Gun Control V3.0

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Master_SweetPea, Aug 1, 2004.

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  1. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
    Well, I was going to start up a slightly more focused gun control thread when the 1994 Law Enforcement Protection Act (so-called "assault weapons ban") was close to sunsetting, but I see the festivities have already started.

    Maybe I'll open up that other thread anyway. It ought to be a more focused discussion than 'gun control' writ large.

    Anywho, I think that it is very important to differentiate between ideological gun-control advocates (people who are opposed to firearms on general principle) and casual gun-control advocates (people who believe that it produces a benefitial societal gain). After reading a handful of posts in here, it seems important to define a third group--legal gun-control advocates.

    At any rate, keeping that in mind, the initial post in the thread is very vauge and generalized (no offense, MSP), and, as I'm sure Ender_Sai will agree, it would be appreciated if future posts would identify whether 'gun control' as a general concept or American gun laws are being discussed.

    All that stated, I think that on an American level, there is reasonable evidence to make a strong argument that the Founding Fathers did indeed believe the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

    In the spirit of the the first post in this thread, let me just state that I'd be perfectly happy were there no limitations on the kind of small arms one could buy in America, but the only big ones that I'm opposed to (again, U.S. context) are the arbitrary ones. The various implausible importation laws strike me as useless and needlessly specific (I can buy an SKS unless it contains greater than X foreign-made parts?), and various state- and federal-level prohibitions on random types of firearms (broadly miscategorized as 'assault weapons', 'junk guns', and 'sniper guns'). Even fully-automatic weapons are legal in many states so long as they are registered, licenced, and tightly regulated. To ban a semi-automatic weapon just because it looks kinda like a machinegun is shallow and condescending, in my opinion. If you want to pass laws regulating something, fine. The great thing about America is that if you keep a clean slate, pay you taxes, and jump through all of the requisite red-tape hoops, you can more or less do whatever you want. And if you can get a licence to buy a suppressed machinegun or build explosives, I can see no reason to outright prohibit the ownership of demonstrably less dangerous devices.

    Specifically, I'm referring to my experiences with my former home state of California. Up until a certain cutoff point, you could still buy firearms that the state had defined as 'semiautomatic assault weapons' such as civilian variants of the SKS or AR15 as long as they were registered along with any magazines that fed more than ten rounds of ammunition. However, a few years back (I believe it was 1999), the state banned the sale and transfer of these firearms. It was even made illegal to leave them to your estate in your will. Now, because ex post facto laws are not lawful, those that had legally owned their firearms prior to this date could still have them, but no new so-called 'assault weapons' could be sold or brought into the state.

    While going to school in Idaho, I bought a wonderful little carbine, a Bushmaster XM15E2S, which is superficially similar to the M4 carbine in appearance. After talking to innumerable and equally nameless phone operators with the California State Department of Justice, I was essentially told that I could not bring my rifle home legally. The minimum sentence for being caught in posession of my rifle within California borders is a ten-year stay at the Grey Bar Motel, and a felony on my record.

    It doesn't matter that I have a virtually spotless record (my worse offense is a singular speeding ticket from Oregon). It doesn't matter that the rifle was legally paid for and purchased and that I passed the background checks required by federal law. It doesn't even matter that I was
  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Generally, I believe that if one defines 'gun control's' objective as being a reduction in violent crime, it has proven to be a rather dismal failure. In many cases, it seems crime rates and firearms regulations are completely unrelated. As such, I don't much see the point to exhaustively prohibitive civilian disarmament and the like.



    For the record, I agree in part with what Brett said.

    I am an Australian, a potential law enforcement officer, and until a few years back, an avid shooter.

    I also support, to a degree, limitations on firearm ownership.

    One thing we established was that here in Australia, guns couldn't be viewed more differently than in the US.

    Basically, one fact or nugget of info you could use is that in America, guns are seen as a right. Everywhere else in the West, however, they're seen as a privlige. This will create some divide because basically, we're talking at or past each other, not to each other.

