A Modest Gun Regulation Proposal

A state could require that all guns sold in the state be tested for ballistics and that the ballistics files be kept in a central registry, along with the names and addresses of the seller and purchaser.  The state would nominate the NRA as its trustee to hold the registry, which would be private, and could only be opened for comparison analysis on a warrant issued to a police agency that has obtained ballistics from a crime scene it wishes to match to the registry.

 

This would grow into an effective crime clue generating tool over time, without infringing on any citizen’s 2d A rights.

 

It would reach peak effectiveness when every state adopted the plan and all the unregistered Saturday Night Specials that are on the streets of Baltimore, Chicago, NewOrleans, Philly, etc.,  break down and are replaced by registered guns whose ballistics have been tested.

 

This would not stop crazy shooters or even ordinary criminals.  It would make it easier to track them down after the fact.

 

I think it is a modest proposal, that keeps government out of handling the records, that puts an organization that can be trusted to keep privacy absent a warrant in charge of maintaining the registry.  But it would eventually be useful in catching criminals, and perhaps would cause some persons to think twice before shooting.  Or not.

 

 

 

Not Radicalized

I’m tired of hearing about how someone became radicalized. It’s a completely backwards way of viewing this problem.

From NBC:

“Counterterrorism officials also told NBC News that Farook and Malik were making preparations for some time to “take care of both grandma and the baby.” The couple lived in a Redlands, California residence with their 6-month-old daughter and Farook’s 62-year-old mother, Rafia Farook. They left their daughter with Rafia Farook on the morning of the attack.

Nobody radicalized them. They had a choice. And they choose to be evil. That’s all there is to it. Nobody twisted their arm or filled their head with nonsense. They went looking for an excuse and found one ready made.

Also, the press lies on mass shootings. And the only reasons this even matters, is we can’t even decided what rights are.

From Popehat:

I hear “my right not to be shot outweighs your right to own a gun.” This strikes me as perfectly idiotic. But it’s no more idiotic than an imagined right not to be criticized or offended, which is far more popular in modern America.

We’ve lost the plot. We don’t know where rights come from, we don’t know or care from whom they protect us, we don’t know how to analyze proposed restrictions to them, and brick by brick we’ve built a culture that scorns rights in the face of real or imagined risks. It is therefore inevitable that talk about Second Amendment rights will be met with scorn or shrugs, and that discussions of what restrictions on rights are permissible will be mushy and unprincipled.

So here’s how this places out ..
Two people who looked for a justification to kill are stripped of their agency by Western liberals (aka paternalistic racists), who then lie about the extent of a different problem so they can preen in front of their credentialed but ignorant peers and post pithy, yet asinine things on Facebook about how we need to curtail rights they do not understand and would happily surrender because they reject the idea that evil exists and think that things would be great if we just gave peace a chance.

If It Saves One Life

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  I doubt any of the rest of you are interested in this phenomenon but I’ve found it to be very true in my own experience.  Once tragedy strikes, especially one we believe could have been prevented, we tend to change our minds about numerous things.  That old saying “if it saves one life it’s worth it”, which the guy quoted below actually says at the end of his testimony, and most of us know is not a very legitimate tool to use to bring about change, suddenly has meaning.

When I think back to the Health Care debate and why it was so important to me, Daniel’s story about his sister’s death, matched my own perception of that debate at the time because of my niece’s death.  During the years I fought for health care reform I met hundreds of people whose stories were similar to my own.  And honestly, they weren’t all hot-headed progressives (and I’m not either although I do get hot-headed about health care inefficiencies).  Most of them were simply hard working Americans who had a terrible story to tell about a health care system that had failed.

I think this is one of the reasons so many of the provisions in the ACA are popular while the bill itself isn’t.  Some of us can imagine what it would be like to not have these new regulations or know someone who is benefiting from them now.  And so even though the bill is a mess in so many ways, they’re grateful for it in other ways.  It’s interesting to me that the polling is so skewed.

Anyway, my point really is just that while I really am not impressed with the bill that became the ACA, either during it’s development or now, I still can’t help but be grateful that someone elses family won’t have to suffer the same terrible loss that we suffered.  That brings it down to the most personal level which is exactly what Daniels is talking about.  This is when, right or wrong, people look to their government for help…………………most of us don’t really have anywhere else to go to find the same kind of resolution to an injustice.  If the ACA had been in effect at the end of 2007 chances are very likely my niece would be alive today………………that’s a really life altering scenario to think about.

There’s a part of me that wishes things were different because I know it’s not necessarily fair to the rest of you who make it through life without this kind of event or are able to separate your logical and principled selves from needing or desiring any kind of assistance yourself.  The idea that a man like Daniel, could now be attempting to influence a debate about background checks tells me all I need to know about reality.

WASHINGTON — Elvin Daniel, 56, is a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association, an avid hunter and a self-described “constitutional conservative” from a small town in Illinois. He became an unlikely witness for the Democrats on Wednesday at the first-ever Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence against women.

Daniel choked back tears at the hearing as he recounted the story of his sister, Zina, who was shot and killed by her estranged ex-husband in 2012. After her ex slashed her tires and physically threatened her, Zina had obtained a restraining order against him, which should have prohibited him under federal law from buying a gun. But he was able to purchase a gun online, where private sellers are not required to conduct background checks.

