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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:23 AM

I don't see increased Federal Gun Control as stopping mass shootings. I support it.

I've always kind of held the same position as my Senator, Bernie Sanders, that gun control should be left to the individual states. Bernie was elected to the House in large part because he opposed increased gun control and his opponent, one term
liberal Republican Peter Smith, supported it. As recently as this past August, Bernie reiterated his belief that gun control should be a state issue.

In case you doubt that Bernie won because of his opposition to gun control:

<snip>
In the one 1990 congressional race in which gun control appeared to be a decisive issue, Bernie Sanders unseated former Rep. Peter Smith, R-Vt., a gun- control supporter whom the NRA had squarely in its sights. Sanders, the only avowed socialist in Congress, voted against the Brady Bill.

<snip>

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1991-05-20/news/9102270272_1_nra-officials-brady-bill-powerful-gun

Bernie is wrong. I hope he changes his mind.

No, I don't think, that in the short run, increased federal gun control will stop gun violence or a mass shooter determined to claim as many victims as possible, but we have to start somewhere. We have to take on the gun culture and the NRA and put the brakes on their unbridled power. Starting by reinstating the ban on assault weapons is one small step that democratic legislators can take that says loudly that they're willing to do something to fight back.

We aren't going to be able to do anything sweeping. That's just not a political reality, but we can start to at least challenge the NRA and others in the pro-gun establishment. It may not do much in the short run, but you have to take the first step to get anywhere.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply I don't see increased Federal Gun Control as stopping mass shootings. I support it. (Original post)
cali Dec 2012 OP
ellisonz Dec 2012 #1
Drunken Irishman Dec 2012 #3
ellisonz Dec 2012 #4
cali Dec 2012 #5
Drunken Irishman Dec 2012 #6
cali Dec 2012 #7
Drunken Irishman Dec 2012 #9
Drunken Irishman Dec 2012 #10
cali Dec 2012 #12
The Traveler Dec 2012 #8
lbrtbell Dec 2012 #11
white_wolf Dec 2012 #2

Response to cali (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:32 AM

1. The State's Rights argument is nonsense.

I can go to LAX right now fly to Arizona and in less than a day buy half-a-dozen dangerous weapons if I so pleased. The State's Rights argument ignores the fact that the Constitution grants a Federal right to "a well-regulated Militia" and it ignores the reality. Positions like these of Bernie's are why I've never been able to get on his bandwagon.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46316454/ns/today-today_rossen_reports/t/rossen-reports-anyone-can-buy-guns-no-questions-asked/

You're right. We've got to stop running away from this fight.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:36 AM

3. Yup. The state's rights argument is useless...

It's one thing I've come to disagree with Howard Dean - we need a national approach. It's pointless just leaving it up to each individual state because some states will have ridiculously lax gun control laws - like Utah ... my state, where I'm surprised they don't give you a gun when you come out of your mother's womb.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:44 AM

4. Howard Dean's position on guns has evolved in general...

...and I suspect he has rejected that political position.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:44 AM

5. It may come as a surprise to you but Vermont's gun laws are even laxer than in your state

it's not only conservative states that love their guns.

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Response to cali (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:55 AM

6. Vermont straddles the line of libertarian/liberal ... similar to NH.

But either way, the 'state by state' approach isn't going to cut it. We need a 50 state solution.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:56 AM

7. yikes. not even close. Vermont is straight out liberal

even where I live. I can't begin to tell you how different the two states are.

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Response to cali (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:58 AM

9. Obviously not when it comes to gun control.

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Response to cali (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:00 AM

10. And I'd wager Vermont becoming 'liberal' is a more recent phenomenon...

Considering it was one of the most consistent Republican states up until 1992 and I think, as I said, it has to do with the fact it straddles the line of libertarian and liberal. New Hampshire is seeing a similar evolution ... though far more gradual. Is Vermont liberal? Sure - but even its gun laws border more on the idea of 'state's rights' than what you'd typically get in the New England area.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:54 AM

12. Yes and no. Vermont was the first state to outlaw slavery.

It was republican up until the early 70s- not the 90's - Phil Hoff was elected in 1961, Pat Leahy was elected in 1974, but we had lots of liberal republicans in Congress- from Prouty to Aiken to Stafford (as in Stafford loans) to Jim Jeffords.

