Friday, February 08, 2013

What Do You Think of These Gun Violence Principles?

In the wake of recent gun violence, House Democrats have formed a Gun Violence Task Force that includes newly elected LV Congressman Matt Cartwright. He agrees that "no one set of laws will completely end gun violence," but adds "that cannot be an excuse for inaction." He and fellow task force members have proposed these principles:


Ø  Support the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. The United States Supreme Court affirmed individuals’ 2nd rights to firearms in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).  However, the Supreme Court also held that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” Within the limits described by Heller, the federal government has the responsibility to take appropriate steps to protect our citizens from gun violence.
Ø  Support citizens’ rights to possess firearms for hunting, shooting sports, defense, and other lawful and legitimate purposes: In the United States, there is a long tradition of hunting and recreational shooting, and firearms are often passed down within families from generation to generation. Policies passed by Congress should respect this.
Ø  Reinstate and strengthen a prospective federal ban on assault weapons: These weapons are designed to fire a large number of rounds in a short period of time. They constitute a lethal threat to law enforcement and other first responders.
Ø  Reinstate a prospective federal ban on assault magazines: These magazines hold more than ten rounds and allow a shooter to inflict mass damage in a short period of time without reloading. Banning them will save lives.
Ø  Require a background check for every gun sale, while respecting reasonable exceptions for cases such as gifts between family members and temporary loans for sporting purposes: It is estimated that four out of ten gun buyers do not go through a background check when purchasing a firearm because federal law only requires these checks when someone buys a gun from a federally licensed dealer. That would be like allowing four out of ten people to choose if they’d go through airport security. This loophole allows felons, domestic abusers, and those prohibited because of mental illness to easily bypass the criminal background check system and buy firearms at gun shows, through private sellers, over the internet or out of the trunks of cars.
Ø  Strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database: Immediate action is needed to ensure the information in the NICS database is up to date. Many federal and state agencies remain deficient in transferring important records to the database. Without the information, the background checks aren’t complete. This needs to change.
Ø  Prosecute those prohibited buyers who attempt to purchase firearms and others who violate federal firearm laws: Federal law bars nine categories of people—including felons and those prohibited because of mental illness —from buying guns. But when prohibited persons attempt to buy guns, they are hardly ever prosecuted. More can and must be done to make these investigations and prosecutions a priority.
Ø  Pass legislation aimed specifically at cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw-purchasing: Straw-purchasing is when a prohibited buyer has someone with no criminal history walk into a gun store, pass a background check and purchase a gun with the purpose of giving it to the prohibited buyer.  This puts guns in the hands of people who are prohibited from having them. Congress should pass a law that will put an end to this practice.
Ø  Restore funding for public safety and law enforcement initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence: Congress should fund law enforcement’s efforts to reduce gun violence, while supporting federal research into causes of gun violence.  Put simply, there is no reason the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the National Institute of Health (NIH) should be inhibited from researching the causes of gun violence. And there is no reason for the restrictions federal law places on our law enforcement officers’ ability to track and combat the spread of illegal guns.
Ø  Support initiatives that prevent problems before they start: Local communities should have assistance in applying evidence-based prevention and early intervention strategies that aredesigned to prevent the problems that lead to gun violence before those problems start.
Ø  Close the holes in our mental-health system and make sure that care is available for those who need it: Congress must improve prevention, early intervention, and treatment of mental illness while working to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. Access to mental health services should be improved, the shortage of mental health professionals should be addressed, and funding should be made available for those programs that have proven to be effective.
Ø  Help our communities get unwanted and illegal guns out of the hands of those who don’t want them or shouldn’t have them: Congress should help support and develop local programs that get unwanted guns off our streets. And Congress should work with states to develop programs that get guns out of the hands of those convicted of certain crimes or those prohibited because of mental illness.
Ø  Support responsible gun ownership: Congress should support safety training, research aimed at developing new gun safety technologies and the safe storage of firearms.
Ø  Take steps to enhance school safety. Congress must help all schools implement evidence-based strategies that support safe learning environments tailored to the unique needs of students and local communities. And Congress must work with all schools to develop emergency response plans.
Ø  Address our culture’s glorification of violence seen and heard though our movie screens, television shows, music and video games: Congress should fund scientific research on the relationship between popular culture and gun violence, while ensuring that parents have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about what their families watch, listen to, and play.

