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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past couple of days I've seen several news stories in my area involving guns/gun violence. I've also heard those that I work with talking about them in different capacities. Some people are for ownership, some not, some can't figure out why we as people even need them. None of them are experts and I never really talk about it with most of them. As these elections grow closer and as time goes on I worry more and more about our right to own and enjoy these wonderful devices. At some point, something's got to give... so what will it be?

The other day a man drove into a gas station, in the middle of the day, in one of the most affluent areas of my city and shot a woman twice. She was pumping gas, she didn't know him. He shot at another person and missed. Then drove across the street and took his own life. Now I must note that he had a long history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and something else. And from what I understand he took the gun from his parents home. The indoor range that I shoot at was robbed a few nights ago. The thieves backed up a truck loaded up and were off. With them went many cheap revolvers and saturday night specials. They left the high-end customs and semi autos, but took the AK's and maybe a Barrett .50. The funny thing is a few days prior to this event I was there shooting. And upon leaving I passed by one of the cases and saw an AK with a very short barrel, pins through the back and it was being sold as a "pistol". I thought to myself that I would hate for that weapon to fall into the wrong hands. I mean, if you have a gun permit you can buy it, but because you have a permit doesn't necessarily make you smart enough to own it. I can just see someone carrying it around in their car because "they can", legally. Then something happens and they spray 7.62's all over the place endangering other's lives, causing damage, and further damaging the views on guns and gun ownership. Now that gun may be on the streets soon. What's amazing about that is if you or I had that weapon, and put a stock on it, it would be a federal violation... an SBR that is more concealable and thus a threat to everyone. But as a pistol, it's fine.

My goal is not to pass judgement. It's only to look at the facts, the common sense facts that most of us who take this seriously, know. There are many idiots. There are many idiots that can legally own a gun. We've seen them at the shop, or at gun shows. Even at the range. Let's face it. There are many people that should not have guns based on the fact that they are idiots.

So I wonder. No, in fact now more than ever I find myself thinking of a better way. I own several SBR's. I own a full auto. I own a suppressor. I've had to fill out paper work, file prints, sit with my local law enforcement leaders, pay the federal government and give them permission to basically walk into my home at any time.

If it came down to it, how many of you would accept more stringent laws if it meant more scrutiny in acquiring them but it also meant that you could own the firearms you want without restriction? My friend and I always ask the question why can't guys like he and myself get NEW weapons that have a 2 or 3 round burst? Not a full-on auto, but burst... that makes sense. Do you know that that MP5 is really a $600 stamped receiver weapon? LEOs can get new HK UMPs for around $1,300. But an MP5 sells for $20,000 and up to good clean law abiding people willing to go through the process. (By the way I have a living trust now so the process is easier).

What if a system was in place that was as efficient as it could be but you had to interview, then pay a fee, and go through training to obtain the firearms you love so much? Would it suck? Yeah probably. But I rest assured that not too many nut jobs are getting Class III weapons (legally). And last I heard there is only one record of a registered Class III owner committing a crime with such a weapon... ever (correct me if I'm wrong).

Anyway, I try to make sense of all this in my head. But I know there is no sense to some of it. Just like banning weapons with folding stocks and flash-hiders or people thinking that a Tec-9 is more deadly than a Glock 19. I mean which one would you bet your life on? Oh yeah the Tec cause it "looks" deadly.

How can we improve our situation and get closer to having these things when my kid's kids want to enjoy this activity? What are you willing to do? ???
 

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write a heartfelt article or two and send them in to your local newspaper. other people in other towns can do the same. a lot of papers print "opinion" sections, and anyone that reads the paper will see what you wrote. guns definitely have bad PR... and i think politics have a lot to do with it. everyone knows that the media and primary politicians work hand-in-hand... so if a certain politician is anti-gun, their media slaves will post anti-gun articles until the world stops turning. it sells papers, and helps their sales out. we live in the kind of world where people slow down around car wrecks to see if there's blood on the ground. people are mercenary and bloodthirsty... both in real life and in entertainment. bleh. :(
 

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Nice post Prizm.

