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Firearm Legislation in the United States
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25 / M / Bonne Lake, WA
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Posted 3/23/13
There are no threads that adequately cover this subject, and I would like to attempt to gather some opinions and moderate some dialogue. A similar thread was posted, but last time it saw any attention was around 2 years ago, and the climate in the US is a tad different.

To start, a little about myself and where I'm coming from:

I am a gun owner. I love target shooting. I've been hunting, and have taken a couple of white tail deer, field dressed them, skinned them, and harvested the meat from them myself. I have been shooting guns for 20 years, ever since I was 4 and my dad thought it'd be funny to see his mussel loader knock me on my rear. I own a hand gun, I've never fired it. It is unloaded in a gun cabinet in my home, with a gun lock on the trigger so that it cannot so much as be touched without the key, which I keep secure in a different location. I also keep the clip and ammunition in a separate location, also under lock and key.

I own an sks, forget the model exactly, but it has a 10 round clip. I have the ability to modify the clip to fit a 30 round banana clip which I also own, but have not done so.

Just to Get this part out of the way, and to give people the information:

As written by congress:


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


and as ratified by the states:


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.






That's my history with guns. Now, without further Ado, we'll get to the substance of the discussion:

Currently, there are numerous laws going in and out of congress. Some I agree with, some I do not, but none of them really fit what I think should be what is needed to reduce gun crime, which is the goal. I think that removing all guns from people is a mistake, as it is a dear part of the heritage of many citizens. It is absolutely necessary when living in the country to have fire arms in the home for more than just defense against intruders. There are many animals that can become quite vicious if they have certain diseases, like a raccoon with rabies. There are reasons for having many types of weapons in the home, and the majority of people with weapons in the home for practical purpose teach their children to treat guns with a great deal of respect. Even more important, those who grow up with guns and use them correctly grow up knowing the consequences of pulling it's trigger, and they know them very vividly. If they pull the trigger, the thing that they are pointing it at will die. Not only that, they also have the visualization of the thing that they had pulled the trigger while pointing the gun at it being dead, and watching it die. This type of association is very strong for these people, and I have never heard of someone from this environment 'accidentally' doing anything with a gun.



There are some laws being pass, as recently with the bill to continue last years budget, that they stick small extra bits and pieces, like the one stating that government agencies could not make statistical inferences between guns and murders etc. This kind of law making is a bit ridiculous. There are certain conversations that should be had regarding statistical evidence available and it's interpretation. If the evidence supports a hypothesis that gives a bad reputation to guns, so be it. If there are other explanations, we must explores those as well. No one in the government, the media, or the general public seems to be very interested in really getting into the numbers and having a conversation about this, but rather they spend the time to pass laws that actively prevent such investigation by the governmental entities most suited and situated to do such research.


The last point I would like to discuss in regards to new legislation is what kinds of legislation make sense to me, and whether or not anyone else sees it the same, or differently, and what personal experiences drive them to that conclusion. I do wish to not necessarily change your mind on points I disagree with, but see if I can get you to accept that my point of view at least has merit. I also wish for you to defend yourself in such a way that I feel comfortable in admitting that there is merit to your ideas based upon the events that have happened in your life.

Personally, I think that a few things should be necessary for the firearms industry. First, every gun manufactured should be fired, and the rifling pattern on the bullet should be copied. The pattern would be entered into a database by the company who manufactured it, along with the serial number of the weapon and it's caliber. No information as to the other aspects of the weapon should be stored on this database, to prevent prejudicial treatment if law enforcement needs to request a copy of the record in the course of an investigation. The serial number will need to be registered by the gun owner in the same way that vehicles need to be registered with the bureau of motor vehicles.

Second, mandatory background checks. This should exists, period. There should be no loop holes for NOT doing a background check on anyone any time the gun is transfered to a new owner. The gun should be treated like a motor vehicle, and licensing and title paperwork should be done.

Third, If you haven't caught my drift yet, I am trying to say that guns should be treated much like motor vehicles. Any weapon you plan on taking out in public, you should have the appropriate license and proof of registration with you at all times while carrying, and this means ALL firearms. If additional permits are required for concealed weapons, that would also be required.

Fourth, any permit to carry small firearms, such as pistols, should be required to pass a weapons proficiency test to ensure that you know how to use the damned thing. This is already in effect in some states, I believe michigan has such a law for a concealed weapons permit.

