we can acquire and maintain political and economic power and how adroitly we wield it. It will depend on how skillfully we handle post Heller litigation.

So whether or not we like it, whether or not we think the Second Amendment allows it and notwithstanding what we think the Founding Fathers would have thought about it, we will have to live with some forms of gun control.

We're left with opportunities to influence how much. Some things will be doable and somethings will not be reasonably doable.
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Old January 12, 2010, 01:09 PM   #21
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fiddletown,

Bravo! Very well said.

So, based on your last sentence, is repeal of the Hughes Amendment "reasonably doable" and if not now, when?
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Old January 12, 2010, 01:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Tennessee Gentleman
...based on your last sentence, is repeal of the Hughes Amendment "reasonably doable" and if not now, when?
As to now, I don't think so: (1) "Machine gun" just has too strong a negative connotation for too many people; (2) As you have pointed out, the "militia" argument doesn't resonate with most people and frightens them; (3) Also as you pointed out, more boring and readily available weapons adequately serve our personal defense needs; and (3) Other arguments for repeal are unlikely to be persuasive to most people.

And as for the future, I just don't see anything changing to make repeal of the Hughes Amendment a serious possibility. I could be wrong, but I'm not going to bet on it; and I won't be expecting a newly manufactured MP5 under the Christmas tree anytime soon.
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Old January 12, 2010, 01:31 PM   #23
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All emotion has a thought or reason behind it - often an irrational thought or belief. It is true, at least in my experience, that you can't argue someone into changing a strongly felt/held position. However, you can believe it or not discuss in a nonconfrontational rational open and questioning way peoples dearly held beliefs and change them. It usually takes time and repetition but people can be led and educated to change. How do you do that - there are a number of ways none of which are exclusive - with guns you may take someone shooting - introduce them to other positive and rational people who shoot - you are thus reaching out to people around you - person to person - you listen to them - not with the idea of correcting them or waiting for them to say something you can jump on - but really listen. Instead of jumping on what they say which only makes most defensive- ask them questions - so that they can discover for themselves the illogic of their thoughts/beliefs. How do I know this can work - I was a counselor for many years and I never helped anyone by "telling" them what their problem was - they needed to discover it for themselves - thus one could tell an alcoholic that he was an alcoholic all one wanted to and one could beat him or her over the head with it, with all the evidence one wanted to, and nothing would change. But talk with them, discuss their fears and concerns and allow them the space to examine their beliefs and feelings and suddenly things would start to change. It might be simple things like providing normative information - I know a number of legislators in the Illinois statehouse that just providing the information that concealed carry is common in most states helped to begin to soften and change their position. It is a process. Ten years ago I could have said confidently that we will never have concealed carry in Illinois - now gradually support is growing year by year and eventually the previously impossible has become a possibility.

How do we start digging - we start bringing it up in conversation with fellow gun owners, we write letters to the newspaper, we contact the NRA, we write our legislators even if anti-gun so they know that it is important to some of their constituants and we work to educate the people that we contact in our daily lives - by talking not preaching - and we post on internet forums we are members of - not just gun forums - but when appropriate other forums - for me motorcycle forums. We support financially as we can groups like NRA, SAF, ect... We continue to educate ourselves on the issue by understanding people who object or reject our viewpoint on it so we can intelligently address peoples heartfelt concerns and objections. We get involved in the election process. We take kids shooting, we support knob creek, we build alliances, we do one thing each day to further our cause.

As to the Hughs Amendment - it would not change the level of regulation as it would not touch the 1934 NFA - I can't see how it would increase dramatically the number of people willing or able to jump through those hoops -for example I live in Illinois and here it would still be illegal to own a full auto due to state law - it is the same in many other states - also even if the number of people did increase dramatically they would still be bound by the tight restrictions of the 1934 NFA and there is no rational reason to believe, that I can see, that it would cause any problems. Would the new machine gun owners suddenly go on shooting rampages when that was never the case before 1986, before new machine guns were banned?

Yes, I also want revisions to the NFA, and we could argue/discuss that too, but the primary topic of this thread is the Hughes amendment and changing that by itself is not a major sea change - it would increase the number of full auto owners - but it would not change their level of regulation and I submit that it would not significantly increase the number of full auto owners in the general gun owner population - given the number of casual or nonactive gun owners, those who just hunt - those who still won't be able to afford them, and those whose state or local law enforcement won't allow them to own them.

I guess I will just have to respectfully disagree with some of my peers on this issue.


edit to add, not having seen three posts immediately preceding:


It isn't about need, it isn't about what is feesible this moment, it isn't about what 51 percent or more of the people believe at this time, it is about what is right and what one can do to make things right. As to the relativity argument of gun control or where do were draw the line - I draw it similar to freedom of speech - are there limits on free speech - sure - one can't yell fire if there is no fire - one can't liable someone, one can't spout profanity anywhere one wants to, one can't make credible or serious threats against anothers life. However, we do not catagorically ban certain words, we do not tape people's mouths shut in theaters because they might yell fire, we don't ban entire subjects or catagories of speech. With guns we can't indescriminately shoot them, we can't threaten people with them without just and legal cause (ie, self-defense), we can't take them on private non-public property if the owner doesn't want us to do so. If I have a history of verbal abuse and verbally threatening behaviour towards someone, then a court may curtail my speech, if I have a history of violent behavior towards someone then a court may curtail my legal access to firearms. See, it isn't that hard really.

Last edited by mack59; January 12, 2010 at 02:27 PM.
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Old January 12, 2010, 03:50 PM   #24
Tennessee Gentleman
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mack59,

First of all, do not assume that because someone has a position of gun regulation and ownership that is different from yours that it makes their position "emotional". That is rather condescending and since many folk who own guns have different views than you on their regulation I suspect they have other reasons than "emotion" for their views.

Second, the OP was about getting the Hughes amendment repealed and that is a political solution requiring legislative and political discourse. So, it does matter what the public thinks and how many votes you can get. Just saying it is the right thing to do ignores fatally the process you need to engage in to reach your goal.

Now I agree with your ideas about working for climate change concerning gun ownership but I think you will not find a very receptive audience to FA. Take them to Knob Creek for sure and they will have fun and probably tremble at the thought of ammo costs should they ever choose to own a machinegun but that doesn't mean they will support increasing individual ownership. In fact, some folks I have seen fire them and witness their destructive power often DO change their minds about FA from "don't care" to "nobody needs one of those".

You are right that the Hughes amendment would not generate much of a positive sea change with either gun rights or FA ownership. However, as a gun rights person I believe I have only so much political capital to spend and there are FAR FAR more important gun rights issues IMO than owning FA. And since I see no impact on gun rights pro or con by regulating FA I will choose to spend mine elsewhere.
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Old January 12, 2010, 07:04 PM   #25
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