I think it boils down to how much of your rights you're willing to give up to 'feel' safer. We all know that criminals will always have guns, whether they are banned or not. On the other hand I can see the argument that relaxing laws on the three-burst or full-auto guns may encourage more production of them, more stores selling them and thus more potential of them to be stolen. But you should consider all the massacres in recent years where lone gunmen with semi-auto firearms were able to take out a lot of people. I would also make the argument that a full auto in the hands of a stupid criminal is better than a semi-auto because with a full auto there will likely be a lot more spraying and missing than with a semi-auto (then again, i'm ignorant on the effectives of full auto).

So, in the end, I don't think that there would be peace of mind in making guns harder to acquire because the folks with evil intentions will get them no matter how difficult it is for law abiding folks to get them.

Now, law-abiding stupid folks is an interesting subject and one I haven't thought of much. Heh, I wish people weren't so careless and stupid but just as there will always be criminals there will also always be stupids.

Although I would argue that if you want to do something to protect us from stupid people you should start by taking away their vehicles :eek:

My point is that I don't think there is much that can be done to remedy this situation. The crux of the issue is that if you want to be free yourself you have to let other people be free too. We can try to keep psychos and criminals from keeping guns and while we may make slight progress I think in the end it will harm the normal folks more.

Anyways, cars kill many more people than guns, so if anything we should start with cars.

You'll have to pry the steering wheel out of my cold dead hands.

:2cents:
 

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The only way to change the tide is arming yourself with knowledge (Lott's books would be a good start) and refuting the hysterical claims made by anti gun people. Their arguments are nearly always based on emotion and not facts. In the grand scheme of things, as Lex points out, there are far more dangerous things than guns. In Lott's 'The Bias Against Guns' he points out that among children under 12(I may need to recheck the age) more die drowning in 5 gallon buckets than are accidently killed by guns.

I don't think its right to base your laws on the lowest common denominator, which are criminals in this case... we all know how ineffective the tens of thousands of gun laws we already have are, what difference would more make? Defaulting to more freedom is always the best option. There will always be stupid people, but basing laws on them has the overall net effect of restricting the greater number of sensible people (tough to qualify what makes stupid v sensible, but my view is positive overall ;) )

If we're talking mainly about nfa items, and how to make them more easily available to the good guys, we have a bit of a different case. To even people with neutral opinions of guns, who like most are completely uninformed, they represent the extreme, the peak of the 'what do you need that for' mindset. But explain that they are virtually never used in crime (and the one crime with fa you mention was by a policeman)... Present to them the obvious cases for suppressor use. Point out that they are far more than an 'assassin's tool.' Explain how gunfire indoors can be extremely damaging to hearing and night vision and how they can keep gun ranges from closing from noise complaints. In many european countries they're sold over the counter like car mufflers. Burst and full auto are harder to discuss, but their greater effectiveness as a serious defensive tool cannot be denied.

The mention of defense is something that so many people have a hard time grasping. They've been conditioned for so long that the police will be there to save them, that they deny the reality they see on the news every night. When your life or property is on the line, the responsibility for them is yours! When the rubber meets the road, the police generally only come to mop up the aftermath :-[
 

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Take one trip on a Saturday to the local public range "overseen" by the DNR and you will see exactly why some people should not be allowed to posess firearms without training...
 

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Take one trip on a Saturday to the local public range "overseen" by the DNR and you will see exactly why some people should not be allowed to posess firearms without training...
All you have to do is get enough people to complain to the range owner and request that everyone who shoots at that range must pass some kind of training. I'm sure you can work something out without having to pass new laws, etc.

And if the range owner doesn't agree but there is still a good number of people on your side then I guess you've got yourself a potential customer base and should open up your own gun range 8)
 

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My take is simple. A law abiding resident or whatever should be allowed to possess any firearm they wish, machineguns included (Think of the sales tax on ammo).

