3 Approaches to Curbing Gun Violence — Using Economics

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EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / Getty Images

People pay their respects at a makeshift shrine to the victims of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 17, 2012.

Last week’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has done what many mass-shootings did not: reinvigorate the national debate over gun control. Advocates for restricting gun use in America have been on the retreat for almost two decades, as states across the country have scrapped restrictions on gun use and the federal ban on assault weapons — signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 — expired in 2004. But on Sunday we heard high-profile politicians like California Senator Diane Feinstein and New York Senator Chuck Schumer call for a renewal of the assault weapons ban, and even President Obama hinted at his desire to consider new legislation.

Of course, deciding that something must be done doesn’t even get you halfway there. The ultimate goal of any gun legislation is to decrease gun violence while at the same time limiting as little as possible access to firearms for legitimate uses like self-protection and sport. And a law like the 1994 assault-weapon ban wasn’t particularly effective in this regard. Though gun violence did decrease during the years in which the ban was in effect, a 2004 University of Pennsylvania study of the subject concluded that the ban couldn’t take much or any of the credit. This is mostly because the ban exempted guns and magazines that were made before 1994, leaving a huge stockpile which were legal to own or sell. The relative rarity of mass shootings makes it statistically difficult to analyze whether this ban had an effect on these sorts of incidents, although The Washington Post’s Brad Plumer points out that such incidences have increased since the ban was lifted in 2004.

(MORE: America’s Gun Economy, By the Numbers)

It’s this legacy of American gun ownership that has vexed reformers for years. Regardless of the restrictions that states, cities, or the federal government place on gun ownership, there already exists nearly enough guns in this country to arm every man, woman, and child in America. And many of these tools are simple and sturdy enough to remain accurate and functional for generations. Furthermore, gun ownership is too cherished in this country for its citizens to accept a forced round up of guns. In fact, it’s an irrational fear of this very scenario that makes gun owners wary of President Obama and so generous with campaign donations to candidates who support Second Amendment rights.

But these facts raise the question: What if anything can the government realistically do to decrease gun violence in America? We’ll surely hear a number of proposals this week, but here are three that attack the problem as an economist would: through incentives.

Tax the Bullets

One proposal — first floated nearly twenty years ago by New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan — is to just forget about the guns and instead go after bullets. Moynihan’s proposal would have taxed certain bullets upwards of 10,000 percent, and was aimed at removing some of the more dangerous bullets from the streets. Would a similar proposal help curb the sort of gang violence and mass shootings that gun control advocates today decry? Possibly. The logic behind a robust bullet tax is that it would make bullets prohibitively expensive if you planned to use a lot of them. Theoretically, a tax could be created that made all bullets expensive, except those sold to law enforcement organizations. There could even be a loophole enacted for shooting ranges, as long as those ranges were responsible for making sure the bullets didn’t leave their premises. This way it wouldn’t be prohibitively expensive to buy enough bullets to defend oneself, but it would make it more difficult for mass shooters to accumulate ammunition stockpiles like the one Aurora shooter James Holmes had.

Require Gun Owners to Purchase Liability Insurance

Another idea is to have the government treat guns much like it does cars: Require owners to purchase liability insurance. Such an idea was proposed in Illinois in 2009 but never passed into law. The first step to requiring this type of insurance would be to set up national or state-by-state gun registries and licensing mechanisms — a step Second Amendment absolutists oppose because they believe such measures would compromise their Constitutional rights. This step alone, were it to gain enough support, would probably do a lot to curb gun violence, as any gun in the country could be tracked by law enforcement to the person who should be responsible for it. But the next step of requiring gun owners to purchase liability insurance would create the incentive for insurers to determine which individuals are fit for gun ownership. It would also incentivize those insurers to require gun owners to store their property in a safe way, and to take other steps like undergoing gun safety training.

Gun Repurchase Programs

Following a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania, the Australian government instituted a mandatory buy-back program that forced Australian citizens to sell their automatic and semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. The program was very successful, removing nearly 700,000 guns from the population’s possession. Of course, this sort of mandatory round up of guns is completely inconceivable in America. Even if there were support in Washington for such a measure, the Supreme Court — which has recently recognized the individual right to own guns — would certainly strike it down. But cities across America, like San Francisco, New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles have experimented with voluntary gun buyback programs, with varying degrees of success. Critics however argue that these voluntary programs are much better PR for local politicians than they are effective at getting guns off of city streets. These programs may yield a few thousand guns, but do nothing to stop the continued flow of guns toward crime-ravaged urban areas.

