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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: 12,136

Journal Archives

On the contrary, there is really no other basis for harassing a cohort

who commit violent crimes at less than 1/5th the rate of the population at large and 1/2 the rate of police officers. Especially given the gun control lobby's ostensible support for licensure and training.

By reflexively attacking licensed concealed carry, gun control advocates demonstrate that they are much more concerned with criminalizing gun possession by the trained, vetted, and nonviolent than they are about addressing misuse by the criminal or irresponsible.

What's *daft* is the gun control lobby's obsession with criminalizing the least misused guns and harassing the most thoroughly vetted owners, IMHO.

Actually, all surveys but the non-anonymous GSS have shown steady ownership or recent increase.

Pretty much the *only* survey reporting a long-term decline has been the General Social Survey conducted by the University of Chicago, which is expressly non-anonymous, conducted via in-person interviews, funded by gun control advocates (Joyce), and run by a gun control advocate. Ownership rates assessed by Pew, Gallup, and others in anonymous surveys are much higher, and actual hard data (e.g. firearms possession licenses, in states that require them like IL and MA) show increases, not decreases.

Boston Globe - Gun licenses on the Rise in Massachusetts

Illinois FOID License Holders Up 33% 2009-2013

FWIW, the FOID numbers have kept rising; I believe the number of active Illinois FOID cards as of 12/15/2015 was 1,942,008, which would be a 54% increase in FOID cards since 2009, if I have that number right. And since FOID cards correlate 1:1 with on-the-books legal ownership in IL, a 33% (or 54%) increase in valid FOID's is a commensurate increase in licensed ownership---in the GSS's own backyard.

I'll point out that these are both heavily Dem, deep-blue states, but the same trends are at work in other blue states, as well as purple swing states and red states, whether you look at all the available proxies for ownership or at anonymous self-reported ownership.

As of 9/2016, a Pew Research Center poll put the number at 44% admitting to a gun in the house, 51% saying no gun, and 5% refusing to answer the question. A 1/2016 CNN poll put the numbers about the same, with 40% saying yes and 9% refusing to answer.

Carry licensure, which isn't correlated 1:1 with ownership but is still loosely correlated, has more than doubled since 2007 and IIRC roughly quadrupled since 1999.

WSJ - Permits Soar to Allow More Concealed Guns

Here in eastern NC, my local shooting range is now jam-packed every time I go there, when it used to be fairly sparse years ago, and I have a lot of coworkers and friends who bought their first gun within the last few years, including a longtime coworker who bought his first two months ago.

It is an article of faith among gun control advocates that the GSS is the only reliable measure of gun ownership, but if you look the totality of the metrics, including hard license data, overall ownership trends do not appear to be moving in the prohibitionists' favor. And it is incontrovertible that the styles of guns people have been buying in the last 25 years are not favorable to gun control advocates' handgrip-shape and magazine-capacity crusades, either. As I mentioned upthread, the market has been moving strongly away from larger calibers and straight stocks, toward the modern-looking centerfire .22's and double-stack 9mm's that the gun control lobby wishes to ban or severely restrict.

Perhaps it is hard to see from within the cloistered DC/NY/CA bubble, but Bloomberg et al are trying to outlaw guns and magazines that are legal in Canada and much of Europe, the banning of which would be considered a serious violation of the social contract across much of the United States. If your bans have gotten only 5% to 10% compliance among owners in New York and Connecticut, just how well do you expect those bans to play in NC, WV, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, or Michigan? It is hard to express just how repellent the NY SAFE Act and similar crap is in states with a strong culture of lawful ownership.

FWIW, there were warnings of the flaws in the current approach in Virginia's 2015 state senate races, which IIRC handed control of the Virginia legislature to the repubs:

Washington Post - Did gun control cost McAuliffe and Democrats the Virginia election?

Too bad no one inside the bubble was listening.

I didn't realize it was produced by the same people who did the Taken series. Geez.

"Guns are bad, unless I can make a bunch of money portraying their use by vigilantes and revenge killers, then the more the better." It's people like that that make me wish California wouldn't exempt VIPs and the entertainment industry from its rifle handgrip and magazine bans.

I liked the original Taken OK, except for the "wantonly torture your enemies and smile about it" part (!), and Taken 2 had its moments, but I didn't like Taken 2 well enough to watch Taken 3. Especially since any movie that starts by killing off Famke Janssen does not sound like one that would be entertaining to me; I'd rather go rewatch Tron. Or, heck, Wild Zero.

I noticed the ads my local NPR affiliate for this film completely suppressed the gun angle,

knowing that mentioning it would be a huge turn-off. Even most fence-sitters wouldn't be too interested in paying $40 to sit through two hours of preaching.

