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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:39 PM

Towards a Sane National Gun Policy

I'd like to hear rational objections to any of the following.

1. Gun ownership is a constitutional right? At the federal level? Fine, then it can damn well be federally regulated. Make gun regulations standard nationally, no more of this state by state crap so people can just stroll across state lines and pick up weapons wherever the regulations are the most lax. Following from that:

2. Make firearm possession require a license. And not some slip of paper any jackass can get in 5 minutes. You want one? You:

----Pass proper safety training and testing on federal gun regulations
----Pass a proper background check
----Demonstrate you are capable of safely storing weapons (ie: show sufficient evidence that you actually have a gun safe)

3. ALL guns get registered. Unregistered gun = illegal gun. Welcome to prison if you get caught with one.

4. ALL gun sales are subject to the same fucking regs. That means no, you can't go to a gun show and find some private collector and just hand him a wad of cash and pick up a semi automatic when you have no license. That seller is responsible for checking you are licensed, and then for reporting the change in ownership of the weapon so that he is no longer legally responsible for it and the buyer is. Get caught selling to someone who isn't licensed? Welcome to prison, both buyer AND seller.

5. Spot checks. Licensed? Own a registered weapon? Mayeb... just maybe... one day an inspector may show up unnanounced and ask to see it and where it is stored right that second. Finds it out of it's safe laying in your drawer beside your bed? Goodbye license, goodbye gun, hello hefty fine. Finds you CAN'T PRODUCE IT? Hasn't been reported stolen? Goodbye license, hello prison.



Obviously there will be more details to all of this, but what part of that *doesn't* seem like a reasonable starting point? And on what grounds? It's not fair to ask people who own deadly weaponry to treat it responsibly and be held accountable if they don't?

49 replies, 2016 views

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Towards a Sane National Gun Policy (Original post)
gcomeau Dec 2012 OP
onehandle Dec 2012 #1
patrice Dec 2012 #2
DanTex Dec 2012 #3
patrice Dec 2012 #18
gcomeau Dec 2012 #4
patrice Dec 2012 #8
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #6
gcomeau Dec 2012 #11
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #16
gcomeau Dec 2012 #21
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #31
DanTex Dec 2012 #22
Union Scribe Dec 2012 #5
Daniel537 Dec 2012 #7
gcomeau Dec 2012 #12
Daniel537 Dec 2012 #15
gcomeau Dec 2012 #25
SpartanDem Dec 2012 #36
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #9
sarisataka Dec 2012 #10
gcomeau Dec 2012 #17
Daniel537 Dec 2012 #19
sarisataka Dec 2012 #23
Recursion Dec 2012 #40
sarisataka Dec 2012 #42
hack89 Dec 2012 #13
gcomeau Dec 2012 #20
hack89 Dec 2012 #24
Recursion Dec 2012 #27
hack89 Dec 2012 #38
Recursion Dec 2012 #39
DanTex Dec 2012 #26
bobclark86 Dec 2012 #30
Taverner Dec 2012 #34
hack89 Dec 2012 #41
Taverner Dec 2012 #43
DanTex Dec 2012 #47
hack89 Dec 2012 #37
DanTex Dec 2012 #46
hack89 Dec 2012 #48
SpartanDem Dec 2012 #14
theKed Dec 2012 #32
hack89 Dec 2012 #28
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #29
Taverner Dec 2012 #33
bvar22 Dec 2012 #35
Taverner Dec 2012 #45
Taverner Dec 2012 #44
JohnnyBoots Dec 2012 #49

Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:40 PM

1. That's a start. nt

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:47 PM

2. Address ROOT CAUSES of violence, otherwise stuff just morphs into something else.

Mental Health parity in ALL health insurance coverage, now, right the fuck now!

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Response to patrice (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:49 PM

3. And also a sane gun policy.

By all means, improve the mental health services, but let's not pretend we don't also need to do something about guns. A crazy person with a gun is much more dangerous than a crazy person with a baseball bat.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:12 PM

18. Agreed, e.g. trying to treat someone who is over-eating in an environment that not only

doesn't have nutritious foods, but in which they are surrounded by almost nothing but easily accessible twinkie-and-crispy-creme pushers, will have a high failure ratio - AND - failure in this particular instance, guns, includes dead children, so that's even less okay.

And, yes, I am suggesting that this should be looked at as an addiction model, something physical. When you are fearful, how does it FEEL when you acquire some means to reduce your fear?

Controls are necessary to help us BEGIN to address fear, but they are not going to be sufficient to providing the kinds of opportunities to address what it is that makes one kind of gun-owner so ever so much more deadly than another.

