Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Guns for Food in Los Angeles

Yahoo News reports on an annual event in Southern California.

The annual Gifts for Guns program ended Sunday in Compton, a working class city south of Los Angeles that has long struggled with gun and gang violence. In a program similar to ones in New York and San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department allows residents to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards for Ralphs supermarkets, Target department stores or Best Buy electronics stores.

Authorities said Sunday that a record 965 firearms and two hand grenades were handed in during the two weekends the program was in operation. That's more than in any other year and easily eclipses last year's total of 387 guns collected over both weekends.

The Gun Guys have a comment or two about this. I couldn't have said it any better.

SAY WHAT? Two hand grenades? And the gun lobby thinks we don't need stronger gun laws?

Perhaps this is the gun lobby's new strategy: start pushing the wacky notion that we now have a Second Amendment right to possess hand grenades. And, of course, gun owners should be able to exercise that "right" by carrying concealed hand grenades into child daycare centers, hospitals, and schools for "protection."

Now, I realize the Gun Guys are talking to legitimate gun owners about the misdeeds of criminals, but questions arise. Do we draw a line somewhere? Can citizens own hand grenades, surface to air missiles, how about artillery-type weapons? Does the same argument of self-protection extend to these weapons as well?

What's your opinion? And while we're at it, what percentage of the 965 weapons turned in during the Compton Gifts for Guns program started out legal? My contention is there must be a continual flow of guns from the good guys to the bad guys. What do you think?


  1. Mike,

    Every one of the guns turned in were legal. Ever gun starts off as legal when they are manufactured.
    Of course there is a continual flow of "good guys" to "bad guys", because here is a news flash - BAD guys don't obey the law. They use people to illegally purchase guns, they steal, they lie, they buy guns before they commit crimes.

    I don't get why you continually (is it deliberately?) confuse an object with the actions of a person?

    Does the gun become animate and cause someone to buy it under false pretenses or is that the actions of a criminal? If you buy a guy for someone else, you've committed a crime- not the gun.

    Does the gun jump out of someone's sock drawer/night stand/ closet shelf and sneak into a thief's pocket or is it the actions of a thief - not the gun?

    Two Grenades turned in? While it is possible, I'll counter with how the police and the media totally gets it wrong so often:

    In 2007, a person took advantage of a "buy back" (how can you buy back something the government never owned) - Dangerous Missile turned in at Gun "Buy Back"

    Check it out, sounds scary as 2 grenades, doesn't it?

    Until you read the article and find out the truth. It was a tube to store and transport the empty tube.

    Getting back to the "crime guns" and legal guns", is every car used in drunk driving, hit & runs a "legal car" or a "crime car"?

    Are you responsible until your death for every car you've ever sold?

    I'll leave you with a question from Joe Huffman:

    Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?

  2. Bob, I'm not continually confusing any such thing. You keep saying that. I understand that the object (the gun) is separate from the actions of the person. It's the AVAILABILITY I have a problem with.

    And it's about the fact that the flow from gun owners like yourself into the criminal world is not insignificant or negligible, like has been suggested around here.

  3. Mike,

    Sorry but you do seem to confuse it because you talk about "illegal guns" instead of criminal acts.

    How about you simply tell us how you want to or think it would be possible to stop the illegal acts involving guns?

    Because short of removing each and every gun from society, I don't know of a way to stop people from committing illegal acts to get guns.

    You definitely don't like my idea of allowing open, unfettered, legal carry of firearms? I would definitely think if people were carrying their firearms instead of leaving them at home, that would reduce thefts. Would you go for it?

    Do you have a problem with drunk driving, alcohol abuse? Many people did and they did something about "the easy availability", remember?

    How did that work out for America?
    It made people who just wanted a social drink criminals.
    It made millionaires out of people willing to break the law..criminal.
    It made criminal organizations powerful & rich enough to bribe government officials and law enforcement...we are still paying the price of that today.

