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Sen. Kline: Democrats haven’t wimped out on guns

The more complex truth behind Olympia’s failure to restrict access to firearms.
A sculpture outside the U.N. headquarters in New York

A sculpture outside the U.N. headquarters in New York Island Nimbus/Flickr

Sen. Adam Kline

Sen. Adam Kline

Ralph Fascitelli’s recent piece in Crosscut, critical of Democrats for wimping out on gun control deserves a candid response. As a lead sponsor on a number of gun bills over the past 15 sessions in Olympia, I guess I’m the guy to give it.

By selective use of historical references to the 1994 midterm Congressional elections and the 2000 presidential election, Ralph paints a picture of Democrats losing the former by poor policy discipline and the latter by poor campaigning. In Ralph’s portrayal, neither loss had anything to do with the Democrats’ efforts in 1994 to ban assault weapons — a view that would have definitely surprised a young Eastern Washington Congressman named Jay Inslee, and his colleagues Maria Cantwell and Mike Kriedler, three of some 29 House Democrats, four of them from the Washington State delegation, who took that gutsy vote and promptly lost their seats. The fourth was the Speaker of the House, Tom Foley—an almost unprecedented loss. By contrast, only five Congressional Democrats who voted No
lost their seats. What does this tell us?
 
We mountain climbers have a saying: “There are bold climbers, and there are old climbers, but there are no old bold climbers.” We learn to pick our routes carefully if we want to live to climb another day.
 
Here’s the crux of Ralph’s argument: “Democrats to their detriment and disgrace have ignored the gun issue because they wrongly viewed it as a lost cause—faulty thinking that has hurt them in energizing their base, and contributed to additional bloodshed in our streets.”
 
And here’s the truth: There is no organization on our side in Olympia that can do for us what the NRA does for our pro-gun colleagues; that can gin up the support, generate the letters to the editors of every hometown paper, get the folks in our districts to circulate petitions and call and write and visit our district offices, get the back-stories of gun violence on the TV news, bring surviving victims to visit with editorial boards, bring the home folks to Olympia to pack the room at legislative hearings, raise funds to hire the consultants and wordsmiths to help target the sensitive races and frame the message and run the outside game. There is no one to organize this state’s willing and wealthy donors to fund independent expenditures and cut maximum checks to those suburban and rural Democrats for whom any gun bill is a tough vote—and yes, any Republican gutsy enough to buck his or her caucus—so that we legislators can get the job done. CeaseFire has little if any capacity for this unglamorous work. It prefers to release position papers and go on TV.
 
I don’t ask for an equal-but-opposite organization, an anti-NRA golem of equal firepower and caliber. I’ll settle for an organization whose leaders are willing to do the nuts-and-bolts organizational work and tedious fundraising over the years that would build something a small fraction of that size. All I want is some folks with the political sophistication to know what help politicians need, and to give it to the right ones. Really, just some folks who understand the metaphor of politics as battle, and are willing to supply the troops. When Ralph and others founded CeaseFire some years back, that’s what I thought it would be. When, more recently, I saw that it wasn’t, I asked Ralph to change course. We’ve had this conversation several times.
 
CeaseFire doesn’t supply the troops; it rails at them for refusing to engage more frequently in a battle for which they are ill-supplied. Ralph’s understanding is that because the cause is just, the votes are there. Static poll-data showing popular support is brought forward to assure this. Never mind that polling data changes quickly under a barrage of ads — the NRA has millions for ads; CeaseFire doesn’t. This is not a degree of political sophistication that assures even the most courageous soldier. And Ralph’s favorite target in Olympia is Speaker Frank Chopp, the general whose respect for his troops, and whose broader view of the many other battles they have to live to fight, restrains him from committing them to this currently one-sided battle. (I can say this; I was the one urging him to action.)
 
The Speaker’s reticence was supported by a strong argument, and one needn’t agree with it in order to recognize its coherence. The NRA thrives on weak challenges; it sees them as fundraising opportunities. Its supporters are ready to believe that any gun bill — no matter how rational its purpose or how minor its scope — is a threat to God-given and constitutionally protected rights, and will contribute generously, giving the organization not only the psychological momentum of a win, but likely a surplus as well. It is up to us to choose our battles wisely. 
 