But:

Each weapon should be registered in the same way we do cars. Each sale reported and registration transferred. (I don't intend to commit a crime so what's the harm)
Firearms in the home, work or business should be secured. This stops crimminals from geting them and also childeren from having accidents. In the UK and New Zealand, all firearms in ranges and gun shops much be locked in a safe each night. The same for firearms in the home. Yes, it's anal, but it's also safe.
 

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I'd like to see something where you pass NFA and training and then are set free.

Buy what you wish, travel anywere, etc.

I have to triple check the car after a trip to the range. I can drive 10 miles into Maryland or 35 into DC and be in deep shit. Not that I'd forget a weapon :duh:, but more likely a round or mag could have been misplaced or slipped out. Ammo is illegal in DC, and your car is searched when trying to enter some of the parking garages. Not everyone is lucky enough to work for Senator Webb and get away with a mistake.

I can't shoot after work because I can't have a weapon in my car in my office parking lot.

The list goes on and on. I'm actually in one of the better states.

Now if only I was a criminal I'd have no worries.

So, I'd agree to something new if it would also set me free.
 

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Each weapon should be registered in the same way we do cars. Each sale reported and registration transferred. (I don't intend to commit a crime so what's the harm)
There are several problems with this:

1. It won't do much, if anything at all, to reduce the availability of guns to criminals, in fact, it will likely increase the availability. See: War on Drugs.

2. The harm is to everyone in the increase in taxes and spending to create this extra bureaucracy. A DMV like operation won't exactly be a cheap operation.

3. For those that strictly interpret the constitution it's pretty obvious in there that the founders intended for us to be armed. Which to me would mean that the government should (passively) encourage people to own firearms and not discourage it by creating hoops to jump through. In my humble opinion the current background checks are as far as we should ever go in terms of checks. If you're not a criminal or a crazy, then you should be able to own a gun, no strings attached.

4. Registration, especially most vehicle registrations, are annualized, this means that you would have to reregister your guns on a regular basis and if for whatever reason you can't afford to pay the registration fees for all the guns you will have to sell/give some/all of them up. Suddenly inheriting your grandfathers gun collection can become an expensive proposition. In the long run you would be destroying the American tradition of gun ownership. It'll be subtle, most people will be able to afford to own a few guns, sure, but I think many people will suddenly start to seriously consider if maybe they should reduce their gun collection. There are also many people who collect guns for their value, somewhat like an investment. So, in that case, it would be like if the government where to start requiring people to register their gold - it's a little stretch to make this point, but please consider it. If at first it'll be a one time registration, eventually it'll become a yearly thing.

5. In politics, we always have more new laws pass than old laws repealed. So from a strategic point of view, if you were to try and pass this registration law while trying to make it easier to make people get three-burst, full auto, silencers, etc, what will most likely happen is that registration will become law but those other things will not be repealed. Experience shows us that the law books only ever get bigger, not smaller.

Firearms in the home, work or business should be secured. This stops crimminals from geting them and also childeren from having accidents. In the UK and New Zealand, all firearms in ranges and gun shops much be locked in a safe each night. The same for firearms in the home. Yes, it's anal, but it's also safe.
There are many places in America where people still keep a loaded shot gun by their bedside and have saved their own life and the lives of their loved ones by excercising this freedom. America is one of the few countries with places that have no restrictions on gun storage and no duty to retreat laws - You are the king of your own castle, so to speak. In the end this makes everyone safer. Criminals know to stay away from such towns because it's hazardous to their profession. You need less cops because there is less crime, which means more money can be put to fixing roads, etc.

And regarding children, we need to first get rid of pools before we worry about guns.