    Now you want to do the same thing for firearms that happened with alcohol--Tell me how it will or has worked out differently?

    Stop running around the same arguments over and over about offering something new, something that doesn't pass on the same liberal lies and propaganda.

  4. There's a continual flow of cocaine and heroin to every country in the world, yet it's illegal everywhere (barring the Swiss experiments).

    So we're back to you flogging a dead whorse, mike. This doesn't even deserve an answer.

    If you haven't gotten it by now you never will.

    One last time and then I'm done...For the record as to personal views and historical context in which the Second Amendment was written:

    "Who are the militia? Are they ourselves?....Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...."--Tench Coxe

    Coxe, a Philadelphian and constitutional delegate, wrote numerous widely-circulated articles in favor of the proposed
    new Constitution, and, later, about the proposed Bill of Rights. He was appointed to subcabinet
    positions (just below a Cabinet Secretary) by Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and
    Madison. In the Jefferson administration, his duties included procuring firearms for militiamen who
    could not afford to purchase their own weapons. From his appearance on the national stage in the
    late 1780s, until his death in 1824, Coxe wrote prolifically, with his work appearing in major
    newspapers,in lengthy reports for Presidents, and in personal correspondence with leading political
    figures. (Stephen Halbrook, Constitutional scholar)

  5. Might add, being as PRIVATE HANDGUN OWNERSHIP IS OUTLAWED IN THE UK, how might the criminals be obtaining their handguns that keep popping up in UK criminal activity?
    Are UK citizens selling their non-existent legal handguns to criminals?
    It's a fucking huge world, mike, America is just a part of it. We consume the most cocaine of any country but we don't grow any of it at all...or do you have a theory of law abiding cocaine growers in the US illicitly selling to cocaine habituated people? That would be news to the DEA.

  6. of course we have that right. Do you have any idea how often i go out and hunt deer with nothing but my wits and a bandolier of hand grendades?

  7. All joking aside, we all are aware that hand grenades can legally be bought in sold in the US, just they are subject to the same level of scrutany as the sale and transfer of Machine guns, with the added fun of require a haz-mat license to own one, and required to have your storage facility inspected and approved by the BATFE.

    Needless to say, those retards gave out $200 in tax payer monies for a pair of paper weights that you can buy in any Army/Navy store for a couple of bucks.

    As for the Guns, I agree with Bob, they were all legally owned. Remember, Mike, if somebody owns a gun illegally, they're more willing to sell that gun to somebody who otherwise wouldn't legally buy the gun. Since the buyer knows that they can only buy from a handful of people the seller is free to "price gouge" as those who hate free-market economics like to call it. So there isn't a black-market gun around that is worth less than $100...unless it's a hot murder weapon, or a stolen gun that they think would be hard to fence...then the government gets to be a fence and destroyer of private property, and crime evidence! Sound nice to you, Mike?

    Still the majority of these guns are junk guns (people horde cruddy guns that aren't worth much...or have damage that is too expensive to repair...the cops won't bother to check if the gun has a broken firing pin, a missing extractor, or frame rail cracks. They just dump the guns for far more than they'll ever be worth), BB guns and water pistols that look legit enugh (I know of people who made BIG money turning in old rusty BB guns) and family heirlooms that could be sold for 2X-10X their value at a local gunshop, but the current owners are too stupid, or too liberal (but I repeat myself) to step into a gunshop and find out that gran'pa's 1960s Winchester M70, or his WWII bring-back mauser, or M1 Garand, or his S&W M10 sock-drawer gun is worth a HELL of a lot more than a $100 card, and you can buy a LOT more food for $1,000 than $100, and the gun that is a valuable work of art, and piece of history won't get melted into a manhole cover for somebody's backwards and wrong-headed ideal.

    So, Mike, if you're so set in your ways, you gonna be brave and suggest what laws we can enact to lower the "availability" of "Illegal guns"?

    I've asked this many times before, and you've yet to voice a plan. Care to break the trend?