The way it works in this democracy is that we legislators represent our constituents. We can get a majority of our colleagues on an issue when enough of us sense that the people are there, or almost there, or at least going there, and that we may have to push them there, but at the end of the day our risk will not have been wasted. The work of moving public opinion on an issue cannot be done by legislators alone, whose work makes us generalists, but must be done by the activists who care particularly about that issue.
 
This co-relationship is an outgrowth of democracy’s core premise: that an educated electorate will debate freely and demand action. However populist it may seem these days to blame “politicians,” it is not effective activism to refuse to help in the ways that matter, and then to publicly criticize legislators for failing to do it by themselves.
 
Washingtonians who seek more rational gun laws are invited to report for duty to CeaseFire, to join up, to make themselves heard, and to demand serious leadership. Until that happens, the organization will continue to simply occupy its political space, and its officials will make public statements, giving an impression that something is being done about guns.
 
Adam Kline is the state senator from the 37th Legislative District in Southeast Seattle, and currently Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Comments:

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 8:13 a.m. Inappropriate

Senator Kline's sad commentary is disappointing but not surprising. He attacks the messenger, a proud thirty year citizen activist group including amazing people like Tom Wales and Ancil Payne for not having the ground troops like the NRA. We are unpaid volunteers who have given thousands of hours to reduce the terrible gun violence in our state...and we do it the best way we can. Mr. Kline continues to be a shrill and sad apologist for weak kneed legislators who fail to put the public safety of citizens first. Gun legislation works..those states that have the best gun laws have one sixth the level of violence as those that don't. The National Brady Campaign has given the State of Washington an F and legislators like Adam Kline who simply go through the motions so they can cover their tail ends is a big reason why. We deserve better!!!

RalphF

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 9:48 a.m. Inappropriate

Actually, both of you have it wrong. Your problem is not the NRA. Your problem is that you are trying to restrict, and in the more extreme cases eliminate, people's civil rights.

I will repeat this as many times as it takes. Personal self-defense is a basic civil right, and if I choose to defend my person and my home with an AK-47, it is none of your damn business, nor my neighbor's, nor the state's. If I break the law in any way, I expect to face the consequences.

You delude yourselves that "gun legislation works" just as those who would restrict women's access to abortion services and birth control delude themselves that their legislation works.

The legislation that you seek is, in the long run, unenforceable, and therefore recognized, by Democrats and Republicans alike, as poor public policy.

Don't like guns? Don't own one. Education, not prohibition, is the key to prevention. If you don't believe that my position is the majority position, then please feel free to keep beating your heads against the wall.

ivan

Posted Sat, Oct 6, 7:49 p.m. Inappropriate

Ralph! Your whole premiss is a falicy. Law abiding citizens cause no-one any problem,,,even if they have a fully armed Abrams Tank in their driveway.

"gun control" does nothing but inconvenience law abiding citizen. Those with criminal intent have no care as to what any law is, they will do what they will do...if it takes a baseball bat like it does in the UK, or not.

Another falicy you preach is "gun violence". Guns are not violent, people are violent (or not). Baseball bats are not violent, but they can be used to do murder by someone with criminal intent.

No, the reason you and Ceasefire are irrelivant is that your message is base on flawed logic from the start.

hermannr

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 10:44 a.m. Inappropriate

Just what part of the 20 word 2nd Amendment is so hard for the gun grabbers to accept and understand? Let the follies continue and let's have Congress pass and the Prez sign the Affordable Gun Ownership Act of 2013 requiring all Americans to purchase arms and maybe even 'arm's insurance'.

animalal

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 10:49 a.m. Inappropriate

Guns are merely a tool.

With rare exception guns do not kill. That can also be said of cars and trucks, pickax handles, sawzalls, knives and the list goes on for weapons used in assaults reported last month in the media.
Each and every one of those need a human to make them work.

Education is key to safety with guns. I firmly believe that 10 year olds should be required to learn to fire one accurately and know very well how to unload and load it and how to make it safe (ie unloaded and unable to fire). One reason for this is most kids will be bored stiff after one hour and the magic of guns will be gone for them.

Take away the guns and people will just revert to other historical means to kill if they want clubs, knives, spears, or even a rock. I must admit these would require them to get off the couch and actually do a little work so maybe this would be effective.

Now a customer complaint --
why with the recaptcha do we have to do hieroglyphics -
why cannot both words be in easily read text? Does this really do any good?

leitmotif

Posted Fri, Oct 5, 8:16 p.m. Inappropriate

Yes indeed, mass killings would be just as easy with knives or rocks as with guns.