Regarding gunshops, it is sad that so many get robbed. There definitely needs to be more careful attention to security. For example the Washington DC sniper shooters shoplifted their guns in the middle of the day from a gun store in Washington. It boggles the mind how someone can walk into a gun store and steal a sniper rifle without anyone noticing! I don't think any law or regulation can prevent this kind of incompetence. As I said in my earlier post, there will always be stupid and careless people. Short of placing every American in a rubber bubble and preventing them from ever leaving their home, we'll just have to live with the consequences of being in a free society.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First, I need to say it's great to read all of the different responses and see some different thought processes going on. I've taken away some good info and realized that there are other ways and options out there.

I'm not throwing in the towel, and I don't think it's gloom and doom for us gun lovers. I'm just trying to challenge myself to honestly look at things from more than one perspective. To get something you usually have to give something. I agree that if you're not a criminal or a proven nut case you should legally be able to possess a gun... to a point. I'd be more interested in being able to test a person's competency in that arena though. I mean just cause you're not nuts, or don't have a shady past, doesn't mean you can just legally drive a car either. Testing is involved.

I know you can't stop illegal use of guns by criminals. They'll always be able to get them as long as there's a buck to be made. I wish the general public could understand the fact that gun bans usually only prevent law abiding citizens, the ones you WANT to have guns, from having them. The criminal and marginally crooked will always have them. Those people don't concern me cause that situation is as old as time.

I think I'm thinking more along the lines of va plinker. A NFA background check, cause you know they will do a thorough check, then a test. After that, you can acquire new full autos and anything else. Not just access to those used up beat up items already circulating. And maybe every 3 years you need to do another test. If you've got nothing to hide and are serious about it, why not?

The point about locking up your weapons is a good one. I bought my safe about a year and a half ago. Before that I stashed stuff here and there in the house. I have no kids and was single at the time. But heck, anyone with half a brain could've them if they wanted. I was just hiding them from my own sight. Safes are expensive and some are big and maybe the ladies think they are unattractive, but now I can't believe I went that long without one. I have a loaded 12 ga. right under me at night and a .45 in my car. The shotgun I'm not worried about, cause if you've gotten to that, you've gotten to me and it doesn't matter at that point. But I do think about the possibility of someone breaking into my car and getting my pistol. If that happened I'd feel horrible especially if it were used for wrong in some way. But you can't eliminate all of the risk.

Lex mentioned gun shops. And the shop I mentioned doesn't lock the guns up at all. They're in locked glass cases, but they break. And they rent guns for the range and they are just hanging on hooks on the wall. The shop where I do all my shopping puts every pistol in the safe at night. Every morning the owner gets them out and puts them in the cases. A lot of work but he learned from experience. The long guns are locked to the walls. Smart move.

My goal was to stimulate some conversation and hear some different points of view. I like to get info from every place that I can. I think that way you can make the best decision possible. There is almost always another way to look at a situation.

I love my guns. Love the right we have to own them, carry them, etc. But I also know a time is coming where "it's my constitutional right" won't be enough to stop what's coming. So maybe being proactive will prevent heavier penalties down the road. Prime example: I started riding sportbikes in '98. I had a '600. A year later I was on a 900. Bikes weighed 450 lbs and had 130hp. They were stupid fast then. In '99 Suzuki came out with the Hayabusa, 194mph off the show room floor. Kawazaki set out to beat that bike, 200mph was the goal. These are bone stock bikes. Somewhere in Europe someone got wind of this "one-upmanship" and there were threats of governmental controls. So, the industry decided to self regulate and stop the quest for higher top speeds. Kawazaki got shorted in their attempt. But now, 7 years later, sport bikes are 380 lbs, 160hp or so at the rear wheel. They are limited to 186 mph but they can get there faster and faster than ever before. If you could manage to keep the front wheel down quarter mile times are 9 second-ish and a roll on from 30 to 150mph is maybe 7 seconds away. These things are death traps and all you need is a driver's license and the funds and out the door you go. But now the attention is off of them because they decided to be proactive and do their own governing. I sometimes wonder if we did the same maybe a few more people would look past us.