A bit about these guys:

<snip>

Stafford is best remembered for his staunch environmentalism, his work on higher education, and his support, as an elder statesman, for the 2000 Vermont law legalizing civil unions for gay couples.

<snip>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stafford

<snip>

He was elected to the United States Senate on November 5, 1940, to fill the vacancy in the term ending January 3, 1945, caused by the death of Ernest W. Gibson, and was re-elected in 1944, 1950, 1956, 1962, and 1968. During his time in the Senate he served in a number of leadership roles including Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments in the 80th Congress and in the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in the 83rd Congress bringing a Vermont-centric voice to Congress emphasizing common sense solutions over party ideology. He was one of the white-haired men during the time of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's inaugural statement about the torch passing to a new generation.

During the Vietnam war, Aiken is widely believed to have suggested that the U.S. should declare victory and bring the troops home. Actually, what he said was that "the United States could well declare unilaterally ... that we have 'won' in the sense that our armed forces are in control of most of the field and no potential enemy is in a position to establish its authority over South Vietnam," and that such a declaration "would herald the resumption of political warfare as the dominant theme in Vietnam." He added: "It may be a far-fetched proposal, but nothing else has worked."

He was a proponent of many progressive programs such as Food Stamps and public works projects for rural America, such as rural electrification, flood control and crop insurance.

<snip>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Aiken




VT is very different from NH. It's almost a standing joke how different the two states are. Surprising to many outsiders, they're even quite different geologically and landscape wise. Take a look at the NH legislature and folks like Kelly Ayotte- who wouldn't stand a chance of being elected here. Take a look at our guv and statehouse. Pete Shumlin is by far the most Progressive Governor in the Country. We actually have a viable 3rd party here: The Vermont Progressive Party which is represented in both the VT House and Senate.

Vermont is the most liberal state in the country with more people self-identifying as liberals than any other state.. And despite its republican past, it has a long history of liberalism.

Is there a libertarian streak? Yes, but it's pretty faint. It's not a strong movement. There are virtually no libertarians of any influence anywhere in the state. Very different in NH.

Perhaps the differences philosophically can be encapsulated by the state mottos: In Vermont it's Freedom and Unity. That goes back to 1779. In NH, it's "Live Free or Die"- which actually only goes back a few decades. Ironically, it's mandated that all license plates bear the motto. In Vermont, the license plates simply read "Green Mountain State".

I could go on and on. I've been fascinated by the gulf between the two states for decades.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:58 AM

8. Strictly speaking

The "well regulated militia" statement appears to be given in the second amendment as a rationale for the codification of the "right to bear arms", and not a requirement. Also, it is up to the states to determine what constitutes a "well regulated militia".

To quote the Constitution (as ratified)

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

If you parse English, the well regulated militia phrase is clearly a justification, and does not imply specifically that the right to bear arms is contingent on participation in a well regulated militia.

The Supreme Court has ruled (via Wikipedia):


n 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions concerning the Second Amendment. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.


In terms of Constitutional law, you flog a dead horse.

However, even Scalia admits that no right is absolute and even this one is subject to regulation.

Rather than ban the weapons, I would look at imposing requirements on those who would manufacture and own them. Rights always come with responsibilities ... let's look at codifying some of those. For example, wanna own a gun? Then you need to:

1) Pass a test on gun safety and law surrounding the use of guns.
2) Demonstrate basic competence.
3) Pay for insurance to cover loss of property, injury, and loss of life in the event of accidental discharge.
4) Be subject to call up in the event of national or state emergency, including natural disasters.
5) Submit to periodic retraining in gun safety, marksmanship competency, disaster relief, etc.

So, yeah. Your right to have a gun would not be infringed. But having a gun means shouldering some additional responsibilities.

And while we're at it ... let's get rid of these "Stand Your Ground" laws ... because if ya got a gun, being afraid of someone doesn't mean you have the right to shoot them.

Trav

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Response to The Traveler (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:33 AM

11. Some good ideas, some bad ones

So you're saying that a woman who has a gun because she fears her violent and abusive ex should be forced into military action that she's totally untrained for?

What should be part of gun ownership:

1. You must have a gun safe. Period.

2. You must take a course on gun handling and safety.

3. You must take a written test about gun handling and safety every 5 years, similar to renewing your driver's license.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:34 AM

2. Even Sanders can't be right all the time

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