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Response to patrice (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:52 PM

4. Want to know one root cause?

Ready availability of deadly weaponry that can laughably easily fall into the hands of the unbalanced.

If you want to start a *different* thread about a *different* root cause then by all means feel free to do so. I would welcome seeing that important discussion take place as well... but don't derail this one by veering off topic please.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:58 PM

8. You are correct. I'm surprised you don't see that in what I'm suggesting. "Ready availability" of

the wrong "solution" to EVERY problem out there IS THE PROBLEM.

Talking about controls without providing OTHER SOLUTIONS will NOT work.

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Response to patrice (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:53 PM

6. Outstanding point!

These spree killings, while not remotely the problem garden-variety criminal homicides represent,* have their root causes in the area of mental health (and our society's shameful neglect thereof). While I don't object to certain rational firearms regulations, I am convinced that the way to reduce these incidents lies more in reforming our broken mental healthcare delivery system.

*I hate to be coldly empirical about human tragedy, but the numbers don't lie: spree killings are a blood-red drop in the bucket compared to "ordinary" criminal homicide.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:58 PM

11. Ahem...

View profile
These spree killings, while not remotely the problem garden-variety criminal homicides represent,* have their root causes in the area of mental health (and our society's shameful neglect thereof). While I don't object to certain rational firearms regulations, I am convinced that the way to reduce these incidents lies more in reforming our broken mental healthcare delivery system.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=75590

Mass shootings in Australia before strict gun control instituted? Regular occurrence.

Mass shootings in Australia after strict gun control instituted? ZERO.

Compare and contrast.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:07 PM

16. Compare and contrast? Sure.

I'd suggest starting with one critical figure: extant per-capita rate of civilian firearms ownership. You'll find that the pre-strict-control Aussie rate was a small fraction of that of the US. This is critical because the USA's enormous number of extant firearms (c. 300MM) means that strict controls that massively reduce the availability of firearms to psychopaths are almost certainly a practical impossibility. I very much doubt that voluntary compliance would exceed 10% or so, and aggressive proactive enforcement would be a disaster (even if it were remotely politically do-able).

this is why I advocate mental healthcare reform as the priority in reducing spree killings. As for the considerably larger problem of "regular" criminal homicide, I see certain gun controls as having promise (like mandated secure storage, as I mention elsewhere in the thread).

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:17 PM

21. You see that hard sharp drop to ZERO right at the exact time they passed gun control?

Do you think that means the law had an effect, or didn't have an effect? Which one?

If you want to argue about *how much* effect it would have in the US, go ahead. But arguing it wouldn't have one is ridiculous.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:41 PM

31. Of course.

But it's pointless to speculate without first determining just what specific "gun control" one is proposing. Then you do your best to determine if that proposal will actually have a causative (and positive) effect. Then it has to be determined if that proposal is actually something that can be brought about.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:19 PM

22. There's no excuse for inaction.

Yes, there are a lot of illegal guns floating around already, but that's no reason to just give up and accept the status quo. The homicide rate in the US is about 4X higher than the rest of the developed world, where gun laws are much tighter. We won't get there overnight, but that's no reason not to move in the right direction.

There is also a lot of CO2 already pumped into the atmosphere. All the more reason to do something sooner rather than later.

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:52 PM

5. Most of that sounds right.

Except #5. Can't get on board with that. Authorities showing up at your door and barging in with no reason to suspect wrongdoing? No, that's not American.

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:56 PM

7. Not American, and unconstitutional.

Acting on emotions is usually the worst thing one can do in situations like this. Just look at what happened after 9/11. No thanks, not interested in turning my country into a police state in the name of "safety".

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Response to Daniel537 (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:00 PM

12. "Not American"???

That's what you've got? Not American?

So... SANITY "isn't American" so that's why we shouldn't do it?


And I dare you to establish the unconstitutionality of a single point in that list.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:04 PM

15. Point 5 is completely unconstitutional. You know, that thing about unlawful searches and seizures.

On what grounds would police have the right to break into your home and demand to see where your gun is located? What else should they look for in your house? Drugs? Pirated movies? That's not sanity, that's thuggery. Besides, if you mandate everybody get registered and then have "random" inspections, that's just going to create a thriving black market for guns. Why would anybody buy a gun legally if they're going to have to deal with the police or FBI banging down their doors at a moments notice just to see where your gun is located. Fortunately this crazy dream of yours is just that, a dream.

