Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dangerous Gun Law Proposals

ALL of these need to be opposed, in Minnesota, and in every other state where they appear in whatever form they occur.

I particularly object to rearming violent offenders and domestic abusers.  Once you cross that line, you should never get access to a lethal weapon again. Period.

Today is the date scheduled for the hearing to arm prosecutors.  We have law enforcement, we have sheriffs and deputies and bailiffs.  We do not need to arm prosecutors, we don't need to arm more people; we need to DISARM more people.  The solution to gun violence is fewer guns, and less reliance on lethal force, a turning away from our deadly, destructive, evil gun culture.

From MPR and Protect Minnesota:

To reduce gun violence, stop guns at the source

by Heather Martens ,
Mary Lewis Grow
January 18, 2012

Heather Martens is executive director and Mary Lewis Grow is a board member of Protect Minnesota: Working to End Gun Violence.
In Minneapolis, Duluth and 70 cities nationwide, community members gathered Jan. 8 in solemn commemorations of the one-year anniversary of the Tucson shootings. These events followed by less than a week the funeral of three-year-old Terrell Mayes Jr., killed by a bullet that went through the walls of his north Minneapolis house as the little boy and his brother were running for cover from the too-common sound of gunfire. Later in the same week, thousands attended the funeral of Officer Shawn Schneider of Lake City, shot in the line of duty as he responded to a domestic violence call.
Yet 2011 was a year with fewer gun homicides in Minnesota than the year before. About 32 people still die every day in this country from gun homicide — about one a week in Minnesota. The toll is simply appalling. To grasp this in a way statistics cannot convey, watch the video below. It was taken at the Minneapolis event, as grieving relatives and friends read name after name.

The nationwide "Too Many Victims" vigils demanded that public officials commit to stopping these needless deaths. We must start with the source of the guns.
Weak U.S. gun laws play a key role in allowing access to guns by kids and others who should not have them. Easy access to guns means violence often turns lethal. A respected scholar of gun injuries and deaths, David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health, compares U.S. gun deaths to those of other developed countries and shows that despite comparable rates of violent crime, our homicide rate is seven times higher than those of comparably developed countries. This is driven by a firearms homicide rate that is 20 times higher.
The difference, Hemenway points out, is gun laws. Even in those countries such as Canada where gun ownership rates are high, it's much less likely that unsuitable people will get guns and take lives with them, thanks to background checks, training requirements, waiting periods and limitations on high-capacity magazines. Minnesota has a partial background check requirement; people buying from licensed dealers must get background checks, though buyers from individuals at gun shows need not.
The Minnesota Legislature has failed to close this "gun show loophole," even though the ATF has reported that gun shows are a "major trafficking channel." Some argue that criminals get guns no matter what, but that's not the case. All guns start out legal. The way guns get to the streets is through legal private sales, gun trafficking and theft. New York City has successfully shown that interrupting gun trafficking makes guns less available on the streets.
We would support a bill making gun trafficking illegal under state law, not just federal law. The ATF, leaderless for years and understaffed, needs more help from local authorities. There is broad agreement that we should "enforce existing gun laws." So let the Legislature actually help make it happen.
What must stop is the effort in the Legislature this year to ram through several gun bills that appeal to the extremes and decimate our existing gun laws in order to expand the gun market. This year's efforts include:
A constitutional amendment to rearm violent criminals and domestic abusers, and open up the state to expensive lawsuits under the guise of a "right to bear arms."
A bill to legalize the sale of silencers by gun dealers — making silencers more widely available and profitable for gun dealers.
A bill to legalize the shooting of another person, anywhere, as a first resort if the shooter feels threatened; and to create a legal presumption that the killing of any trespasser, even a nonthreatening and unarmed one, is justified. This would expand the market for "self-defense" gun instruction by dispelling any fear of being held responsible for one's actions with a gun.
A bill to allow any person with a carry permit from another state — no matter how weak or poorly administered that state's law — to carry a loaded gun in public in Minnesota. This would be a bonanza for gun traffickers.
A bill to arm prosecutors in courthouses. This bill would begin to absolve public courthouses — and the sheriffs' departments that currently provide security — of responsibility to ensure public safety through the only rational means, weapons screening. Instead, it would deputize prosecutors and assistant prosecutors to be their own security detail.
The sad truth is that more guns in more hands doesn't lead to more public safety. The National Academy of Sciences, after an exhaustive review of the data, found in 2004 that making concealed carry permits available to more people does nothing to improve public safety. But interrupting gun trafficking does. Let's resolve this year to act where the common ground is.