    The reason I support some controls is because I don't see a need for certain types of weapons. However, I admit I haven't grown up in the US so I'm not expecting this position to translate well across the cultural divide.

    One thing we must agree on is that the US' crime has nothing to do with guns. Guns are if anything a convenient force multiplier. They however are not part of the crime problem, and even in cases which I'm sure will be brought up where crimes of passion occur, they are merely something with which an angry person can lash out.

    E_S
  3. Genrader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 3
    I could have bought a working AK-47 in a gunstore I went into a couple of months ago. Too bad I didn't have the money to spend on it (was quite expensive).

    I think ANY kind of small arms firearms should be available to to the public with no restrictions, but when you buy the gun you must have these requirements:

    Minimum age of 18
    No criminal record
    No medical record of insanity

    Whatever Vermont's laws are on guns, I believe it is unless they changed them recently. We need more gun training classes and more people carrying guns.

    When I turn 21 I am planning on having a concealed weapon that I will not purchase a permit for to carry concealed with me. (If guns were ever outlawed I refuse to have them have any trace of knowing I own a gun).
  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I could have bought a working AK-47 in a gunstore I went into a couple of months ago. Too bad I didn't have the money to spend on it (was quite expensive).

    Dude, do you see how excessive and frightening the above sounds to other people?

    First off, why use the term "working AK-47," except to sound more menacing that it is?

    The working AK, as you describe, is nothing more than the civilian copy of the actual Soviet weapon.

    When I turn 21 I am planning on having a concealed weapon that I will not purchase a permit for to carry concealed with me. (If guns were ever outlawed I refuse to have them have any trace of knowing I own a gun).

    And again, do you see how alarmist this sounds?

    Vermont is unique among the union because it requires no state permit to carry a handgun.

    It is prohibited to have a loaded rifle or shotgun within a vehicle, or carry weapons in a school, state building, or grounds owned by such institution.

    However, as much as you fear it, there is still going to be a record of the purchase, because of federal requirements.

    The serial number on any firearm you purchase is already recorded, and the dealer who sells you that weapon is required to maintain that information.

    The key here is to realize that the federal government sets the baseline requirements under the law. States can add to them, and dictate how the result is carried out within their borders, but they still operate under that umbrella.
  5. RobinHood Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2004
    star 1
    Genrader, you care to explain to me the purpose of owning an AK-47? If it's for killing deer, I would say it's overkill. Automatic weapons (particularly automatic rifles) should be banned across the board, IMO. There is simply no good that can come of civilian ownership of automatic weapons. Civilians have no use for them, because you can hunt and protect yourself without an automatic weapon. A few years back, a bank was robbed in North Hollywood. I don't know if you remember it, but it quickly turned into an enormous shootout that ended in the deaths of both suspects and the injury of countless officers. The perpetrators used AK-47's in the robbery. The North Hollywood bank robbery is a perfect example of why automatic weapons should be banned for civilian use.
  6. Madriver Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2003
    star 3
    The perpetrators used AK-47's in the robbery. The North Hollywood bank robbery is a perfect example of why automatic weapons should be banned for civilian use.


    Did the bank robbers obtain their AK-47's legally? Considering California's gun laws my bet is that they didn't....so....how would a ban on certains weapons have changed this robbery? How does a ban on legal use of weapons change the fact that the same weapons are easily obtainable illegally?
  7. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Wrong, RobinHood.

    Just because something has the same name, doesn't mean it has the same function.

    It is like putting a Corvette emblem on a Pinto. It may say Corvette, but it certainly won't act like one.

    Automatic weapons are already regulated for civilian use. They have been for over 66 years.

    The 1993 Assault weapons law didn't even address these class of weapons.

    That's why, in debates like this, it is important for everyone to get on the same sheet of music regarding terminology.

    What are called assault weapons, should be called "military replica" weapons.