Fifth, Based upon fair game laws in many states, guns with a capacity of rapid automatic or semi automatic fire of more than 10 bullets in a row would be illegal outside of special licensed shooting ranges. You may not be in possession of one of these fire arms at any point in time. If you adjust a clip to hold up to only 10 bullets rather than it's maximum, that is also fine. Such devices exist.




That's the type of legislation i think makes sense, and would bring guns up to the level of responsibility that they deserve. People will still be armed, but they won't have enough firepower to seize an entire office building. Possession of such equipment could, at least, now be precedence for a search warrant of suspected individuals. Just a note, any attempt to curb gun violence will likely take years to really see the results. The amount of weapons that exist outside of the system already is a fairly high number.












The last topic that may come up is the second amendment. I would argue that, in this set of circumstances, you are not disallowing anyone from owning a gun, at least not prejudicial. To me, the second amendment simply states that all citizens have the right to form a militia that is well regulated. In other words, a formal organization with defined hierarchy. The rights of the citizens to bear arms exists because the militia would need to be formed by the citizens, and won't necessarily have access to a weapons store like the regular army does. This makes sense given the situation at the time of the bill of rights being written, as militias were being formed to fight an oppressive English government, as well as fighting with the native americans on the frontier.

I also believe very deeply that the first clause is the overall operator in the entire section. As with formal logic, A sentence structure like: It is not the case that andy and johnny won the race, would be symbolized as ~(A&J). That outter most operator encompasses an entire event. If the statement was: It is not the case that Andy won the race AND it is not the case that Johnny won the race, it would be symbolized as ~A&~J. This meaning is completely different, and the AND (ampersand) is the main operator of the sentence. As there is no conjunctive connectors in the second amendment, I must conclude the the well regulated militia is the main operator for the entire context of this section of the bill.







Now, this is all opinion and conjecture, but I would like to see everyone else's opinions, why they think what they think, and then, if you can keep it separate, why you disagree with what I think. I promise I won't argue pointlessly, but I will at least try to defend my reasoning once, in such a way that is not to say that you are wrong, but simply that I don't know if you read it as I meant to say it. Sometimes I am not the most articulate person, and what I say doesn't reflect what I was trying to say. If it appears that has happened, I will try and rephrase myself or use a better example.
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M & F / New Ameri...
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Posted 3/23/13 , edited 3/24/13
You're not going to like my response but I think it's valid. I guess I'm not as embroiled in this issue as many others are, it's not a high priority issue for me and I really don't dwell on it much. I think pro-gun people tend to be more active, opinionated, and strongly tied to the issue more than people who'd rather see fewer guns and the idealized elimination of gun violence. But here is my opinion: Repeal the 2nd Amendment. It should be abolished, completely eliminated, it's obsolete and completely incompatible with our modern world.

Replace it with what? Nothing. A Constitutional decree interferes with existing legislation that needs to evolve with a changing world. And the world is changing into a place that guns have no purpose except to kill. So recreational hunters, gun enthusiasts and hobbyists, people are dying unnecessarily because too many people are irresponsible with their "constitutionally protected right to gun ownership." That needs to stop. If you don't have access to a gun for the purposes of duty or law enforcement, you DON'T own a gun. And in the case of government sanctioned gun responsibility, the gun is not actually yours. You are leasing it as a contract of your responsibilities. So basically gun ownership does not exist, your uniform and your occupation is your license to carry a gun. If you don't have that uniform or occupation you don't even touch a gun, ever.

Yes I know it's a bit extremist, and probably dystopian too, but that's my opinion on the matter.
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25 / M / Bonne Lake, WA
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Posted 3/24/13
It is extreme, but I can appreciate where you are coming from. The cultural issue is varied within the US, as there are still people who use guns for their lively hood in more rural areas, as well as being necessary for conservation situations where the natural predators were killed off in our early days in the wild west, like wolves.

If you can appreciate that those situations out in the country and in farming communities are there, I can fully appreciate not wanting guns in populated areas, as the potential for disaster is just that much higher.
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22 / M / Hughesville, Penn...
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Posted 3/24/13
Guns should be legal, the real issue is the psychological problems of people that cause them to misuse guns. We should focus all of our effort on curing these problems.
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44 / M / Oklahoma
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Posted 3/24/13
Well for me, after the Aurora shooting I began researching the firearms laws and getting ideas about it... Then after the Sandy Hook shooting I sat at my computer watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Then everytime I saw someone being interviewed about gun control I looked for their email and sent them my ideas....

