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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 03:09 PM
Number of posts: 11,826

Journal Archives

According to the FBI, there were only 248 reported rifle murders in 2014.

That includes all styles (including "assault weapons") and all capacities. Two states didn't report, so the total number is probably around 270 (out of 12,000 murders). That's less than half as many as were killed by bicycles that year (722), many of whom were children, and a small fraction of the number who died in swimming pools. That's not to minimize the tragedy of each death, just to point out that 20+ round rifles are among the least likely of all guns to be misused, precisely because they are less portable and concealable than smaller guns.

Because of the rarity of rifle misuse, I think that threatening tens of millions of people with felonies in order to legislate rifle handgrip shape or turn the clock back 150 years on magazine capacity (civilian rifles have held 15+ rounds since the early 1860s) has absolutely no bearing on violence; as I have mentioned elsewhere, the Virginia Tech murderer killed 32 innocent people with a pistol and a bag of low-capacity magazines, more than at Sandy Hook. Handgrip and magazine bans are aimed squarely at harassment of lawful owners (especially working-class), not fighting violence, IMO, and always have been.

BTW, we don't need insurance (or registration, or a license, or plates) to buy/keep a car at home, drive it on private property, or transport it on a trailer anywhere in the country; we only need those things to operate a car on public roads. Just like we don't have to have insurance or a license to own a gun at home in most places or to transport it to a range, but usually have to have a license to carry a gun concealed in public.

My main problem with mandatory liability insurance is that the intended outcome of that is usually to limit gun ownership to people with lots of disposable income, without affecting criminal violence at all. Case in point, I have held an NC carry license for many years, and to get it I had to pass an FBI fingerprint check, a Federal background check, an NC background check, a mental health records check, take a class on self-defense law, demonstrate competent shooting on a shooting range, and pay a lot of money to the state in fees (not always easy since my 17-year-old is medically complex, and finances are often tight). Your proposal would add yet more money to that process, pricing a lot of working-class people out of the process entirely, but wouldn't affect the people actually committing most murders since they don't bother with either licensure or insurance.

To me, a better approach would be tax credits for purchase of UL listed gun safes (to discourage theft when the owner isn't home), but I think the gun control lobby would probably oppose that.

I have two children (17 and 15, now).

But if a drunk driver killed one of my children, I hope I wouldn't come to hate all social drinkers or try to bring back Prohibition. If a Muslim killed my child, I hope I would not lash out at all Muslims, as some did after 9/11 or Charlie Hebdo. Yet I see many people on the pro-bans side using Sandy Hook as an excuse to lash out at rifle owners, carry license holders, or what have you.

Yes, there is common ground to be found. No one---NO ONE---wants to see kids murdered, or anyone else. But "If you do not support proposal X, you do not care about kids being murdered" seems to me to be more of an attempt to silence thoughtful dissent, rather than a rational argument for proposal X. And all too often, that argument is marshaled in support of proposals that are aimed squarely at harassing the lawful and nonviolent, rather than at protecting people.

As I recall, the Sandy Hook murderer (I won't name him; he wanted fame so badly as to kill for it, so let's not give him that) owned a .22 rimfire squirrel rifle, and used it to murder his mother, who was a competitive shooter, and steal her guns from her gun safe. He made off with a small-caliber centerfire rifle (an AR-15 variant, the most popular competition and target rifle in the United States), a shotgun, and a pistol; I believe he left the shotgun in the car, used the rifle to murder those children, and then shot himself with the pistol.

Outlawing rifle handgrips that stick out, or even all rifles, would not have changed the Sandy Hook tragedy one bit; any one of the guns he stole would have led to the same tragic outcome. Outlawing post-1860 magazine capacities would not have changed anything, either. I can think of a few things that might have made a difference in hindsight, but none of the proposals aimed at gun minutiae, rather than the perpetrator (or perhaps response thereto) would have made a difference; remember that the worst mass shooting in U.S. history was carried out with a pair of pistols and a backpack full of lowish capacity magazines.

One can thoughtfully look for common ground, or one can emulate Bloomberg et al and threaten ordinary gun owners with prison over miscellany like having the wrong handgrip shape or standard magazines, or go after carry licensure, and accomplish nothing but selling more guns. Gun control advocates talk a lot about wanting a discussion, but any rational discussion has to acknowledge that out of over 12,000+ murders annually in this country, less than ~270 involve any kind of rifle and probably far fewer than that involve holders of carry licenses. The vast majority of murders are carried out by criminals who can't legally touch a gun, or by the severely disturbed, so it seems to me that rational responses would focus hard on those groups, rather than harassing or threatening those of us who are lawful and nonviolent?