  8. Weerd,

    You didn't know this, perhaps, but it's a crime in KKKalifornia to own mock or practice hand grenades. Felony last I checked.

    The end table lamp I made out of a lemon grenade likely would earn me time in the pokey in California.

    I've read the Cali Code.

    I'm a peaceable Texan that would be a felon more than 50 times over in KKKalifornia because I collect inert military relics before firearms would even enter the equation.

  9. The hand grenades were unlikely to be real or live--The people doing the "buy back" have a vested interest in publicizing them in the most shocking manner possible. In the unlikely chance the grenades were live, the odds are a million to one that they were not legal. You are saying that because someone turned in something that was either a harmless prop, or a serious felony, we need even more laws?

    We may have a second amendment right to posses hand grenades. I don't think I like that interpretation, but it doesn't make it less valid. I honestly don't know where the line is, or even exactly where it should be. I do know that the most restrictive possible view of the plain language is still considerably less restrictive than existing law. The second clearly allows the guns of a common infantry soldier--Including his machine gun and his handgun. Once we get those rights recognized, I'll start worrying about how far beyond that we should take the limits.

  10. I'm curious, hopefully some of the "left of center" folks reading this blog will weigh in.

    We normally don't hear from others on these issue, so I'm asking now:

    What do others who are left of center think, do you agree with Mike?

    How do you feel about the right to keep and bear arms?

    Honest curiosity here folks, hope to hear from you.

  11. Sevesteen, Thanks for being the first and only one to try answering my question about where to draw the line. As much as these other guys accuse me of avoiding answering difficult questions and of being a hypocrite, you'd expect them to say something about this thing that I've asked a few times now.

    I don't even know enough about guns to list in ascending order the items we might discuss. You guys know better than I do. My question is, "Where do we draw the line beyond which it should be illegal for an individual to own it?"

    Tom, Please don't make my "getting it" a requirement for you to keep commenting here. I enjoy what you have to say too much. Please don't go.

  12. Mike,

    I'll answer, I thought I had answered this question before.

    I what I consider to be acceptable firearms is what would be provided to an individual soldier on the squad level.

    The government doesn't have to worry about law abiding citizens having automatic weapons or even grenades. For criminals, those items are already available to anyone who truly wants them.

    This probably puts me in a minority of pro-2nd advocates, but one of the purposes of the amendment was to have enough equipment to form an effective fighting force. Today that includes those items.

  13. i've answered mike's question elsewhere, but i could've sworn i had answered it here too. oh well, once more for the record ---

    in principle, i've got no problem with people being allowed to own any weapon whatsoever. however, i'd also like to see different kinds of weapons regulated according to how much damage they might do if misused. the canonical example is private nuclear bombs; if you can manage to store and use those well away from any planet humans live on, i'd call that adequately controlled, otherwise you shouldn't have them.

    the firearms regulations we have in the USA today is a fair start towards such a regime; rifles and shotguns relatively free, handguns about as free or perhaps slightly less so, machineguns markedly less so. i'd call anything that fires explosive ammunition (mortars, RPGs) the next step up from machineguns, then after that i get less certain.

    i'd second Sevesteen on the likelihood these grenades were live (slim to none, and Slim just bought himself a greyhound ticket) much less legally owned if they were live.

  14. There's a reason why "The Gun Guys" don't have a comments section on their crappy blog.

    The type of factual asskicking they'd git for their Joyce Foundation Funded lies would require a NICS check to give OR receive

    BTW what gives, they get PAID to lie about guns in a blog...yet I tell the truth about them for free!


  15. Mikeb:
    You say you don't know enough, but you obviously have an opinion.

    1. What is the minimum "arms" that the second amendment guarantees?

    2. Do you think the second amendment or any other part of the bill of rights should be repealed?

  16. The general historical understanding of what is considered a "militia" weapon, if one were to use that Second Amendment argument, is anything that is not crew served, i.e., no cannon or battleships, tanks, etc.