(MORE: When Massacres Force Change: Lessons from the UK and Australia

Each of these proposals has its drawbacks. Those policies that have the least effect on responsible gun owners, like the voluntary repurchase programs, aren’t very effective at curbing gun violence. More heavy-handed approaches like the bullet tax or national registration coupled with liability insurance requirements put gun ownership out of the reach of some people through direct government action. And for Second Amendment absolutists, this is not acceptable.

Newtown, Connecticut was not the first mass shooting in America, and it won’t be the first time gun control advocates try to square their ideas with the American cultural and constitutional attachment to firearms. But we should all remember that if there were easy solutions to this problem, we probably would have figured them out by now.

74 comments
Samuel-Reich
Samuel-Reich

Guns for self defense are useless unless one can practice which requires hundreds of rounds year.  I only go tro range once a month do not stay long (about a hour) but use about 50 rounds.  The main expenditure on bullets are for practice. 

Keeping guns out of criminal hands can best be done by limiting the number of guns one can own and require they be shot or given up.  Stolen guns are main source for guns for criminals.   Have big mandatory jail terms for letting any one use your gun  particularly your kids.  Have big mandatory jail terms for buying guns for others or selling guns without FBI background checks.  I have seen people buying guns for  people cannot buy it legally.

Right now the FBI only has felony records to check.  We need a registry of people with mental problems that known to lead to violence,  people with DUIs (if they drove dunk the will shoot drunk),  people with violence on their criminal record even if it not a felony.

Fictional violence should be treated the same as child pornography.  War and other real violence are reality and we have to live in the real world and know it.






dlpartyka
dlpartyka

“The
strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear
arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in
government." I don't care who said i,t it's the facts.
"At Present our Government maintains superiority in
firepower, and won't be satisfied till "WE THE PEOPLE" are dependent on
sling shots!" I said it.

superlogi
superlogi

Well, he is as dumb as he looks.

PANATAG
PANATAG

SKY GARDEN

PANATAG
brgy san juan
mc arthur hi way
balagtas bulacan


DAHIL SA REQUEST
“DEPT OF JUSTICE”
“COMMISION HUMAN RIGHTS”
LAURA CHURCH
+DUTIES LOCAL OFFICIALS TO ENFORCE DECLARATIONS OF
AUTHORITIES DUE TO VARIOUS UNSETTLED, MULTI CULTURAL ISSUES*

BobbyAardbargain
BobbyAardbargain

You can pass all the regulations you want - so long as ATF has no budget and no full-time Director, who is going to enforce these regulations? Compare ATF's budget to DEA and FBI over the past 20 years, and you will see that, while FBI and DEA have grown exponentially, ATF has barely kept the same number of Agents and Investigators it had two decades ago.

davek
davek

What a ridiculous article. All of these things will place more financial burden on gun owners following the law and criminals will simply ignore them. Are you not aware that both the prohibition and regulation of alcohol was hugely devastating to this country and created a giant black market and organized crime? Do you wish to do the same thing with guns?

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

Time is money. Make gun possession violations carry stiff mandatory penalties. List guns as schedule 1 control substances. Transfer the DEA budget to the ATF. Three strikes are you are out. Require guns to have mandatory embedded smart cards which history and registration information. Require existing guns to be retrofitted. Felony and big time penalties as mentioned for violation. Not hard, rapid turn around in problem. End to learned helplessness and sneering by gun abusers and social miscreants. 

kleeneth
kleeneth

A bullet tax will generate a huge black market in reloaded ammo. Anyone with a small basement workshop can learn to reload their spent shells. Many do it already to economize.

BobSheepleherder
BobSheepleherder

All of these things inevitably fail the logic test because of one thing. They rely on the person with the gun to comply with the law. The whole point of being a criminal is that you don't comply with laws, you don't buy insurance, you don't necessarily even buy your bullets from legitimate sources that would tax your bullets, you don't turn in your own gun, you steal someone elses and get money for turning that one in. So what's the point? You end up exactly where these efforts have ended up with cars: unlicensed and uninsured motorist, criminals that just steal a car when they need one, and low life's who just abandon their cars when they run over and kill someone. In the meantime, we, the responsible car owner, end up paying for someone else's automotive criminality ... exactly as we would end up having to pay for the gun crimes. Something does need to be done, but that something needs to start with logical proposals, not knee jerk pandering to extremists on any side.

