Jan 30, 2011

MDP Gun Ownership Caucus wants common sense gun control


The shooting earlier this month of Democratic U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona that killed six people and wounded 13 others illustrates clearly that common sense gun control is needed, but I heard a brief and interesting debate on Saturday from the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party’s Hunting, Fishing, and Gun Ownership Caucus, Jim Pedersen, that may shed some new light on the issue.

The Democratic Party has a big tent, and many Democrats are avid sportsmen who strongly support the Second Amendment. In fact, many Democrats have been endorsed by the NRA and given an "A rating,” such as former Vermont Governor and Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean.

Pedersen’s point is that we lose voters with a knee jerk reaction to shootings like the one in Arizona, and I think he may be right. We should at least have the debate. He also thinks the sale of multiple, 30+ round magazines that the Arizona shooter used should not be banned because people already have them. I part company with him there, but some of his positions make sense.

We know a few basic facts, and it’s far too easy for mentally unstable people to get handguns. There are controls and restrictions on the 1st Amendment, so I can see no reason not to have some commons sense restrictions on something as deadly as a gun.

Every year in this country guns kill more 30,000 people, and 70,000 more people are shot and injured. Gun zealots to make the false claim that allowing more adults to carry concealed weapons significantly reduces crime in America, but that myth has been debunked by peer reviewed studies. The opportunity for a law-abiding gun owner to use a gun in a socially desirable manner--against a criminal during the commission of a crime--will occur, for the average gun owner, perhaps once or never in a lifetime. It is a rare event. Other regular citizens with guns, who are sometimes tired, angry, drunk, or afraid, and who are not trained in dispute resolution, have lots of opportunities for inappropriate gun uses.

Dean said guns and hunting are part of a way of life in Vermont, as they are here in Michigan and elsewhere.

“But I don't think any Vermonter or gun owners anywhere can argue against common sense changes to our background check system to make our communities safer and more secure,” Dean said in a press release.
Groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns are proposing common sense changes. They have a two-part goal. First, we already have laws that make it illegal for guns to be sold to felons, drug abusers or the mentally ill. The problem is that states and federal agencies are not required to make sure these prohibited purchasers are included in the background check database.

Second, they say it’s time to stop the sales of guns without a background check at all. They say right now, anyone can go to a gun show and purchase as many guns as they want; no questions asked, no background check, nothing. It seems like common sense to fix these two loopholes and make America safer from illegal gun sales. It in no way infringes on the Second Amendment.

Hundreds of guns bought in Arizona through this loophole make their way to Mexico to help drug cartels destabilize the Mexican Government. This is not only a threat to the people of Mexico. When loopholes in our laws allow drug cartels in Mexico to stockpile guns, it is also a threat to the United States.

The Michigan Democratic Party is holding its Winter convention on Feb. 12 in Cobo Hall, and the Hunting, Fishing, and Gun Ownership Caucus is meeting at 8 a.m.

13 comments:

Republican Michigander said...

"""They say right now, anyone can go to a gun show and purchase as many guns as they want; no questions asked, no background check, nothing"""

That's a lie. There is no gun show loophole except in the eyes of anti-freedom politicians and the media.

All dealers (FFL's) are required to perform a NICS check.

Communications guru said...

Wow; only in your small world is keeping an M-16 out of the hands of a mentally disturbed person is “anti-freedom.”

Sorry, as usual it’s you that is lying.

Under federal law, background checks are only required for sales by federally licensed firearm dealers. Gun shows are a primary venue for unlicensed sales.

Republican Michigander said...

I've bought at gun shows. I went through the NICS check. Dealers have to perform NICS checks by law. Period. That goes either at gun shows or at Total Firearms in Mason.

Communications guru said...

Like I said, under federal law, background checks are only required for sales by federally licensed firearm dealers. Gun shows are a primary venue for unlicensed sales.

“Weeks after a shooting left six dead and 13 injured in Tucson, New York City sent undercover investigators to an Arizona gun show and found instances in which private sellers sold semiautomatic pistols even after buyers said they probably could not pass background checks, city officials said. “

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/us/31guns.html?_r=1&src=tp

Republican Michigander said...