First and foremost is rebuilding our mental health programs... We have a mental health database but putting a name in it is more based on "Yah if you want you can" kinda thing. So make it mandatory to get those names in that database. Next is the mental health services. So many hospitals have been closed down in the past two decades due to poor conditions, low funding or poor treatment. So get them reopened and get these people the care they need. Its really sad when our prisons are the acting mental hospitals in a state.

The next step in my little plan is a permit system... A person would need to get a permit, just like a driver's license, to own a firearm. Not testing involved though. To get a permit they would have to fill out a form and provide proper ID. They take said forms and ID to a government office (take the background check out of the hands of the stores and dealers) and apply. With current technology a permit, with a person's picture, could be given quite quickly... When the person applies the office worker would do the background check, in both the criminal database and the mental health database. If they pass, the permit is given... Charge around $20 for the permit. This would help pay for the program. Also the permit would be good for 1 to 2 years.

The final step is registration. Every firearm would have to be registered. From the moment its manufactured or imported to everytime it changes hands its registered. A person buying a firearm would have around 24 to 72 hours to get it registered. They take it to the same office where they got the permit. The weapon is taken in the back and one round is fired into a water box. The round is then printed and scanned into the system along with numbers. This data is then attached to the person that brought it in. The weapon is then returned, with a free trigger lock, to the person wanting to register it. Charge $5 for a registration per weapon.

Anyone that wants to sell a weapon to someone would have to notify this agency that the weapon has been sold and too who. The new owner would then get 24 to 72 hours to register the weapon again to themselves.

I know no tax shall be put on our rights. But this isnt a tax. Its a fee. For processing and running this new agency. Why not the ATF? They are still apart of it but they need to be doing what they are doing right now. Also this would help create new jobs. If every major city had an office like this... we are talking a few thousand new jobs.

The next problem is when a newspaper or independant group gets the data and posts in the newspaper. Well real simple. Pass a new law that makes that illegal on the federal level with promises of jail time for the ring leaders.

All this is just stage one of the idea I sent forth to several people. Since 90% of the people I sent too only sent form letters or nothing at all... well I guess they didnt like the idea.

The next thing has nothing and everything to do with firearms violence and violence in general. Our society is changing by leaps and bounds. And the systems like labor laws and health care are pissing people off. Its making a society of mean angry people wanting to lash out at everything and everyone. So stage two...

Get some real labor laws in our country. Its really sad when we are the only country to have no mandatory vacation time, breaks, lunch, sick leave, etc. We shouldnt still need unions. But we do. Because most if not all labor laws are there to protect the employer not the employee. Its quite stupid IMO. Add to this the whole bullshit of part time/full time too... It is meant so some people dont have to work 40 hours a week should they choose to do something stupid like.... oh I dont know... RAISE THEIR KIDS!!!! But now companies use it as a way to not have to pay unemployment. I have personally worked many jobs as a part time employee yet worked 40+ hours per week. So lets abolish the full time part time bull... Your either employed or not employed. Not part time or full time.

Next is the health care. A standard visit to an ER in an emergency is not even in the realm of someone being able to pay. When you end up getting one aspirin and being charged $10 for it... Well that is outrageous. So lets get our health costs down to a reasonable. And I know Obama Care was meant to help us. But in fact its like trying to fill the grand canyon one spoonful at a time. It does way too little. Get these things so we have the possibility of paying easier.

These are stage two. By improving our working conditions and not putting us into major debt forever because we got the flu... Well these will improve our attitudes and hence make us happier citizens.

Stage three is grab FDR's second bill of rights and freaking implement them. These rights are awesome and awe inspiring. If you dont know them go google em....

That is all for now...
*puts on flame retardant suit*
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Posted 3/24/13

lordseth23 wrote:

Guns should be legal, the real issue is the psychological problems of people that cause them to misuse guns. We should focus all of our effort on curing these problems.


Exactly.
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25 / M / Bonne Lake, WA
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Posted 3/24/13
I've had first hand experience working with people that are on SSA benefits, and it's not pretty what we are expecting our mentally incompetent people to do. A certain level of care is necessary, but these people are constantly placed into mental facilities, and then released because medication is helping. The problem is that they don't continue their medications. There are many people like this, and there needs to be something we can do to keep them on their medication, or at least supervise them.