Good heavens, at least try to make sense.

sarah90

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 11:33 a.m. Inappropriate

The Supreme Court in 2010, with Judge Scalia writing for the majority, has ruled that the Second Amendment provides Americans a fundamental right to keep and bear arms, and that this right cannot be violated by State and local governments. After the most recent shootings in Colorado, Scalia said that some restrictions might be possible, but that they would have to be judged in light of what the Framers of the Constitution would have seen as 'reasonable' in 1787.

Not much wriggle room there.

Senator Kime has aptly described the landscape for gun restrictions in Olympia. I believe his descriptions are correct.

Plus, the scope of what may prove possible will probably not prove effective in reducing gun violence.

You really want new gun laws in the US? You're going to need a new Supreme Court. One where Scalia is not writing the opinion for the majority.

Ross Kane
Warm BEach

Ross

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 4:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Of course there is no anti-gun group as influential as the NRA, just as there is no anti-civil-liberties group as influential as the ACLU or anti-civil-rights organization as influential as the NAACP. Americans who fight to preserve our rights are almost always more effective than those who fight to eliminate our rights, because we have the protections of the Constitution on our side.

dbreneman

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 8:24 p.m. Inappropriate

Senator Kline shows that he is an ineffective politician. Time for him to go.

Kline has become an example of a huge problem among political leadership - he finger points instead of leading. He points to what he's for, instead of what he's accomplished.

He's had enough time to accomplish something on this topic. He is hardly in danger of being thrown out of his safe district.

Democrats have wimped out on guns. No question about it. Kline explains one of the causes of the wimp out, but fails to own up to his own sad history of no progress.

Jan

Posted Tue, Oct 2, 10:57 p.m. Inappropriate

Sen. Kline, it is true that the gun groups have a very avid following, and are very good at mobilizing their members to communicate their views to legislators. These same people are also very active at leaving comments on online news articles, blog posts, and articles like this one. Often the views are extreme. Money, too, follows these gun groups, in part because of well-funded NRA pockets.

But literally hundreds of polls over the years show that these are not the views of average citizens, and the percentage of gun owners is declining every year (currently only about 30% of homes even own a gun). The percent of population with conceal carry permits is only around 1%. Your role is not to bow down to the extremists or the fringe, but to represent the majority.

Polls routinely find overwhelming support, in the 70-90% range, even among gun owners and NRA members, for such things measures as requiring a background check for ALL gun sales, including private sales, for banning the sale of semi-auto assault rifles and extended ammo clips, for mandating safe storage of guns in homes with children, and for strict requirements for gun and proficiency training prior to sales, particularly for conceal carry permit granting.

Here is one example of such a poll, of NRA members:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/24/gun-owners-frank-luntz_n_1699140.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

As a survivor of a shooting myself, and having been touched by gun violence in other ways in my life, I can say with authority that America's lax gun regulation isn't just tragic, it's a pressing public health emergency, with 100K shootings a year and 30K deaths.

So ask yourself, who do you represent? It takes courage to stand up against extremists with money. Unlike those mountain climbers you reference, we PAY you to be "old and bold."

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 8:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Oh Jason. You keep putting faith in biased polls when Senator Kline gives you the answer to that question in his article.

"Static poll-data showing popular support is brought forward to assure this. Never mind that polling data changes quickly under a barrage of ads "

Let me translate that for you.
"Sure, a couple of biased poll questions can give the appearance of anti-gun sentiment, but the minute people learn the ramifications of these anti-gun proposals support for them wilts faster than a hard on faced with a naked Nancy Pelosi."

If that's not clear enough for you, let's put it this way. Prove that you can get the votes and the politicians will vote your way. Since you haven't ever been able to, no politician is going to go out on a limb for you now.

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 7:32 a.m. Inappropriate

Ross Kane Wrote:

"Scalia said that some restrictions might be possible, but that they would have to be judged in light of what the Framers of the Constitution would have seen as 'reasonable' in 1787...."

Thanks Ross, I had good chuckle at that one. If I correctly recall, every able bodied male between certain ages was required to possess a musket and five or six balls as part of mandatory participation in the militia...re that pesky first clause in the 2nd amendment that most of the commentors on this thread have conveniently ignored.

Of course guns, ammo, etc., etc. can be regulated. We have resrtictions on all sorts of constitutional rights. Free speech
is not always free. We regulate it. The same can be done with guns, etc., and I am quite sure Scalia understands this.

