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Old October 15, 2012, 01:16 PM   #51
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Aguila Blanca,

So you think that it would be unfair to send up a check forger for a non-violent crime? Simple. Everyone knows that check forgery is a gateway crime, lol. Same standards for non-violent crime. Make it so hard to get back out that they are forced to consider this before committing their white collar crime.

If that is unfair then perhaps the check forger should consider how unfair it was to forge another mans check. My system would have prevented the crime you described because they would have been still locked up.

My system may have some holes in it, but would be better than what we have now. There are some people who may consider lesser crimes because of lesser sentences possible, but that would go away if they had the potential to do as much time as murderers and such. If one had the good fortune to be released and consequently committed a worse crime, then he would never be released again, all things being taken into account.
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Old October 15, 2012, 01:37 PM   #52
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SS215, I don't have time to go through the whole thread responding to every post that you've made, so I'll stick with my thoughts on the OP. This is the first chance I've had to respond to it. With that said, I will try to phrase my response in such a way as to avoid the appearance of an attack. This post is certainly not intended as one.

With that said, many of the measures that you propose are the very ones that are often pushed by the anti-2A crowd as "compromises." They are often couched in a "let's compromise and have some reasonable regulation on guns" sort of way. One of the many problems with that is that gun control has never been a compromise. The term "compromise" means that each side gives up something in order to reach an agreement. With gun control, what does the gun control side give up? Nothing, that's what. Take a look at the post from a blog called "The LawDog Files" entitled "OK. I'll Play."

For your convenience, I'll post the section that illustrates the point. (I claim no authorship in the following. Mods, if this violates the copyright rules, please accept my apologies and feel free to edit.)

Allow me to explain.

I hear a lot about "compromise" from your camp ... except, it's not compromise.

Let's say I have this cake. It is a very nice cake, with "GUN RIGHTS" written across the top in lovely floral icing. Along you come and say, "Give me that cake."

I say, "No, it's my cake."

You say, "Let's compromise. Give me half." I respond by asking what I get out of this compromise, and you reply that I get to keep half of my cake.

Okay, we compromise. Let us call this compromise The National Firearms Act of 1934.

There I am with my half of the cake, and you walk back up and say, "Give me that cake."

I say, "No, it's my cake."

You say, "Let's compromise." What do I get out of this compromise? Why, I get to keep half of what's left of the cake I already own.

So, we have your compromise -- let us call this one the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- and I'm left holding what is now just a quarter of my cake.

And I'm sitting in the corner with my quarter piece of cake, and here you come again. You want my cake. Again.

This time you take several bites -- we'll call this compromise the Clinton Executive Orders -- and I'm left with about a tenth of what has always been MY DAMN CAKE and you've got nine-tenths of it.

Then we compromised with the Lautenberg Act (nibble, nibble), the HUD/Smith and Wesson agreement (nibble, nibble), the Brady Law (NOM NOM NOM), the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act (sweet tap-dancing Freyja, my finger!)

I'm left holding crumbs of what was once a large and satisfying cake, and you're standing there with most of MY CAKE, making anime eyes and whining about being "reasonable", and wondering "why we won't compromise".

I'm done with being reasonable, and I'm done with compromise. Nothing about gun control in this country has ever been "reasonable" nor a genuine "compromise".



I, for one, think that the above passage does an excellent job of illustrating the problems with "compromising" on the issue of gun control. Over the last almost 100 years, gun owners have been forced to compromise over and over. What did they get out of the compromise? A reduction in their rights, that's what. What did the anti-2A folks give up? Nothing. That's not compromise. That's conquering.

Originally Posted by StainlessSteel215
. . . .So, assume for a minute that you were not an avid gun owner/collector/competition or target shooter. You are John Q Public and concerned about how easy it is for anyone with a seemingly clean records to arm themselves TO THE TEETH effective immediately if they want to....and possibly carry out a horrific mission. . . . .
Why would I assume this? Should I also give up my knowledge of history? Of constitutional law? I just don't get the purpose of giving up my interests or my knowledge before I get on with the rest of the question.

Originally Posted by StainlessSteel215
. . . . I think everything can be improved upon, and I would like to get honest feedback on a a few very serious proposals. What do you think of these measures on purchases for NEW gun owners?

• A mandatory waiting period of 10 days from point of interest until permission to purchase the gun and pick it up on purchases for NEW gun owners. A cooling off "layaway" period of sorts and the background check happens ONLY after the 10 days are up.
Several problems. First, as pointed out, there are times when someone needs a gun to defend themselves right now. A prosecutor in our office recently got his first death threat. He's a squeaky-clean individual, passed a background check to get his law license, another to get certified to access the Arkansas Crime Information Center, and probably yet another to get certified to prosecute. Why should he have to wait 10 days?