I was really hoping to hear from people who are against any form of regulation. Those are the people I really don't quite understand and was hoping to hear some of their opinions on the subject as to why it's necessary to make firearms legal and available to anyone and everyone. As it is, I can't disagree with anything Kaibagan posted, though I would venture to say that it may not go quite far enough. I fear, as he points out with healthcare, that if you do it right, it just creates more of an issue, or allows people who don't want any controls to point and go "see? it doesn't work!"
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44 / M / Oklahoma
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Posted 3/24/13 , edited 3/24/13

metalsmith wrote:

I've had first hand experience working with people that are on SSA benefits, and it's not pretty what we are expecting our mentally incompetent people to do. A certain level of care is necessary, but these people are constantly placed into mental facilities, and then released because medication is helping. The problem is that they don't continue their medications. There are many people like this, and there needs to be something we can do to keep them on their medication, or at least supervise them.




I was really hoping to hear from people who are against any form of regulation. Those are the people I really don't quite understand and was hoping to hear some of their opinions on the subject as to why it's necessary to make firearms legal and available to anyone and everyone. As it is, I can't disagree with anything Kaibigan posted, though I would venture to say that it may not go quite far enough. I fear, as he points out with healthcare, that if you do it right, it just creates more of an issue, or allows people who don't want any controls to point and go "see? it doesn't work!"


My father came back from Vietnam mentally insane. Paranoid schizophrenic. And it was a revolving door just as you mentioned. He would go to central state hospital for the mentally ill, get on his meds, be fine, get released, stop taking his meds, get in trouble, and back into the hospital he would go. Rinse and repeat. And I never understood how they would just keep letting this happen. In the first 10 years of my life he went in and out around 20 times. You would think after the second or third time they would just say "Ok your here to stay until we find something better" but no. Just keep releasing him and having to take him back.

The thing is medical practice. Mental and physical. In our country we are about disease and disorder management. Not cures. Because the medical professionals make money from us managing a disease then from curing it. You get cancer. Does the hospital get more from you over the next 20 years having to come back and manage the disease or do they make money from curing it out right then and there? Well of course the first choice. So why bother with cures?

And again... a lot of our violence, in my opinion, is because as a society we are angry. We are so pissed off at everything. Whether its not getting proper vacations or having to go into massive debt because you got a cold and went to the ER or because there was mayo instead of mustard on your burger. People are mad. And they want to lash out at society. If try to shore up some of these problems I really think the violence will calm down.

It wont go away. Nothing in my ideas will stop it entirely. The media and politicians will use it no matter what. They always want to point one incident that happened it make it out like its a major problem in our country. Look at how nuts everyone got about sink holes because one guy died in one last month. For weeks it was nothing but stories about how dangerous and evil they were. Yet more people die from lightning strikes then from sink holes every year. Yet nothing about how evil and dangerous lightning is.

Right now the liberals are pointing at every incident of gun violence and saying "Look! We need gun controls". Yet if we got the gun controls they want then the conservatives would point at every incident of gun violence and say "Look! Its not working!". It wont stop every incident but I really think with the proper checks and balances it can curtail it somewhat.

Another thing I did bot add into my first post though is the media. This is one more area we need controls. Some news groups either twist the truth around or out right lie. Hiding behind half words or partial truths. These people need to be held accountable. Its a new form of domestic terrorism. When a news caster comes on TV and says something like "Is the government funneling weapons into Syria from Libya? I am not saying they are I am just asking the question." Well you know what that is gonna do. Half the population is now going to think the government is doing just that. That is a type of terrorism all its own.

Years ago news teams reported the news and just the news. The deal was simple. The government would give these stations to the people on the promise that one hour a day impartial news reporting would happen. And it worked out great. Up until the stations found they could make more money from advertisers if the news was more spectacular. And its gotten way out of hand. Why the hell should I care about what happens in Cyprus? But they are making it sound like its the most important thing for us to know. Because of ratings.

And I am sorry but Fox News and MSNBC need to be charged openly with domestic terrorism or fraud or something in my opinion. These two groups, far right and left, are freaking nuts....
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25 / M / Bonne Lake, WA
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Posted 3/25/13 , edited 3/25/13
I agree that our media is out of hand. It's the 17th most free media in the world if you go by nations. The most free media are in nations where the media is entirely publicly funded by the government. Like norway and brittain. The BBC is much better at reporting news and giving mostly details and fewer opinions and discussion. If they report that something was happening in some country where there are media restrictions, they will tell you that they couldn't verify any of the information independently.

