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Monday, July 14, 2014

Open letter to America and the NRA, from a longtime weapons enthusiast






“I am the guy that has seen both sides of the issue. I own guns. I’m the father of a murdered child. I’ve done nothing but track violence in America since my son was murdered."
“We have a serious problem with guns in this country. And we refuse to address it. And the NRA’s solution to arm every grammar-school 80-year-old teacher with a gun is absolutely ludicrous.”
"90 percent of Americans are for a responsible background check for a gun, and you know what this Congress has done? Not voted on it, not brought it to the floor, not introduced a bill."
"They’re all scared shitless of the NRA, aren’t they? Because the NRA will run a tea-bagger against you. . . . They’ll put 5 million bucks against you.’”
“I’m a gun owner. I’ve hunted all my life. I hunt quail on my own ranch, And I am the biggest advocate for background checks out of any gun owner in America.” 

18 comments:

Sevesteen said...

If you want background checks and not registration, propose a bill that only does background checks. Make sure it doesn't prohibit ordinary activities like letting someone else shoot your gun. Someone with a license that required a background check to obtain and maintain should not need a separate background check for each purchase. Make sure there is a reasonable means to challenge a denial--and give something to gun owners in return. Doesn't have to be anything big, could merely be to allow interstate sales if you pass a background check.

Current proposals are all registration by another name, have huge potential for 2nd amendment violations beyond keeping criminals and the insane from obtaining guns.

Mo Rage said...


That all sounds fine---and workable.

Background checks on all commercial purchases for criminal history and mental stability. Then, if computerized, that person buying an additional weapon doesn't have to, as you said, go through it again.

Sevesteen said...

If you are only asking for background checks for commercial purchases, I still don't understand what it is you want to change with current law--all commercial purchases already require either a background check or a license that required a background check. Even at a gun show. Unless your definition of commercial purchase is different than mine, you already have what you claim to want.

Mo Rage said...


Statistically, factually, in reality, a great number of weapons are sold in the US with no background checks of any kind. It may be the law but it isn't happening on a great number of these purchases:

"Buying a gun has required a background check since the Brady Act took effect in 1994. (James Brady was badly wounded during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan; he was Reagan’s press secretary.) Under the law, federally licensed dealers must verify that a buyer has not been convicted of a serious crime or declared mentally incompetent or is blocked for any of about 10 reasons. Typically this is done online and takes less than a day.

But only licensed dealers must do this. The law doesn’t apply to private sellers at gun shows, flea markets, or people who post firearms for sale on the Internet. If a private seller suspects that a buyer would be disqualified under federal rules, then they can’t go through with the sale. But there is no background check, and no one needs to file any paperwork."

Link: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jul/25/michael-bloomberg/mayor-michael-bloomberg-says-40-percent-guns-are-s/

Additional links:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116657/johns-hopkins-gun-control-study-background-checks-really-work

This one from Johns Hopkins, based on Missouri statistics:

http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2014/repeal-of-missouris-background-law-associated-with-increase-in-states-murders.html

Finally, a Harvard study:

Better mental health treatment may help but effective legislation is crucial to reduce gun violence.

This editorial, in a leading psychiatric journal makes the case that effective legislation, including universal background checks, is urgently needed, and could substantially reduce our country’s firearms death toll.

Brent, David; Miller, Matthew; Loeber, Rolf; Mulvey, Edward P; Birmaher, Boris. Ending the silence on gun violence. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2013; 52:333-38.

And no, I certainly don't expect you to read them all.

Sevesteen said...

Why is it so difficult for you (and most other gun control advocates) to say what you think current law is and where you think it is lacking, or what it is that I'm saying that you don't believe?

What I'm getting is that you don't really know what the laws are, don't really care, but want them changed in some way as long as the change is more restrictive to legal ownership.

Mo Rage said...


What I find most consistently, most repeatedly and most frustrating about people from, on and in the Right Wing is that they either deny someone said anything or--and this is the worst thing they seem to do--is put words in the opposition's mouths. In this case, you deny I said what I think we need as a nation, regarding weapons.

I have said it many times, several of them on here. One more time, they are:

1) We need to have background checks at all weapons purchases for mental stability (so this would naturally include all gun shows, too);

2) We need the same background checks for all weapons purchases for criminal history and

3) We should make a maximum capacity for clips and magazines of, say, 10 shots. Nothing more than that is needed, certainly, even and especially for hunting.

It's just not that difficult.

That last one likely won't happen at least until there is another large group slaughter of innocents in this nation but we can keep working on it.

Sevesteen said...

You previously said you only wanted background checks for commercial purchases, which implies that some purchases would not require a background check. Now you say all purchases. It would be much quicker to say what you mean immediately. We don't need to keep making things harder for people who already follow the rules, we need to catch and convict the people who hurt others.

You think the second amendment is to protect hunting?

Mo Rage said...


All purchases. All purchases done by commercial outlets, including the businesses operating at gun shows. You're parsing things. It seems to amuse or entertain you to do so in your discussions, it seems, clearly.

10 rounds is plenty for hunting or shooting anywhere.

Sevesteen said...

So you think there is some way for a business to legally sell guns as a regular part of their business at a gun show without doing background checks? I guess that's the actual important distinction--and no, they can't.

