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06:24 PM on 01/20/2011
Oh yes they are.
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rikilii
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
06:54 PM on 01/20/2011
Care to elaborate or, oh I don't know, address just one point of substance in his article?
06:11 PM on 01/20/2011
Dan aren't you afraid of offending all the people on here that don't like guns, don't want others to have guns, and think their opinion matters greatly?(:
Thanks for the great read. Some people might learn something from it and it might upset them.
06:01 PM on 01/20/2011
In as much as this article claims, that it is not easy to prove a relationship between guns, gun control and the murder rate, for example, I disagree, it has been proved many times. Only if you restrict yourself to the murderous environment of the United States (murderous environment compared to peer nations), and ignore international data, could you make such a claim.

In as much as this article asserts that half-measure gun laws don't work, I agree.

In as much as this article asserts as metaphor a similarity between gun laws and marijuana laws, it is a false metaphor - guns and a ban on citizen ownership of atomic bombs, there's a metaphor for you.

In as much as this article counsels despair in the environment of 350 million guns already in circulation, don't give in. Did the gays despair at the homophobic environment? Do what rights groups do, and go for the goal. The United States is as unlikely to ban guns as it is to allow same sex marriage, would have been the conclusion just 20 years ago.

Confiscation: Target the worse offenders, and offer the dual stick (ban them) and the reward (buy them back). One by one, over ten, twenty years, hem in the right to bear arms until it is as the founders would have imagined it: long guns, hunting guns, and that is it.

Stop being incremental, and go for the goal, again and again for as long as it takes, to win.
06:31 PM on 01/20/2011
Do you show this much disregard for the other amendments? How about the 4th amendment? I can only surmise that you support the PATRIOT act because it keeps us safe while violating the 4th (and many other) amendments. Principally speaking, you must support the PATRIOT act.
08:37 PM on 01/20/2011
Hmm, I don't support the Patriot Act.

And I would repeal the second amendment, so no, I don't respect it.

However, with the second amendment in place, there is a line already drawn between what arms the citizen is allowed and what arms the citizen is not allowed. Arms range from clubs to nuclear bombs, anything that is not your body that you might wield as a weapon. With the amendment in place, I think the line could be drawn back a lot, all the way to long guns, or alternatively, pushed a lot further, all the way to nuclear bombs.
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TheBaffler
a long the riverrun
10:02 PM on 01/20/2011
The Second Amendment allows for well-regulated militias (aka the National Guard) to be armed, not every individual.
05:56 PM on 01/20/2011
wow..lots of NRA mantras going on in this thread.
Well, states with the highest % of guns have the highest % of murders.
I realize you can find data and use the data that you want. But I find it absurd to go the "more guns less violence" route.
And that the 2nd, " 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.",
ensures that everyone can own an automatic weapon or hey, it states "arms" maybe everyone should have a bazooka, goes beyond the intent.

assures that we can b
06:22 PM on 01/20/2011
Accepted legal precedent defines "Arms" as any weapon that can reasonably be maintained/carried/used by one person and is not area-of-effect. Which is the most D&D legal precedent I've ever seen.

So any explosives are not protected by the 2A. Those would be categorized as "ordnance".

Very cool how you can just share your opinion devoid of historical reference, legal precedent or even any research though.
08:11 PM on 01/20/2011
And I enjoy how the intent of the founders on the 2nd is used to object to any and all gun law debate.
08:23 PM on 01/20/2011
Here is a chart of gun deaths of states with highest gun ownership. Vs. Gun Deaths of states with lower gun ownership.
Vs. NRAs argument of more guns equal less violence

http://www.vpc.org/press/0905gundeath.htm
08:05 PM on 01/20/2011
Some people Do own bazookas. They are regulated under the National Firearms Act as "Destructive Devices" A FBI background check is done, a Chief Law enforcement officer CLEO signoff is required and you must pay a small tax to do it. Its a very carefully regulated process and it you want some really relevant statistics look at those. The registry has been around since 1934. Scant crimes have been committed with weapons in the registry.
09:22 PM on 01/20/2011
now I feel better. people can own bazookas.
09:22 PM on 01/20/2011
RPGs fall under that act as well...surface to air missiles?
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Sam Damon
Mediocre.....the new excellent.
05:38 PM on 01/20/2011
Bravo. The most objective assessment of an issue I have seen in this forum. Well done.
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06:15 PM on 01/20/2011
I was shocked a Liberal Democrat who actually gets it.....Loved it though
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greeneyes51654m
Retired, finally...
08:04 PM on 01/20/2011
I was amazed myself, and it was well read.
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eljefefx
05:35 PM on 01/20/2011
Damn good article, and surprising
05:34 PM on 01/20/2011
I don't agree with everything you said, particularly the bits espousing partisanship. But I suppose you are speaking to the left. My problem is that the Bill of Rights isn't a left/right thing. At least it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be a platform for anybody to gain political power. It should be something that all of us as Americans defend. If a group happens to gain power because the popular vote is also with the BOR, then I suppose that is some positive fallout, but it's not the point. It's unfortunate that any bit of the BOR has been "claimed" by either party.