Second, there is no data (of which I am aware) that indicates that waiting periods have ever deterred a crime. On the other side, though, there are stories of folks getting killed during the waiting period.

Third, one of the beautiful things about rights is that you don't have to vote on them. The fact that some person, somewhere could, in theory buy a gun and use it for a heat-of-the-moment crime is really not a reason for everyone to have to wait to get their guns. Following that reasoning, we could put waiting periods on cars, bleach, gasoline, diesel fuel, fertilizer, crowbars, baseball bats, lead pipes, kitchen knives, belts, lighters . . . and just about anything else. If someone walks into the LGS, fuming and ranting, swearing up a blue streak and wants to buy a gun right now, the LGS is within its rights to decline to make the sale.

Originally Posted by StainlessSteel215
• A VERY strict examination/interview where applicants are screened using a universal standardized test of sorts. Every gun store will have an expert on duty with extensive training in mental health to properly evaluate each applicant's body language and communication. (they would check for signs of drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, malicious intent or impulsive tendencies, or ANY indication that the gun would be illegally transferred to someone else). If candidate doesnt meet the minimum score needed based on various criteria, gun store can refuse the purchase.
This one causes me significant heartburn. The costs have already been mentioned, so I'll let it suffice to say that this would close the doors on many small gun shops. From my perspective, I'm also concerned about who would set the standards and what those might be.

Originally Posted by StainlessSteel215
• A NEW gun buyer would have to demonstrate a basic knowledge of proper gun handling and safety practices, obviously each instance would be different depending on the type of firearm.
Why? Do we require basic knowledge of the components and implements necessary to exercise the other consitutional rights? Do we require someont to know what a "curtilage" is in order to exercise their Fourth Amendment rights? Knowledge of a religious text to exercise their First Amendment rights? The fact that someone else could improperly use a firearm tomorrow is no reason to place hurdles in my path to keeping and bearing my arms, is it?

Originally Posted by StainlessSteel215
• Minimum 15-day waiting period when applying for carry license.
Except for those states that require no license to carry, many (if not most) application procedures take more than 15 days. Are you suggesting an additional 15 day period? Most of the folks who apply for licenses are not out committing crimes with their firearms. (Take a look at the Texas Department of Safety statistics. They're the only ones I know of that actually compare concealed carry license holders to the general public.) The folks who are out knocking off liquor stores probably didn't apply for carry permits, anyway. Personally, I'd much rather see carry licenses done away with altogether.

Originally Posted by StainlessSteel215
I feel these are VERY minimal regulations that would have a very insignificant impact on responsible gun owners. I do think some regulation is important. If these simple ideas could help reduce the amount of impulse buyers who NEED A GUN ASAP to possibly carry out a malicious act...I think they would be well worth it. Thoughts?
My thoughts: I don't think that any of the measures you mentioned would have an impact on crime. What's more, I don't consider "gun crime" to be any less heinous than, say, "crowbar crime." One's a shooting, the other's a bludgeoning. Neither one strikes me as something I want done to me. Finally, the thought of restricting the rights of the law-abiding, simply based on the risk that the less-law-abiding might break the law later, does not make sense to me. History seems to suggest that the less-law-abiding will simply break the laws in question.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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Old October 15, 2012, 01:41 PM   #53
Glenn E. Meyer
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Being the scholar that I am, I have a suggestion to the OP. Many of the measures you suggest have been analyzed or tried. There is a large legal, criminological and psychological professional literature. One might do research on these ideas.

Google scholar gives easy access to the materials. Books by Kopel and Kleck review the issues quite well.

It is easy to spout off ideas that have seeming surface validity but have already been tried or analyzed.

I would also caution about language, I have seen words that are not appropriate. Also, if you start a thread and get beat up in it, don't ask us to delete it. It's our ball and you can't take it home. We might close a thread based on our evaluation.

The actual proposals have been fully analyzed here, so no need for me to repeat.

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Old October 15, 2012, 01:59 PM   #54
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Spats, that lawdog excerpt is one of the best takes on firearms regulation and supposed compromise I've seen in a while. Unfortunately now I want cake...
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Old October 15, 2012, 02:14 PM   #55
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The Parole board. The eval would consist of a panel of judges or whatever, and his statements and behavior given upon his entry into the DOC, in addition to the mans behavior while incarcerated would be taken into account, as well as his general attitude. This should be a very strict eval., and I would suspect that not many would be released. This would in turn send a message to all people considering crime, that crime does not pay and they had better behave themselves.

It's actually very simple but is indeed a radical change of thinking to how things are now. My understanding is that most of the violent crime is perpetrated by repeat offenders. Once they are out of the loop, things would turn around.

