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Old February 27, 2013, 01:19 PM   #1
geetarman
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Sen. Graham VS Police chief

I just came across this video of an exchange between Senator Lindsey Graham and a police chief about the background checks conducted on gun buyers.

I hope this does not come across as a drive by.

Senator Graham asks the good chief how many background checks lead to a refusal of sale.

The chief responds that he is trying to keep illegal guns off the street and he does not have the time or resources to conduct background checks.

HELLO! Something is majorly wrong with the attitude of the chief. Notice Senator Feinstein attempts to rescue the chief.

Disappointing, but expected response, from the chief.
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbc-news/50973555#50973555
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Old February 27, 2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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I think this clears the "drive-by hurdle."
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Old February 27, 2013, 01:30 PM   #3
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Thank you. What is your read on this exchange?
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Old February 27, 2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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My read? Police Chief doesn't want to answer the question. He's sticking to his guns that prosecuting people for trying to buy when they fail a background check is a "paperwork prosecution."
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
My read? Police Chief doesn't want to answer the question. He's sticking to his guns that prosecuting people for trying to buy when they fail a background check is a "paperwork prosecution."
Exactly, he is arguing in support of the background checks but he won't answer the Senator's questions because he knows the answers don't support the claim that the checks work.

From his point of view, he doesn't have to do anything to make the background checks happen. All the work and overhead is carried by the purchaser, the FFL dealer, and the Feds with NCIS. It doesn't cost him anything to keep them going and it costs him nothing to enforce them cause they "Don't chase after paper violations".
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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I have to say, I think BAAAADDD things are coming. I just really do not see anything other than a real conflict brewing. What is unknown at this point is the "Concord Bridge."

I just read of a mayor, in Florida I believe, who wants to be able to confiscate firearms during a time of civil unrest. . .which is one of the PRIMARY reasons of keeping a firearm.

One wonders if she ever heard what went on in New Orleans after Katrina when law abiding citizens were forcibly dis-armed.
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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One wonders if she is familiar with Florida's state preemption, and if she realizes she could get her city sued and fined...
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarman
I just read of a mayor, in Florida I believe, who wants to be able to confiscate firearms during a time of civil unrest. . .which is one of the PRIMARY reasons of keeping a firearm.
A mayor in Alabama just proposed this, too. City council hasn't voted on it yet.
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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I may have mis-spoke about the location. I think you are correct.
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:49 PM   #10
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The discussion of whether or not to prosecute over they lying on the 4473 is directly tied to the effectiveness of increasing the background checks. The refusal to prosecute on that based on manpower issues, or whether is a local/fed charge needs to be worked out, or else any increase will continue in "passing the buck" on in to the future. In the end you have a snowball effect of "ineffective laws" not because they are actually "ineffective" but because they are just not enforced in a level, standard practice in the various jurisdictions to make them actually effective.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; February 27, 2013 at 02:55 PM.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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what the police chief is saying is that the background checks don't matter. He considers it just "paper".

Graham like the rest of us are being bamboozled,. The entire hearing had virtually nothing about the supposed priority and compromise on background check loopholes being closed.

The only thing being accomplished at these hearings by the "post constitutionalists" is their intended strategy: keep the focus off of felons and on legal gun owners as the problem.
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Old February 27, 2013, 06:17 PM   #12
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Lawyers, guns & $$$...

The politics, egos & hysteria is really starting to bug me.

In a recent legal incident in my metro area, the local state's atty office prosecutors decided to DROP gun & 10/20/life laws(designed to improve "gun safety" ) against a career criminal/convicted felon who shot a AK-47 at cops!

This isn't made up or exaggerated either. PM me & I can fill any TFL members in.

I'm considering contacting the main NRA-ILA office in NOVA so they can make this a national media story.

It's another sad example of how the anti-gun & slanted politicos burn the citizens they claim to protect.

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Old February 27, 2013, 08:14 PM   #13
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I joined this forum specifically to address comments made in this thread.

It is clear that there are people here who do not understand the manpower problems faced by law enforcement agencies in this country. Coupled with rapidly shrinking budgets and downsizing of personnel, agencies are forced to further prioritize assignments.

Agencies barely have the time and resources to meet current needs (calls, investigations resulting from same, training, etc.). While they continue to provide service to their communities to the best of their ability, they are not supermen, although it appears they are expected to be.

While it would be ideal if crime could be stopped at the gun counter the reality is that the system in place is inadequate to the task. True background checks would require an enormous increase in manpower and probably the establishment of a new federal (sub)agency.

Senator Graham's suggestion that law enforcement prosecute people for attempting to buy a firearm and subsequently failing the background check evinces a fundamental brand of ignorance regarding police operations in the United States and a clear dismissal of Second Amendment rights.

Chief Flynn did not avoid the question. He was continually interrupted while trying to explain the realities of policing in a bad economy and, consequently, why the senator's expectation was unrealistic.

Proactive firearms management (buybacks, background checks) by the government is unrealistic in the United States because of the Second Amendment. There are too many firearms possessed legally and illegally to establish such a program and to enforce its dictates. Therefore, the major focus must be on firearms that are already on the streets illegally.

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Old February 27, 2013, 09:01 PM   #14
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I wish someone could have explained to that grieving father that the term "assault weapon" is a misnomer. He said these weapons have been used in various American military conflicts, such as Vietnam, the Gulf War, etc...yes, and hand guns, shotguns, and bolt-action rifles are used by the military too. He said these weapons can really "lay down a lot of lead," when they fire no faster than an ordinary handgun.

