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Tue Jan 5, 2016, 11:34 PM

"Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

I've heard that NRA slogan for years and years.

Okay, let's concede the point.

How then can gun rights advocates reasonably keep raising objections to background checks?

This is what perplexes me -- perhaps background checks are not totally effective and criminals will find ways of getting guns by circumventing the law -- but background checks seems to me to validate the "Guns don't kill people; people kill people" argument.

Why, therefore, does the NRA, GOA and other firearms rights groups protest so much when background checks are made to work more effectively? Or is this just a political game for the NRA, the Repuglicans, and weapons manufacturers?

In my state, there is mounting evidence that universal background checks work:

Colorado gun background checks denied 6,590 buyers last year - KOAA-TV

COLORADO SPRINGS - Universal background checks stopped some 6,590 people in Colorado from buying guns last year and also resulted in the arrests of 227 fugitives. The most recent statistics from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation also show that through November, the most common reason a gun buyer was denied was for a past assault conviction or arrest.


My hunch is that the NRA et al. keep moving the goal posts so that gun makers can make more money each time this issue comes up (the same people buying more and more guns) and because they see this as a political tool.

I don't think the NRA and Repuglicans really care too much about intellectual consistency as long as they can keep the anger level up against Pres. Obama and Democrats.

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." (Original post)
earthside Jan 2016 OP
mindem Jan 2016 #1
forgotmylogin Jan 2016 #26
gejohnston Jan 2016 #2
earthside Jan 2016 #3
gejohnston Jan 2016 #5
Duckhunter935 Jan 2016 #6
earthside Jan 2016 #10
DonP Jan 2016 #13
Eleanors38 Jan 2016 #24
Straw Man Jan 2016 #4
Duckhunter935 Jan 2016 #7
earthside Jan 2016 #12
Straw Man Jan 2016 #18
earthside Jan 2016 #19
Straw Man Jan 2016 #25
ileus Jan 2016 #8
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2016 #9
earthside Jan 2016 #11
Duckhunter935 Jan 2016 #14
earthside Jan 2016 #16
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2016 #21
mikeysnot Jan 2016 #27
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2016 #15
beevul Jan 2016 #17
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2016 #20
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jan 2016 #22
krispos42 Jan 2016 #23

Response to earthside (Original post)

Tue Jan 5, 2016, 11:39 PM

1. Guns don't kill people;

people USE GUNS to kill people.

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Response to mindem (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 06:20 PM

26. Guns make it easy

For one coward to kill lots of people efficiently.

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Response to earthside (Original post)

Tue Jan 5, 2016, 11:44 PM

2. according to the Wright Rossi study in the 1980s

criminals don't go to gun stores, gun shows, or anyplace a background check would be required.
As for denials, some are false positives. Half of the people in the data base are simply undocumented immigrants, since the GCA says they can't have one. Some were involuntarily committed for anorexia but no longer a danger. Some have only two decades old pot conviction in a state where it is a felony.
Criminals will still get a straw buyer to get it for them or from the same guy who sells them coke and meth.
That brings me to one thing I wish Obama would have addressed, ordering Lynch to prosecute winnable straw purchasers, and encourage changes in the sentencing guidelines. Straw buyers can get up to ten years, but typically get a few months of probation.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 5, 2016, 11:54 PM

3. So, is the counter proposal ...

... to do away with all background checks?

It stills seems you have a logical inconsistency here. With no background checks, then criminals could buy guns at gun stores or guns shows. How is that better?

One gets the impression that the NRA and the more zealous gun rights advocates would like to see a totally unregulated, open, free-for-all weapons market ... perhaps with only an age qualification for purchase?

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Response to earthside (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 12:54 AM

5. that study was done before the current federal background checks

and I doubt they would fill out the federal form that has been around since the GCA was first passed.
I'm not saying they should be done away with. I agree with them in principle, I just know the limit. At best, they are speed bump for the stupid. In Europe, it is easier to get an illegal gun than a legal gun. If you can buy a bag of pot, meth, heroin, you can buy a gun. Doesn't matter where in the world you happen to be. Or, you can just make your own machine guns like biker gangs in Australia do. The bright side to that is Sydney can have a hundred drive by shootings without anyone getting hit.
Simple answers to complex problems are not solutions.
What I said was that current federal law should be vigorously enforced.
Holder and Lynch prosecuted fewer federal gun crimes than their predecessors, including felon in possession. Hopefully that is because there are fewer to prosecute. Although I voted for Obama twice, I'm not a fan of his AG picks.

