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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 04:09 PM
Number of posts: 11,890

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"Assault weapons" are legal in Germany, Sweden, France, Norway, Hungary, Switzerland, Finland...

See here:


Handguns are also legal in many European countries, with varying levels of restriction; Czech and Swiss shooters can own pretty much anything Americans can, while Italians are limited to certain calibers (e.g. 9x21mm instead of 9x19mm). The UK is very much an exception to European gun laws in general, which is why the British Olympic team has to practice somewhere with more freedom, like France/Germany/Switzerland. Still, even Brits can own semiautomatic shotguns of unlimited capacity, high-powered sniper rifles, and even "silenced" firearms, so even the UK doesn't have the level of restriction you are imagining.

I think Japan comes closest to what you are imagining, and ironically Japan has an overall violent death rate (murder + suicide) higher than that of the United States, because of their astronomical suicide rate.

"Assault weapons" are civilian non-automatics (mostly small caliber), not machineguns.

"Not everyone can handle machine guns. (I'm sure you don't want to see multiple posts of accidental shooting with machine guns).
Improved training? Yearly renewals on licenses? On specific guns only?

Solutions from the pro-gun side? "

"Assault weapons" are civilian non-automatics, not machineguns. They are also the most popular non-automatic civilian rifles in U.S. homes. The most common ones are small caliber (e.g. a basic AR-15 is a centerfire .22).

I own an AR-15 myself, a Rock River model with a target barrel, and shoot it recreationally and competitively; it doesn't fire any faster than an ordinary pistol, and is somewhat slower to reload. It is also too way big to conceal, which is probably why rifles are so rarely used to kill people.

Out of ~12,000 murders annually, the FBI says less than 250 involved rifles. (The true number is probably around 270, or a little over 5 murders per year, per state.) That makes rifles, including "assault weapons", the least misused of all weapons in the United States.


The prohibitionists aren't trying to ban "assault weapons" because they are commonly misused, or because they are more lethal than other guns, but because they are the most popular rifles owned by gun enthusiasts. The whole "assault weapon" fraud was intended by its creator (Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center) as a way to build momentum for more comprehensive gun bans, not as a means to address gun violence. Rifle violence is lower now than it has ever been.

Did you know that "assault weapons" (including AR-15's) are legal across most of Europe? Here are a bunch of European sport shooters shooting AR-15's in their home countries: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=189580

Your post is a good example of why "shall-issue" laws have proven necessary, and here's why.

"John Doe applies for a permit to purchase. In the course of the background check you find that John's wife of 47 years has recently died and according to his children John has become reclusive and withdrawn.

Would you issue the permit to purchase? Why or why not? "

Yes. Because it is more likely that the purchase of a firearm is an attempt to distract from the grief of losing a spouse, and to attempt to return to normalcy, than to commit suicide (run the numbers yourself). And making someone a "nonperson" by taking away their autonomy and revoking a cherished civil liberty is more likely to add to his grief and pain than to help ameliorate it in a healthy fashion. (And I take it that you oppose a right to suicide?)

I have a friend and mentor in exactly this situation right now, whose wife of nearly 50 years just died suddenly a few weeks ago. He owns guns. And shooting/reloading is right now one of the healthiest outlets he has; it keeps him from sitting in the rocking chair in the living room staring at the wall. And I expect he's probably bought new guns since she passed away (as well as a new vehicle). Do you really think that taking away his hobby, never mind his civil rights, just as he's trying to return to normalcy would be helpful?

I haven't just lost someone close to me, but I have been through a couple of dark times over the course of my 45 years, and I can guarantee you that what you propose would have made my situation less healthy, not more. Maybe you should consider the unintended consequences of taking autonomy and personal responsibility away from people who value autonomy and personal responsibility above almost all material possessions, before suggesting rash actions like imposing felony-class criminal penalties (which is exactly what you are proposing) for simply losing a loved one.

Would you take away somebody's house if they lost a spouse, because most suicides occur at home? Would you take away their car, or their Internet access, or their right to travel to places with bridges and high places? Would you put them in protective custody, absent other factors that would warrant an involuntary commitment? If not, why not?