IIRC, the ad portrayed as a "high-powered lobbyist decides to buck the establishment" story, which it most certainly isn't.

A point that is applicable to any other parking garage in any other place.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, to get an NC license, I had to pass a Federal background check, state background check, FBI fingerprint check, mental health records check, take a class on self-defense law and tactics, and pass a shooting qualification on a range, live fire. For those of us who have passed that bar, there is no rational basis to say that it's OK to carry when transiting to/from a bus-station parking garage or a train-station parking garage, but not an airport parking garage, when picking up a friend late at night or whatever.

Your position comes down to "I despise gun owners and especially carry license holders, and I want to screw with them as much as possible." Pragmatically, one downside of that approach is that it makes gun owners oppose even common-ground positions like carry licensure (if you want to know why Vermont-style permitless carry is spreading across the country, look back at how you treat carry licensure). Expressing contempt for background checks, training, and licensure undermines any common ground you might otherwise try to achieve on background checks, training, and licensure, doesn't it?

The other downside is that "I hold you in contempt and I don't want your kind in my country" is a bummer of a campaign message when 15+ million voters have carry licenses, and as the Attorney General of Virginia found out the hard way last year, a whole heck of a lot of them are Democrats. And the thing is, that contempt-signaling doesn't gain you *anything* in terms of violence reduction; of the 13,500 murder victims in the United States annually, approximately 0 were shot between airport parking garages and terminals by holders of carry licenses.

Here in NC, there are between 550,000 and 600,000 holders of carry licenses, or three times Clinton's margin of loss in NC. Obviously carry licensure wasn't the issue driving the train here (there are also ca. 2 million "assault weapon" and over-10-round magazine owners here, and 4-5 million gun owners total, out of 10.5 million), and the Dem governor we just elected is a strong supporter of carry licensure, but the whole "Licensed Killers" meme is still asinine and counterproductive nationally. The demographics and political trends are both running strongly in the opposite direction.

Yup. And once the precedent were established, what other civil liberties...

would it soon apply to?

Should "known or suspected terrorists" be protected from searches and seizures? Should "known or suspected terrorists" be allowed to speak to crowds, march in groups, own newspapers, run websites? Should "known or suspected terrorists" work in government? The military? In law enforcement? Drive 80,000-lb gasoline tankers through populated areas? Work in schools, sports stadiums, or day cares?

Once you set the precedent that having your name added pro forma to a secret list automatically revokes your civil rights, then all those things are fair game. Which is one reason why the ACLU has strongly resisted summary revocation of civil liberties without due process, despite heavy pressure from Third Way types.


Change in ownership demographics is not favorable to gun control advocates, who primarily seek a return to straight-stocked rifles, larger calibers/lower capacity, less carry licensure, and a hunting-centric focus. Ownership has long been trending toward more modern stock styles, smaller calibers/higher capacity, more focus on defensive use, and a downward trend in hunting due to less opportunity.

Changes in the murder stats aren't trending in favor of gun control advocates either; homicide is down 50% since its peak in the early '90s, and rifle homicide is down 43% since the expiration of the much-hated Clinton handgrip and magazine restrictions in 2004. Less homicide equals less support for throwing your peaceable neighbors in prison because they own the wrong shaped rifle/shotgun handgrip or a non-reduced-capacity magazine.

Ban advocates are not just losing the population at large, they are losing registered Democrats, for exactly the reasons listed above.

Except those guns aren't on the civilian market, and aren't the subject of proposed bans.

A belief in an unconditional right to own weapons specifically designed to kill a lot of people quickly is exactly a belief in a right to do just that.

Those guns aren't on the civilian market. You do realize that military automatic weapons are as tightly controlled in this country as 105mm howitzers and 500lb bombs, yes?



Even simple possession of an M16 or an actual AK-47 (which weren't even designed for mass killing, unlike say a water-cooled machinegun) is a 10-year Federal felony without the right Federal paperwork.

You do realize that an AR-15 is a low-powered civilian non-automatic, not a military automatic weapon, yes? The original rifle that became the M16 was designed to spray 10 bullets a second when the trigger was held down. A civilian AR-15 fires exactly one .22 caliber bullet when you pull the trigger, just like any other civilian-legal .223/5.56mm rifle.

Thoughts, at some length...

Using guns designed to kill people for target shooting does not change the original purpose.

Almost all hunting and target guns were originally designed for killing people, and were secondarily adapted by civilians for civilian use.