JBeechel
JBeechel

Chris, 

I appreciate your ability to gloss through an entire article without saying anything substantive. It is an impressive skill. Perhaps next time you would like to actually have insights so that people can come away more informed rather than just pump out fluff pieces.

You've brought up three ideas, all of which are rife with complications and avoided delving into what any of them would do to help curb violence (nothing), mass shootings (nothing), or preserve the rights of gun owners.

Why not discuss the areas that rational people on both sides can agree on?

Thanks for playing.

Aconcernedpatriot
Aconcernedpatriot

None of these particular ideas will do anything to curb gun violence. Especially from the form of evil that entered Newtown. All these are designed to punish legal gun owners and any money generated would fo to a government that cannot control its purse strings. The evil did not use an automatic assault weapon, yet the discussion is about banning assault weapons. The evil had multiple clips but the discussion is about banning large clips. A simple revolver is a school of children is all that is necessary to create a tragedy. We can't stop drugs or people from coming over our borders but we are going to stop weapons?  I am a member of the NRA, a Conservative, a Catholic, a gun owner, a patriot and a father of two small children and am concerned. I do think that the gun show loopholes needs closing, that all guns be registered but not limited, that safes and locks be required for all weapons, that min. training be mandatory, that PSA's on gun violence, use and safety be put on TV and that a national mental health hospital be established. Now how to pay for it? Put a small surcharge on all guns and bullets and use this money ONLY for these initiatives. I would fully support this use of economics to help preserve our second amendment. 

Adam_Smith
Adam_Smith

Perhaps the courts don't agree, (yet), but the part about "well regulated militia" in the Second Amendment, it seems to me, can reasonably be interpreted as authorizing the registration/liability proposal. This is  not going as far as some who would have it that this phrase in today's context means only law enforcement and the military, including the National Guard, have a constitutional right to bear arms. The registration/liability proposal, in my opinion, does not infringe a right to "well regulated", meaning responsible, gun ownership for the purposes of home protection and sport. I am not on the bench, I am not even a lawyer, but I believe the Constitution was written not for judges and lawyers but TO judges and lawyers as the demands of "We the People" and this is my citizen's say in the matter.

PJ_CA
PJ_CA

I have no problem with people owning guns, I own a few myself. That said, there MUST be actions taken to ensure (if not guarantee), safe, responsible gun ownership. It seems ridiculous to me that if my wife has bad credit I cannot buy a car or a house, but if she has a lengthy history of mental illness, I can still buy all the guns I want. So even though she cannot buy guns directly (as was the case of the Newtown dirtbag) he had easy access because his mother was allowed to buy guns AND was irresponsible in their storage and safekeeping. Also, in most states to adopt a dog from the ASPCA you typically have to prove you are capable of taking care of the dog -so getting a gun is easier than adopting a dog? Really? 

 As a responsible gun owner, I have no issue with extended backgorund checks, nor a longer waiting period and caps on the amount of ammunition you can have. Why would I? I have no problem with taking a written and practical driving exam to prove I can safely operate a vehicle, why can't we ensure that those with guns are responsible enough to own them? 

 No case can be made for owning assault weapons for "home defense" (since they are not as effective in close quarters), or true sport (again, you don't need a fully automatic weapon for hunting and true target shooters would never use full auto anyway - I know, I spent 12 years of my life on rifle teams). Nor can a case be made for extended clips, let's face it, if you need more than the 10+ rounds in a normal clip to deal with an intruder then you need more practice not an extended clip. 

 Actions MUST be taken to avoid another Newtown. I support 2nd amendment rights, but I demand that my children's right to life supercedes any individual's right to own guns who cannot own them, take care of them, and store them responsibly. 

SeanMaddox
SeanMaddox

Gtams, if you want to interpret the constitution on literal terms, then the only gun you can have is a powder loading musket rifle, as those were the only real guns available during the writing of the constitution. The constitution is a living document, which has never and will never be interpreted in such black and white literal terms. Also, you think your guns will protect you from a government tank, jet, drone, nuke, missile launcher, humvee, or special ops team? How about we just make all those things legal since you seem to think their is no room for interpretation on what the 2ns amendment pertains too. Lastly, stop with you ridiculous and idiotic comparisons. America isn't some fascist state where the military could easily be turned on our very own populace, because the military is a voluntary, civilian force constituted of Americans of all stripes and colors. I swear, the right and their paranoia of anyone who isn't like them, and the resulting need to stock pile a large enough arsenal to arm a small militia, is far scarier to me than your made up shadow government coming to slaughter millions of Americans.