30 comments:

Peter J.Cohran said...

Bernie, I do believe that violent games become similar to an anesthesia influence as the result of the act of pulling a trigger repeatedly on another human.Think of some hideous act that is not acceptable ,like people that sneak kiddie porn at work for the first time, they then get bolder end bolder ,right? Any time a firearm is aimed at a human or animal ,a light should go on in the handlers head about what is about to happen. The movie and entertainment business has an influence on the loser mind set anyway.Additionally, school districts have proved clueless and staff cannot by their fundamental nature, fix the holes themselves without advice from somebody that hasn't been down range. Good morning , snow today.

Anonymous said...

I am sure criminals and the mentally ill will follow to the letter of the law all of these recommendations. In fact, the only thing to make this better is if we ban murder and gun crime to start with.

Gun control only controls law abiding citizens

Anonymous said...

A certain percentage of the population simply does not trust the government. If you consider that homeland security has been arming themselves to the teeth along with NDAA and the loss of due process I can almost see their point.

Anonymous said...

"Pass legislation aimed specifically at cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw-purchasing: Straw-purchasing is when a prohibited buyer has someone with no criminal history walk into a gun store, pass a background check and purchase a gun with the purpose of giving it to the prohibited buyer. This puts guns in the hands of people who are prohibited from having them. Congress should pass a law that will put an end to this practice."

This is what got that State Trooper killed up in the Poconos. The killer's girlfriend (from Palmer Township) bought him the gun at Cabelas under her name. She is being prosecuted. So, there are "straw" purchase laws and the book. See how well that worked. All the laws in the world won't stop gun violence. It is here. The only thing that might work is an outright ban with no grandfathering and confiscation on the spot of any firearm by law enforcement. We all know that won't fly either unless the US Constitution is changed.

Anonymous said...

Some gun owners = obsessive about their toys

Anonymous said...

I rejest your core premise. new laws will do nothing to solve the problem of crazed mass murders. That paragon of intelligence, Joe Biden, admitted as much recently.
Makes me wonder what the real motive is in all of this.
Note that Homeland (!) security is on an ammunition buying spree, buying up literally millions and millions of rounds. WTF could that be for?

Anonymous said...

Did you read about the LA manifesto psycho who has embarked on a killing spree?

An ex-cop and a member of the US navy....legal gun owner.....

he snapped!

People snap....

No new gun law will stop this!

Anonymous said...

Liberals are supposed to be educated and smarter than conservatives ? Since Newton, CT, they all sound like pathetic losers. You cannot legislate insanity which is the core root of the problem in 100 % of all the mass murder incidents. Any dumbass knows that!

Anonymous said...

Not to mention, the LA cop is a confirmed liberal. Who could have expected such an upstanding citizen would promote his belief in gun control in such a public fashion?

Anonymous said...

"Assult magazines." I'm a vet and have been around firearms for over 50 years. Too much experience to mention ---- and I have never ever heard the term " assult magazine" before. Not once.

At 7:43 NO FIREARM IS A TOY.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

You have a point regarding recreational shooting (which involves target shooting) and hunting. Then you have immediately following that an "assault" weapons ban suggestion.

Please realize that "modern sporting rifles" (semi automatic rifles: mini 14's, ak-style semi autos, and AR style semi autos) are the most popular firearms for "target/recreational shooting". These semi automatic rifles are NOT assault weapons, they are semi-auto firearms intended for home defense, varmint hunting, and target shooting. Without proper Class III licenses, automatic assault weapons are already "banned". Unless of course you have the proper federal permit to own one.

