eran_rathan wrote:well, we know what the only thing that will change the minds of the assholes in charge - when they or their kids get shot.
Generally not true. People who believe that they could defend themselves if they and/or others were allowed to have a firearm at the time of the attack will probably want *less* restrictions after being victimized. Scalise was already mentioned, but of course it doesn't count if it's a republican lawmaker who's trying to get re-elected, so I remember that part of the impetus for concealed carry being passed in Texas back in the mid 90's was a mass shooting at a restaurant, one of the survivors who's husband was killed got lots of attenton because they had a firearm in their car but it hadn't been legal at the time to bring it into the restaurant. You can also find many survivors of recent mass shooting who are vocal against more gun-control.
CorruptUser wrote:I've always been in favor of restricting handguns. Not very useful for home defense compared to a shotgun, very useful for crimes.
Or better yet, a recycling surcharge on all guns? Make them $50 more expensive so the junkies can't afford them or trade them in for drug money?
Handguns are useful for self-defense outside the home, and are generally less expensive than semi-automatic rifles making them a better option for lower-income individuals. I have very low tolerance for people who don't think the poor should have the same rights as other people, which is basically what you're advocating when you say that firearms should be priced out of range of the poor. Criminals already aren't buying a significant fraction of their guns, so I'm not sure what else you even expect to accomplish.
Still going to posit that we should restrict handguns regardless, or at least require a much more extensive screening. If not for crime, then for suicide; handguns seem to be the gun of choice for that.
I believe I remember a study a while back showing that relatively short (3-4 days) waiting periods for handgun purchases reduced their use in suicides. I'd want a mechanism where people in dangerous situations would be able to bypass the waiting period (maybe if you have a friend present when you purchase, or have a police report or something similar, you can bypass the waiting period) but otherwise I have no strong objections. I believe some state was looking into providing suicide awareness and prevention literature with firearms the same way gun-locks are, which also seems like a common sense way to approach the problem. Other than that I'd want to see better access to treatment options rather than any more onerous gun-control as a suicide prevention measure.
Sableagle wrote:My suggestion would be a licence system sort of like what we use for drivers of motor vehicles here in the UK. I'd have three tiers: learner, proficient, instructor. There'd be a lead-in phase allowing people to qualify before it became a requirement to be qualified. After that, people would very easily get a learner licence as long as they weren't convicted violent criminals, unable to pass a simple intelligence test, unable to pass a simple grasp of reality test or certified unfit by a qualified psychiatrist / psychologist. They'd have to be supervised by an instructor until they qualified as proficient, though, and have to be proficient to keep and bear arms. I'd introduce an offence of supplying a firearm to or allowing a firearm to come into the possession of a person not qualified to have it under the circumstances existing at the time, which would mean owners had to keep their weapons out of other people's hands, and I'd include culpability for misuse of a firearm that was supplied by or otherwise obtained from an owner who failed to take reasonable precautions to ensure it wouldn't get into the hands of an unfit and/or unqualified person. As with UK vehicles, I'd have categories. Make the tests for revolvers cover all revolver types. Make the tests for semi-automatic pistols cover all types of them. Make the tests for AR-15-type rifles cover all of them. Make the tests for AK-based designs cover all of them. A person would have to be able to make sure a weapon wasn't about to go off accidentally to be allowed to have one, and negligent discharges would void the licence until they retook the tests.
I'd also include "shoot / no-shoot" range time in the tests. Have arcs of 5 targets at 5, 10, 15 and 20 metre ranges, with different colours, faces or shapes on them. Have a computer wait for a button press, tell you what colour, shape or photograph to shoot, wait 10-20 seconds then pop up a target. If you shoot a target you were supposed to shoot, it goes down, another comes up and the test goes on. If you shoot a target you weren't supposed to shoot, you fail. If you don't shoot that no-shoot target, it will go away after a few seconds and another target will come up, possibly before the no-shoot goes away. Take too long to shoot a target and it'll go away to come back later. Once you've shot all the targets you're supposed to, the total time shoot targets were up is your time and it needs to be below a fairly easily-achieved threshold. The main thing is that if you shot any of the no-shoot targets, you failed; you restart the whole course next time there's a vacancy.
The psychological testing aspect is troubling, since that kind of testing just doesn't exist at the moment and access to mental health is a serious problem for most of the country. I might be ok with such a restriction if there was significant healthcare reform such that mental healthcare was easily accessible and largely de-stigmatized and
if reliable testing for violent tendencies with a very low degree of false-positives existed. Absent both those things it just seems like an arbitrary way to make gun ownership more onerous and restrictive for law-abiding people.
The shoot-no-shoot test also seems flawed. Proficiency/awareness testing that includes testing for the ability to discriminate threats from non-threats already exists, using arbitary shapes/colors seems more like a reaction test than an effective way to determine if someone is capable of distinguishing a threat from an innocent.
Also, criminal background checks are already in law, but records sharing is problematic amongst law-enforcement agencies (as recently demonstrated) and so-called 'paperwork violations' such as lying on 4473 form for purchasing a firearm are seldom prosecuted which allows straw-purchasing of firearms by non-prohibited individual for purposes of giving/selling them to prohibited individuals to go unchecked. Such activity is already illegal and punishable by significant prison time, but the law is seldom enforced.
Otherwise, what you suggest would be a deregulation
of firearms for many states. I think a large number of gun owners would be ok with some form of standardized proficiency/safety testing in addition to background checks if it meant they could carry firearms across state-lines without fear of suddenly becoming a felon in places like New Jersey or California.
Soupspoon wrote:(I've also just tried to find a good Yankee vs Limey joke where it's Old Blighty's personage that gets the worst of the engagement, for balance, but so far nothing that tickles me enough to consider it worthy retelling. Maybe that's the irony of nothing along those lines appealing to a brit. Which would be ironic in itself!)
A Texas rancher was visiting his farmer cousin across the pond. The rancher wanted to see the property so they got on the cousin's tractor and spent a few hours touring the fields. As they were finished and headed back to the house, the Texan was flabbergasted, saying "You know, back home it would take all day to take a tractor around the fields." To which his cousin replied laconically "I used to have a tractor like that."
CorruptUser wrote:Convicted felons can't own guns, especially while in prison, and you'd have to search under quite a few rocks to find the gun nut that wants to arm prisoners.
I'm not that hard to find. A large fraction the U.S. prison population is incarcerated for nonviolent crimes such as drug-related charges. I see no compelling reason why their right to own a firearm should be curtailed. Even for violent offenders I strongly favor rehabilitation over retributive/deterative imprisonment, and if the judicial system is rehabilitating offenders, then there should be no problem reinstating their rights after their sentence is completed and they are theoretically rehabilitated as functioning members of society.
CorruptUser wrote: even if most mass shootings are from long guns.
I'm not sure that's true. This Mother Jones article
from a few years back shows handguns significantly outnumbering rifles and shotguns.