As for having no regulation, I don't know of anyone, outside of a couple of Canadian anarchists on You Tube, buy into that idea. I do agree with criminologist Gary Kleck and civil rights lawyer Don Kates that the biggest obstacle to moderate licensing systems like Austria and the Czech Republic are the openly prohibitionists who will try to take a mile out of any inch.

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Response to earthside (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 06:14 AM

6. who is calling for NO background checks

 

Please post some names and links

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 09:22 AM

10. I'm not saying that someone in particular is ...

Last edited Wed Jan 6, 2016, 10:29 AM - Edit history (1)

I'm asking just what is the NRA and/or gun rights advocates answer to bad people getting guns?

If background checks isn't the way to keep the bad people from getting guns, what is?

Or is the answer simply that everyone needs to be armed to prevent or stop bad people from using guns?



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Response to earthside (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 10:23 AM

13. Better enforcement of the existing laws and a major upgrade in the NICS system is a good start

 

Last year the Brady group claimed that they had "saved" over 2 million people from guns, due to initial denials on the background checks.

When you look a little closer at the facts, it turns out of those 2 million over 95% were false denials with a wrong name of incorrect address. But that's still 100,00 people that were denied for a reason. I don't know about other districts, but in the Midwest a grand total of only 30 people were prosecuted for trying to buy a gun illegally. That's a pathetic level of enforcement.

In crime ridden Chicago (498 shot in 2015), gun charges are the first to be plead away by the States Attorney. The three Gang members that shot and killed 15 year old Hadiya Pendleton last year were out of jail after their 3rd gun possession charge had been plead down to a misdemeanor charge. How many things are wrong with that sentence? Three guys with multiple gun charges keep getting out and getting their hands on new guns. And Illinois has all the laws the President wants already on the books including Universal Background Checks for private sales.

You'll never stop all the "bad people from using guns" but not pleading down gun charges, keeping them locked up as a serious deterrent and getting serious about prosecuting straw purchasers might help.

It's going to be a lot more effective than more "Gun Free Zone" signs.

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Response to earthside (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 05:37 PM

24. Concerning UBCs...

 


I favor them, though I am doubtful as to their effectiveness. I also favor credible gun use instruction for those wishing to carry in public, and I do not favor open carry. But at this point, getting any regulation passed or in effect will be hugely difficult. The atmosphere around "gun control" is beyond poisonness as the "issue" has for some time been an intensifying culture war in which one side is following the Roman saying when destroying Carthage: No stone is to be left upon another.

You can guess which side is being demolished.

What can be done, imo, is to overhaul the antiquated NICS system, and perhaps some form of grants-in-aidnto the states which would ensure instantaneous transmission of a judge's order to NICS when a disqualifying ruling is made. Frankly, as has been suggested by those more technologically inclined, there is no reason why someone cannot be checked through NICS using a smart phone. This would make it easy for anyone, not just FFL licensees, to do a one-on-one BG check.

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Response to earthside (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 12:00 AM

4. Two words.

Slippery slope.

They passed UBCs here in New York in 2013. No big deal, right? Just a $10 background check fee if you can find a nearby dealer that will do it for that state-mandated maximum. Many won't, because it's just not worth their time. The law can't force them to do it.

So you look around for a dealer who will, and you end up having to drive an hour or more to do it. Or you go back to the nearby guy, and end up paying his regular background-check fee of $35, or $40, or $50 plus tax. Suddenly that old .22 rifle that your neighbor wanted to sell you for $75 is not so great a deal. But you did your part to make NY safer, right?

Not really. The gangbangers will continue to get their illegal guns through the black market. Spree killers will obtain their weapons legally, because for the most part they're off the legal radar until they launch their murderous schemes. Some sales will be prevented, but eventually shady people will find other avenues to get their weapons.

