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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

President Obama's Gun Control Proposals

Posted by on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM

They'll be released beginning at 8:55 a.m. today, but it's already known that they'll include a new federal gun trafficking law, a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban, universal background checks for gun purchases, and a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips. ("Like the 30-round magazines that the police said [Adam] Lanza used.")

However:

The administration must keep political realities in mind as it drafts its proposals: getting any new gun regulations through Congress, particularly through the Republican-controlled House, is seen as difficult.

Not waiting for Congress: The State of New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday signed an expanded assault weapons ban into law.

Not likely to do anything meaningful about gun control this year: Washington State.

 

Comments (30) RSS

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Big Sven 1
These are reasonable measures that second amendment advocates should (and I think do, in general) support. I would also add liability reform that requires gun owners to make a good faith efforts to secure their guns from theft.

The problem is that it's become increasingly clear that for a number of people, including it appears many on Slog, the definition of success is banning all semi-automatic handguns, which is to say essentially all handguns. That's not going to happen, and efforts to make it happen will drive some gun owners to reject the President's proposals under "slippery slope."

I've become convinced that slippery slope is a real concern from the comments on Slog. Too many commenters here lump all gun owners in with the NRA dickwads. But this is still a good set of measures that are worthy of support.
Posted by Big Sven http://onedatapoint.blogspot.com/ on January 16, 2013 at 6:19 AM · Report this
2
@1 the definition of success is banning all semi-automatic handguns, which is to say essentially all handguns

So, you completely dismiss such fine hardware as the Smith & Wesson series of revolvers, including the legendary .38 Police Special and .357 magnums? The gun Dirty Harry made famous, the Model 29, .44 magnum revolver? The reliable, featherweight ankle-holster backup 5-shot pistols? If you can hit what you're aiming at in less than six tries, a semi-auto doesn't offer you a lot of advantages, and a revolver doesn't jam.

No civilian with one of these non-automatics is particularly defenseless.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 16, 2013 at 7:05 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 3
I disagree with most of that, Sven, but I see what you are saying.

Goldy and Chicago Fan and a few others have taken to referring to 'gun nuts' too often. Many very liberal people have spoken up here on Slog in favor of tighter restrictions on things like high capacity magazines and large volume ammunition sales. That some of these folks are also gun owners is encouraging.

It is disappointing to see the two sides fall back their standard positions of name calling and false accusations and cherry-picking the data.

But many good points have come up and its becoming clear that there are very good ideas afloat and also the desire of enough people to implement them that some of them stand a good chance of moving forward.

Stranger Staffers please take note: Demonizing and insulting your opponents in this discussion is doing a lot to reduce the effectiveness of your voice. And is empowering the more judgemental and paranoid voices from the other side.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on January 16, 2013 at 7:10 AM · Report this
4
@3 Which is not to say there aren't such people as "gun nuts." It's certainly possible to have reasonable arguments on both sides of the equation, yes vs. no. But there are certainly those who take their zeal for weapon-ownership to nearly sexual levels.

As for calling the no-guns-ever crowd "liberals," I'm not sure that's exactly the right word in this case. In fact, wouldn't it be the exact opposite, "authoritarian?"

In fact, in my case, I'd be happy to cop to the term authoritarian when it comes to weaponry. I'd like the authorities/government/police to take care of protecting me from people with guns. I really don't want to have to do that myself. That's why I pay taxes, and live in a city which has a working government and public services.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 16, 2013 at 7:29 AM · Report this
OOF POOF 5
I've been an avid shooter/gun nut ever since I joined the Army, which makes sense to me. It's good to have a hobby that makes you better at your job. Seeing people hiss and scream at guns doesn't seem like much of a problem to me, since handling weapons is part of my job description. Guns are not toys, and that has been drilled Ito me from day one of boot camp. To see folks like myself, who use weapons responsibly, be overshadowed by the misfit children of America and the gun lobby, disgusts me to no end.

Hell, I love guns. But there's a point where too many people of varying intelligence have access to them.
Posted by OOF POOF on January 16, 2013 at 7:48 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 6
@2: A revolver is a semi-automatic weapon, unless we are talking about single-action revolvers from the 1800s.

"Semi-automatic" just means that the action of pulling the trigger also sets the hammer back (cocks the gun) so that you do not need to do so manually.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 16, 2013 at 7:50 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 7
No. A revolver is a revolver. A semi-automatic has a slide which travels backwards, then picks up a new round from the magazine and chambers it on its spring-assisted way back forward.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on January 16, 2013 at 7:53 AM · Report this
8
I find it interesting that the gun nuts object to the term "gun nut". Anyone can call me a book nut, a computer nut, or a dog nut, and I would agree (with a smile, no less). I'm not defensive about any of those things. If you genuinely believe that guns are such good things, why the distress over being associated with them?
Posted by shambhaladawa on January 16, 2013 at 7:58 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 9
Well ssid, Brooklyn Reader. Thanks to Facebook I can see the spittle-spewing extremists on both sides of the issue, among my circle of friends and family.

I dont want to see either set of zealots dominate the discussion and it is unfortunate that forces on Slog are helping to make that happen by using loaded terms such as 'gun nuts'.

To 5280: Yes, you zealots can hijack the discussion yet again by quibbling over terms but this is not (yet) the time.
A modern revolver will cock and spin the cylinder with every pull of the trigger, and does not require manually cocking after every shot. We know that. A revolver can fire almost as fast as a semi-auto.