GTAMS
GTAMS

It is sad that power-hungry politicians have used this unspeakable tragedy to pontificate about gun bans.  I continue to pray for the families, friends and neighbors of the victims -- as well as the family and friends of the shooter.  Words seem quite empty in the face of this horror.

However, even in the face of these events, we cannot shirk our duty as citizens to protect and defend the Constitution.  We can't.  So, thanks to the nattering of self-serving politicians, we MUST discuss the Second Amendment now.

The comments about why a US citizen would "need" a particular firearm, magazine, bullet, etc. simply miss the entire point of the Second Amendment.  It's not a matter of need, but of right.

And, though the liberal media -- and even schools -- try to hide this point, the Founders did not put the right to bear arms in the Constitution so people could hunt -- or to defend themselves against other citizens.  At best, these were peripheral notions, hardly discussed back them.  The Constitution is a document designed to protect the people from the government.

The Founders put the Second Amendment in the Constitution so that citizens could defend themselves from a overreaching, tyrannical government.  To those of you who doubt this, I invite you to look it up.  The Founders anticipated that their new government (as all governments do) would take more and more power unto itself until it obliterated the rights of the people.  They wanted the people to be able to strike back and, if necessary, wrest the power away from the runaway government.

Though killings like the one in Connecticut are horrific, they are on a small scale compared to the horrors governments have visited upon their citizens over the years.  Examples:  Pol Pot (Cambodia) - 2 million dead, Adolf Hitler (Germany) - 6 million dead, Joseph Stalin (Russia) - 20 million dead, Mao Zedong (China) - 70 million dead.  Scores of other examples exist.

THIS is why the people need to be armed -- or at least to have that right.

Think about it.  The Founders wanted the citizens, as a last resort, to be able to bear arms against the government -- to overthrow it, if necessary.  Thomas Jefferson said this many times.  Why on earth should that very government (the one we need protection against) be able to take away those arms that give us protection?  That defeats the entire purpose of the Second Amendment.  That leaves the citizens at the absolute mercy of their government.  

No government in history has exercised that much power over its people without abusing it (see the examples above).

Deranged killers deal out death on a scale measured in tens, and the pain and sorrow of each victim and family is real.  Tyrannical governments deal out death on a scale the human mind can scarcely comprehend -- in the millions and tens of millions -- and the pain and sorrow of each victim and family is equally real.  The harm caused by deranged killers, though heartbreaking, is far less than the harm caused by tyrannical governments.  It's not even close.

That's why a gun ban is unthinkable

Am I advocating some sort of rebellion?  Of course not.  I am, however, in agreement with the Founders that the government must ever fear its citizens.    Knowing that its citizens are armed certainly goes a long way to that end.  When the government loses that fear, a tyrant will take the helm, and we'll risk the fate like the Cambodians, Germans, Russians, and Chinese.

TomVisel
TomVisel

Does anyone think of the law of unintended consequences here? Ban - or effectively ban, by pricing out of reach - certain bullets, say, or guns with certain features, and you instantly create a market. There are bullets made specifically to get around CA's .50 caliber restrictions, and guns in the hundreds with features designed to comply with the letter and ignore the spirit of regulation. Right now, a person can buy a gun that fits in a briefcase and gives regular pistol bullets almost as much punch as a rifle - and this was done to get around "assault rifle" legislation.

Setting aside all of the other arguments in this discussion, it is simply the height of hubris to believe that a law or regulation can predictably modify people's behavior, and then a step beyond that to assume that this wonderful new super-law is also going to magically apply itself to people who don't respect the law.

StephenHurty
StephenHurty

The problem is not guns or society it is evil. The idea put forth by the doctors  that he didn't know what he did was wrong is idiocy, he killed himself when the police arrived so he knew it was wrong  he just didn't care. fifty years ago we locked up psychopathic individuals which kept it under control somewhat but it cant be stopped completely it has gone on forever. now the cost of locking up all the nuts has become prohibitive ...sad. just google "bath school bombing 1927" . hire guards for the school children for heaven sake we guard our money why not our kids. Feel safer when guns are outlawed ? move to mexico .  there is nothing complex or difficult to understand about the inherent evil of man most of us have been taught self governing and control out wayward urges and anti-social behavior...sorry for the poor grammer and rambling

AlecSevins
AlecSevins

I question the whole idea that "sporting" use of firearms is a benign, non-violent activity. Have a look at the graphic "kill shot" hunting videos on YouTube, where crass people laugh and gloat over animals they've snuffed on camera. The focus of those videos is mostly death and ballistic, not survival or sustenance skills. Animals are shot largely for entertainment, with disrespectful metal soundtracks.

