Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Virginia Voters Oppose Looser Gun Laws

via Blue Virginia first seen on Common Gunsense

A poll of attitudes towards gun laws, conducted by the respected Lake Research Partners of Virginia Senate Districts 21 and 38 (southwestern Virginia; John Edwards' and Phil Puckett's districts), is being released this morning. I received an advance copy of the polling memo, which you can view in its entirety here. A few highlights. 

1. "[S]trong majorities of voters oppose ending the state's one handgun a month law, allowing guns on campuses, and allowing any person to carry a concealed and loaded gun without a permit or background check."

2. "Voters in both districts want to
make gun laws stronger, not less restrictive."

3. "Voters
strongly endorse requiring background checks for people purchasing guns and permits for people who want to carry a concealed loaded weapon."

4. "Nine in ten voters in both districts
oppose a suggested change that would allow any person to carry a concealed and loaded gun in public places without a permit or background check."

5. "More than seven in ten voters in both districts
oppose allowing students, faculty, and staff at Virginia's state colleges and universities to carry concealed and loaded guns on campus."

6. "More than six in ten voters
oppose changing Virginia's law that currently restricts handgun purchases to one a month." 

Perhaps most impressive - even stunning - is that gun owners in generally conservative, southwestern Virginia (note that there are also significant urban areas in Sen. Edwards' district along with rural and suburban areas) hold very similar attitudes to non-gun owners. For instance, only about 37% of gun owners, and about 26% of non-gun owners, in the 21st and 38th Senate districts support changing Virginia law to allow people to purchase more than one handgun a month. With regard to allowing guns on college campuses, just 24% of non-gun owners support that, and also just 30% of gun owners. Finally, 94% of gun owners, and 95% of non-gun owners, in the 21st and 38th Senate districts believe that "anyone who buys a gun should be required to have a background check done." 

Bottom line: even in two districts of generally-seen-as-"pro-gun" southwestern Virginia, and even among gun owners living in those districts, there is little support for weakening Virginia's gun laws, and far more support for keeping them the same or strengthening them. Which raises the question: why are members of the Virginia General Assembly voting against the wishes of a strong, even overwhelming, majority of their constituents? Think about that one for a minute.


  1. Why? Because sometimes politicians do the right thing, even when it's not popular. Of course, this is one survey of two districts, done by a firm that works with Democratic campaigns, and I don't see the questions that were asked.

  2. Oh, lookie! another gun lunatic posing with his fingers on the trigger!

    Of course, he tells anyone who listens, I'm sure, how safe he is, how he NEEDS these guns to defend himself from the off chance a criminal might notice him. In all likelihood he's a greater danger to himself and innocent other people, than to criminals. But that doesn't stop people like this from insisting they are RESPONSIBLE gun nuts.

    This guy is a dorky loser with a deadly weapon, which just makes him dangerously pathetic.

    1. That's the Virigina Tech shooter, no? He's not saying much of anything these days.

      You do keep claiming that everyone who commits a bad act with a gun must have believed himself to be a safe and sane owner, but as I've pointed out, it's a general attitude that we're all safe with whatever we own. How many owners of matches believe themselves to be arsonists in waiting? How many car owners believe themselves to be potential drunk drivers? Believing oneself to be safe isn't an indication of a problem.

    2. " I'm sure, how safe he is, how he NEEDS these guns to defend himself from the off chance a criminal might notice him..."
      Wow, what insensitive comments to make. I'm sure that helps the families of the victims of the VT massacre by knowing you are trivializing their killer. So what "criminals" noticed him? The helpless students or the police that had to shoot the piece of shit?

    3. Right Greg, that's the infamous Cho.

  3. And in the South a majority of the people favored denying rights to black citizens prior to the civil war ... and probably for a long time after the civil war as well.

    Fundamental rights are not subject to majority approval. We live in a constitutionally limited republic. That is designed to stop a majority (mob) from denying rights to a minority.

    1. There is no such thing as a fundamental right that is NOT subject to majority approval.

      That is one of your silly myths.

      Majority approval was what made it a property right to own slaves, as an example.

      ALL rights exist by consensus, originating in our evolving and developing understanding of moral and ethical issues, which are subsequently translated into legal rights.

      The rest of that stuff you parrot is so much bullshit.

      Wake up and smell the coffee of world history, or are you the victim of a tea party indoctrinated fact-free education?