I think it is technically legal for some businesses to sell a gun as a one-off without a license or background check, but once it becomes a regular thing even if only occasional, licensing and checks are required. It is by definition very rare, too rare to be a real problem, and I only mention it because accuracy is important to me.

This is written communication. I believe you are being deliberately obfuscatory, when you say

"All purchases. All purchases done by commercial outlets"

in response to clarification on which one of those two distinct statements you mean. Why not save time and just say "I don't want to give a clear answer?"

Or even "I don't want to debate, I just want to post without being challenged"

Mo Rage said...


The thing is, on so many of your opinions, just as this one on background checks at gun shows, I know you're sincere and I know you believe what you say and think and write. They just don't match reality. As just one example:

Tacoma gun show requires no background checks through private sellers

Link: http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/tacoma-gun-show-requires-no-background-checks-thro/nfh5W/

I am not being intentionally obfuscatory. It serves neither me nor my stances any good purpose. I think you now said that because I accused you of parsing my statements, I guess to be difficult. So be it, so it goes.

You have and put forward opinion and again, you're sincere and you negate my points sincerely---but without any documentation, in contrast to the links and data and statistics and non-partisan research I post here, to debate you.

Sevesteen said...

I've never claimed that there are no sales at a gun show without a background check. My claim has always been that if the transactions are commercial a background check is required under current law. It's possible to sell non-commercially, it's possible to sell illegally without being immediately caught.

One of the problems in this discussion is that the ATF has refused to clarify the threshold between the highest volume allowed as a hobbyist and a commercial dealer--and has eliminated the practical ability for a high volume hobbyist to get a FFL and follow all the FFL rules just in case. It used to be practical to get a "kitchen table FFL"--same license and all the same rules as a full time dealer, but without a storefront. This gave the license holder the ability to buy out of state but required him to do background checks, submit to inspections and keep an official "bound book" of his transactions. In the mid 90's, a combination of anti-gun groups and storefront dealers lobbied to eliminate the kitchen table FFL by raising the cost of licenses and requiring the official location to follow all local business zoning laws--even if no business was transacted there.

If you want background checks, bring back the kitchen table FFL.

Mo Rage said...


It is extremely well-known, documented that there are plenty, plenty of weapons sales at gun shows that have no background check whatever. I put a link on my last response to you, showing just that--and for an entire city.

If the ATF needs to declare what that level of sales is, great, so be it. The sooner the better, for everyone's benefit, so we know where we stand. I don't think it would be the ATF, however, as it would have to come from the legislature, doesn't it?

But heck, no. No "kitchen table FFL's." That would create one more loophole people could drive a truck through and skirt the law. Unless it's an extremely small number of weapons--like 10 or something--then no, it likely, if not clearly wouldn't work or be a solution.

Sevesteen said...

Why no kitchen table FFL's? How is that a loophole? They have to get a background check themselves to get the license, they have to do a background check when they sell, they have to keep a record of every transaction--they have to do everything a dealer with a store has to do except rent an extra building.

Or is "loophole" anything that makes legal ownership less of a hassle?

Mo Rage said...


How are FFL's a loophole?

Use your imagination:

Gun seller wants to sell a gun to a person. Seller doesn't want to do a background check of any sort. He calls it a "kitchen table" FFL and sells the gun to the person.

Don't say or think it couldn't or wouldn't happen.

Sevesteen said...

"Seller doesn't want to do a background check of any sort. He calls it a "kitchen table" FFL and sells the gun to the person."

You're making it hard to be polite.

Is it that you don't know what FFL stands for? Federal Firearms License.

What is the difference between someone with a license and a storefront, and someone with a license but no storefront that turns one of them into a gunrunner?

Mo Rage said...


If I'm making it hard to be polite, just now, then you've found how difficult this is for me and for some time. That you defend and protect the wealthy and corporations so strongly, repeatedly, to the detriment of most of the nation, the working- and middle- and lower classes, when I assume you're part of one or two of those groups is my biggest issue and problem here.

The difference between someone with a license and a storefront, and someone with a license but no storefront that turns one of them into a gunrunner could easily be merely the privacy within which that 2nd transaction takes place. It's an important distinction and point and one that could easily, easily be exploited whether you agree or recognize it or not.

Sevesteen said...

You will use the most ridiculous arguments--"it could happen, therefore it justifies restrictions even if there's no evidence it did happen". You'll use whatever statistics support your view--even when it is obvious you don't understand them.
"He calls it a "kitchen table" FFL and sells the gun to the person."--fairly obvious you don't know what an FFL is here, but since it somehow makes it easier for a legal gun owner, it must be stopped.

since we're both having a hard time remaining civil, I think it's time for me to take the rest of the year off again.

Mo Rage said...


Weapons aren't like voter ID laws.

With Republicans and the Right Wing, they pass laws--or try to--to try to nip vote fraud in the bud, so to speak, even though incidents of it, locally and nationally are nearly non-existent.

With guns, and with gun purchases, they actually do get into the "wrong hands." You know it and I know it. Criminal hands.

And then people get killed. It happens repeatedly. It's a huge, significant problem. Surely not even you can deny that.