When these bills passed legislature in 2013, some legislators triumphantly proclaimed that "This is only the beginning." When UBCs fail to have an impact on crime rates, they'll want something else. Who knows what that will be?

Universal background checks stopped some 6,590 people in Colorado from buying guns last year and also resulted in the arrests of 227 fugitives.

Well, if you fail the background check, then you must have lied on the Form 4473, which quite explicitly asks for a Yes or No answer on all the disqualifiers. Lying on the form is a crime. Why, then, were there not 6,590 arrests?

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Response to Straw Man (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 06:17 AM

7. why no arrests?

 

Good question, maybe the OP will have a good explanation. I await his answer.

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 09:34 AM

12. 227 arrests ...

... according to the article.

I don't know that every denial necessarily has to be for a criminal reason.

I bought my guns years ago before the new laws went in effect, so I haven't had any personal experience with these new Colorado laws.

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Response to earthside (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 12:02 PM

18. 227 out of 6590?

I don't know that every denial necessarily has to be for a criminal reason.

True, but still that's a very low number. Remember that simply lying on the 4473 is a crime in and of itself. Unless the system is denying people arbitrarily and for no justifiable reason, a denial means that the person has some disqualifier that he/she didn't disclose on the form.

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Response to Straw Man (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 12:25 PM

19. I think many Coloradans would say the new laws are working.

Here is a chart from today's Denver Post.

The number denied may appear small, but, of course, we'll never know what a denial may have prevented.

The inconvenience of a Colorado background check seems minimal to me ... the fee is down to $7.

I, for one, would be happy to see the magazine limit repealed, for instance, if the NRA, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, et al., would stop hyperventilating about background checks and help find ways to make them more effective.




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Response to earthside (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 06:01 PM

25. I'm not sure what we're looking at there.

I assume those pies are the number of total sales. It says 2.2% denials, but is that a figure for all sales? It seems that the pertinent figure would be for private sales only.

A $7 transfer fee isn't bad. In New York, it's $10. The state can't force FFLs to do these checks, and many of them won't. They think it isn't worth it for $10. Are Colorado FFLs ready and willing for $7?

I, like you, would gladly take increased background checks in exchange for a removal of magazine limits, but that's not the way the controller mind works, at least not in my state. The latest idiocy floated by some of our illustrious legislators is an ammo purchase restriction that would limit you to twice your firearm's capacity every 90 days. The owner of a double-barrel shotgun would have to save his allotment for over a year in order to shoot one round of trap.

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Response to earthside (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 06:47 AM

8. mean ole guns....why won't they stop killing people.

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Response to earthside (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 07:55 AM

9. Is there any intention on your part to address the tremendous "trust deficit" that accompanies

gun control advocates? The incessant lying, demagoguery and misrepresentation of their agenda tells reasonable people that gun control advocates cannot be dealt with in good faith.

So that is what is inhibiting more formal work towards UBCs and until it is addressed the subject is a non-starter, particularly since the battle over 2A rights has been judicially and electorally settled decisively in favor of the rights of the people.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 09:28 AM

11. Gun control people feel the same way about gun rights people.

Indeed, that just highlights what I am asking about in this thread.

Even if gun control people concede the argument that "guns don't kill people; people kill people' ... the gun rights people move the goal posts and then maintain that there isn't even anything we as a society can do about those people who would kill.

Besides, the history of the NRAs political involvement puts the trust issue, in my opinion, more clearly on the gun rights activists.

So, is the NRA or other gun rights advocates okay with some kind of background check program ... as a concept?

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Response to earthside (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 10:25 AM

14. NRA pushed for NICS

 

So yes they did push for background checks. They just are not for defacto bans of having unlimited time for completion. I think most all are for UBC, however the devil is in the details. Do I have to perform a background check to loan a rifle to a friend for a week of hunting or the range? How about safety devices like sound suppressors, would you or the controllers allow those to be sold openly? How about CCL reciprocity, is that an option that can be agreed too?

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 11:01 AM

16. I'm for minimal restrictions.

To perhaps over-simplify ...

If we had good background checks that had a 50 percent or better likelihood of screening out purchases by criminals, the mentally unstable, etc., then I have no problem with conceal carry, open carry, magazine capacity, so on and so forth.