For example, the Winchester Model 70 deer rifle:

...is a very close civilian derivative of the main German infantry rifle of both World Wars, the Mauser G98/K98:

which was originally designed to kill human beings at distances of up to two kilometers, thanks to its powerful 8mm round. Captured and military-surplus Mausers became popular as hunting rifles through the 20th Century in both the USA and Europe, due to the same characteristics that made it an excellent long-range infantry rifle---power, accuracy, and reliability. Winchester eventually came out with a copy of the Mauser called the Winchester Model 58, which was later tweaked into the Model 70, that became famous as the issue U.S. Marine Corps sniper rifle in Vietnam---and the most sought-after deer rifle on the civilian market for a generation.

Likewise, this 16-shot Civil War combat rifle, the rapid-fire Henry of 1860:

after the war became the Winchester Model 1866 civilian rifle, which was later developed into the M1873 and M1894, and became the most popular hunting gun in the nation.

I personally own exactly one military rifle, a Russian infantry rifle made in 1905 that saw combat in World War I, the Finnish Revolution of 1917-1918, the Winter War of 1939-1940, and the Finnish war against the Nazis in 1944-1945. It still shoots great, and the sights adjust from 150 meters to 2 kilometers.

USAers Nugentian sense of entitlement to shoot and kill people isn't going to change, but possibly limiting the tools for it would limit how much it happens. Or, at the very least how many a person can kill within a short amount of time.

We already limit civilians to non-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns; all automatic weapons (including M16s and actual AK-47's) were restricted in 1934 and banned in 1986. We already limit caliber to .50" (12.7mm) or less, with larger calibers (like .729 caliber shotguns, aka "12 gauge") allowed on an exemption basis. We already restrict explosive projectiles that could kill indiscriminately. We already restrict guns easily convertible to automatic fire. And so on.

Civilians in the USA are limited to pretty much the same types of guns Canadians and many Europeans can own---manually operated rifles and shotguns like bolt-actions, levers, and pumps; one-shot-at-a-time autoloaders like the Ruger Mini-14, AR-15, Tavor SAR, Springfield M1A, or M1 Garand; autoloading pistols; and revolvers. Within that subset of civilian-legal guns, there is not much difference between the shots-on-target capability of a lever or pump vs. an autoloader.

I'll also point out that handgrip shape has absolutely nothing to do with lethality; this NYC-legal and CA-legal rifle (Ruger Mini-14) is functionally exactly the same as an AR-15, firing the exact same small-caliber ammunition at the same velocity and rate of fire from the same sized magazines.

Requiring that AR-15's be modified to use straight stocks like this would not affect lethality in the slightest.

Keep in mind that rifles are the *least* misused of all weapons in killings, and the trend is down, not up. Out of the 13,500 murders every year in the USA, all kinds of rifles together account for 250 to 270 of them, or less than 2%.

Rifle Homicides, 2005-2015
2005: 442
2006: 436
2007: 450
2008: 375
2009: 348
2010: 358
2011: 323
2012: 302
2013: 285
2014: 248
2015: 252
(Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2005-2015, Table 20, Collated)

Finally, even if you magically outlawed all rifles, you would not address mass shootings one iota. The Newtown murderer took a 9mm pistol, a UK-legal semiautomatic shotgun, and a small-caliber rifle stolen from his murdered mother to the school where he murdered those kids, and had he used the pistol or the shotgun instead of the rifle---or had he used a straight-stocked hunting style rifle like a Mini-14---the outcome would have been no different.

If you want to make a real dent in killing, end drug prohibition; start fighting the culture of violent gangs, not the target shooting/hunting/self-defense culture; and start looking to repair our broken inner cities. Legislating rifle handgrip shape, or trying to confiscate half a billion magazines from 60+ million people, or endlessly harassing the licensed and vetted, is pointless, counterproductive, and politically asinine.

My guns have harmed no one, and I do my part to help ensure they never will.

And rifles *like* mine are among the least misused of all weapons, as you well know.

Any discussion that *exaggerates* will certainly be engaged by people who know they are talking about, and flaws pointed out. E.g., when someone claims that replacing a protruding handgrip with a straight stock makes a rifle less lethal, or that small-caliber rifles are the "weapons of choice of criminals", or that long guns account for a large percentage of homicides, or that they are more powerful and higher velocity than "hunting rifles", or that shooting a centerfire .22 will bruise your shoulder and give you PTSD, or that rifle homicide is increasing rather than decreasing, then yes, expect that those farcical claims will be challenged.

But there has been a lot of civil discussion on this board since 2004-2005 by people with widely varying viewpoints. That's a good thing.

And the fact remains that the top priority of the gun control lobby in 2016 is *still* bans on the least misused guns, and demonization of the least violent citizens. Until that changes, pushback is a given.
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