    They are semi-auto (meaning one bullet fired with one trigger pull), just like any other class of civilian weapon.

    THIS functions no differently than THIS

    Even if one "looks" more menacing than the other.

    In fact, the second, "more tame" example comes in a more powerful caliber than the first.

    But that only matters if one actually focuses on functionality, rather than looks.







  8. All_Powerful_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 4
    THIS functions no differently than THIS

    Even if one "looks" more menacing than the other.


    There is, however, no way a police officer can tell that just by looking at it from a distance. If a criminal is using something that LOOKS like an automatic weapon, even if it is semi, an officer should treat that as if it is the real deal. I think that works to everyone's benefit, though, because it allows officers to use excessive force to bring down robbers that would be stupid enough to use such weapons.

    California has some crazy gun laws and even crazier criminals.
  9. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    There is, however, no way a police officer can tell that just by looking at it from a distance.

    What do you mean by this? :confused:

    I think you mean that you can't tell if it is automatic, or just semi-auto. but it is a moot point.

    Any weapon that represents a threat is dealt with accordingly.

    I think that works to everyone's benefit, though, because it allows officers to use excessive force to bring down robbers that would be stupid enough to use such weapons.

    Again, I am slightly confused here. Excessive force is never authorized. There is no "parity of force" requirement that says police have to only respond with pistols if that is what the bad guy has.

    If a person is using a revolver to commit a crime, and the police respond with AR-15 rifles, guess what?

    It is the force level that is the determining factor, not what type of weapon it is.
  10. All_Powerful_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 4
    I would imagine that if a criminal were using something that looked convincingly like an AK-47, a weapon designed to take out multiple targets, the officer would have more incentive to call in for backup instead of deal with the situation alone or with a single partner. That's mainly what I meant.

    I'm NOT saying that the cops would use grenades, missile launchers, or automatic weapons of their own in response to another weapon. :) To do so would endanger the life of the store clerk or any civilians in the building.

    But, I do think that a suspect, especially two suspects, carrying a military-grade assault weapon would be dealt with differently than one who uses a single handgun and that, by carrying a large weapon, it makes them easier to identify as threats.
  11. RobinHood Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2004
    star 1
    Thanks for the info, Mr44. I was unaware that semi-auto replicas of automatic weapons were common. That changes my position immensely. I think semi-auto weapons are perfectly OK, but I think all guns should be regulated with things like gun lock requirements, waiting periods, etc.
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I would imagine that if a criminal were using something that looked convincingly like an AK-47, a weapon designed to take out multiple targets, the officer would have more incentive to call in for backup instead of deal with the situation alone or with a single partner. That's mainly what I meant.

    Well, again, you seem to be focusing on the type of weapon, rather than the action.

    A weapon that looks like an AK-47 has no more capability than any other rifle.

    Any call of "suspect with gun," or "bank robbery in progess" is going to bring every cop in a 50 mile radius to the scene.

    No department I know of has a policy that has a lone officer responding to such a call if it is known before hand.

    If it isn't known, and the weapon is introduced into the call by surprise, the officer is going to react to the situation, not the specific type of weapon displayed.

    EDIT:

    but I think all guns should be regulated with things like gun lock requirements, waiting periods, etc.

    I agree that these make sense.

    Think of this this way.

    Generally, the Federal government is concerned with the transportation and sale of weapons. (smuggling, trans across state lines, etc..)

    As such, the feds set the standard for dealers, and the requirement for purchase.

    The states are concerned with how the weapon is used once it is purchased.

    Again, the basic requirement at the federal level is to pass a background check for sale. A waiting period is required for those states that don't use the instant check.

    However, most states require a waiting period related to safety, and set the criteria on possession, carrying, etc..




  13. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Maybe what might help here are some examples.

    I'm always harping on others to provided links, so
    HERE is the actual text of the law.

    In the firearms section, what it did was to define weapons based on the cosmetic features they had, or their country of origin, rather on how they functioned.