"The problem with gun rights is the left hates guns and the right hates rights".

Thanks for a pretty rational article. It's refreshing here on Huffpo when it comes to guns. Things are so vitriolic and reactionary here usually.
05:31 PM on 01/20/2011
"If, say, a ban on large-capacity magazines would actually do some good -- i.e. save some lives -- we could argue about whether it's worth taking some heat from the gun guys over it. But politics is a cost-benefit analysis -- what are you going to get vs. what you're going to lose. In this case, progressives have a tremendous amount to lose, and almost nothing to gain."

Its nice to know that he doesn't consider the lives of individuals mowed down with too easily accessible and far too powerful weapons to be worth taking a little political heat for. We could have prevented a madman from firing off 30 rounds without stopping but we were afraid we might lose a seat or 2. Definitely made the right call on that one.
05:48 PM on 01/20/2011
I feel he is addressing the wrong priciple here. The truth is it was Loughner's after-market 31 round magazine that jammed, allowing people to subdue him. Cho, at Virginia Tech used more reliable standard 10-15 round magazines and was able to kill many more.

Reloading can take as little as 1-2 seconds if the shooter is practiced. A 30 round magazine ban will not save lives.
whitebeach
Hey, buddy, can you spare a micro-bio?
06:03 PM on 01/20/2011
The same guy could have used two guns with even more capacity than one gun with an extended clip.

The local sheriff was unfortunately right when he said that in this country, with hundreds of millions of guns already out there, no one can really prevent a person from obtaining a weapon. As he put it, "If they can't buy them, they'll steal them."

The problem to me seems to be less one of accessibility and more one of national psychology, or national psychosis. Somewhere along the way of Hollywood and fifteen seconds of fame and all that stuff we've given far too many unstable individuals the idea that a gun and a lot of innocent blood is the solution to whatever the problem might be.
05:31 PM on 01/20/2011
Oops. Mobile phones. Until a credible case can be made that semi or fully automatic weapons serve some legitimate purpose, arguments along these lines fail to impress me. Applying this logic in other contexts would, among other things, do away with prescription drugs (after all, why control who buys which drugs if "junkies" can get their hands on them through other channels). To say that gun sales/ownership is completely exempt from similar controls on other potentially dangerous goods because of the Second amendment is to ignore half the language contained therein. If the amendment said people had the right to bear arms "just cuz" I'd be more inclined to concede this point.
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rikilii
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
06:42 PM on 01/20/2011
A credible case has been made thousands of times that semiautomatic (and perhaps even fully automatic, but I won't go there) weapons serve several legitimate civilian purposes.  Your failure to read or agree with them doesn't mean they aren't credible.

Furthermore, applying the half of the language in the 2nd Am. that you seem to think we are ignoring should actually convince you that semiautomatic, and indeed, perhaps even automatic, weapons have a legitimate home in the hands of "the people"?
07:20 PM on 01/20/2011
The reason they are not credible has precious little to do with whether I've read or agreed with them. It has everything to do with the fact that they rely on selectively applied logic and fanciful hypotheticals..

.As for your second point, we already have an armed forces/standing militia, populated in full by individuals who enlisted voluntarily. Arms have already found "a legitimate home in the hands of the people."
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07:46 PM on 01/20/2011
what exactly is a legitimate purpose of semi automatic hand guns?
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Rooster Coburn
Less Gov't + More Responsibility = A Better World
06:57 PM on 01/20/2011
If an amendment to our Constitution were to read as follows:

"A well fed army, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to grow and store food shall not be infringed."