Regards,

Colin Monahan

Anonymous said...

I'd also point out that we've had a narcotics ban for years, and that isn't working out so well is it?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:53,

It is billions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:53,

It is billions.

Anonymous said...

This administration is all about diverting, grandstanding, attacking, controlling, regulating, wild spending, and raising taxes to support it all.

The gun issue is just a continuation of America's changing face. Happy?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Colin, These are not my principles. They come from House Dems. I have no principles.

I liked what Mike Topping, a sporstman told me, two weeks ago.

1) No reason for an "assault rifle" ban bc they are not really assault rifles.

2) Magazine capacity limit might be ok, but 10 is the magi number as this is the minimum magazine for many weapons now manufactured.

3. More intrusive background checks are needed so that the Mezzacappas of this world are nowhere near guns.

4. More safety in any place that have large gatherings of people. We might need more armed guards than currently exist at malls, movies and schools.

Sportsmen know their shit and I rely on them for this sort of thing.

And for venison jerky.

Anonymous said...

Wait till you've tried some of my goose jerky!

Anonymous said...

Wait until you get some fake rev jerky!

Tricia Mezzacappa said...

I am putting this comment site on notice. I have attempted to notify Mike Topping and the Federation of Sportsman that I do not like being lumped in with some cook club of persons not worthy of a firearm.

I have earned the right to own and carry guns by being a law abiding citizen for my entire life.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mezzacappa is Exhibit "A" on the need for more intensive scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

I'm a gun owner. I don't see a problem with background checks for any purchase of a firearm or having mental health records linked to those background checks. Seems appropriate.

As for the "bans" of things, it's a slippery slope. Guns today, knives, hammers and bats tomorrow, and it's meaningless. I remember back with the OKC bombing people wanted to ban sales of fertilizer and racing fuel to anyone outside farmers and race car drivers.

A ban also says it's ok to kill 7 people with seven rounds, but 10, whoa now...way too much death.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to calm down. Passing a law, ANY law, will not protect us from abhorrent behavior.

Adding more regulations, laws, sounds nice and easy, but abhorrent behavior will find a way BEYOND whatever we decide to do "on paper."

Think about it.

Anonymous said...



This guy is a DUMMY!

Anonymous said...

Matt must have been a social worker at some point. Lots of feel-good language, little of which is economically possible under the best of times. These are NOT the best of times. A plan that includes more specifics is what we all need.

Bernie O'Hare said...

These are called principles. They are not supposed to be plans.

Anonymous said...

Background checks are cool. The rest is abject bullshit. Bullshit- can I be any more clear?

Anonymous said...

Cars don't make people drive drunk and guns don't make people kill. Background checks are fine. The rest is ridiculous. If cops feel threatened by large magazine weapons, how do you think I feel about them? It's America. We don't have royalty and no one citizen is entitled to more legal protection than another. When seconds count, ever shrinking numbers of law enforcement are minutes away. I want protection from bad guys, too. And the guys with unlimited levels of protection shouldn't tell me what level of protection I may use.

Why Citizens Need Protection said...

What's happening in California is the best argument for citizens being able to arm themselves appropriately for the times.

The government absolutely fears a citizen taking down Christopher Dorner before the police do.

It would deflate the push to disarm citizens and be a major setback for anti-gun proponents.

Peter J.Cochran said...

To;8;20 Yes he went off the reservation! The news people paint him as police do 'Dangerous'.Last time I checked Intel people were not of this character and having a marksmanship grade of 'Sharpshooter',means he just qualified under U.S.Navy rifle standards,this does not mean he is any more skilled than some 15 year old kid that has been to the range 2 times.He is not stupid,he was a Commissioned Officer and COP,and was cleaver enough to lead authorities to a high traffic area before he ,I THINK,drove away in his rental car.Used 'candle to moth ' draw and evasion.

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