    2. So am I to assume that dog gone would go quietly into the night if her first amendment rights were suddenly removed via a simply majority? If no, then you are the one spouting silly myths, miss. If yes, then I weep for the republic.

    3. So, what about ficve justices amending the Constitution? Do you mind their doing that?

      Or does it only bother you when the decision goes against what you believe?

      The problem is, Moonbat, that you are working to a misinterpreation of the Second Amendment, unless of course, you are seriously proposing a radical revision of the US military institution as it now stands.

      One thing one need to consider when one talks about "rights" is that the right in some way benefits society. Massive gun violence and its cost to society are not a benefit.

      On the other hand, a defence system which prevent wars of aggression and keeps the military small is a benefit, but that's another topic.

      First Amendment rights are pretty much taken for granted; however, your lot talks about forced prayer in school and the US being a "christian nation"--that sounds to me as if my First Amendment rights are ebing violated.

      In fact, all this talk of religion goes against Article VI of the Constitution, yet I hear no one pointing that fact out in public.

      So, why aren't you upset about the religious right, Moonbat?

      I haven't even begun to start on how the media blocks most independent thought in the US, which would make this comment too long.

      It sounds as if our First Amendment rights are being threatened yet you are doing fuck all about it.

      So, I support your right to belong to a Militia which has been established according to the Constitution (see Article I, section 8, Clause 16) to keep and bear aarms as part of that right.

      Now, what are you doing to protect First Amendment rights?

      Oh, yeah, rights come with responsibilities--what responsibilities do you accept as part of your "Second Amendment right"?

    4. Holy fucking wall-of-text, Laci! Hang on; I'll see if I can get through all of that.

      To which instance of "five justices amending the constitution" do you refer? And in answer to the next question, all decisions which go against the plain, written at a fourth-grade reading level on purpose, obvious literal interpretation of the constitution irritate me.

      Nobody is saying that "massive gun violence" is a right. Nice try at the strawman, though.

      "your lot talks about forced prayer". Ah, you assume too much. I'm an atheist. And a vocal one, at that.

      "So, I support your right to belong to a Militia which has been established according to the Constitution (see Article I, section 8, Clause 16) to keep and bear aarms as part of that right."
      Indeed? And also in accordance with Federalist 29, "This force will be further complemented by the "people at large," who can "stand ready with arms to defend their rights and those of their fellow-citizens."?

      "Now, what are you doing to protect First Amendment rights?"
      Laci, I have and will defend your right to say what you like, in any forum. I have and will defend your right to worship all, some, or none of the gods of your choosing. I have and will defend your right to meet with whomever you like, for whatever legal purpose. I have and will defend your right to publish your thoughts in whatever media you choose. I have and will defend your right to tell the government, at any level, how much they suck, and may even lend my support to such efforts. We done?

      "Now, what are you doing to protect First Amendment rights?"

  4. You what Republicans have been trying to do?

    Like the gaslands documentarian arrest in Congress? Or the abuse of the press by authority in covering the OWS protests?

    Rights are always evolving, and changing. And sometimes that means the removal of rights - like the right to own other people as property.

    You don't have a valid and true 'right' regarding firearms as you describe it, that is an unsupported claim. Whereas there is quite a bit to support the 1st amendment right.

    What you suggest is about as likely to happen as Santa Claus coming down the chimney.

    You need false arguments because you don't have valid ones.

    1. "You don't have a valid and true 'right' regarding firearms as you describe it, that is an unsupported claim."
      Actually, recent case law supports my view that the 2nd amendment protects an individual right to possess weapons. See McDonald vs. Chicago and Heller vs. D.C.

      "What you suggest is about as likely to happen as Santa Claus coming down the chimney."
      Of course. But first they came for the labor unionists...

      "You need false arguments because you don't have valid ones."
      Right, because your pendantic "You don't have a valid and true 'right' regarding firearms" is a wholly valid and reasonable argument.

    2. A lot of people see a fundamental right to own firearms. Some are scholars, including Lawrence Tribe. Many are ordinary voting citizens. You don't really believe that the forty shall issue states got that way because of the nefarious NRA, do you? The consensus in much of the country is in favor of gun rights.

      Besides, do gay people have the right to marry? Did they only acquire that right when certain states enacted it, or did they have that right throughout all time, even if their societies didn't recognize it?

    3. DG - what about all of the State Constitutions that grant an individual right to own firearms without a clause suggesting the right is tied to service in the militia? Are all of those Constitutions invalid?