But like I said it's great to hear different points of view on all of this.
 

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If we are looking at different angles we should probably consider that crime has increase over the last 60 years while guns are actually less accessible and in general probably owned by a few % than ever.

So what is happening here? We have more gun laws than ever and still a serious crime problem.

I think an interesting approach would be to try and focus on the Black community with the thought that any improvements there would spill over into the rest of the country. Why the Black community? Because while only 12% of the population they comprise more that 50% of murders (victims and perpetrators). It didn't use to be that way. I think there is a solution out there if we correctly define the problem.

If you believe Walt Williams it is broken families and poor education.

http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4255

I think he is on to something, but I also have to wonder where drug abuse comes into the picture.

If we assume Walt is right, what is the cause and what is the solution?
 

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Lex,

The burocracy already exists, the DMV system and the FFL checks. As for supply to crimminals, it might not make a change but sending the registered owner to jail for not registering the sale will deter a lot of people. Also in the UK casrs and guns only get reregistered when they are sold.

Attitudes her need to change a little. It's like people bitching because they have to report a firearm as stolen within three days of realizing it's gone. Why would someone NOT want to report it stolen immediastely.

As for Safes and Kids. Fair point but at the end of the day if you want somethinig you'll have to negotiate and give something back. Want more freedom with firearms, ok but be more responsible with them. If you want a home defence gun, ok, but does the whole colelction have to be out.

In the Gunshop, why not use trigger locks tied to hooks in the wall. If someone what's to take a look, unlock it and let them look. simply having them on a rack and not secured is plain dumb. It's not that hard or expensive.

I suppose the problem is that freedom also implies freedom to be irresponsible.
 

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VA,

Nice idea but I suspect it's down to poverty. Work is hard and the gap between Rich and Poor is increasing. Crime is easy and as one person once said, you can be the little guy in the world, or the head man in jail.

If you've got nothing, the risk jail isn't that big a deal.

Fix the social divide and crime will drop, while you're at it how about world hunger and disease. :)
 

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One thing to remember is that gun ownership is a right that all people possess unlike the privilege to drive which is regulated by the govt to ensure the safety of society.

I am not sure if you are aware that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case regarding the constitutionality of the gun ban in DC. They will be hearing arguments in the spring of next year and should give there decision in the summer.

Basically DC is going to argue that the ban is needed for the good of the people even though not legal, where the plaintiff is arguing that the ban is unconstitutional due to the second amendment being a individual right that can't be infringed.

I personally believe that the right to self defense is an unalienable right and that the people need the ability to possess the same arms that an army would use. The second amendment is not about the right to have arms to hunt with but rather to overthrow the government in the case of a government gone bad. This is the sole legitimate reason for people to own weapons, all other reason are secondary to this reason.

My belief is that if more people exercised there right to possess firearms that may of these senseless killing could be prevented, either through deterrents or self defense. If this is so then less regulation is what is needed so that more people would feel comfortable in exercising there rights. Even going so far as to enact laws to prevents laws suites in some case were people defended other citizens.

Now for the ATF which until recently was a department under the IRS, in other words just another taxing agency. The whole ideal behind the ATF was really racist, like the Jim Crow laws to prevent people from exercising there rights they would  place a tax that would prevent the poor from being able to afford the ability to exercise there right to have a machine gun, SBR or silencer. After nearly fifty years due to inflation this tax was no longer a barrier that would stop people from purchasing machine guns so the President then issues an Executive Order banning them, no law was passed by Congress.

Which brings me back to the Supreme Court, if they rule in our favor then I hope that this Executive Order can be reversed and possible GCA of 68 and NFA of 34, there by allow all citizens the ability to own all weapons not just what the govt thinks we should be allowed to own. 
 