I think that there is common ground to be found if we could ratchet down the rhetoric and the emotion on this issue. Politically, I don't think the gun control issue is good for the Democratic Party, but I also don't think that the bellicose attitude of the NRA and GOA is good for the country.

I was very disappointed by the NRA after Sandy Hook -- there was an opportunity for some good work to be done on this issue after that tragedy. But I think Obama hatred and Repuglican politics took Lapierre into an extreme position that I don't think helps anyone in the long term.

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Response to earthside (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 03:40 PM

21. After Sandy Hook gun control activists poisoned every proposal with talks of bans and registration.

Not that UBCs would have prevented Sandy Hook as Lanza obtained the guns by murdering his own mother.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 8, 2016, 03:13 PM

27. Link please.

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Response to earthside (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 10:31 AM

15. That's what *you* claim about your counterparts.

I submit you are misinformed or misrepresenting the position of gun rights supporters.

There is no effort that I'm aware of to abolish NICS. I do know from personal discussions on this board that gun control activists are, without explanation, vehemently opposed to allowing private sellers to access NICS. It seems the only solution that satisfies them is a demand that all transactions pass through a government lens.

And then they run to the next thread demanding Australian style laws.

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Response to earthside (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 11:17 AM

17. Except that 'gun rights people' aren't trying to take any thing away or limit the personal choices..

 

Except that 'gun rights people' aren't trying to take any thing away or limit the personal choices, of 'gun control people'.

Gun control people on the other hand, aren't remotely interested any doing anything that doesn't involve limiting pro-gun folks rights and choices.

We already have background checks at retail for every firearms purchase.

Having some respect for private property that doesn't belong to you, and offering something up that would make UBC a true compromise, might help.

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Response to earthside (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 02:25 PM

20. FWIW, gun rights activist here...and helped pass my state's UBC law.

 

I'd say that the majority of gun owners support background checks, and multiple polls agree. Only a small percentage of gunowners are members of the more radical associations like the NRA or GOA.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 04:28 PM

22. A BGC law is a good thing but...

...IMHO, not for the reason most people think. I favor standard NICS BGCs for FFL sales and voluntary but free or nominally priced BGCs done by law enforcement as a service to the transacting parties in private sales. I also support voluntary registration being available at a local/county law enforcement office. The campaign to end drunk driving had great success by trusting the individual driver to do the right thing. A lawful owner who is selling a gun today to a stranger would likely want to know he's not selling to criminal. A criminal in possession, unlawful owner or person who simply doesn't care won't be deterred with another law.

There is a lot to be said for a government that trusts the people and not much for the opposite.

With 300,000,000 guns in the US, an unmanageable number are already in criminal hands. Law enforcement is working on recovering those.

I figure if you give the average Joe a way to help, he will. Most people don't have evil as a end goal and being empowered to work against it, they will. Of course if you're a pro-control extremist and you view RKBA folks as opposition, it's not a far stretch to think of the RKBA group as "the enemy". And since "the enemy" is generally equated with evil this may be a tough sell to the control side.

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Response to earthside (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 05:37 PM

23. Several reasons

First is the idea of registration; lots of people are against it, for various reasons.

Second is the definition of "transfer" and the potential for confusion and abuse by the authorities. For example, can I loan a friend that I know can legally buy guns a gun of mine for a weekend hunting trip? Do I need to do a background check for that? How long in terms of time and/or distance could I loan a friend a gun? If my sister gets beaten by her husband and goes into hiding, can I loan her a gun?

Third is the idea of effectiveness. Does it work? What is the primary source of guns for career criminals? How much of a deterrent is not being able to buy a gun to a career criminal or a determined purchaser? My state currently has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet there are still plenty of dead bodies with bullet holes in them.

Fourth, what about false positives?

Fifth, what about under-funding the background check system with the intention of denying people the ability to purchase guns? A parallel example would be Scott Walker's Wisconsin requiring photo ID to vote, then closing down lots of DMV offices in "certain" areas to make it very hard for "certain" people to vote.

The concept isn't horrible or evil, but the execution is up for discussion.

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