Nothing says you can't own a gun for your protection as was determined in the SCOTUS ruling , but as a society we sure can legislate (or not legislate) to regulate what kind of gun an individual can own, how much ammo they can possess, etc., etc.



Bella

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 11:35 a.m. Inappropriate

Bella says:

"Of course guns, ammo, etc., etc. can be regulated. We have resrtictions on all sorts of constitutional rights. Free speech
is not always free. We regulate it. The same can be done with guns, etc., and I am quite sure Scalia understands this."
--
To anyone who is not a legislator, things are very cut and dried -- pass a law, and everyone's Christmas pony will drop out of the sky, and we'll all live happily ever after.

Legislators know better. Laws have to have enforcement mechanisms. Those enforcement mechanisms have to be funded. The appropriations for that funding must be weighed against funding needs for other equally vital government services. Then they must undergo financial and performance audits, to determine if the money has been well spent, and if the taxpayers are getting the best possible bang for their buck.

This is why gun control, almost at any level, is a non-starter. It is essentially unenforceable, as I keep repeating, because whether gun control advocates choose to admit it or not, people who in all other cases might be 100 percent law-abiding regard personal self-defense as a civil right, and will not hesitate to flout any law if they think their person or their home might be at risk.

Look at the money that has been wasted on the so-called War on Drugs. Can anyone tell me with a straight face that people aren't going to light up a joint if they think they can get away with it? Doesn't the story of the Eighteenth Amendment and the accompanying Volstead Act tell you something?

Legislators know this. Adam Kline, who sits on Judiciary, sure as hell knows it. He can't just tell you to get lost, and I won't either. But these laws would be disobeyed with impunity, and therefore are not worth the attempt. Spend the money instead on creating jobs if you want to see less gun violence.

ivan

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 8:08 a.m. Inappropriate

"The way it works in this democracy is that we legislators represent our constituents." Exactly right! And a good description of just how clearly the people have communicated on this issue. What a joy it is to finally agree with you Senator, I sincerely hope that the ragtag small group Mr Fascitelli leads now will take the message of democracy and consider the possibility that they're pursuing the wrong path. More and more people are seeing that the human right of self defense is not to be toyed with. Someones right to be (not just feel) safe is not negotiable. It can't be stuffed with taggants or microstamped out of affordability. You can't morally tell that single mother "sure you can own a gun, here's your musket". This is a civil right in our country for good reason.

bk425

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 9:11 a.m. Inappropriate

bk425 Wrote:
"You can't morally tell that single mother "sure you can own a gun, here's your musket"......

Sure you can. As long as everyone else has a musket.

"More and more people are seeing that the human right of self defense is not to be toyed with. Someones right to be (not just feel) safe is not negotiable......"

And I would posit in reply my right NOT to be shot is the far more important right.

Bella

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 9:24 a.m. Inappropriate

Senator Klein's point is painfully illustrated in the comments section. The guy lobby responds to this piece with a well orchestrated, sophisticated rant about "rights" blurring and obscuring the public safety issue we are really need to address. Mr. Fascitelli's response is not to line up a well orchestrated, sophisticated response of like minded activists but to instead attack Senator Klein.

I never got jazzed about the organizing potential of CeaseFire. Instead I am now focusing my effort to end the madness by supporting Mayors Against Illegal Guns (http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/home/home.shtml), an organization that is doing the grass roots organizing designed to do more than rant at politicians.

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 10:32 a.m. Inappropriate

How anyone can think that the “gun lobby” is paying attention to two obscure articles in an on-line newspaper in the Seattle area is beyond me. The pro-gun comments almost surely came from locals such as I who support gun rights. Many of them are likely social liberals such as I. I suspect that few “conservatives” read Crosscut on a regular basis.

Second, get your facts straight. Read material that does not come from the same sources. Both the left and the right are segmenting the news that they consume to fit their prejudices. Gun ownership is up all over this country, as are carry permits. In many areas these numbers are going up a record rates. Take a look at Washington state. Not all of the activity is outside of Puget Sound I assure you.

Third an active shooter who practices regularly can easily go through hundreds of rounds in a day. I doubt that even the most avid ant-gun person wants a spray and pray carrier. Yes those permitted folks are in your misds.. If a shooter is in a competitive event the number of rounds goes up even more. How does one determine what is “enough”,

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 10:51 a.m. Inappropriate

"The pro-gun comments almost surely came from locals such as I who support gun rights. Many of them are likely social liberals such as I."