    For example, EXAMPLE #1 Here is a weapon that was probibited by the assault weapons ban.

    Now, EXAMPLE#2
    Here is a weapon that is allowed under the assault rifle ban, and can be currently purchased.

    To the average user, what is the difference?

    Both weapons function as semiautomatics, not auto.
    both use the same type of ammunition.

    However, example #1 had a "military style" muzzle brake at the end, so it was deemed "illegal."

    Example 2 has the muzzle brake removed, so it is perfectly legal under the assualt rifle law.

    next, here is another example that has always been allowed under the assault rifle law:

    EXAMPLE#3

    example 3 wasn't even covered under the recent law, because it doesn't have a enclosed trigger guard.

    Finally,
    EXAMPLE#4
    Example 4 is just like the first 3, but since it looked like a "cowboy rifle," it wasn't covered under the recent law either.

    Only the first example above, was prohibited under the 1994 law.

    So, if a firearms law is based on nothing more than how a firearm looks, rather than how it acts, how effective is it at impacting crime?

    It would be like trying to reduce speeding by outlawing cars with racing stripes, rather than cracking down on speeders.

    What are the goals of such a law?
  14. Emperor_Joe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 4
    "I take "free" to mean "sovereign." In the context of this time, it's cetainly understandable that the writers of the Constitution were afraid of a European power trying to take the United States for itself. And, like I said, I don't believe "free state" has anything to do with the people."

    Well I take "free" to mean that the people living under the goverment are not under the heel of a SS officer when they walk the streets.
  15. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    lomion: The idea of a cooling off period to help prevent crimes of passion with firearms makes sense.

    Waiting periods extend a potential victim's "period of vulnerability," sometimes with tragic consequences. For example, in 1991 Wisconsin resident Bonnie Elmasri, seeking to purchase a firearm for protection from a husband who had repeatedly threatened to kill her, was told she would have to wait 48 hours to obtain the weapon. Unfortunately, 48 hours was too long to wait; the abusive husband killed Bonnie and her two children the next day.

    Waiting periods also force potential victims to rely on stalking laws and restraining orders for protection. It has been shown time and again that individuals intent on inflicting great bodily harm do not consider the potential consequences of violating a court order or stalking law to be an unacceptable risk. And law enforcement institutions certainly don?t have the capabilities to provide 24-hour coverage to ensure a court order is enforced. Clearly, pieces of paper issued by a court or created in legislative proceedings are not suitable substitutes when it comes to self-defense.

    Terry Jackson of Albany, Georgia, fearing for her life, swore out arrest warrants for an abusive former boyfriend who had stalked and assaulted her. Finding little comfort in relying on the warrants, the mother of five purchased a pistol from a pawnshop. Less than 12 hours later, she shot and killed the ex-boyfriend as he tried to break into her home. The shooting was ruled a clear-cut case of self-defense.

    Similarly, Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross purchased a gun as a result of threats and previous assaults from a fellow Marine under orders to stay away from her. Just three days after purchasing the weapon, Cpl. Ross fatally shot the man after he broke through a door and rushed into her bedroom brandishing a bayonet. Had Cpl. Ross been subject to a waiting period, she might not be alive today.

    Fortunately, Cpl. Ross and Ms. Jackson did not have to rely on pieces of paper while waiting for a "cooling off period" to pass.

    MaceWinducannotdie: Marine Corps vs. Michigan Militia, 'nuff said?

    Which is why the militia should have access to the same weaponry and training as our "official" armed forces.

    RobinHood: ...but I think all guns should be regulated with things like gun lock requirements, waiting periods, etc.

    Can you explain why you support these restrictions? I've already pointed out why waiting periods are a bad idea, and gun lock requirements are only going to make it more difficult for you to use your firearm when you really need it.