    4. You make an interesting point Jim. Minnesota for example is one of those which includes a state constitutional provision of a right to hunt, which is certainly NOT included anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

      "Sec. 12. PRESERVATION OF HUNTING AND FISHING. Hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are a valued part of our heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good. [Adopted, November 3, 1998] "

      It doesn't specify firearms, and it stipulates it is subject to regulation for example.

      What about the 'right' to a secret ballot when you vote? Were you aware that is a relatively new development, in terms of voting practices, both in the U.S. and the preceding tradition in the UK to our own? Do you consider THAT a right?

      I would argue instead that what we recognize to be any kind of right federal or state is subject to our processes of understanding what is morally right and fair, and that we then translate that into our closes approximation that we can achieve to expressing that. So, as what we know changes, what we recognize as a right changes.

      But I would give you strong kudos for noting the differences between state and federal constitutions. As a matter of practical effectiveness in most but not all areas, the federal tends to be the superior document in force.

      I will defer to Laci's legal expertise in that regard. I'll ask him to comment here on those legal relationships.

      Rights are not absolute molecules, like oxygen in the air or carbon, or nitrogen in the soil, etc. Rights change and evolve as our understanding and knowledge change and evolve.

      How else do YOU explain the divine right of kings, the right to secret ballots when voting, and all the other changes in rights, including property rights over other people, or the change in the age at which a person gained the right to vote?

      Using the standard supplied by those who insist that a right is absolute we could never change or revise rights the way we do. We could not have extended the right to vote to women or to non-real estate owning men, and we could not have changed over time the criteria and process of naturalization. The right specifically to be mirandized didn't exist specifically in the original documents.

      To name just a few of those rights that have evolved over time.

      That doesn't send me shrieking and wailing and ghashing my teeth wah wah wah wah 'weeping for the republic' or any of that other drama queen emotional nonsense.

      The fact that our country made a bad mistake with prohibition, and then was able to correct it, and has otherwise acted pretty wisely in evolving our rights leaves me pretty confident that the system works and that it will continue to work just fine.

      Even if that means more stringent restrictions on guns. I'm quite appalled at the ignorance on the subject of rights on the - pardon the pun - right. I tend to find a far less well-informed, well-read constituency by conservatives in knowing the scope of the topic. The right didn't invent 'rights', there is a world of thinking and writing and expertise on it. Too often I see what looks like a bad job of trying to reinvent the wheel.

    5. Jim, just confirmed with Laci - state constitutions can say anything they like, but it doesn't supersede the U.S. Constitution.

      I took a look at several sources that listed the specific wording of state constitutions that mention arms. Pretty much all of them mention defense of the state, and a number of them mention militias, and or alternatives to standing armies consistent with the federal constitution.

      Those state laws have pretty limited application, and still have to be consistent and subordinate to federal law, and they seem pretty consistently to subordinate any such right to civil government or state government regulation. I don't know, from a brief look, that any of these are guaranteeing an absolute right regarding having guns. Any representation to that effect appears to be inaccurate.

      Rights to guns seem to consistently come with caveats, limiting them.

      Notably ABSENT is any wording that asserts a precedence over federal law.

    6. Here is an article that covers the wording in several State Consitutions:

      One example: "Pennsylvania’s first constitution, adopted in 1776, stated in its Declaration of Rights: "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination, to, and governed by, the civil power."

      So Pennsylvania defined right to bear arms for the defense of themselves as well as the state without mentioning the need to belong to a militia. This does nothing to contradict the Federal Constitution even if you interpret the 2nd Amendment as only applying to militia members because nothing in the Federal Consitution forbids individuals from owning weapons.

    7. Or how about we say that our understanding of rights moves up and down an asymptote, while the right is a fixed and independently existing straight line. In other words, rights exist, regardless of our opinions about them. The better the society, the closer we get in reality to the ideal.

      Now you may accuse me of being a Platonist.

    8. That would be wrong regarding your premise of rights, and if you think you are a Plotonist, you'd be wrong as well. You're not even doing all that well as a classic sophist.

      I personally prefer aristotelianism, with an occasional foray into neo-aristotelianism.

    9. "asymptote," wow, Greg, you sent me right to the dictionary.

  5. Also, I can't help but notice that dog gone sidestepped my question, to wit: would you, or would you not agree to give up your first amendment rights based on a simple majority vote?

    1. I didn't sidestep your question.

      I pointed out what was wrong with your question.

