Friday, January 14, 2011

Gun Control Doesn't Work

So says the Chicago Tribune editorial board member, Steve Chapman. via Fat White Man.

The first idea came from Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., who wants to ban all ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds — which was the rule under the assault weapons law. Her rationale is that the rampage ended when the shooter exhausted a clip that held at least 30 rounds and tried to reload, at which point he was subdued. With a 10-round clip, he could have been stopped sooner.

A measure offered by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., offers even less promise. He wants to make it a crime to knowingly carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a president, vice president, member of Congress or federal judge.

That would punish law-abiding citizens who have no aggressive intentions — say, someone who parks a block away from a campaign rally on his way to the target range. But it would have been only a paper barrier to Loughner, who ignored a host of laws on his way to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
I admit those do sound like ineffectual additions to what passes for gun control in America. The problem is we don't have gun control, we have a mish-mash of ineffectual laws, all of which can be easily circumvented.

I say it's time to clamp down. Involuntary commitment to a mental hospital cannot be the only criterion for determining disqualification on those grounds. An entire system of mental health screening needs to be put in place.

In addition, licensing every gun owner, only after they pass the mental health screening and undergo written and practical tests, is essential. Registration of every firearm to a particular licensed owner with periodic renewal of that registration must be required.  Any transfer, which would necessitate a change in the registration records would be accompanied by a background check, every time.

A number of other things, like safe storage laws and one-gun-a-month laws would complete the picture.

Then we'd have gun control, and then we'd see the reduction in gun violence that supposedly we all want.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a  comment.


  1. I think one gun a month is insane. After three years, you could have almost 40 guns!?! How about limiting each owner to one pistol and no more than three hunting rifles? No semi-automatic weapons or anything that holds more than six bullets.

    Oh yeah, and tax the shit out of bullets. Make 'em more precious than silver.

  2. Come on, Flying Junior, no one “needs” more that one hunting rifle either.

    Mike, with everyone having to undergo mental health screening, do you really think that is the best way treat mental health issues in this country? The millions and millions of man hours used to screen perfectly sane people could be spent on those who actually need treatment. What can be better addressed is getting people in need into the system. That includes training to police officers to notice the warning signs such as the type of outbursts Loughner had. Their job would be to press charges instead of letting him go. Once he is in the legal system, his defense attorney can recommend a psychiatric evaluation, of which all they have to do is pronounce him a danger to himself or others (a lower standard than involuntary commitment). He would now be a prohibited person even if all criminal charges get dropped- though a felony conviction for the death threats would better serve public safety. Without that he is still free to stab Giffords, make a bomb, or buy a gun from his pot dealer (remember he had connections to the black market underworld).

  3. Still too easy.

    Guntards just need a *justifiable reason*, which of course, their is none.

  4. I don't know what the best way is, TS. But, I think something has to be done. Don't you?

  5. Yes mike, I explained what I think can be done. It involves not giving those with violent tendencies a pass so much.

  6. "Yes mike, I explained what I think can be done. It involves not giving those with violent tendencies a pass so much."

    Actually it might be nice to not give such folks EASY access to all sorts of gunz that make it easy to kill large groups of people.

  7. Democommie, so once Loughner was put into the NICS, our work here would be done? Prisons and mental institutions don’t have easy access to all sorts of gunz.