    [image=http://www.keepandbeararms.com/images/GunLockSafety500dpi.jpg]
  16. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Can you explain why you support these restrictions? I've already pointed out why waiting periods are a bad idea

    It seems to me that you're using a few anecdotal incidents to prove a rule, which usually isn't a good way to go.

    I've no doubt that in the vast majority of cases, waiting periods are harmless and result in no negative effects.
  17. All_Powerful_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 4
    [image=http://www.keepandbeararms.com/images/GunLockSafety500dpi.jpg]
    If this guy is so incompetent that he's a total nervous wreck when trying to unlock his gun, he would have probably shot himself without one.
  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Waiting periods extend a potential victim's "period of vulnerability," sometimes with tragic consequences.

    yeah, this is where I have to disagree with you Fred.

    While I do believe that gun ownership is an American right, it also comes with certain duties.

    Owning a firearm is a great reponsibility, which ultimately falls on the person using it.

    In a perfect world, a person would seek training, become familiar with the firearm they seek to own, and achieve some sort of proficiency with it.

    A gun shouldn't be a reactionary tool.

    A person who waits to buy a gun strictly in response to an outside event, is just asking for trouble.

    In fact, it might even put them in harms way if it offers a false sense of security.

    A person who is terrorized might now have a gun, but would that person be able to quickly draw it? Could they manipulate the safty on weapons that have them?

    With some prior planning, waiting periods wouldn't matter.

  19. Emperor_Joe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 4
    "It seems to me that you're using a few anecdotal incidents to prove a rule, which usually isn't a good way to go."

    Well your just useing a few anecdotal incidents to prove that guns are a threat to the public.

    "I've no doubt that in the vast majority of cases, waiting periods are harmless and result in no negative effects."

    I have a unwavering conviction that you have nothing to prove that.
  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Well your just useing a few anecdotal incidents to prove that guns are a threat to the public.

    I am?

    I've posted but once (and now twice) in this thread, and I've said nothing to argue that guns are a threat to the public. I was simply poking a hole in the logic being used.
  21. RobinHood Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2004
    star 1
    Can you explain why you support these restrictions?
    I support waiting periods so that people can "cool off" if they are about to commit crimes of passion, and I support gun locks to prevent children from accidentally injuring or killing themselves or others. I think the cases where the above two restrictions result in loss of innocent life are rare, so these restrictions would do much more good than harm, IMO.
  22. Emperor_Joe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 4
    "I am?

    I've posted but once (and now twice) in this thread, and I've said nothing to argue that guns are a threat to the public. I was simply poking a hole in the logic being used."

    Not so much what you said but the logic behind it. You reason that guns are a threat and need locks to keep people safe.
  23. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Not so much what you said but the logic behind it. You reason that guns are a threat and need locks to keep people safe.

    Again, where have I said that?

    I only pointed out that using a few incidents don't prove a rule. That's it. That's all I said.

    I don't currently have a strong opinion on gun control.
  24. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    I support waiting periods so that people can "cool off" if they are about to commit crimes of passion...

    But you're ignoring the fact that this person could have been a gun owner for several years! The chances that he'll change his mind when he doesn't have a waiting period to worry about are slim. Besides, if you're about to commit a crime of passion, I would think you'd be so blinded by rage that you wouldn't care how you got the job done. If a gun isn't available, odds are a knife or a baseball bat is.

    ...and I support gun locks to prevent children from accidentally injuring or killing themselves or others.

    Uh huh. Right. Did you know that 31 out of 32 models of gun locks tested by the government's Consumer Product Safety Commission could be opened without the key? According to their spokesperson, "We found you could open the locks with paper clips, a pair of scissors or tweezers, or you could whack them on the table and they would open." All trigger locks do is render guns inaccessible for self-defense.
  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Dude, do you see how excessive and frightening the above sounds to other people?



    You forgot to mention immature. [face_plain]

    Wow, Fred's posting from KABA! How unusual! ;) :D

    //remembers old thread in which these exact arguments were made and then cycles about for 20 pages...

    E_S
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