      We don't casually legislate away rights, which is in part why it was so hard to get rid of the property right to own people. That one took a war to get rid of because people in the south were not all that willing for this to be a genuinely free nation.

      There has to be a period where - like the ending of slavery where abolition as a concept was embraced - that a consensus about it, a recognition of the right to freedom for slaves grew. That eventually was expressed in the form of an amendment that formalized that moral right into a legal right.

      You are positing something very different, a sudden simple majority vote. First of all, you don't present any reasoning whatsoever for this to be an idea that would be supported; it is highly improbable. The process that puts a right in place by constitutional amendment is also not done by a simple 51% majority either. It takes a larger consensus through a very safe process.

      Your question is stupid on the face of it. It is on a par with arguing that you need guns to defend yourself from little green men from mars who might land in your back yard some day because science sometimes develops along the lines of science fiction.

      If you want to ask a better question, like would I have followed the restrictions of prohibition if I lived in that period of our history, and not drunk alcohol when that was the law of the land, the answer is yes. I would. I also probably would have been one of the people who subsequently argued for the change of how the moral rights and wrongs of that situation were understood, and worked for the repeal of prohibition, but I would have complied with it while it was the law.

      The question you proposed set up a straw argument, one that actually largely ignored the essence of how a right works in favor of posing a stupid scenario that focused on one part of how a right works in an improbable way, while ignoring all the other parts of how it works. Would I 'give up' rights is not the correct way to frame the question. If the right in law changed AND if consensus about a moral right, I would no longer have a right, because without that consensus, I would have no choice. Conversely, I always have the choice to try to persuade people to change their understanding of moral rights and to try to persuade people to think differently about legal rights and have them make changes accordingly. You can stop me from many things, but it is not possible to stop me from thinking,or other people from thinking.

      Further, you utterly ALSO ignore that the trend over centuries has been to refine, and mostly to expand, our consensus on rights. Changing the right to treat people as a form of property that could be owned was ending slavery as a right for a few, but it was in fact expanding the rights to freedom of far more people.

      Your argument denies the direction of such an evolutionary trend. I doubt you can show me a single instance where that evolution has been to restrict rather than expand on freedom.

      Ending the extent to which people possess firearms in favor of other ways of people being safe, so that there is less violence, less oppression, and less crime is an expansion of the right of people to be safe. Like curtailing the property right of some people to own other people, there is a limitation of what had been viewed as a right, but that limitation is part of an overall expansion. In the case of slavery,more people were free. In the case of guns, more people would effective be experiencing the right to be safer.

      So, unless you can show that the overall evolution of freedom and rights is also not accounted for in your scenario, you also posed a false question.

    2. You stated, "There is no such thing as a fundamental right that is NOT subject to majority approval."

      So, would you accept limitations and exclusions on your first amendment rights based on a majority vote? Would you accept a waiting period on your first amendment rights? Would you accept mandatory training before exercising your first amendment rights? That'll be a "yes" or a "no", miss.

    3. Dog Gone,

      You avoided answering my questions. Is a person's sexual orientation and the expression of that orientation a fundamental right? Was it so for all time, or only when some people recognized it as such? Is the current state of affairs in which marriage is defined as between a man and a woman in many states acceptable, since that was by majority vote? Is it possible for something to be a right, even when the majority doesn't see it as such?

      Answer those questions.

    4. Moonshine, you have failed to supply the original valid premise for the concept of a moral right that precedes the legislated civil right.

      There is for example a moral right that states we do not have a right to yell fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire, because the resulting panic is a harm that outweighs the freedom to yell whatever you want whenever you want wherever you want.

      If you can provide me with the premise that would be a recognized moral right by any kind of consensus relating to limiting or ending my first amendment rights, I would be happy to address the possibility of that should it pass the more vigorous requirements than a 51% simple majority vote that you posit.

      You need to posit a rational scenario that includes both aspects of a right before I respond.

      You can't, but if you manage it I will be happy to oblige with an answer.

      Otherwise what you are asking is like one of the stupid questions one hears from a toddler's fantasy.

    5. Greg Camp wrote:. Is a person's sexual orientation and the expression of that orientation a fundamental right? Was it so for all time, or only when some people recognized it as such? Is the current state of affairs in which marriage is defined as between a man and a woman in many states acceptable, since that was by majority vote? Is it possible for something to be a right, even when the majority doesn't see it as such?

      Gender and sexual orientation are perfect examples. The rights of people sexually has a huge historic and cultural variation, unlike say, prohibitions against murder or incest or cannibalism.