As I said - DEALERS. Private sales can happen anywhere. They have nothing to do with gun shows.

Not Anonymous said...

33 States do not require background checks, however, some counties in those states do. In the other states, there are differences in the checks on guns. Long guns may not require a background check, but hand guns do. In Michigan, there is a requirement of a background check prior to buying a handgun.

As for the NYTimes story, I don't put my stock in it when they start putting out information that can't be proven. When they say "probably couldn't pass background checks" what criteria are they using? Looks? Mode of dress? Nothing factual anyway since they used "Probably".

I also did some checking. Since this country was started, there have been ten deaths of Congresspeople by guns.

1 was in a civil war battle. A Republican.
3 in duels, all Democrats.
1 from an insane son, Republican.
3 assassinations.
1 at a commune.

6 were Representatives, 4 were Senators. 3 were Republicans, 7 were Democrats.

There have been 2,167 different Senators in our history. I couldn't find how many different Representatives we've had but it would have to be over 5,000.

That makes the chances of a congressperson being killed by someone with a gun of any kind are very remote. Hardly worth passing a reactionary law based on a shooting of a Representative.

It just boils down to if you ban guns, the only ones that will be armed will be the criminals. I've noticed that criminals don't follow the laws. You'd think others would notice this.

Communications guru said...

As I said, background checks are not required at gun shows, and that’s why it’s a gun show loophole that needs to be closed.

Republican Michigander said...

All dealers at gun shows have to perform NICS check (background check for the anti-freedom media types). It's no different than buying from a gun store.

If you sell a bunch of guns without an FFL, you'll have to prepare for the F-troop showing up at your door - the BATF. After seeing them in action at Waco, I'd rather not deal with them.

The said...

Kevin, Have you been to a Gun Show?
If you sell we are required to be a Licensed dealer.
Private sales are frowned upon. You can purchase from a individual though. Hand guns still require a Purchase Permit

jrfoleyjr said...

Kev said:"Hundreds of guns bought in Arizona through this loophole make their way to Mexico to help drug cartels destabilize the Mexican Government. This is not only a threat to the people of Mexico. When loopholes in our laws allow drug cartels in Mexico to stockpile guns, it is also a threat to the United States."

But not the full auto and military assault weapons which are NOT available from sport shops or gun shows... those are the ones displayed and the cause of the wailing and gnashing of Democrat teeth, now worn to the gum line. As much as you would like to try to blame sportsmen, they are not suppliers of full auto guns.

Communications guru said...

“Kev?” Do I know you? Other than that, your first paragraph is correct; the second, not so much.

jrfoleyjr said...

Kev said, "your first paragraph is correct; the second, not so much"

Sportsman grade guns are generally available from anywhere outside of liberal enclaves.

Military grade weapons are not!

Here is a little "didja know" moment, Kev... The standard pump shotgun is the most reliable and effective close combat weapon available and it is COMPLETELY legal to own. It is not a military weapon, but every police cruiser usually has one at the ready.


The second paragraph is entirely factually correct. Full auto military weapons and grenade launchers are NOT available from sport shops and gun shows. But these type weapons are what is usually laid out for press briefings to show what has been captured by law enforcement personnel. BTW - An AR-15 is NOT an M-16 just for your education, Kevin. The Brady libtards insist on calling anything that looks like a military weapon an assault rifle. I then must assume that the full auto plastic pellet shooting toys that have the appearance of an M-16 or one of the other machine guns must fall into the same category because they also look like a military weapon.

I realize that this is not something you want to hear or be told, but the truth should be made available to you anyway. You can be lead to it, but no one can make you believe or understand it.

Communications guru said...

Again, do I know you?

“Sportsman grade guns are generally available from anywhere outside of liberal enclaves?” Where the hell would that be?

No, “Military grade weapons” are available at gun shows.

Great “didja (sic) know,” but who gives a dam, and what does it have to do with this discussion?

Military assault weapons are available from gun shows, and what’s even worse, they do not require a background check.

I realize that this is not something you want to hear or be told, but the truth should be made available to you anyway. You can be lead to it, but no one can make you believe or understand it.