  1. I did a little checking, and that proposed amendment to recognize the right to bear arms has nothing to do with violent criminals. I support every one of these proposals. They are all an example of what I consider to be commonsense gun laws.

    Do you notice that the laws that you want, laws that sound like a copy and paste job from the Washington, D.C. code, aren't even coming up for a vote? Do you notice that our side is winning?

    By the way, I see that of all the comments made about that article on the original source, only Joan Peterson agrees with the authors. Everyone else explained what's wrong with their thinking. I suppose that's what Minnesota Public Radio regards as balanced.

  2. As I expected, when I point out an outrageous claim by your side, you say nothing.

  3. You do crap research, I'm not sure you know what real research is..

    there is nothing outrageous in my claim; you are as ever flawed in your thinking and factually deficient.

    You might start with this:

    and then do a search, as I did, on the law firms in Minnesota that specialize solely in the easy business of getting gun rights back for dangerous, violent, utterly unredeemed unchanged criminals who should never have a gun AFTER they committed these crimes, OR for that matter before where it enabled them to commit the crimes in the first place.

  4. And YOUR SIDE IS. Losing, slowly, steadily, you're like the south in the mid-19th century fighting to preserve slavery.

    Your side is wrong, your side is losing, fighting against the tide of history, of changing public awareness and opinion, and you are, like slavery, denying the rights of a whole lot of people. In this case, your side makes people unsafe, endangers them, intrudes on THEIR rights.

    There IS no right to weapons, it is a dodo bird, a thing going extinct as an idea, as much so as the belief in the divine right of kings or any number of other ideas that were thought to be rights but are now known to be false beliefs.

  5. Great one. They're like the South fighting to preserve slavery.


    1. Slavery was a right under the constitution. Slavery was a 'right' mandated by philosophical sources like the Bible as well. The founding fathers were slave owners as well as gun owners, many of them.

      We abolished slavery because there was a growing consensus, not only nationally, but globally, that slavery was evil, that it was NOT in fact a right, and that it harmed a lot of people.

      There were lots of pro-slavery people who cited good slave owners, and all the benefits of slavery to the slaves. Some stupid reactionaries like Michele Bachmann are still touting those flawed and inaccurate claims.

      The we-all-gotta-have-our-guns crowd denies or ignores what doesn't fit their wishes about the harm guns do to the gun victims, just like those who wanted to own slaves tried to minimize what slavery did to the victims of slavery.

      I'm sure that I wouldn't have to look very far to find similar writings that expound on how good people are so they should be trusted with the responsible ownership of slaves, and how much good the institution of slavery does as well, for society.

      It doesn't make it true, but I'm sure it would be quite a close parallel in justification arguments.

      My counter argument is still the same. That gun owners do not adequately respect the competing rights of other people.

    2. Second try:

      You have yet to show me how the proposed amendment will rearm violent criminals. It's just an amendment to recognize the right to bear arms. We take away the rights of felons and others all the time. How will this amendment change that?

      As to your point that we gun owners are hurting people, the vast majority of gun owners and carriers are responsible and cause no harm to anyone. Slavery caused direct harm to many people. How am I harming anyone by owning guns or carrying a handgun? No one has been killed or even injured by my firearms. Your claim that I'm harming others is false, as is your analogy about slavery and guns.

  6. Alright... people who kill people with guns... WILL DO SO EVEN IF THE AVERAGE CITIZEN CANT GET ONE. Getting an illegal gun is EASIER than getting a legal one. And if the person shooting someone isnt concerned about breaking the law that covers MURDER... what in gods name makes you think he/she will care about breaking a law regarding illegal guns? Really? So you want to disarm the victims? Why so you can take advantage of them easier? HELL NO!

    1. Anonymous you sound like a whack job. You're seriously asking if we on this blog want to disarm good people so we can take advantage of them? Or are you talking about gun control folks in general, either way you're way out there, my friend.

      You seem to be basing your argument on the mistaken and silly idea that ALL people who kill others are determined and committed. That's obviously not the case. Many are formerly law-abiding gun owners who do their shooting on the spur of the moment. These people would be better off disarmed.

    2. Then there are the criminals who get their guns from the law abiding in one way or another. Why do you guys have such a hard time holding onto your property.

      Stricter gun control laws could help with that.