      More than any other aspect of sexually related rights has been the recognition and understanding of gender differences, including for example the anatomical brain differences between homosexual and heterosexual individuals, the differences in hormone influences on fetal development, birth order, the differences in sexual orientation in identical twins, and a far far better understanding of the issues involved in sexual reassignment surgeries.

      So, yes, as we understand more about ourselves as human being, including our sexuality and gender, the consensus about rights has changed in terms of moral rights and legal rights relating to sexuality, gender, and marriage.

      Just yesterday, Washington state moved much closer to being the tenth jurisdiction to allow same sex marriage. There is no longer the same consensus on gender and marriage either. It is likely that precisely because of a shift to a new majority that same sex marriage will become accepted nationwide eventually - and sooner than later, and DOMA will be repealed just like DADT.

      That proves my point about how rights proceed from moral consensus to legal institutions.

    6. Again, Dog Gone, you have avoided answering my question. Was security in one's sexual orientation a right before some states formed the new consensus? In other words, is it a fundamental right for people to be who they are? You're dancing about the topic because you don't want to admit that rights are fundamental to us as human beings.

      But I'll answer your question. I've told you this before. We have a right to life. Implied in that right is the justification to defend ourselves if we're attacked. In practical terms, there are tools that make that defense more likely. Those tools--weapons, if you insist--can be used without harming innocent persons--in other words, we can use guns without violating the right to live that others have.

      There's my answer to how we have a right to firearms. I could also add that we have a right to property, so long as we harm no innocent person with that property. Add to this the fact that the Supreme Court has found a civil right to firearms in the Constitution and that most states in the Union agree with that.

      Now, will you address what I wrote specifically? Will you take it on directly?

  6. I've addressed this already, what Laci would term asked and answered.

    Rights exist by first developing a moral right consensus that addresses fairness, and from there we translate that into a legal right.

    There are no absolute, free-form existing rights, never have been never will be.

    Your concept of a gun right is wrong, and emphatically not an absolute right that endures throughout all of history or across geography either. It is a legal fiction, nothing more.

    You do have a right to be safe - it's in the universal declaration of rights which is the formulation of rights that is the widest accepted definition currently. That is not a right to carry a firearm everywhere or to shoot people; it does not make your life more or less valuable than another person's life.

    There are a whole lot of other lives being lost, or people being injured by the excessive quantity and irresponsibility of people with deadly weapons. That is a wrong which violates their rights to be safe. I would include you as an irresponsible person, and an accident waiting to happen.

    As to your question, people are who they are, regardless of whether or not you define that as a right. Defining what is a right is a process, it is not some magical list of absolutes like an alternative ten commandments carved on stone somewhere. Therefore you define your question improperly.

  7. Your utter inability (or unwillingness) to answer a yes-or-no question is noted, and is thankfully immortalized for all to see on these glorious interwebz. Your obstinacy in this regard reminds me of a petulant teenager who tells his parents "you can't tell me what to do!" Really, which high school are you blogging from? Saint Louis Park?

    And of course, who could forget the classic, tattered, worn-past-the-weave "yelling fire in a crowded theater" argument. Here's how that plays out: we don't cut out anyone's larynx just because someone might use their voice irresponsibly. Your argument is invalid, and has been for quite some time.

    Just to be sporting, I'll give you one last shot. Will you accept restrictions, limitations, exclusions, or any other infringements on your first amendment rights if a simple majority approves of such. The context of such is unimportant, and deep down I'm sure you know that. But here's your shot. Last time. Can you answer yes or no?

  8. Here we have it: Dog Gone's admission that rights are what the society says they are. Dog Gone, what are you going to do as more and more states take on a shall issue status? What are you going to do as popular opinion declares that we have a right to guns and shows no interest in banning them?

    The problem here is that you're discussing rights from the perspective of a sociologist, while we speak of them in terms of moral philosophy. We say that rights exist, whether people recognize them or not. You say that people have to agree about them for rights to exist. Your position is one of an observer, not a participant.

    1. Greg, you need to excogitate more.

      I think when I state to you that all rights proceed from our recognition of moral rights that I'm giving more than enough recognition to moral philosophy.

      You are arguing that rights are something that are nebulous, not defined, intangible floating around in some cosmic ether, as a matter of faith.

      You cannot point to any commonly recognized right that would demonstrate that. In what you term the role of a sociologist, I am instead challenging you to demonstrate in any logical way, other than you wish to believe this is so as a matter of blind faith like a belief in God, that such rights exist.