    Oddly enough, it costs the same tax stamp in the US to purchase a functional TANK as it does to purchase one hand grenade. They are both legal to posess if you pay the taxes and each explosive tank or cannon shell gets it's own tax stamp. I find this abhorrent, but it is currently law.

    My personal "line drawing" is that if something can't be operated by a team smaller than three men, private ownership is questionable. I think crew served machine guns and mortars, as well as grenades, are a regularly part of an infantry platoon's kit and if the militia are to function as private infantry platoons then they should be allowed the same kit.

    If a cavalryman was allowed a whorse, why shouldn't a militia team be allowed a hummer or APC with at least a GPMG mounted on top.

    If they are going to be fighting against armor and aircraft, it would make sense to have man-portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

    Back to what Tench said I quoted above.

    For the record, you'd be much better served being sieved by a modern light or submachine gun than being shot by one of my 19th century relics. The modern arms will poke little holes through you. My black powder .50 caliber and on up toys will blow arms and legs off with one well placed shot. Some were designed to stop charging elephants with one shot.

    I have a friend that casts black powder cannon. You would definitely not want to catch an 8lb lead ball in the face compared to the 9mm euro-pellets that most subguns use.

  17. And in the end, we've talked about home-made guns being fairly easy to make. Home-made grenades are SOOO much easier....

  18. Your resident pyrotechnician can help you out on making things that make hand grenades look like snap and pop toys you toss on the sidewalk and all perfectly legal.

    I'll even copy the regulation book for you since the BATFE has let it lag out of print for years.

    Cannon fuse and binaries are on sale at one of my wholesalers.




    If you use that information wrongly, though, even if you could get it in a college library, mikeb will be very CROSS with you!


    For added GRINS!

    Two 1 inch thick high carbon steel plates used as bases to toss some dirt in the air with a half ounce a piece of legally available to the licensed binary pyrotechnic chemicals for a movie shoot.

    Both have been shanghaied as ashtrays by smokers, as I don't smoke.

    Nobody needs stolen functional grenades. They just have to understand chemistry.



    If prohibition doesn't work with drugs how does it work with chemicals you can't sniff for?

    Get back to me on that.

    Those little "pops" we did to throw dirt in the air on film probably could have taken Vatican City down, with a bit of planning and precise application.

    Standard chemicals you can buy at normal, non-explosive oriented shops.

  19. I am getting closer to identifying what my opinion is. So far, as several have pointed out, I mainly ask questions, which usually betray my prejudices. I'm just starting to get interested in the 2nd Amendment, even though as Bob pointed out that is what we've been talking about all along. I actually didn't realize that. I think I want to start questioning what exactly the 2nd Amendment has to do with it. And, all of these discussions are helping me zero in on how I feel. As Sevesteen said, although I admit my limitations on this subject, I still have opinions, and exactly what they are is coming up. Stay tuned.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. I await your next post with baited breath, Mike. Hopefully I'll get a chance to join the commnets...for some strange reason my phone won't let me log into blogger anymore, and I'll be in Vermont for the weekend (Carrying without the permission of the state government!)

    While you're mulling it over, I have some more grist for your mill:


  22. Mike,

    Another for your consideration

    This one happened 2.6 miles from where my wife works.

  23. Maybe you could start reading here?

    It would do you some good.

    If you email me a postal address that works in Italy and have a DVD player, I have a movie for you a friend of mine did. I can be reached at amish dot tom at some place called gmail that I believe is a dot com also. I'll buy if you'll watch it.

    I keep a handful of these DVDs around to give to friends and family that just aren't quite getting it regarding the true meanings of the Second Amendment. Produced and directed by the man at the top of my legal team if anything ever goes amiss for me.

  24. I need to get off my ass and buy a copy of that Movie!

    Dave Hardy does AMAZING work.

    His book "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man" is also a fantastic work.