"Second scenario: Bill Smith applies. In the course of the background check you discover that Bill, a self employed contractor, is deeply in debt, on the verge of bankruptcy, separated from his wife and children and according to his wife has a large life insurance policy.

Would you issue the permit to purchase? Why or why not. "

Absent any threats of violence and a due-process revocation of rights, yes.

You do realize that *I've* been close to that situation myself, right? Tens of thousands in medical debt from my special-needs son, and went through a painful separation several years ago (though not from the kids; my wife and I weren't hostile). Both my wife and I owned several guns each, and both my wife and I had large insurance policies with the other as the beneficiary. Neither one of us even thought about violence, and we worked through it.

A few seconds' thought would also reveal that your implied "plan" (murder the spouse and collect the money) is so ridiculous on its face that it could have come from a CSI: Miami episode. I don't think anyone smart enough to fill out a BATFE Form 4473 would actually think that you can collect on a life insurance policy by murdering the policy holder with a gun.

"Suppose you are in a Permit to Purchase jurisdiction and you are the LEO entrusted to issue permits to purchase. The program requires a background check to include at least telephone interviews with immediate relatives, employer (if any) and any references offered by the applicant."

So you are imagining making buying a gun as onerous and expensive as getting a high government security clearance. Do you think applying such draconian preconditions to, say, getting an abortion, would be even remotely constitutional? I don't.

Rifles account for about 5 murders a year, per state. Five.

"Decent, responsible people from coast to coast own guns. Whether for self-defense or sport shooting, they use their guns legally and safely.

In what civil society, though, is the private possession of assault weapons necessary?"

"Decent, responsible people from coast to coast own rifles with handgrips that stick out. Whether for self-defense or sport shooting, they use their rifles legally and safely.

In what civil society, then, is putting people in cages for owning protruding rifle handgrips necessary?"

FWIW, all rifles combined account for less than 270 murders annually, out of ~12,000. That's around five murders per year, per state. Many states have zero rifle homicides annually. And yet you want to outlaw the most popular non-automatic civilian rifles in U.S. homes. Just who is the fundamentalist, again?

Skepticism of Bloomberg's magazine bans, in the Los Angeles Times.

It seems to me that the gun control lobby has lost all perspective on what they are ostensibly fighting for and why.


Aren't disguised firearms restricted as Title II AOW's?

If so, they are very tightly controlled under current Federal law (as in "10-year Federal felony for unauthorized possession"), and only people who could buy one would be law enforcement, military, or people who get Federal authorization to own one via the BATFE Title II process.

From a practical standpoint, an 8- shot pocket gun the size of an iPhone that is instantly shootable is a lot more effective (or in the wrong hands, more of a threat) than a 2-shot gun you have to play Transformers with in order to get it to work. But I realize that "ZOMG THE SKY IS FALLING" is Mr. Schumer's shtick, and he's been playing that same tune since he first tried to put people in cages for owning protruding rifle handgrips.

The victim had an airgun (pellet gun), not a firearm,

and yes, large buildings (factories, big box stores) occasionally have to resort to either that, or having licensed falconers come in and hunt the birds with hawks. If they don't, the birds will either die a slow death from starvation, or else will damage equipment/merchandise, contaminate food-prep areas with fecal matter, etc., creating liability.

The thing about airguns is that depending on the choice of projectile, they can kill a bird humanely without damaging the building. I would imagine being brought down and killed by a hawk wouldn't be better for the bird than being shot.

Ummm, for juror #7, IPSC competition is popular in *Europe*. With AR-15's.

And IPSC was founded in 1976, well before ISIS. For what it's worth.









Etc. etc. etc.

I shoot casually in matches sanctioned by the U.S. branch of ISPC (USPSA). It's a lot of fun, and very good for your shooting skills as well.

Since there are close to zero rifle murders annually annually in the entire state...

and none in Lexington, this proposal was asinine to start with.

If I understand correctly, it was a harmless Airsoft.

Meaning you could put your hand over the muzzle, fire it, and it wouldn't even injure your hand.

I wonder what the average sentence is for rape or armed robbery in New Jersey, because it is probably less than the penalty for possessing a toy that shoots harmless plastic pellets.
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