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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: 11,682

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The focus on gun control was originally seen by the Third Way as a means to look "tough on crime"

to right-leaning law-and-order voters, thereby peeling some of them away from the repubs in the early '90s. Instead, it backfired spectacularly and drove millions of gun-owning Dems and indies to either sit home or vote (R) in '94, '96, '00, and '04. Unfortunately, the Third Way and affiliates doubled down and made it a Tier 1 shibboleth in the late '90s and through the '00's, and with help from plenty of Wall Street and foundation money, it gradually took over the party. Which is how a traditionally right-leaning authoritarian position (UK, Australia, the Brady Campaign, Jim Crow, the Mulford Act, the Sullivan Law) became transmogrified into a "progressive" one.

If John F. Kennedy were alive today, he'd be kicked out of the party over his ownership of an AR-15, and be the subject of a daily Two Minutes Hate over his enjoyment of target shooting.

And what, exactly, does legislation restricting rifle handgrip shape have to do with that?

Rifles are involved in less than 300 murders annually, out of 12,000+, and handgrip shape is absolutely irrelevant. Not to mention the silliness of restricting gun magazines to less than half the capacity that has been mainstream since the 1860s.

Out of 682 murders in the state of New York in 2012, only 11 involved any type of rifle.


The SAFE Act is a ludicrous piece of legislation written by people who don't know much about guns and gun violence and don't care to learn, but who despise peaceable gun owners and wanted to stick it to them. It also shows gun owners nationwide what the pile of rubble at the bottom of the slippery slope looks like.

Many NY law enforcement groups and local governments warned that this law was unworkable, unenforceable, and ridiculous, but were shouted down. As it turns out, they were right.

Talking about new gun restrictions/bans is most certainly going to grab people's attention.

Not just the corporate media, which is very communitarian/Third Way in outlook on that particular issue and will cheer any new gun control proposals to the moon even if merely mentioned in passing, but in the shooting sports and gun rights media as well. The moment new bans are on the table, it becomes THE issue to those who would be the targets of such restrictions. When you consider that 80+ million people of voting age own guns, with at least a third owning "assault weapons" or over-10-round magazines and as many as two thirds owning handguns, it can have a huge impact on the discussion. Heck, I've had gun control activists blowing up my Facebook news feed since Charleston, and I don't even subscribe to political/news sites on FB!

At this point, gun owners don't seem too worried---after all, the coward in SC used a low-capacity, very ordinary looking pistol, so there's no hysteria to outlaw particular guns/ammo/magazines right now like there was in 2012, and hence no buying rush---but there are productive things to say, and unproductive things to say, and "We need new restrictions and new bans" is in the latter category, IMO.

Obama spent a whole lot of effort in 2008 reassuring voters he would *not* go after gun owners

or make new gun restrictions a priority, and went so far as to tell a gathering of gun owners that he couldn't push for a new AWB even if he wanted to. So did the progressive American Hunters and Shooters Association, which campaigned hard for Obama explicitly stating that he would NOT push the "assault weapon" fraud anymore, and that lawful and peaceable gun owners were not threatened. In fact, 2008 was probably the first national election since 1994 in which the Dem candidate didn't promise to fight hard to outlaw popular civilian guns, and he also promised to rein in the Surveillance State, which helped him among the half of gun owners who are Dems and indies. I was heavily involved in this debate and defended Obama on the gun issue pretty vigorously, and up until his second term he was pretty good on gun rights if you look at what he did (legalized National Park carry, guns in checked baggage on Amtrak, etc.), rather than what he said to smooth the feathers of the prohibitionists. That changed after 2012, of course, when he went full Third Way on the gun issue, but up to that point he seemed to focus on the root causes of violence, rather than attacking lawful ownership.

As to the current discussion, speaking out against racial violence/racism/intolerance is fantastic, and helpful. Signaling to a quarter of Dems and a third or more of independents that you despise them and are going to take cherished rights from them---or allowing your words to give that impression, even if you didn't so intend---isn't. The message of racial harmony is getting buried by the "you gun owners are evil and we're coming after you" theme, here on DU and in the media at large. Heck, read any gun thread in GD or LBN and see what I mean. Death wishes, sexual insults, promises to ban and confiscate people's guns, promises to resurrect the "assault weapon" fraud (after a shooting that involved a low-capacity pistol), personal insults, what have you. You typically see more hatred and anger directed at lawful and peaceable gun ownership than you do against racism, racial hatred, and white supremacy, and that is extraordinarily counterproductive on both fronts.

That's what the Third Way said in 1994, 1996, 2000, and 2004, too.

And support for new restrictions on lawful ownership is lower now than it was then.

Depends on the depth, I would imagine.

Just above the freezing point at the crust/ocean boundary, with temps rising as you go down. That's just a guess on my part, though.

According to the witness, he reloaded at least five times,

per media reports.

Not allowed to in SC...carry in church is prohibited

except for possibly with written permission of the pastor or board.

It's the "ZOMG MODERN LOOKING RIFLES ARE A HUUUUUGE THREAT" crowd that are the science deniers.

Murder, by State and Type of Weapon, 2013 (FBI)

Total murders...................... 12,253
Handguns............................ 5,782 (47.2%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 2,079 (17.0%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,622 (13.2%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,490 (12.2%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 687 (5.6%)
Shotguns.............................. 308 (2.5%)
Rifles................................ 285 (2.3%)

And there nothing whatsoever about a handgrip that sticks out, or a modular aluminum receiver, that makes an AR-15 more dangerous than a traditional-looking rifle like a Ruger Mini-14. They fire the same ammunition at the same rate (one and only one shot per trigger pull) as other civilian rifles, and have the same range of magazine capacities.

Actually, it's not.

It is, however, the American homeowner's rifle of choice, by a huge margin.

You are aware that rifles are the least misused of all weapons in this country, yes?

Murder, by State and Type of Weapon, 2013 (FBI)

Total murders...................... 12,253
Handguns............................ 5,782 (47.2%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 2,079 (17.0%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,622 (13.2%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,490 (12.2%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 687 (5.6%)
Shotguns.............................. 308 (2.5%)
Rifles................................ 285 (2.3%)

The trend in rifle homicide is down, even though the AR-15 platform has been the most popular civilian rifle in the United States for going on two decades now.

Rifle homicides, 2005-2013 (from FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2005-2013, Table 20, collated):

2005: 442
2006: 436
2007: 450
2008: 375
2009: 348
2010: 358
2011: 323
2012: 302
2013: 285

And that's for all rifles combined. FWIW, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history was carried out using a pair of ordinary-looking pistols, which fire just as fast as an AR or any other civilian rifle, and a backpack full of low-capacity magazines. Anyone who is fighting to outlaw the most popular rifles isn't going after "gun violence", they are going after lawful ownership.
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