I think it's scary because it intimates personal responsibility, an almost unheard of concept.
Perhaps the high recidivism rate is caused in part by society stripping away the ex-con's civil rights and branding him so he'll never get a decent job. Crime is the only thing left that pays well enough to survive at that point.
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
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Old October 15, 2012, 02:20 PM   #56
Frank Ettin
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A basic tenant of negotiation is, "Don't bid against yourself."

In the last several years we've been able to notably rehabilitate gun rights in a number of significant ways. At times, however, to get something that was considered very important and desirable, we've had to "pay a price."

For example, the political realities were, in a number of States, that to get a "right" to carry a concealed firearm, we've had to agree to licensing and training requirements. That is the nature of political horsetrading.

The political and legal realities will most likely continue to be such that we will be able to make gains on some points but not, perhaps in exchange, on others. But one ought to be judicious about discussing details in public.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old October 15, 2012, 02:29 PM   #57
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I'm a little late to this party, but I'd like to add my $0.02 about the mental health aspect.
I run a gun shop. I know how thin profit margins are. I can tell you that there is no way the average shop could afford the salary of a [mental health] consultant with qualifications like you're proposing. This would make it impossible for shops to do business.

Have you ever met a sociopath? I have. They can ace personality tests. They can ace lie-detector tests. The very people you seek to prevent from owning firearms won't be deterred in the least.

Furthermore, folks who are just plain eccentric (or nervous about taking confrontational and intrusive tests) will give false positives, and they'll be punished unfairly.
+1, and I have other concerns.

Accusations of "insanity" have historically been used many times to punish and lock up citizens who politically oppose a powerful leader and/or political party. After all, one WOULD have to be insane to criticize the illustrious leader of our glorious revolution!*

One major advantage of this strategy is that, compared to rigging an entire judicial system, it may be easier to manipulate the opinions of a handful of mental health professionals- sometimes by bureaucratic intimidation, and sometimes by issuing spurious mental health credentials to dependable political lackeys. Furthermore, merely being the object of a mental health inquiry carries a considerable stigma in many cultures, and the person is often stripped of a valid means of appealing the decision almost by default; after all, how can one logically object to his/her situation if he/she is not of sound mind?

In the past, I have advocated some sort of mental health "watchlist" that could be implemented on the firearms background-check level. The problem is that IMHO in order to have the desired effect, the people doing the red-flagging would have to be truly objective, which requires REAL and PERMANENT consequences for specious, accidental, or malicious positives- e.g. being stripped of a medical license, or jail time. After much consideration, I don't think it can be done properly, and I've more or less withdrawn my support for the idea.

*This comment is meant purely as sarcastic commentary about the type of language often used by totalitarian regimes. It is NOT IN ANY WAY meant as political commentary aimed at any U.S. politician or organization!
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; October 15, 2012 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Minor reword...
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Old October 15, 2012, 03:00 PM   #58
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Our constitutional rights have been trampled on by both federal and state government. They are constantly trying to trample on them more and more.
Why would we bargain with government and give up more of our rights, we are living under unconstitutional laws now. Year by year our freedoms and rights are being taken from us, why, because our government thinks they know whats best for us. The government cannot protect us and the police cannot protect us because they have been laid off and their jobs cut through budget reductions etc.. We have to be able to protect ourselves and our families, there is no one else that can do it. I would not negotiate away any more of my freedoms or rights. We have too many gun laws now and most of them, if not all of them should be repealed.
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Old October 15, 2012, 03:04 PM   #59
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by Edward429451
So you think that it would be unfair to send up a check forger for a non-violent crime? Simple. Everyone knows that check forgery is a gateway crime, lol. Same standards for non-violent crime. Make it so hard to get back out that they are forced to consider this before committing their white collar crime.

If that is unfair then perhaps the check forger should consider how unfair it was to forge another mans check. My system would have prevented the crime you described because they would have been still locked up.
Are you implying that I don't think check forgers should be convicted of felonies? I never said that, or even hinted at it.

I'm old enough that when the whole criminal justice system was taught to us in grammar school (or maybe it was junior high) the theory was still that a criminal was convicted, went to prison, "paid his debt to society," and was then released. Put very simply, if the person's "debt" has been "paid" by a prescribed period of incarceration, why do we then continue to punish the person by denying them FOR LIFE the fundamental human right to self defense? Especially if the crime was a non-violent ("white collar") crime in which nobody was injured (physically) and nobody was even threatened?
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Old October 15, 2012, 03:11 PM   #60
Glenn E. Meyer
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Ah, folks - we are off on tangents. The OP has been thoroughly discussed.

Thus, it's time for a CLOSE.

But thanks for the very thoughtful commentaries from many posters.

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