There are a number of "kill shot complications" showing animals dying in rapid succession. You get the impression many of the shooters are a thin line away from doing the same to people if there were there no animals to quell their urges. They like to say it's "just animals" but that alone shows a serious lack of respect for life. There's a lot of kill-happy intrinsic evil associated with the "sporting" use of guns.

Thoughts...
Thoughts...

As an avid hunter and yes, I own many guns some of which have magazines which can hold 20 rounds I can honestly say (and believe) these assault rifles (or have also been named sporting rifles) were originally designed to do one thing...kill humans.  It has just been in  the past 10 years that another purpose for these has surfaced...take out ferrell hogs.  And yes, these are a real problem.  In all of my encounters with ferrell hogs I have yet to shoot more than 10 rounds at one time.  I have a hand gun as well and yes, it is a semi-automatic and it holds 8 rounds.  I have had to pull it and fire when one of these wild hogs broke thru the wire mesh of a trap and was in a very bad mood.  The most I was able to get off was 7 rounds.

What I am attempting to get at --- magazines which hold over 10 rounds for a rifle and 8 rounds for a pistol really have no purpose for a hunter.  The weight of the extra ammunition in those weapons make them impractical for legitimate hunting.  Anyone who tells you different has never spent anytime in the field carrying one with that many rounds.

The reason we (family) have these magazines holding 20 rounds is for defense purposes.  We have thousands of acres near the border of Mexico.  Illegals cross our property all the time and you  don't know what they are carrying or what their intent is.  So yes, there is a need for these by Ranchers but past that I cannot think of why anyone else would need that many rounds in a gun.

So, go after the magazines and if someone has a legitimate use for one which holds over 10 (8 for pistol) have them register with the local Sheriff or Law Enforcement agency.  This is done today for other types of attachments to assault weapons so it is not a new program that needs to be rolled out.

Gun shows and websites that hook up individual sellers with buyers -- close them down.  There are good websites where legitimate gun dealers send to other licensed gun dealers -- these make you go through a back ground check to get the weapon -- work great and provide a service to hunters.

Very sad about Sandy Hook...very sad.

Just thoughts....

DonPorter
DonPorter

The ABSURD OVERUSE of DANGEROUS drugs is an ABSURD medical abuse- ALL for revenue. Drug cos are WAY to powerful & severely TAINT the FDA

Stop providing drugs to unbalanced people ! 

dlpartyka
dlpartyka

@BobbyAardbargain The ATF is only good at supplying weapons to the bad guys.And killing many innocents to get to 1 bad guy.

davek
davek

@SamuelClemens Are you aware that the "war on drugs" is very ineffective and that a "war on alcohol" (prohibition) was also a failure? What's different about your "War on guns" that it would succeed where those have failed?

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

@BobSheepleherder Obviously we need heavy penalties with mandatory penalties for violating gun possession laws, like seven to ten years first time, twenty years second time, and life without parole third time. Seems to me most people, including most professional criminals register their cars and get insurance. Grand theft auto carries some serious penalties. BTW, if your car is stolen you have ZERO owner's liability  Professional criminals are gain seekers, misusing guns gets in the way. For the average bank robber, I would rather live next to one of them than some prepper digging caves in the hillside. I am not worried a "made man" will pop me for fun, but I fear armed vigilantes suffering from road rage. Require smart cards in all new guns for the history, ownership, insurance and registration from time of manufacture. See first sentence for penalty if tampered with. Require all existing weapons be retrofitted. See first sentence for penalties if failure to comply. Have DHS alerts for NRA members. Watch compliance jump.  

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

@JBeechel You know what - in light of 20,000 dead people a year, on its way to 30.000 per year within five years thereby becoming the leading cause of unnatural death in the United States, I give a rat's ass about people who want to kill large animals (including people) for fun, or think they have the right to commit the treason of using armed force against the Government of the United States of America. What are you guys, all members of the Communist Party of the United States? We need stiff mandatory multiple year penalties for violations of gun possession laws and we need to make the standards very strict.

GeorgeAdamrovich
GeorgeAdamrovich

@Aconcernedpatriot when I was in Vietnam I used a assault weapon, no one can buy a assault weapon in America. they might look like assault weapons but they are not. 

seabee
seabee

@PJ_CA should you lose your right to bear arms if you have a child that devolopes mental illness or a wife that gets bad credit?

should people prove they can take care of children before they are allowed to have them?

