The Gun Control Shuffle

America’s favorite pastime!

1. Have a mass shooting

2. Bury the dead and cry.

3. Politicians talk about the need for gun control so this never happens again.

4. Gun manufacturers, through their lobby group the NRA, warns that the government is out to take everyone’s guns.

5. Gun lovers buy lots of guns because they believe the NRA and the right-wing media.

6. Gun manufacturers’ income skyrockets.

7. Gun manufacturers use this money to bribe politicians through their lobby group, the NRA.

8. Despite overwhelming public support, no gun control passes.

9. Another mass shooting occurs.

Repeat every few months

12 thoughts on “The Gun Control Shuffle

  1. Take that as a given.

    Now, taking that as a given, let’s look at this shooter: he did not “break in with a borrowed pass”; he used his own. He was a veteran, and from the accounts of his friends from before and after he snapped and killed people, it looks like he was suffering from PTSD.

    Can we agree that PTSD among veterans is a big enough problem all by itself that we should examine how much more the Veterans’ Administration needs to address the problem correctly?

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  2. Ah–but you know what?

    The type of people who generally use guns for harm (and this is a sweeping generalization) do not purchase them via legal means. So what good does the law do?

    Some people who *do* legally qualify for guns, end up unstable. They snap. Or they never met the “safe” criteria, and steal the guns from people who did acquire them legally.

    Acquisition of the guns is not the problem. If someone really wants one, they’ll find one. Somehow, legally or not.

    It’s who has them, what they use them for, how they are being used.
    It’s an ongoing, throughout history issue.

    Simple “gun control” isn’t going to solve the underlying problem, especially since nobody can even agree on that.

    What do you think? Other than the sarcastic list, that is?

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    • Good god, you’re right!

      And laws against crack abuse haven’t stopped criminals from getting crack! And laws about speeding haven’t stopped speeding!

      Criminals are going to break the law no matter what we do!

      Guess we’d better just get rid of all laws, then, since there will always be people who won’t obey them.

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      • I said nothing about getting rid of the laws–just that they should attempt to be better enforced, and attempt to come up with a better solution than endless spouting that “guns are the problem” and “more gun control!”

        The bottom line is, there will always be the wrong kind of people who abuse the system, break the laws, abuse drugs, ignore the speed limit, and own guns–legally or illegally. There always have been, and probably always will be.

        The difference could be in enforcement, regulation, monitoring, and actual consequences for their actions.

        What would you suggest as a solution? Just out of curiosity? (Not trying to be rude)

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    • We could start by making it harder to get guns…for example, not allowing the sale of guns at gun shows. The sellers at gun shows are not required to do background checks or impose a waiting period. They are out to make a buck. It should be very difficult to get a gun in the first place. You should have to take a training class, pass a training exam, have a full psycological profile done (at your expense), take a gun safety course, pass a gun safety exam, a full state and federal background check, your fingerprints taken (teachers do this every year to get our clearances), and retake the training and safety courses and pass the exams again every other year. You would have to do this for every gun you bought (although you would not have to retake the exam multiple times in a single year, unless you bought more than one gun in a single year). If all of these were put in law and _stringently_ enforces, with fines and automatic jail time for people who broke the laws, I might begin to feel slightly safer about how careless we are with guns in the US.

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      • These are all *excellent* ideas.
        I know at the gun shows it is easier access; I did not know there was no background check required. That is interesting.

        I also agree with automatic jail time for breaking the laws, the fines, and additionally, removing the right to have access to weapons again.

        I will point out though that while teachers get fingerprinted every year (I’m also a school employee) the fingerprint check doesn’t catch *everything.* It is a great start though!

        My only question would be, how do we pick who is qualified to do the psychological assessments? Who makes that decision? Would they be required to take a special certification?

        Thanks for the civil, interesting reply.

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      • Oh, I forgot the federally mandated waiting period, and making person-to-person sales illegal as well, since the average citizen can’t do the kind of background checks the feds can. You would have to re-sell your gun to a federally- and state-accredited gun store or gun club. They could re-sell it. Pawning guns would also have to be illegal.

        Don’t even get me started on what a gun store or gun club would need to get that accreditation.

        I don’t want to take anyone’s guns away. I think sane, responsible people have the right to own guns. (I won’t come over to your house or hang out with you if you carry — it’s simply not safe — but I support your Constitutional right to have a gun.) I want to impose reasonable restrictions. And when I think about all the gun violence in this country, these seem entirely reasonable to me.

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  3. We need a federal law that applies all over the US so people can’t avoid their local laws by running to a state without controls. There should be background checks to make sure you’re not giving a gun to a felon or an insane person, waiting periods, requirements to take a safety course, insurance, and limits on how many bullets the thing can hold at one time.

    Then there can be licensed shooting ranges where you can play with the more dangerous “assault rifles” under supervision and those rifles never leave the ranges.

    They did these things in Australia about ten years ago and lo and behold, their gun deaths plummeted. We have evidence that reasonable gun control works.

    Will there still be criminals who will get them? Of course. Will these laws allow us to easier catch them? You bet.

    This will never prevent all gun deaths — nothing will do that — but it will drastically reduce the number of them.

    The relative inconvenience to gun owners is balanced against human life, and in my mind, human life wins.

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    • I completely agree. I am all for the points you stated above. I personally would prefer not to ever handle an assault weapon–I just don’t see myself needing that experience, other than to get over a fear of them. We definitely need to balance inconvenience (which the above are, but could also fall under “reasonable precaution”) against life–and definitely, life wins.

      I advocate for being able to have a gun, but being responsible in the care and useage of it, as you listed above.

      I did note on the form, when filling out the gun paperwork, there are questions about whether you are giving the gun to anyone else..I was like, seriously? Even if you were, do people check “yes”? I applaud their efforts, but there should indeed be a better check in place–as well as follow up training REQUIRED. Not everyone who owns a gun knows how to use it or keep it safely put away, and those are the people to be worried about.

      Thanks for explaining!

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      • I have had, as clients, people who bought a gun, swore under oath that they wouldn’t give it to someone else, and then did. So that block is used to charge them with perjury-type laws against false representations and so on.

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      • Wow…the lack of integrity is always surprising. At least there’s an attempt in place to hold them accountable.

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  4. To correct some misinformation – Licensed gun dealers at gun shows are still required to run a background check just as if the purchase was being made in their storefront. Depending on your state, private individuals can sell from their personal collection at a show (just as they can make a private sale at any time) without the background check.

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