I agree that what fox news does (never really listened to MSNBC) is criminal. The outright bias that they have while maintaining the notion that they are a news corporation is a big load of crap.

From what I can tell, Americans have, in the previous generation, decided to put off debt and money problems as long as possible. Now, it's getting much more difficult to do so. Loop holes are finally being shut down and we are being forced to face some issues. We've been growing up under the delusion that you can support a country with a regressive tax rate. We've labored under the delusion that supply side economics works. The truth is far from that. Supply side only works when demand is ready to accept it.

The following is off the original topic, but feel free to comment on it :P

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Posted 3/25/13
I live in Canada...

and as a firearms owner I can tell you a thing or two. Just recently long gun registry was scrapped but the RCMP(some of them) go out there way to keeping all the long gun registry information illegally. It's pretty scarey some of the shit they pull. Anyway lets not speak of this subject so freely even if you live in the states.

But I can tell you this in Canada, the folks that enforce the law are stepping over the line big time.

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20 / M / Delaware
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Posted 3/25/13

Hairbelly wrote:


lordseth23 wrote:

Guns should be legal, the real issue is the psychological problems of people that cause them to misuse guns. We should focus all of our effort on curing these problems.


Exactly.


lol, you can't cure mental disorders, merely treat or stabilize them.
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Posted 3/25/13

tehstud wrote:


Hairbelly wrote:


lordseth23 wrote:

Guns should be legal, the real issue is the psychological problems of people that cause them to misuse guns. We should focus all of our effort on curing these problems.


Exactly.


lol, you can't cure mental disorders, merely treat or stabilize them.


Exactly.
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Posted 3/25/13

tehstud wrote:



that was deep...


Nothing else to add. You summed it up. I didn't want to step in your light.
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Posted 3/31/13
I am from a fairly red Midwestern state with an active gun culture. I live and grew up in an urban environment within that state. My experience with guns has never been positive. There were two driveby shootings at my home when I was a child. Had I or my brother been sleeping on the first floor of my home I doubt I would be writing this post. When I was six years old a gunman forced his way into my grandmothers factory and pulled a dear friend of hers out into the parking lot and shot her over a domestic dispute. I attended her funeral and for many years helped at fundraisers for her two children which were my age and were left without a mother or a father because of their fathers violence. This was the early 1990's and the father a known abuser had acquired the gun before the assault weapons ban or the gun laws in the violence against women act came into full force in my state. Had it not been possible for him to acquire a weapon legally this entire incident might have been prevented. After the implementation of VAWA many thousands of such incidents have been prevented. It is simple common sense to look at incident reports and crime data to see that known abusers should not be able to have guns at hand and so we made a decision as a nation that the right to bear arms didn't include people who had a high risk of bearing arms against their own families.

That wasn't the only close brush with gun violence in my immediate family. My grandfathers factory was the sight of a murder suicide last year:
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/17/15227495-two-dead-in-indianapolis-conagra-workplace-shooting?lite A student pulled a gun at my sisters middle school and nearly killed another student. When I attended school a madman attempted to burst into our school with an assault rifle after robbing a bank hoping to take children hostages to evade police. Security measures such as school resource officers (we had several) bulletproof entry doors that were remotely monitered and could be remotely locked down by school administrators may have saved my life. The current legislation gives billions for additional school resource officers and the emergency equipment and planning that helped me and my fellow students several years ago.

What isn't at debate here is the violence suffered by Americans not visited upon any other industrialized nation. There is a vast human toll and those who have been victims or have been touched by victims of violence aren't ready to put away their own weapons for peace and public discourse.The weight of public shame at doing nothing time and time again. It is religious leaders, police and fireman, victims of gun violence and their friends and family members, and many many responsible gun owners asking for a change in the nature of our countries laws as they relate to the mitigation of the tools of mass murder. The burden rests not with proponents of gun control but its opponents to say what is a moral argument as weighty as the scores of dead Americans whose families are asking that their voices be heard.
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22 / M / Hughesville, Penn...
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Posted 3/31/13

tehstud wrote:

lol, you can't cure mental disorders, merely treat or stabilize them.


Then we treat or stabilize them until there is a way to prevent genetic mutations.
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