A semi-auto has a detachable magazine and a propensity for jamming.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on January 16, 2013 at 8:05 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 10
@7: Semantics. People have been making semi-automatic revolvers since the late 1800s.

The operation is practically the same: the trigger pull both positions the hammer for a new shot, and cues up a fresh round. Call it "double action" if you must, but it is the same process. Legally speaking they should be classified as the same thing.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 16, 2013 at 8:19 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 11
@9 "Semi-auto" says nothing about the magazine being detachable. The US's main battle rifle for WWII was a semi-automatic action with an integral non-detachable magazine. The magazine loaded through the top of the action with a "stripper clip" as seen (briefly) at the ten second mark here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3tt3N5Tu…

Most semi-autos sold today have detachable mags, but it's not part of the definition.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on January 16, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 12
Yep. Even a belt feed works.

Oh, and revolvers are faster than semi-autos. Google Jerry Miculek.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on January 16, 2013 at 8:27 AM · Report this
imbecile 13
Thanks, 5280. Once again you unfailingly chime in with technical details about how guns work. Keep up your educational endeavors, we all need to be educated about gun minutiae, over and over, and over.
Posted by imbecile on January 16, 2013 at 8:35 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 14
@12 Does ANYBODY use a revolver in IDPA or USPSA? Unless they're not allowed (I know virtually nothing about shooting sport rules), that says all you need to know about normal mortals making rapid, accurate shots.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on January 16, 2013 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 15
My take on it:

Federal gun trafficking law: Not sure what that means, but if it means harsh penalties for anyone selling guns they're not supposed to sell, then I'm in favor.

Assault weapons ban: Not in favor.

Universal background checks: In favor.

Ban on high capacity magazines: Not in favor.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 16, 2013 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Lew Siffer 16
I look forward to the proposals that our woman and children drone killing president puts forward. His moral authority is spotless.
Posted by Lew Siffer on January 16, 2013 at 8:44 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 17
@13,
An expert on the subject is giving free information...
You'd rather remain ignorant and incorrect?

The best way to win a debate is to fully understand your opponent's position.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 16, 2013 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 18
@14, there are different classes, and yeah, sure some people use revolvers.

Urgutha, I agree with you, except that I'd want an exemption on the background checks for gifts to family members.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on January 16, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 19
@15 Plus one. Although if "high capacity" was defined as ">17 rounds," I'd be on board. I don't see the point of pissing off all the millions of people who have duty-sized pistols (a few of whom might actually not vote Tea Bagger), but a 33 round mag sticking out of the bottom of a Glock? Fuck that.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on January 16, 2013 at 8:50 AM · Report this
20
You, @17, I like you
Posted by six five on January 16, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
21
A liberal 'gun nut' such as myself is in an interesting position.

After participating on these threads for the last few months, I've come to the conclusion that my fellow liberals visceral fear and hatred of firearms is pretty much the same thing as how the far right views abortion.

Too much irrational, knee-jerk emotionalism to hear anything other than their own point of view.

Posted by CPN on January 16, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 22
Fifty-two-eighty is so generous with his opinions about gun technology -- which is nice of course, because where, oh where can you find opinions about gun technology on the Internet? -- but why is it like pulling teeth to get him to say how he really feels about back people?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 16, 2013 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 23
@21

Fake liberal sock puppet you mean. Real liberals post comments about more things than guns and noodle restaurants.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 24
@22 Hell, I don't even know how I feel about front people.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on January 16, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 25
So is the definition of "activist judge" somebody who can look at the 27 words, give or take a couple stray commas, of the Second Amendment and conjure up all sorts of specific rights about pistols, rifles, single action, double action, semi-automatic, fully automatic?

When I read it all I see is that Congress gets to decide if you can have a double action 6-shot or a nuclear tipped cruise missile.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 16, 2013 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 26
@24

Awesome. Still, ask him about the Negroes and why the White Man needs an AR-15. Interesting stuff.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 16, 2013 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 27
@18,
Hm. Even for gifts to family members, I'd still be in favor of required background checks if they've never had one before.

Unless the family member refuses the gift, or only accepts it if the gun is rendered inoperative (welding the bolt closed or something), then no background check is required.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 16, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 28
@1

We had an assault weapons ban for 10 years and we did not slide down a slippery slope. It was allowed to expire. Nine states currently have varying assault weapons bans. These bans have not spread like wildfire. Many of these laws were supported by individuals who would like to ban all guns, but so what?

It's proof that if you go from A to B, you can then go either back to A, or on to C. Same as with tax rates, or military spending, or fuel economy standards, or anything else.

The real threat to gun ownership is doing nothing while another room full of school kids is slaughtered. And then another. Can you imagine the public outrage boiling over? All the while our "well regulated militia" bumbles around dropping guns from the holsters and shooting themselves in the leg in a mall, releasing racist YouTube videos. If we keep going down that slope, support to repeal the Second Amendment outright will become overwhelming.

Keeping your guns is exactly the reason for incremental regulation now, before it gets completely out of hand.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 29
@28

Well said!
Posted by passionate_jus on January 16, 2013 at 9:34 AM · Report this
30
@21 I don't think that comparison works. I've never met someone who has been aborted. I have met shooting victims and have lost some good friends to gun violence.
Guns much like truck balls are a fact of life in America. Doesn't mean I have to like either or the fans of such tacky shit.
Posted by CbytheSea on January 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this

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