Ssshh! You're giving away our little secret.

dbreneman

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 11:36 a.m. Inappropriate

Thanks riverworld, if I'm this vaunted "gun lobby" how come I'm in debt up to my Bellevue based eyeballs and working long weeks in technology?

"Sure you can. As long as everyone else has a musket."
Bella, think about what you posted here. You can certainly regulate what -I- have, -because- I desire to be a law abiding citizen. The people that you would have to regulate, if you believe this is a public safety argument (I'm "workin with ya" here, I do not), already have guns that will last for hundreds of years. If you magically removed -all- of those guns from existence you will still have people walking around with the knowledge (and many with the tools) to -build- modern firearms. Sorry, but this is nonsense. I wish it was less typical of the control side of this debate.

bk425

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 1:21 p.m. Inappropriate

Sounds like the message is getting through loud and clear to the people who have something to lose - gun rights are massively more popular than suppressing gun rights is, both in terms of money and manpower. Much as the anti-rights people like to talk about big-money organizations, the NRA has far more members then every anti-rights organization combined, and it's far from the only gun rights organization.

You can dummy up all of the nonsense polls you want, but the numbers tell the true story - the NRA has 4 million members, and it's hard to even tell how many members any of the anti-rights organization have because they keep changing their names in the hope that people will forget about the lies that they have told and they play games with their membership numbers in hopes that nobody will realize how small they are. All of them combined don't have 1% of the membership of the NRA. If there's any side where big-money donors are trying to subvert public opinion, it's the rich liberal donors who pay for their own private security throwing money into anti-gun-rights organizations that have virtually no active members.

Sen. Kline knows the truth - the anti-rights organizations are ghost towns. They're ghost towns because the anti-rights side has lost all of the arguments on both facts and logic over and over again and pretty much nobody is on their side anymore. That's why, in his own words, there is nobody on the anti-rights side to write letters to editors, call legislators, pack hearings, research and spin news articles, etc. Your side lost, and is rapidly being buried.

mace

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 8:33 p.m. Inappropriate

When is the anti-gun side going to face the facts? There is no constituency for gun control. None. You can't bring them money, votes, or volunteers. You can cost them money, votes, and volunteers, so they vote against you.

It's as simple as that.

I do love the conspiricy mongering. Apparently I'm just a tool of the vast pro-gun conspiricy. It's so secret that even I don't know I'm a tool.

Or it could be that we fight for our rights and we demand that the NRA, and FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY the state level pro gun groups fight for them as well. The NRA doesn't lead us. We drag them around by the nose.

Posted Thu, Oct 4, 6:06 p.m. Inappropriate

Sen. Kline is merely acknowledging that the gun control lobby is all noise and very, very little substance. The NRA is the 800# gorilla that it is not just because of its 4,000,000+ paid membership but because many times that number of non-member citizens agree with its positions. Polls show that the percentage of people supporting gun control is at the lowest number in decades. Groups like Ceasefire and the Brady Campaign are struggling to survive with only a few thousand relatively rich donors/celebrities keeping them solvent.

I recall attending legislative hearings on a proposed CCW law back in Missouri between 2000 and 2003; at each hearing the room would be packed with citizens supporting the proposed CCW law and, each year, the same ten Brady / Million Mom March opponents with that antigun number including their school aged children.

In effect, Ceasefire and the other anti-gun organizations are paper tigers roaring loudly unable to really accomplish much, and most certainly not representative of the majority of the population.

Posted Thu, Oct 4, 6:15 p.m. Inappropriate

Quiz Time.....

Q. Who said this?
“This is a invitation by the U.S. Supreme Court the State legislatures to pass reasonable safety conscious restrictions on the nature of the people allowed to own and the nature of the guns themselves and that’s very explicit from the words I just read”
A. On January 26, 2010 Adam Kline made this comment with regard to restrictions on firearms interpreted from DC vs Heller.
http://tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID;=2010010151
(fast forward to time index 18:30)

Q. Who said this? (spoiler alert)
"As Chair of the Judiciary Committee I have the gate keeper function. I get to decide which bills as they come over from the house we want to hear and put up for a vote; and some don’t and that means they get killed. Alright, I killem".
A. On Feb 24 2012 Adam Kline talked about his decision to stop gun legislation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKs8PV3eY4k&feature;=youtu.be

My personal response to Mr. Kline regarding his "reasonable accommodations to the gun law".