“Now I’m helping to care for my two nieces who lost their mother and who will have to grow up without her,” Daniel told the committee. “I’m here today for Zina and for the stories like Zina’s that happen every day because of the serious gap in our gun laws that continue to put women’s lives in danger.”

American women account for 84 percent of all female gun victims in the developed world, and more than a quarter of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by an intimate partner.

The two bills being considered in the Senate, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), would strengthen federal gun prohibitions for convicted domestic abusers and those deemed by a judge to be a physical threat to a woman. Klobuchar’s bill would include physically abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers in the category of persons who are prohibited from buying or possessing a gun. Blumenthal’s bill would ban guns for those who have been issued a temporary restraining order by a judge for domestic violence.

All the provisions being discussed are supported by a majority of Americans, according to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll. But gun limits are difficult for Congress to pass, even when they are broadly supported by voters, due to the strong opposition of the well-funded and well-organized gun rights lobby. A popular bill that would have closed gaping holes in the federal background checks system fell just short last year of the 60 votes it needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The NRA is already fighting Klobuchar’s bill, claiming that it “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions.”

“If we can save just one life, that would be worth everything we’re going through,” Daniel said. “And I know we can save more than one life.”

Daniel’s Testimony and More is from Huffingpost which I realize is a very partisan source.  I read about it somewhere else but now can’t find the source.  At least it’s not Reuter’s Scott…………………LOL

Here’s a little less partisan one but still not the one I was looking for.

What We Are Talking About When We Talk About Trayvon Martin

cand130709

cand130710

The trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood vigilante who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was walking back to his home after buying tea and Skittles at a convenience store, has gone to jury and there is no telling what the verdict will be. Most pundits and trial watchers feel the prosecution was less than convincing, particularly in proving that Zimmerman had intent or malice.

It seems that at any particular time we as a culture are following some Trial Of The Century or another. Part of this is the necessary consequence of having justice-themed news shows like Nancy Grace. The unquenchable maw of the newscycle demands fresh meat continuously. But Martin was not the photogenic blond victim that usually make the story line-up.

Kathleen Parker recently took a stab at why this trial in particular fascinates us.

The Zimmerman trial is riveting not because two men got in a scuffle and one of them died or because one was a teenager and the other an armed adult. It is that one was black, the supposed victim of a profiling vigilante, and the other white.

But that isn’t totally why the trial is news. It’s not that white guy shoots black punk, it’s what it took to get the case to be taken seriously. Most of the early outrage triggered by the descent of what some have called racebaiters was over how perfunctorily the initial investigation was. It wasn’t until the media storm started that the Barney Fife-ish Sanford Police Department took the case seriously. They knew who killed Trayvon Martin. They just didn’t think it was worth trying to send Zimmerman to jail over it. Arguably, second degree murder was publicity-driven over-reach, but Zimmerman didn’t even get charged with littering. The unknown hypothetical of whether it would have been treated differently if either party had been a different ethnicity is what set off the tinderbox.

As Juan Williams even-handedly puts it:

Liberal and conservative news TV and radio have played to the racial theme, too. The left, notably Rev. Al Sharpton, have made the case a crusade for racial justice. The right-wing media, especially talk radio, has responded by making Zimmerman a hero.

So what makes Zimmerman a hero to the right wing? That is a very complicated question. In part the trial is just as much about gun rights as it is about racial justice. This is the underdiscussed aspect of the left/right bifurcation on this trial. It comes down to the most loaded word in my typical formulation of the incident, ‘vigilante’. Just how culpable is Zimmerman for initiating the incident? He had a concealed carry permit and was within his rights to get out of his car and follow someone through open space despite the admonition of the emergency dispatcher not to. But there is always the fine line of having rights and the responsible exercise thereof.

Should Zimmerman have gotten out of the car in the first place? What did he mean by saying ‘Fucking punks. These assholes, they always get away’? Was it frustration over ineffective law enforcement in his neighborhood or was there racial animosity over ‘those’ people? Who struck the first blow? And does it matter?

Those biggest question the jury has to wrestle with seems to be: Was Zimmerman acting in self-defense? We will probably never know because Zimmerman has been verifiably less than truthful about that night. And the only other person who knows what happened is dead.

Operation Fast and Furious

An update on Operation Fast and Furious. Attorney General Holder testified in front of Issa’s House committee on May 3rd where he testified that he’d only heard of the operation in the “last few weeks.”
It turns out he was briefed on the operation at least 7 months prior. When asked about the discrepancy, the Justice Department said:
” And tonight they tell CBS News, Holder misunderstood that question from the committee – he did know about Fast and Furious – just not the details.”
Another excuse, cited at the link, is that Holder doesn’t always read his briefings.
Hoooooookkkkaaaaaaay. So, either the AG doesn’t understand that letting guns, purchased with your tax dollars, walk to Mexican drug cartels is a bad thing to do. Or, he’s a lousy AG who’s in over his head.
Meanwhile, at least one American Border Patrol agent is dead and, according to Mexican investigators, at least 200 Mexicans are dead as a result of this operation.
%d bloggers like this: