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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,889

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A Gun Sanity Agenda

Proposals to Regulate the Classification and Identification of Firearms:

Establish three categories of legal firearms:
  • Category 1 would include antique and collectable guns manufactured prior to 1890, .22 rifles and small-caliber, non-automatic handguns.
  • Category 2 would include most non-auto and restricted magazine size semi-auto hunting and sporting guns.
  • Category 3 would include expanded magazine size semi-auto and full-auto guns.

Every legal gun would be required to have a FIN (unique Firearm Identification Number) engraved permanently on the gun, similar to the VIN on an automobile. Guns manufactured prior to the implementation of the FIN system may be retained legally if they are engraved with a FIN by a licensed gun dealer or gunsmith and the FIN registered.

Proposals to Regulate the Storage, Use, Transportation, and Insurance of Firearms:

Storage, Use and Transportation
  • Category 1 guns may be secured at the discretion of the owner, with a locked gun safe preferred but not legally required. Category 1 handguns may be carried concealed by the owner with an additional permit issued at the discretion of the licensing authority, and may be fired on the owner's property.
  • Category 2 guns would be required to be secured in an approved, locked storage safe on the owner's premises when not in use for sporting or recreational purposes at a licensed gun sports facility or by permit, for hunting. Guns may be transported between the owner's locked storage and a gun sports facility or hunting area in an approved locked transport safe. Guns in storage or transport are required to be unloaded and additionally locked with a trigger guard or other approved device disabling the firing mechanism.
  • Category 3 guns would be required to be secured in an approved firearms storage location such as a licensed range and storage facility or law enforcement station. Guns may be transported between such a storage facility and a licensed gun sports facility or range in a locked transport safe which may be opened only by facility or range manager on the premises of the facility or range. Category 3 guns would not be legal for hunting and may not legally be fired anywhere except at an approved range or gun sports facility.

  • Category 1 and 2 guns retained by the owner solely for purposes of display in an approved locked display safe, and removed for examination only with a trigger guard or other approved device disabling the firing mechanism need not be insured.
  • Category 1 and 2 guns retained by the owner for purposes involving firing the guns, such as sporting and competition, must be insured by the owner for liability and a certificate of insurance must be presented at the renewal of the firearms license and at any required safety inspection.
  • Category 3 guns must be covered under the liability insurance of the approved storage facility and under the liability insurance of any approved range or gun sports facility at which the guns are fired.

Proposals to Regulate the Ownership and Use of Firearms

For each gun, the owner or purchaser is required to maintain a current license, which must be renewed every two years in the case of Category 1 guns, and annually for Category 2 and 3 guns.

The qualifications for initially obtaining a license will include:
  • Evidence of successful completion of an approved firearms safety and operations class, and an acceptable score on a written licensing exam to ensure understanding of the regulations for ownership and use. In the case of an individual already licensed, and seeking licensure for an additional gun(s), the written exam may be waived.
  • Completion of a health and safety questionnaire. Individuals who report conditions that may pose possible health or safety questions, such as certain medications or medical conditions that may preclude safe usage, the presence of small children in a home where Category 1 or 2 guns will be stored, etc., may be required to undergo additional qualification by a physician or by a safety officer to ensure appropriate safe storage/use prior to the license being issued.
  • Completion of a criminal background check. Individuals with a recent arrest history involving violent offenses including domestic violence, and individuals with a felony conviction history shall be disqualified from licensure, but may petition for a waiver at the discretion of the licensing authority.
  • Evidence of insurance for Category 1 and Category 2 guns that will be used for sporting or competition.

Qualifications for license renewal will include:
  • Inspection of the licensed gun, inspection of storage equipment or facility records at the discretion of the licensing authority, and an acceptable record of safety compliance with no more than two safety violation warning tags since issuance or previous renewal.
  • Completion of an updated safety and health questionnaire.
  • Evidence of successful completion of an approved firearms safety and operations refresher class no more than three years ago.
  • Evidence of insurance for Category 1 and Category 2 guns that will be used for sporting or competition.

Individuals with more than two warning violation tags, or with potential safety issues identified during the inspection or by their questionnaire responses, may petition for review and waivers for renewal at the discretion of the licensing authority.

Proposals to Regulate Sales of Firearms:

Firearms may be sold only on the physical premises of a licensed dealer. A licensed dealer must:
  1. Deal SOLELY in firearms, ammunition, accessories, range and gun sports services, and licensed firearms storage services. (No gun show sales, no Wal-Mart or sporting goods store sales, no Internet sales.)
  2. Have the sale premises licensed and regularly inspected for security and safety.
  3. Maintain all firearms stock (guns and ammunition) in approved, regularly-inspected secure on-premises storage.
  4. Comply with inventory management and reporting requirements and submit sales and inventory records for review on a regular basis.
  5. Retain all purchased guns on premises until the owner exhibits a valid license for them, and release Category 2 and Category 3 guns to the owner for removal from the premises only in an approved and category-appropriate transport safe.
  6. Pass a criminal background check and a health and safety examination.
  7. Maintain valid and sufficient liability insurance for all firearms stock on their premises.
  8. Pass an annual license review and renewal.

A similar set of regulations would apply to the operators of premises licensed as ranges or gun sports facilities, as well as additional safety requirements. Land certified for firearms hunting would also be required to maintain legal safety practices and police compliance with transport, inspection, and safe usage regulations.

The Gun Sanity Agenda is not comprehensive. It leaves most terms undefined ("small caliber," "restricted magazine size," etc.) and the definition of those terms would require much negotiation and wrangling. It would take a generation or two to fully implement. It will not solve all problems, and it will leave everyone unhappy with some or all of its provisions. But it would be a start, and it would address many of the most egregious issues of safety and regulation.

It is also totally impractical, since the gun industry and their helots in the NRA still own far too many legislators at every level.

But a girl can dream.


The 2nd Amendment was NOT written "to protect us from our gov't," FFS...

And I'm getting beaucoup weary of hearing that BS.

If you don't understand the full historical and political context of the second amendment, go and learn before you shoot your mouth off about it being a way of allowing us to "protect ourselves from our own government."

The Revolution was over when the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were adopted and ratified. The individuals charged with creating an infrastructure that would allow a newly-independent nation formed of disparate ex-colonies to retain that independence, recognized the pragmatic necessity of empowering a citizen military for defense of the newly-formed nation.

We had mustered out the Revolutionary Army and sent almost everyone home. We had bupkus in the way of standing military forces and bupkus in the way of resources to recruit, train, and maintain such forces. Having had experience with such forces being used to keep uppity colonials in line, we didn't want to go that route in peacetime.

We also had a bunch of ex-colonies who (frankly) didn't think much of each other, weren't really sure they agreed, and didn't much want to cohere if it meant giving up what they thought was the correct way to live & govern themselves in favor of what those other assholes thought was a good idea.

The second amendment was a way of ensuring that should England, Spain or France decide we were a soft target, we as citizens could mobilize an effective response quickly, by having militias available. And since the government couldn't afford to arm or equip those militias, it would be important to ensure that able-bodied potential militia members were able to keep their weapons handy, and that no state would opt out of having a cadre of potential recruits available by restricting people from owning weapons, as was common practice among the major superpowers of the era, who DID have standing armies.

It was a practical measure to ensure we all had the right to defend ourselves and our new nation against anyone who might want to grab back or assert control over any of our sovereign territory. That's why it starts with the words "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."

It's also important to remember that the Bill of Rights represented two key concepts essential to the building of our nation: 1) The establishment of common ground among some very disparate colonial cultures and beliefs; and 2) the assurance that our central government would protect that common ground for all citizens regardless of which state they lived in.

Most of those protections were aimed, not at protecting citizens of the new nation from their own central government, but from the encroachments of STATE governments, which had different traditions and practices regarding which powers were appropriate for them to exercise over their citizens. It was a way of saying, "In every state in America, you have these rights. You don't need to worry, if you move from Virginia to New York, that the Governor of New York might decide to quarter troops in your home or appoint a gigantic unpayable bail if you're accused of an offense. You don't need to worry, if you're a Catholic from Maryland, that the Protestants in Virginia are going to be able to restrict your access to public office based on your faith."

If you look at the the entire Bill of Rights in the context of a new nation struggling to weld together diverse notions and traditions about self-government, and at the same time empower themselves to stay viable as a nation, the second amendment makes sense.

In a very real sense, the spirit of the second amendment is best exemplified in the modern era by retaining ultimate civilian control over our military establishment, and by ensuring all citizens equal access to service in the armed forces. We now have a standing military force, but it remains, in essence, a citizen military, controlled by civilian elected representatives, and comprised of all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious belief, state of residence, etc. We still have militias, in the form of national guard units, available for immediate response and our states are empowered to train and arm those militias.

These are the real spirit of the second amendment, not the paranoid nutnicks hoarding canned goods and wearing camo and muttering about the President setting up FEMA camps and conspiring to take their gunz away.


Gun sanity: "It won't work because..." <---This is BULLSHIT

It won't work because...

"There are already 3 million legally owned guns in America. You gonna round 'em up and take 'em away from law-abiding citizens, Nazi?"

"Spoons don't make you fat blah-blah-blah..."

"The Constitution blah-blah-blah..."

I'm having a really, really hard time not writing something to the effect of "go fuck yourselves and the spavined, diseased nags you rode in on," but that would not be productive.

In no particular order:

So fucking what if there are already a buttload of legal firearms owned by law-abiding citizens. Does that mean we should just give up and not even TRY to stem the tide of proliferation?

The Constitutional arguments can go on an on. The reality is that rights to do things are infringed, abridged, and denied ALL THE FUCKING TIME in the name of public safety. You don't have the right to drive a car unlicensed. You don't have the right to "pursue happiness" in a whole lot of ways that might harm your neighbor. States don't necessarily have blanket regulatory and legislative powers in the absence of a specific Constitutional mandate or prohibition. We interpret the Constitution based on the needs of our society, that's its function. Keeping weapons that were appropriate for an 18th-Century militia that might be called up, regulated, and required by legally constituted authority is not the same as GUNZ GUNZ GUNZ, everywhere, anywhere, for everyone, WHOOOPEEEE!!!!

"Spoons don't make you fat."




Bite me. Just bite me.

Yeah, if you're determined to harm someone, you can do it with just about anything from bare hands to a piece of wire to a molotov cocktail, and no, we can't outlaw that shit. But we're not talking about "harming someONE." We're talking about highly-effective engines of mass slaughter. The point here is not that 99.99 percent of law-abiding gun owners would never dream of committing mass slaughter.

The point is that when you have highly-effective engines of mass slaughter readily available, the people who DO dream of committing mass slaughter have the means of doing it with relative ease. In order to "protect the rights" of (I'm trying to be nice, here...) a minority of legal gun owners who have a REALLY FUCKING WEIRD OBSESSION with being able to obtain GUNZ, GUNZ, and MOAR GUNZ easily and to keep those guns any fucking place they want for any fucking reason at any fucking time, we have decided that it's okay to take the risk that any sick, criminal, confused, angry, drunk asshole who wants to show the world something apocalyptic has the means to do just that.

Well, that might have been a low-risk equation at some point, but now? It's been abundantly demonstrated that there are PLENTY of sick fucks who will, indeed, avail themselves of those readily-available engines of mass slaughter to-- SURPRISE! --commit mass slaughter!

There are more gun dealerships in America than there are grocery stores.

Think about that.

The manufacture, marketing, and sales of guns are less regulated than just about any potentially hazardous product that can be purchased by the average consumer, including children's pajamas.

Think about that, too.

Would it really, really, be such a horrible thing if there were controls on who can deal in guns, and on how and to whom such sales could be made? If gun owners were required to be licensed to own guns, and if each gun sold had to be sold to a licensed individual who was then legally liable to ensure that said gun was used only by themselves, for legal purposes, and that license was required to be inspected and renewed occasionally, and the legally owned firearms were also required to be inspected occasionally?

Would that be the fucking end of the world? Would that really, really result in the death of democracy and the grinding iron heel of authoritarian dictatorship crushing the life out of our communities, families, and recreational pursuits?

Would that be worse than burying children killed because we think it's more important to have efficient engines of mass slaughter freely available to just about any sick asshole who has something to prove?

Would it?

Would it REALLY?

It's long past time for gun sanity. It's long past time to begin reining in the proliferation. It's long past time to stop listening to NRA bullshit.

LONG past time.

Demanding sanity --regulations, requirements, controls, licensing, etc.-- is NOT unreasonable. It is NOT the thin end of the wedge of Pol Pot implementing killing fields in Nebraska. It's a reasonable, intelligent way to reduce the very real and tragically demonstrated risk that efficient engines of mass slaughter will be used to commit mass slaughter.

So let's cut the bullshit.

Let's have some sanity.

And I apologize for all the f-bombs, but sometimes they're the only safety valve available.

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