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Response to Daniel537 (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:25 PM

25. Public safety

You own a deadly firearm. You agree to follow the law and store it safely and not to re-sell it illegally. Having someone actually perform SOME degree of sanity checking that anyone is following the law is not a crazy idea when we're dealing with deadly weapons.

As for this:

"On what grounds would police have the right to break into your home"

Way to go for the melodrama. BREAK into your home? Try knock. Refuse to let them confirm that you are safely storing your weapon? Lose your license and they follow up to recover your guns, which they better be able to recover.


"Why would anybody buy a gun legally"

Because they have to buy it FROM someone. And if every new weapon sold has to be registered the pool of unregistered guns that people have to sell will shrink over time. And if they get caught with an unregistered gun in their possession it's hard time. So basically, they wold follow the law for the same reason anyone follows any law.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #25)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:53 PM

36. Let me guess you support the NDAA or NYPD's "stop and frisk".

it's all about public safety, right? It's one thing to require training and registration, it's entirely another when you're randomly sending law enforcement to peoples homes.

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:58 PM

9. I've advocated laws requiring proper secure storage for a long time.

I think that mandated requirements for secure storage of deadly weapons could be devised so as not to constitute an undue hardship on the poor (and such a requirement would create a market for affordable gun safes and other solutions). Theft is only one vector by which weapons come into the hands of criminals, but it's a significant one. Steps to cut off this vector make sense...and don't constitute a significant infringement on the 2nd Amendment.

Ownership of deadly weapons confers responsibility. One of those responsibilities is securing such weapons.

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:58 PM

10. Does it make sense...

yes, but

1. Ok, gotta square it with the commerce clause but it would simplify things for everyone.

2. not all that different than what we have

3. deal breaker, extreme moderate and liberal gun owners will unite against this. Too many time in too many places the promise of "registration will never lead to confiscation' has been broken. Too bad since it would be the best tool for LE

4. Perfectly accepable

5. The 4th Amendment sort of gets in the way, possibly 5th, and 6th as well

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:11 PM

17. Well..

3. deal breaker, extreme moderate and liberal gun owners will unite against this. T


Didn't ask if people will whine and bitch about it. Asked for rational objections to it. Judging by the rest of your response you don't have one since you consider it a useful tool and raised no actual objections to it beyond that people wouldn't like it. (I could not give less of a shit about anyone who doesn't like it any more than I care about people who don't like having to stop at red lights or obey the speed limit)

"5. The 4th Amendment sort of gets in the way, possibly 5th, and 6th as well"


No it doesn't. The key word is *unreasonable* searches and seizures. You have to establish it's unreasonable first. This is anything but, the inspector would have a perfectly legal warrant to do the one single thing. Verify the safe storage of a deadly weapon in the interests of public safety.

Can't even conceive of how it could violate the 5th or 6th. Break the law, go to jail. Not exactly controversial stuff that raises a lot of constitutional complications.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:14 PM

19. Lol, yeah sure, not controversial at all.

Someone coming into my home demanding to see where i store my gun? Why stop there? How about where i store my knives? Why not look at my computer and demand to see if i'm downloading any pirated movies? Ain't gonna happen, but keep writing all you want.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:24 PM

23. Example of the 5th

you are aware felons do not have to register their firearms, where it is a requirement, as it would incriminate them-- they are not allowed to own firearms and registration admits they have them.

As far as whining and bitching, someone will do it but it accomplishes nothing. The whining and bitching will come when the proposal, is rejected along with any other points that would have actually done some good...

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:02 PM

40. Handguns are registered and haven't been confiscated

Nor will they be any time soon.

Actually while I hate prognosticating, it would surprise me if long guns weren't treated like handguns by the end of the decade. Not a big issue for me (and I'm one of the more 2nd-amendment-ish people on DU), I just don't think it would solve a problem.

s/f

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Response to Recursion (Reply #40)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:10 PM

42. I also do not buy

the "their coming for our guns"... but very many do. I also think your crystal ball may be on to something.

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:01 PM

13. You misunderstand how the Constitution works

the Feds can regulate interstate transactions - which they do via the Commerce Clause. They cannot regulate intrastate transactions - that is purely the purview of the states. That is the reason the "gun show loophole" cannot be closed via federal laws. Drug laws also illustrate the concept - very few people are in jail due to federal drug laws. That is why every state had to pass their own drug laws.

The Feds do not have the power you think they do

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Response to hack89 (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:14 PM

20. Nonsense.

"Drug laws also illustrate the concept - very few people are in jail due to federal drug laws."


Because the feds don't bother. NOT because they couldn't be put there if the feds decided they DID want to bother.