I know I am preaching to the choir here, but just saying what I wish someone would explain to the parents of the victims shot.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:01 PM   #15
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Chief Flynn did not avoid the question. He was continually interrupted while trying to explain the realities of policing in a bad economy and, consequently, why the senator's expectation was unrealistic.
Owl, welcome to the forum. You have a good point. We hear about the problems law enforcement faces in a bad economy, yet we hue and cry when they don't send the CSI van every time a window gets smashed. The same problem applies to tracking down prohibited persons who try to purchase firearms. Law enforcement is hamstrung to some extent by budget and priorities.

Senator Graham and Chief Flynn agree on one thing: law enforcement can't track down folks who are breaking existing firearms laws. Therefore, how will passing more laws make their job easier?

Graham was trying to make a point, and if he had been willing to have a two-way conversation, he may have found Flynn agreeing with him. Instead, it turned into an argument, which is unfortunate.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:09 PM   #16
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Welcome to The Firing Line, The Owl!

You do have a good point about budgets and resources:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Owl
Agencies barely have the time and resources to meet current needs (calls, investigations resulting from same, training, etc.). While they continue to provide service to their communities to the best of their ability, they are not supermen, although it appears they are expected to be.
Apparently, Joe biden agrees; even he said that the federal government didn't have the resources to prosecute illegal purchases. (That wasn't the term he used and I do not recall exactly what it was at this moment. Forgive me if I've misstated Biden's words.) From my perspective, if you don't have time or $$ to prosecute violations of the laws you currently have, where will you find time or $$ to prosecute violations of the new ones?

I have to disagree on the issue of whether Flynn avoided the question. Yes, he was interrupted, but he was making no effort to answer the question. He was working hard at repeating his mantra: "paperwork prosecution." When asked "how many?," there was no "approximately," or even "I don't have those figures." He launched straight into "we don't chase paperwork prosecutions."
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Last edited by Spats McGee; February 27, 2013 at 09:18 PM.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:17 PM   #17
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I agree that a figure or two probably would have satisfied the senator. The fact is though that I respect Flynn more for having stood his ground.

I don't want a man in uniform who withers when being questioned by a politician.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Therefore, how will passing more laws make their job easier?
Exactly!

It really makes little difference if existing laws and regulations are not enforced because of budget/manpower constraints. The end result is the same. . .non compliance.

Adding new regulations on top of the ones in place will not have the desired effect of increasing compliance or identifying those who should not be in possession of firearms.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:20 PM   #19
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Unfortunately we can't seem to have an actual conversation in this country where people actually take the time to drill down into the details. I don't see any problems being solved or rational answers being discovered when limited to 10 minutes of dialog.

I wonder if it ever occurred to the antis that 2A supporters might be able to provide answers on how to reduce gun crime...and truthfully, I don't think they are interested in that as much as getting rid of that amendment as soon as possible.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:23 PM   #20
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I don't want a man in uniform who withers when being questioned by a politician.
Agreed, and you bring up some valid points. OTOH, it does seem like those selfsame politicians are passing laws that they won't fund the enforcement of, so that they can pass even more restrictive laws after those unenforced laws "fail."
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:25 PM   #21
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Whenever I hear the cry of poverty concerning enforcement, I all ways remember the same argument against a former Mayor of NYC who ordered his department to prosecute petty crimes.

Despite the resistance of the Police and Prosecutors he persevered and NYC is a safer place.

Prosecution of certain crimes are not glamorous. They do not generate headlines. They do not support the careers of ambitious cops prosecutors and politicians. What they do is cut crime at the base level by intervening with the entry level criminal and possibly break the cycle.

Money and time is available for the things managers want.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:33 PM   #22
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He launched straight into "we don't chase paperwork prosecutions."
LE doesn't do paperwork prosecutions because they don't have the time or resources to do so. Pursuing charges against someone who fails a background check is absurd.

It is the equivalent of prosecuting someone for asking a question. That is what the current background check basically is. It is permission to purchase a firearm based on a number of established criteria.

May I purchase a firearm?
Maybe. Answer these questions first.
May I purchase a firearm?
Based on your answers, yes/no.


It's a simple program - if/then. Pardon my computerspeak.

No one should be punished for asking a question.

[EDIT] I should add an example. Would you prosecute someone who is mentally ill for attempting to purchase? Is it a crime to be mentally ill? No, it's not.

Last edited by The Owl; February 27, 2013 at 09:48 PM.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Owl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
He launched straight into "we don't chase paperwork prosecutions."
LE doesn't do paperwork prosecutions because they don't have the time or resources to do so. Pursuing charges against someone who fails a background check is absurd.
There was a problem with the questions asked by Graham. A more proper question might have been "how many arrests did your department make for providing weapons to prohibited persons?" I don't know exactly what this man is Chief of, but I'm guessing he isn't federal. If he were ATF, though, the proper question would have been "how many prosecutions has your dept pursued for providing false information on 4473s?" However, the correct answer to the question asked, was either "none," "I don't know," or "X number," or even "none, because it's not illegal to fail a background check."

The fact that he gave none of these, but simply repeated "paperwork prosecutions" leads me to believe that he was simply there to provide a useful soundbite (soundbyte?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Owl
It is the equivalent of prosecuting someone for asking a question. That is what the current background check basically is. It is permission to purchase a firearm based on a number of established criteria.

May I purchase a firearm?
Maybe. Answer these questions first.
May I purchase a firearm?
Based on your answers, yes/no.
It's not the same. Those are not the questions on the 4473. The answers to the 4473 are provided under penalty of perjury.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Owl
[EDIT] I should add an example. Would you prosecute someone who is mentally ill for attempting to purchase? Is it a crime to be mentally ill? No, it's not.
Being a convicted felon isn't a crime, either.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:56 PM   #25
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Flynn is the chief of the Milwaukee PD.

My citation in Italics was a simplistic representation of the process, perhaps too simplistic.

In my opinion, the penalty for false answers should be a permanent record of the attempt to purchase and the nature of the lie(s).
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