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Monday, December 17, 2012

Reasons for mild optimism re: Sane Gun Control

Posted by on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 7:12 AM

While I'm generally pretty pessimistic about attempts to control guns in our insane culture, it occurs to me that not so many years ago, decriminalizing pot or legalizing same sex marriage seemed impossible. Too politically risky. No politician could go there, for fear of being labelled soft on crime or a fringe lunatic of some kind.

Political organization, money spent, arguments made in public, campaigns mounted: and lo and behold, decriminalized pot and legal gay marriage happened in some places. Only if liberals (and sane conservatives) stay angry and organize, spend money, make arguments in public fora, can we expect any progress on this issue. But maybe we can accomplish the politically impossible again.

 

Comments (17) RSS

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1
And look at how attitudes toward smoking (and the amount of smoking, and laws about smoking) have changed in the last 30 years.
Posted by janele on December 17, 2012 at 8:09 AM · Report this
2
Guns are not the problem. They need to be guided by a person to do damage.

Neglectful parents who (to their benefit) didn't learn how to model constructive and pro-social behavior for their children are a dangerous, growing phenomenon in our society.

Who's regulating/monitoring parenting skills? Because we become parents doesn't give us a "free ticket" from having mental health and interpersonal communication issues which need attention.

Metaphoric to a person who seeks to acquire a gun - a parent who is not "qualified" (has no "background check" or monitoring done for parenting/communication skills) is potentially very dangerous. Further, parents "wrap their hands around" a child, guide/"aim" their direction, and, ultimately, pull the trigger.

What we really need to give our attention to is not the gun, but who's behind the trigger?
Posted by friendlyneighborhood on December 17, 2012 at 8:15 AM · Report this
3
@2 Bullshit argument. The two are not mutually exclusive: we can and should improve mental health care AS WELL AS gun control laws. No logical either/or there. Though I would personally be in favor of licensing parents.
Posted by Chicago Fan on December 17, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
Ziggity 4
You know, in some ways I was hoping that at the national and state level, the argument against new gun laws would play out like it has in the comments here and elsewhere - "There's no debate, just the 2nd amendment!" "What specifically would you do? Well that wouldn't work." The question about how to have fewer kids be shot to death implies that everyone agrees that that's the preferred solution, and soon the people making the above arguments would be marginalized and ignored as acting in bad faith.

But hey gun-rights folks, you lucked out, because Sen. Manchin of WV doesn't like kids being murdered, so he will play ball. Now if only you could come up with some specific ideas, you might come out of it with some of your "liberties".
Posted by Ziggity on December 17, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
5
I'm not a member of the NRA and I'm not necessarily opposed to stricter gun laws. However, I think there is good reason to be skeptical of the value of new gun laws. For example, the 1994 assault weapons ban mostly only mandated cosmetic changes to commercially available weapons such as the removal of pistol grips and bayonet lugs. All that law did was annoy gun collectors such as myself. It didn't do a damn thing to prevent Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from shooting up their high school.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 6
We need gun control, but how can you advocate legalizing mind altering substances?!?

Guns need to be illegal. Pot needs to be illegal. All mind altering drugs need to be illegal (e.g., alcohol, heroin, cocaine, LSD... all of them).

For our safety.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 7
@5: then it is incumbent on you, the NRA-donating gun rights supporter, to suggest effective policy changes that would reduce the frequency of shootings by the mentally ill.

educate us, gun trolls. tell us what would work. and if you say "enforce the laws we already have", you lose.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 17, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Knat 8
@2: Piss off, NRA astroturfer. The adults are talking.

Is copy + pasting the same fallacious screed into a dozen different threads not sufficient spamming to have an account pulled, Stranger IT Dept?
Posted by Knat on December 17, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
9
@7 According to the FBI in the US in 2011 8,583 people were murdered w/ guns. Of those 6,220 were killed with handguns, 323 with rifles, 356 with shotguns, and in 1,684 cases the type of firearm used could not be determined. Given that handguns were used in the vast majority of gun murders and in nearly 50% of all murders, I'd say that efforts to reduce gun violence ought to focus on restricting access to handguns.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 10
The same disingenuous conservatives who said we couldn't have health care reform are the ones who say we can't have gun control. They also claim they won the debate on taxes. And drugs. And marriage.

In fact, it's getting rather predictably tiresome. Their go-to tactic is to tell us the discussion is over and they won. Now, go to your room!

So yeah. Obamacare was hard and it needs even more work to sustain it and expand it to fill in the gaps. But we did it. We're winning on gay marriage too. The list goes on.

Gun control is just as difficult, but just as possible.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on December 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
11

"Young adults (18-24 years -old) have historically had the highest offending rates and their rates nearly doubled from 1985 to 1993. Since 1993 offending rates for 18-24 year-olds have declined but remain slightly higher than levels prior to the mid 1980's."

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicid…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
Guns are not the problem.

Ready access to semi-automatic and automatic military style weaponry and ammunition and large capacity magazines that crazy people can easily get due to the Gun Nut Worshipping fanatics are the problem.

The deer will be just as dead with a bolt-action single shot 30.06 fwiw.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
13
I'm inviting people into my house every other week for the next god knows how long to organize, learn and advocate. I'm ashamed of myself for not doing this earlier, but I've got a nice big living room and had a nice group of people show up yesterday. We'll be going to Olympia this session and who knows? Maybe we'll even do a Tour De Gun Show. And it's imperative to bring a lot of voices into the conversation. A gun owner and I may not agree on legal restrictions but so far all the pro-gun folks I've talked with seem to be pretty damn interested in better mental health care. I'll take it.

Posted by jt on December 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Fnarf 14
You are high if you think anything's going to happen.

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (mine for another couple of weeks) wrote back to me and said she's going to try to introduce sensible gun control legislation again, as she has done so often before. Guess what's going to happen to that legislation. Come on, @9, guess.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
Steven Bradford 15
Thanks Dominic, it is helpful to remember this. It seems impossible (see posts above) but you're right so many things seemed impossible politically 15 years ago.
Posted by Steven Bradford http://www.seanet.com/~bradford/ on December 17, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
16
Fnarf, what do I win if we defeat any NRA-sponsored legislation this session? Dinner at Bizzarro on you?
Posted by jt on December 17, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
@16, dinner on me if you pass anything positive. Defeating the NRA isn't the point; they stake out increasingly broad positions as a method of maintaining what they have. I expect any NRA legislation this session to fail as well, but they don't really care. And they might get lucky, like they did in Wisconsin (the governor in WI is going to sign, too, so soon you will be able to carry a concealed weapon in a hospital or school there).
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this

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