SB 5739: Revising provisions relating to renewing a concealed pistol license by members of the armed forces.

HB 2226: The procedures for a retired officer to apply to a local law enforcement agency for issuance of a firearms certificate.

HB 1041: Correctional personnel and community corrections officers who have completed government sponsored law enforcement firearms training are exempt from restrictions on carrying a concealed pistol and carrying a pistol in a vehicle.

Those 3 do not count as helping gun owners.
They are self-serving laws that simply reward government employees.

The proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or perhaps in this case the mountain top.

Whitney

Posted Mon, Oct 8, 9:33 p.m. Inappropriate

"Look at the money that has been wasted on the so-called War on Drugs. Can anyone tell me with a straight face that people aren't going to light up a joint if they think they can get away with it? Doesn't the story of the Eighteenth Amendment and the accompanying Volstead Act tell you something?"

Ivan, anyone can (and did) manufacture liquor in their bathtub, and anyone can grow pot in their basement or yard. You can't grow a gun or ammunition. You have to buy them, and anything that must be bought can be regulated. Comparing them to liquor or pot is a poor analogy.

sarah90

Posted Tue, Oct 9, 12:39 a.m. Inappropriate

No you don't. If you have the machining tools, you can make guns. They're called "home-builds", and they are completely legal.

Posted Tue, Oct 9, 3:39 a.m. Inappropriate

Just because she says they can be regulated doesn't make it so. She's just like all the rest of them; making a faith-based argument, isolated in her little urban bubble. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have the tools, and the skills, to manufacture all the guns and ammo that they or their neighbors need.

ivan

Posted Tue, Oct 9, 12:38 a.m. Inappropriate

You have to buy them, and anything that must be bought can be regulated. Comparing them to liquor or pot is a poor analogy.

No you don't. If you have the machining tools, you can make guns. They're called "home-builds", and they are completely legal.

Posted Tue, Oct 9, 8:48 a.m. Inappropriate

Actually, we have proof, right here in Washington State, that you CAN regulate guns, that it does work, and that almost nobody tries to "get away" with breaking the law-

You see, Federally, with the proper taxes paid, and permission from the ATF, it is legal to own a fully automatic weapon in the USA. But State law varies from State to State, and, in Washington State, as in at least 4 other states, it is NOT legal.

And yet, somehow, the jackbooted stormtroopers have not slid down the slippery slope and confiscated every duck hunting shotgun in Western Washington.

It is perfectly possible to regulate SOME weapons, and not all. Gun control is not, contrary to what the NRA preaches, binary- there are millions of shades of gray, and its perfectly possible to require training, or registration, or (shudder) insurance of gun owners without banning all guns.

If you look at the other countries with high rates of gun ownership, you see multiple different approaches, most of which require that a gun owner be trained and the guns be registered- but someplace like Finland, where they LOVE guns, and love hunting, has quite high gun ownership rates, has a higher rate of hunters per capita than the USA, and still has a lower crime rate, a lower gun homicide rate, and far fewer guns in the hands of the mentally ill or criminals than we do- in other words, they have gun control that allows responsible gun owners to own guns, and prevents crazy people and crooks from having them.

Gun owners love to bring up the automobile analogy- you know, cars kill more people than guns do. Thats a perfectly fine analogy for me- I have a drivers license, auto insurance, and individual registration for each of my cars. I would be quite happy with similar laws for guns, and if so we would not need to ban large capacity magazines, or "assault rifles", or .50 caliber rifles either.

Ries

Posted Tue, Oct 9, 9:48 a.m. Inappropriate

In theory anything is possible. In practice it's another story. It's only possible if you have the votes to pass it, and then to enforce it successfully. Absent both of those conditions, no, it's NOT possible.

ivan

Posted Wed, Oct 10, 8:22 a.m. Inappropriate

In practice in every other civilized country, it works.
Including the next nine countries in the top ten list of legal gun ownership per capita.

This would be excepting Iraq and Yemen, of course, both of which have higher illegal gun ownership rates, but no constitutional protections to gun ownership.

The rate of gun ownership in america (as opposed to the total number of guns, which are getting concentrated into fewer and fewer hands) has been steadily falling for decades.

Most gun owners are old, and the average age is getting older.

This is a problem that will probably solve itself, just as gay marriage or legalisation of marijuana will, as the older generation dies off.

Ries

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