      They don't. Never have. And you have failed utterly, whether as a deluded self-described platonist or any other form of philosophy, moral or otherwise, to demonstrate that it does.

      All societies have established rights. This is true across history, it is true across geography. We have never as human being established anything that can be recognized as absolute rights just hanging about waiting to be recognized. That is a fallacy that you embrace because it is the only way you can come up with a premise that allows you to ignore balancing harm against competing good as a process.

      Moral philosophy did not begin and end in the 17thor 18th century. You reject the more recent moral philosophical developments, with apparently no other justification for criticizing those developments - ie., REAL argument, logic, philosophy- than they do not support your position.

      That is cherry picking, that is intellectually dishonest.

      Further, just because there has been a well-organized effort to promote guns does not by ANY stretch even remotely represent a majority view or consensus.

      Similarly, prohibition promoters were very successful in getting legislation passed that promoted an anti-alcohol point of view.

      It did not reflect a genuine consensus, and for that reason, as a change in 'rights' it failed.

      You don't have a consensus behind shall issue. Shall issue can as easily be changed, and more than likely will.

      Further, as Mikeb and Baldr pointed out, you continue to assert we are trying to ban guns when we are not - again,more of the intellectual dishonesty. Rather we are talking about regulation and registration, not banning, but being against that doesn't work for you.

    2. You'd look much better if you didn't spend so much time criticizing me and focused on what I actually say, but you just can't bring yourself to give up ad hominem attacks, I suppose.

      I don't have to buy what recent moral philosophers have come up with. New or recent doesn't necessarily mean better. The notion of rights as innate was what our Founders believed, and your favorite Universal Declaration was inspired by them, not by the people you've been reading.

      In addition, you do want to ban all private ownership of guns. You recognize the impossibility of doing that, so you content yourself with proposing bans on one group of owners after another. You propose one restriction on usage after another. The totality of your proposals is a comprehensive ban, whether you admit it or not.

      But you should spend some time outside of your filter bubble. Here in the South, for example, guns are a part of the culture. The same is true about much of the West. California and parts of the Northeast may be lost forever, but that idea is nothing new. The rest of the country is on our side.

    3. You don't have to 'buy' anything. But "I don''t hafta if I don' wanna' is NOT the same as a philosophical argument.

      You don't HAVE any knowledge of either philosophy or logic. So if you don't know what you are talking about stop claiming this is a moral philosophical difference of opinion. You are as usual talking out of your ass, so don't expect us to respect that.

      But you neither know what those more recent moral philosophers have come up with nor do you have any valid criticism of them.

      So, if you want to argue moral philosophy, you should know what the hell you are talking about. I doubt you've read much of the old or the new, and when you do address a disagreement you argue poorly, you fail to use logic well.

      I do NOT wish to ban all private ownership of guns. YOU keep saying so,but that doesn't make it true. I want to limit the number of guns, yes, and I want provisions like drug testing and some form of screening that would keep dangerously crazy people like Jared Loughner from shooting large numbers of people. I would like to see bonding required so that anyone hurt by another person's guns, or killed in the case of their next of kin,could be compensated at the expense and loss of the gun owner for accidental shootings, for domestic violence cases, stalking etc.

      We require people to have insurance or some form of bond / self-insurance to cover the damage done by their cars. We should do the same for lethal weapons like guns.

      We should have far far stricter secure storage requirements, not accept the stupid and dangerous conduct that you engage in.

      We should require background checks on private firearm transactions for the same reasons we require them on licensed dealer transactions.

      We should require mandatory notification of the police if a gun goes missing.

      We should make straw sales a more serious offense.

      None of that is banning guns. Guns may be a part of a culture in the south; so was slavery at one time. That doesn't make it good or something that you should perpetuate.

      No one is on your side; Reality is not on your side. The rest of the civilized world is not on your side. HISTORY is not on your side, nor is moral philosophy.

  9. DG - if you believe there is no legitimate need to ever own a weapon, why are you willing to let it be lawful for some people to own weapons?

  10. Jim,

    It's because she can't bring herself to admit the truth in a public forum. Look at all the requirements that she'd like to impose on gun owners and ask yourself who,under that regime, could still own a gun. There's a theoretical difference between a total ban and the kind of silly restrictions that still exist in D.C., for example, but the practical effect is that hardly anyone legally owns a gun.

    Of course, criminals aren't bothered by any of that.