The mere fact that the quantity you cited was "very few" and not "zero" proves that if you stopped to think about it.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:25 PM

24. If it is not an interstate crime or committed on Federal property

then it is a state crime.

Unless you really think the US government has universal jurisdiction.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:30 PM

27. The narcotics schedules are tax laws

In principle it's a federal crime to have the heroin without a tax stamp; excises are permissable, even excises that aren't really excises but just attempts to ban something.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #27)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:59 PM

38. And they can do that because it is assumed that the drugs

or the materials used to make them crossed state lines. A tenuous assumption at times. Which is why the Feds are more than happy to let the states prosecute local drug offenses.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:00 PM

39. That's a good point (nt)

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Response to hack89 (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:27 PM

26. Actually, it's you who misunderstands the constitution...

Machine guns, for example, are tightly regulated at the federal level. How did that happen?

The federal government has plenty of constitutional means to require gun registration. It's just that there is no political will.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:37 PM

30. Because it's political suicide...

You want to hand the GOP the House and Senate for 15 years? Try another AWB. I'd rather try and work on the root causes of the problem, like mental health and poverty.

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:44 PM

34. I'll take political suicide to a mass killing and suicide any day

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:10 PM

41. Because a Republican President and Congress

can always be counted on to do the right thing? OK

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Response to hack89 (Reply #41)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:21 PM

43. Sane gun control will not kill the Dems

 

Right now, all of America is wondering how effective "let insane maniacs buy any gun they want" is as a policy

Now or never

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:54 PM

47. And you base this on what? Certainly not opinion polls.

For example, a sizeable majority of Americans think that handgun registration should be mandatory.

Also, the NRA lost big in the last election. Demographics are changing, and the rural white older male conservatives who are the GOP/NRA base are becoming less and less of a political force.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:56 PM

37. The NFA uses the Federal power of taxation and the Commerce Clause

Machine guns are "controlled" via high taxes.

Secondly, the law is written such that an individual owner cannot register a NFA weapon. It has to be "a possessor who lawfully makes, manufactures, or imports firearms can and must register them."

Right now Federal law prohibits an individual citizen from registering a NFA weapon. The reason is that the Supreme Court ruled that a felon cannot be required to register a NFA weapon due to the 5th Amendment . This loophole was closed by the Gun Control Act of 1968 by requiring the manufacturer or importer to register the weapon. This was found Constitutional in UNITED STATES v. FREED.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #37)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:52 PM

46. In other words, yes, the federal government can regulate private gun sales if it wants to.

It can also require all guns to be registered. There is plenty of constitutional authority.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 03:00 PM

48. It twisted itself into legal knots to make it happen.

just remember what a colossal, outrageously expensive failure the Canadian gun registry was. They wasted almost 3 billion dollars before giving up. Turns out not even Canadians were willing to tell the government what weapons they owned.

So tell me - there are 300 million firearms completely invisible to the government right now. How many of those do you think will ever be registered?

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:04 PM

14. For #3 an older weapons exeception for collectors

Last edited Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:56 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't think you need to clog registries with some 100 year old rifle .Of course, that would not apply if you want use in the weapon in public(i.e hunting).

#5 can say you police state?

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:42 PM

32. Many collectors

of antique/show firearms have them deactivated. I see no reason this could not be expanded upon. A one time deactivation and inspection fee, and you get a certificate declaring it as such, perhaps a nominal ownership transfer fee to certify this gun was sold deactivated, removing the seller from association should it be fired illegally.

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:32 PM

28. So the marijuana legalization referendums in WA and CO were a waste of time?

because clearly the Federal government has clearly established laws and regulations that the states are violating.

How is it possible for states to ignore Federal law?

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:33 PM

29. While I don't agree with all of points 1 and 5...

I am going to k and R. This is how to start a good conversation on gun policy. I am sure some will want to bring it into the gutter, but you have laid out very good points. Points most can agree on.

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:43 PM

33. AND #2 should require a Psych Eval

 

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:53 PM

35. And the Political Party that attempts this....

...will be relegated to the dustbin of American History.

While your post was spawned by Good Intentions,
it is political suicide.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:23 PM

45. "And a black man will never get elected president!"

 

"They'll be throwing roses at the soldiers' feet!"

I think it's high time to drown the NRA in a bathtub

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 02:22 PM

44. May I add a psych eval?

 

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Response to gcomeau (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 03:14 PM

49. How do you intend to implement this logistically with the 300,000,000

 

existing firearms owned by private citizens? You expect people to do this voluntarily? Good luck with that.

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