  25. Mike, you could start by watching this:

  26. More grist

    Money Quote:
    "Guns don't kill, people do." The gun lobby's old slogan is true enough, but it's also true that guns make people more efficient killers. That's why gun control would be such a splendid idea if someone could find a way to make criminals and lunatics obey it. Since only law-abiding citizens obey it, it's not such a hot idea. It's more like trying to control stray dogs by neutering veterinarians."

    I think that's our big point, Mike. Yes, legal guns do feed the black market (tho I can point out where illegal construction, or government corruption takes the place when civilian guns are banned)

    But to somehow regulate only guns in criminal's hands (regardless of the rights of the lawful citizens) is an exercise in futility, and most often simply creates a larger pool of defenseless victims for violent crime.

  27. Ooops,That last bit was me. Appears my sister has a blogger account too!

  28. "...but it's also true that guns make people more efficient killers. That's why gun control would be such a splendid idea if someone could find a way to make criminals and lunatics obey it."

    I've found a way. Reduce the number of total guns in America by half. You still get to do all that protecting that you're doing and we drastically cut the trickle effect to the black market which will affect the availability which will positively impact on the whole picture.

  29. How do you do that, Mike?

    And how exactly does it work?

    Seriously, I can't even get it straight in my head.

    Also note that when England banned handguns and most rifles and shotguns their gun crimes went UP. For the first time in centuries the UK has a higher violent crime rate as the US.

  30. Reduce the number of total guns in America by half.

    like weerd said, how? you'd have to do door-to-door confiscations to get over a hundred million guns out of the U.S., and even i suspect that would trigger some violent civil unrest.

    You still get to do all that protecting that you're doing

    yeah, with my pocket knife, since you'll have taken my one good shotgun. the el-cheapo coach gun i'll have left has some mechanical issues; it can't be trusted.

    and we drastically cut the trickle effect to the black market

    how can you be so sure of that? seems to me you'll just have doubled the value of a black-market gun, and considerably increased the incentive for gun thefts and gun trafficking. the law of supply and demand can work against us, too, you know.

  31. Not to mention we're talking again of fractions of 1%.....if 1% is "Bad" for you is 0.5% going to be that much better (of course its not like you'd be rounding up half the illigally held guns on the the % will just go up, as criminals will ignore your fun law.

    Already crimials have to share guns. I fail to see how this could even remotely work.

  32. Mike,

    Didn't we cover reducing the number of guns in America by half before?

    Thought it went something like this.

    There are 270 million firearms, conservative estimate, in America.

    Crime Stats there are approximately 420,000 non-fatal firearm crimes in 2005. Murders using firearms add another 11,346. Let's be generous and call it 450,000 total crimes.

    If, and this is a big if, each firearm used in crimes are counted as unique, then that means less then 0.2% (actually 0.166%)of all firearms were used in crimes in 2005.

    Now, I'm in a generous mood, let's shift the odds your way again. Let's say the average gun owner has 3 firearms. That means 90,000,000 firearm owners, let's say each crime is unique to the person committing it. New Crime, New person- right? That is still less then 0.5% of the gun owner population committing crimes.

    Meanwhile, since even cops need to buy firearms, you'll still have stores, right?

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - The serial number on a handgun seized at a Pierce County junior high school has helped authorities solve a Vancouver-area firearms store theft that netted about 130 weapons.

    Investigators said Thursday that one of three students arrested last week at Bethel Junior High in Spanaway when two guns were seized there was involved in the Nov. 30 break-in at Brightwater Ventures.

    Now,do you think any law is going to have an affect when you have JUNIOR HIGH students breaking into gun stores????? It is absolutely, positively, NOT ABOUT GUNS Mike, but the culture. Stop trying to convince yourself that the gun is the problem when you don't address the culture.

    The overwhelming vast majority of firearm owners are law abiding responsible citizens.

    How about addressing it this way, there have been ex-pats like yourself that have broken the law, right? So, since a few of them have broken the law, should your rights be trampled on?