Who would have the right to grow and store food in the above sentence?
Only the army?
Only the state?
Only the people?
All three?
07:28 PM on 01/20/2011
This argument would be worthy of comment if the raison d'tre of an army was to eat.
05:31 PM on 01/20/2011
Thank you Mr. Baum, for a candid and objective piece on the reality of politics. I have been saying essentially the same thing for some time now and here on Huffington Post I have endured a good deal of criticism from various do-gooders who want to restrict gun rights. The simple fact is that every time the spectre of gun control is raised it is associated with the Democratic Party. This inevitably alienates a large block of voters for whom gun rights are the issue of highest priority - voters who would otherwise be inclined to side with progressives/Democrats on many other issues. Threaten their gun rights and they flock to the open arms of the Republican Party, the past masters of cobbling together diverse groups who have nothing in common. This only winds up serving the neocons, who, unfortunately, are always more logical in their analysis of political reality than their opposite numbers on the left.
05:21 PM on 01/20/2011
I'm sorry, but until a credible case can be made that weapons of this k
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madmonq
Exhausted working class hero
05:17 PM on 01/20/2011
Guns are like any other tool. They are mainly a problem if misused. I have to say I agree with this young man.
itolduso
lateral thinker
06:20 PM on 01/20/2011
And like every other tool, there are times & places where it's absolutely inappropriate to be using it, where it's absolutely inappropriate to let children operate it, and when it's absolutely too big of a tool for the job.
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rikilii
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
06:43 PM on 01/20/2011
And we already have hundreds of laws to address each of those situations.
05:16 PM on 01/20/2011
If the Federal Assault Weapons Ban had still been in force, limiting magazine capacity to ten rounds, Loughner would have fired far fewer rounds and would have wounded fewer people - and possibly killing fewer people.

Saying that gun laws don't work is nonsense. Compare the number of people killed by guns here versus in nations with strict laws regulating guns and it's an absurd comparison. Ten thousand + here annually versus numbers in double digits in other industrialized nations. (There was a time in the 80s when the annual deaths in Japan and UK from guns were in single digits while the US was in tens of thousands.)

Imagine we do away with all traffic laws and all civil liability for misuse of automobiles. Do you honestly think traffic deaths would go up?

Just a little bit of regulation - like that people on the terrorist watch list can't buy guns - might not be such a bad thing, don't you think? But the NRA opposes even that.
05:53 PM on 01/20/2011
"If the Federal Assault Weapons Ban had still been in force, limiting magazine capacity to ten rounds, Loughner would have fired far fewer rounds and would have wounded fewer people - and possibly killing fewer people."

Loughner's after-markĀ­et 31 round magazine jammed, allowing people to subdue him. Cho, at Virginia Tech used reliable standard 10-15 round magazines and was able to kill many more.

Reloading can take as little as 1-2 seconds if the shooter is practiced. A 30 round magazine ban will not save lives.

A simple comparison between countries with low gun ownership and high gun ownership is not good enough to draw conclusions from. I can play that game too. Look at Switzerland - where shooting is a national past time and citizens must serve in the militia and then keep government issued rifles/ammo in their homes and practice twice a year. Canada has similar (but smaller) gun ownership to the US. And yet both those places have very little murder. Clearly it's not the guns.

"Just a little bit of regulation - like that people on the terrorist watch list can't buy guns - might not be such a bad thing, don't you think? But the NRA opposes even that. "
This is an issue of Due Process of Law, referenced in the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments. You can't deprive somebody of their rights without Due Process. The 4th amendment already allows for keeping track of suspected terrorists, we don't need the PATRIOT act.
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zakwouldhave
Freethinker. I'm 80% ears. 20% mouth.
06:29 PM on 01/20/2011
So how many rounds were Loghner able to get off before he changed magazines?
06:03 PM on 01/20/2011
If the FAWB worked, then explain how Columbine happened? That was in 1999, the ban went into effect in 1994 and sunset was 2004. Even if you take out firearm murders the US has a murder into the thousands, around 7000-8000 while Japan is 500-600 and the UK 1000-1200. As far as the terrorist list... maybe if the list was actually of terrorist rather than suspected terrorist or because you have a arab name or accused of possibly being a terrorist.
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05:10 PM on 01/20/2011
Thank you. I am also a social liberal who believes in gun rights. Those on the political left, whom I agree with on most things, lose me when they go on their anti-gun rants as though passing a law EVER truly solved a problem.
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Steelsil
Warren/Grayson 2016! Yes We Can!
05:06 PM on 01/20/2011
Hand guns are illegal in the UK, and the murder rate is 1/3 that of the US.  But don't let the facts confuse you.
06:00 PM on 01/20/2011
The murder rate in the UK was that low before the handgun ban. Don't confuse the facts.
10:19 PM on 01/20/2011
And the last time I looked at the statistics, the burglary rate was five times higher than the US.....