The Maryland law bans non-automatic civilian rifles with handgrips that stick out, mostly .22's,

not rocket launchers. There is a huge difference in effect between a rocket launcher that can blow up a building or an armored vehicle, and a non-automatic small-caliber civilian rifle.

The year before Maryland's ban was passed, Maryland had 365 murders in the entire state (2012). All styles of rifles combined accounted for only 5 of them. Banning rifle handgrips and magazines that stick out has nothing whatsoever to do with fighting violence or saving lives.


It wasn't until relatively recently

that going after noncriminal gun ownership was considered "progressive" at all. Sarah Brady was proudly a Reagan Republican, and JFK enjoyed shooting an AR-15. The original Federal "assault weapon" ban (later codified into 18 USC 922(r)) was the brainchild of right-winger William J. Bennett, drug "czar" under Bush the Elder. And most of the U.S. gun control lobby now is funded by Wall Street money from a certain former-Repub billionaire.

The Democratic Leadership Council and the Third Way picked up the gun issue during the Clinton administration as a way to look tough-on-crime to law-and-order types, and ran hard on it, particularly on miscellany like legislating rifle handgrip shape and magazine capacity, which backfired. More recently, the Third Way has tried to steer it in a "War on Terrah" direction. But historically it's been primarily an urban-rural thing, with some lesser facets related to race and especially class.

Sanders is from a very liberal but very pro-gun state, one of the very few states in which you don't even need a license to carry a concealed handgun. Vermont's murder rate is lower than Europe's. So it's hardly a surprise that Sanders did not jump onto the Third Way bandwagon on that issue, IMO.

They can also sell bicycles to people as young as 18,

and riding bicycles kills twice as many people as rifles do. In fact, all shotgun murders and all rifle murders (including by "assault weapons") don't kill as many Americans annually as bicycles do.

Fearmongers gonna fearmonger...

Once again, you show you're after nonviolent gun enthusiasts, NOT violence reduction.

According to the FBI, there were 11,961 murders in the United States in 2014. All rifles *combined* accounted for 248. Two states didn't report their data, so let's increase that to 280 to account for those two. To put that into perspective, ~722 Americans died riding bicycles in 2014.

Of the ~280 murders involving any type of rifle, let's say as many as half involved modern-looking rifles that the prohibitionists want to outlaw. That's ~140 murders in the entire nation..

Out of that ~140, the vast majority are likely from American-made rifles, rather than imports, since American-made rifles account for the bulk of the U.S. rifle market, especially semiautos. But let's say that as many as 25% are imports. That's about 35 murders annually in the entire nation by imported modern-looking semiauto rifles, out of 11,961.

Stop pretending you care about violence. It's the tens of millions of nonviolent, noncriminal owners and enthusiasts that you hate, as demonstrated by your legislative priorities.

Ummmm, aren't those the people you keep saying should have a monopoly of force?

Which is it?

BTW, for an ordinary citizen to possess those machineguns would have been a 10-year Federal felony. Ditto for the concussion grenades, if I read the law right.

They also nixed permits from states that have *stricter* requirements than VA, such as NC.

The net effect of that is to force those carry license holders to open carry while visiting Virginia, which is something I prefer not to do and do not like to be forced to in order to stay legal. Virginia has much less restrictive laws on open carry than NC does.

Also unlike NC, Virginia allows you to keep a gun in your car's glove compartment or console without a carry license, which helps if you're just passing through the state.

Except you can't even own many guns that are popular in mainland Europe, Canada, and even the UK.

You have very little gun freedom left in Australia, and the prohibitionists are now moving to steal what little you have left (such as the recent push to ban 1860's-style lever-actions). No thanks.

Depends on whether the prohibitionists keep pushing for "assault weapon" and magazine bans.

If the ban talk keeps escalating, and ever-more ridiculous proposals keep getting introduced in state legislatures, then gun sales will keep going up and up.

If bans were taken off the table, I think you'd see some slowdown in sales of guns and more sales of optics, other accessories, and target ammo.
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