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Call me a pessimist but I don't think being proactive in making compromises is going to do much good for us. Anti-gunners don't really care about gun safety or facts, they're completely emotionally driven. And they want guns banned period, not just to regulate them. As long as there is gun ownership there will be folks trying to put an end to it. Just like there are a lot of people that believe if we crack down harder on drugs that we will eliminate them, there are a lot of people who sincerely believe if we just completely ban guns that there will be peace on earth. How do you convince them otherwise?

Also, many gun owners are not hobbyists or enthusiasts, these people own a gun for self-defense only. If you make it harder for them to purchase and keep firearms than they may just not bother with the whole thing. In the end you will reduce the ownership base. When you erode at the base you reduce the clout we have politically and it will be easier for the anti-gunners to get their legislation passed.

For every compromise that we or the NRA makes, there will be a few gun owners losing their guns. Anti-gunners realize this and they don't mind taking baby steps chipping away at the culture, little by little.

Biggest example of this is the assult weapons ban which expired and yet many of you constantly report stories of stores still thinking it is in effect. It's all about perception and what people hear on TV and in the news. If Hilary Clinton comes on TV and says guns are banned, how many of those people watching TV will go look up to see if there is actual legislation passed backing up what she's saying, very few I think. If someone goes to try to get a gun and it's too difficult, they may just not try again.

The biggest fear I have is that if we have these test requirements to be able to purchase a gun that gun ownership will be a hobby of the elite. Sure, most people go get drivers licenses so they can drive a car, but you NEED to drive a car to hold a job in most of America. There is a very big difference between taking a drivers test to be able to drive and a gun test to be able to own a gun. The chance of someone having to use a gun to defend themselves is nowhere near as much as the chance that someone will have to use a car to get to work.

A hypothetical, what if someone grew up on a farm, is decent with guns, but doesn't know how to read or write, there are still people like that today. This person wouldn't be able to pass a test or fill out all the forms. Today such a person can purchase a gun through a private party sale without having to fill out any paperwork and get on with life. Add the bureaucracy and testing and their life may become significantly more difficult where they may either become an illegal owner or give up ownership altogether. Hence we've created a criminal from an otherwise peaceful and gun savy individual.

Gun ownership should not be an elitist thing for those who are good at jumping through bureaucratic hoops and taking tests, it should be a basic right of any peaceful, law abading individual.

:2cents:
 

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Lex I have to agree that any kind of test would really be used to prevent ownership rather than increase safety. What is really needed is to enforce the  laws we currently have but that does not make the news so our representative like to enact new laws that will get them in the news. Then they tell us how they have been working for us by enacting all these new laws which in many cases was covered under existing law already. 

People need to understand that a right can not be regulated and still be a right, if regulated then it becomes a privilege. If allowed to become a privilege then we will surely lose our ability own weapons.

One only has to look at England and Australia, since ownership was not a right it was regulated out of existence.

There are may studies that have shown that in areas were bans are enacted that crime goes up since the criminals no longer have to fear for there safety while committing there crimes but just the opposites have occurred in states after enacting concealed carry for there citizens.
 

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I honestly believe, you should have to take a simple class to own a gun, kinda like hunter safety, or concealed carry, and upon completion you would get a card saying im not a "complete" bugger face I now know not to look down the barrel to see if their is a bulit in the chamber. just my :2cents:
 

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I honestly believe, you should have to take a simple class to own a gun, kinda like hunter safety, or concealed carry, and upon completion you would get a card saying im not a "complete" bugger face I now know not to look down the barrel to see if their is a bulit in the chamber. just my :2cents:


The issue with that is that it isn't the governments job to protect us from ourselves.

Call me evil if you will but I have no problem with a bugger face shooting himself in the face.
 

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Having to take a class could be used to prevent people from owning weapon if the class is held in some hard to find location at some crazy hour. So who every gets to decide about the class could prevent those he wishes to from being able to own because he controls the class.

Again there can be no regulation with regards to a Right, needing to take a hunter safety course before being able to purchase a hunting license is great but not for just being able to own.

The only possible issues to prevent a citizen from owning would be prior criminal behavior and mental illness IMHO.
 
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