BuzzBayless
BuzzBayless

@PJ_CA You do actually realize that these rifles being discussed are not fully automatic, right?

GeorgeAdamrovich
GeorgeAdamrovich

@SeanMaddox what you think Obama would not put tanks in you streets if all your towns people raised up against him and the government, think again. they would kill you just like they are killing the people in the east..

GTAMS
GTAMS

@SeanMaddox 

As an overall matter, you never said anything about the fact that the Second Amendment's purpose is to arm the citizens as protection from their government.  I believe it was John Adams who noted, "Facts are stubborn things."  You've not addressed this one.

First, your argument technique is called "straw man," where you restate your opponent's argument in the weakest terms possible, then tear it down.  It's dishonest -- and shows that you have little to rebut the initial argument.

Second, you can stop with the "living document" reference.  The Constitution is a legal document.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Its honest interpretation is the only thing between you and serfdom.

Third, I already stated that I was not advocating some sort of rebellion, so arguing that I, personally, would stand no chance in a face-off with the government is just silly.

Fourth, as an individual citizen, NO ONE could stand against the government.  However, if the government exercises too much power -- and gives its citizens nothing more to lose -- then many citizens together could, indeed, face down the government.  Look at scores of countries over the years that have had guerilla wars simmering for years, e.g., Northern Ireland.  Note that the military proved useless against a determined group of people who believed their government had overreached.  Eventually, the government came to the table and made huge concessions.  This has happened repeatedly throughout history.

As far as the "ridiculous and idiotic comparisons" with tyrants from the past, perhaps you're not up to speed on the actions of OUR government - RIGHT NOW -  which has claimed the right to:

(1) Execute any citizen wherever he may be found, without offering an explanation, without charges, without a trial -- and without any review by a court -- all based upon "national security."  That's the government's argument in al-Aulaqi v. Panetta -- a federal case in the District Court of D.C.  Hard to refute that one; I read the government's brief.

al-Aulaqi was placed on the President's Kill List.  His father sued in federal court to stop his son from being summarily executed, and when the ACLU started making good arguments, the government stepped up its efforts -- AND SUCCEEDED in killing him -- an American citizen.  You can't get more tyrannical than summary execution -- with no oversight from another branch of government.

(2) Arrest and detain any US citizen for any length of time (including life) without charges, trial, or explanation.  93 Senators voted in favor of this, which is contained in the National Defense Authorization Act. Check it out.

(3)  Intercept any electronic communication of an American citizen without probable cause or warrant.  About 1.3 million such communications are intercepted each day.

I urge you to read the writings of Glenn Greenwald (a Progressive columnist) on these topics.  He discusses them in great detail.

See, I don't need to talk about a "Shadow Government," because the ACTUAL government is well on its way to becoming a tyranny.

Fifth, as a 6-year veteran of the US Navy, I'm quite familiar with the military.  Military personnel follow orders.  If they are told that Americans are "domestic terrorists," then they will probably follow orders to engage them.  Though I can't find it now, I read an article about the military conducting such training regarding civil unrest.  German soldiers were just regular guys, too, but they followed some horrific orders -- largely because they were afraid for their families and themselves.  People are people.  Americans would likely do the same.

Finally, though you assumed differently, I believe that the right to bear arms should end with explosives.  There are limits to every right in the Constitution.

GeorgeAdamrovich
GeorgeAdamrovich

@GTAMS and I would guess that you think that the police of you town, city will protect you. wrong they will get there just in time to write the report. go ahead and give up your right to protect yourself and you family I will never give up that right, I fought in Vietnam and was spit on when I returned to the very country I was there to protect, you will never get me to give up the right to protect me and my family. you want my protection send someone to take it from me, I hope he or she does not have a family!!!!!!

MichaelHickey
MichaelHickey

@GTAMS If memory serves, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, there was so much carnage that even the police left for a while, leaving citizens with no choice but to fend for themselves. However, once the police came back, one of the first things they did was go door to door, and confiscate people's guns. And what did the people do? They largely just handed them over to the police.

That says it all.

I will be frank with everyone here when I say that if a tyrant really were to take over the US Government, and the government started collecting guns from everyone, that most people will just give them up without a fight. The remainder that resist? They will most likely be imprisoned, or slaughtered. No constitution, nor any other piece of paper will save your butt if it ever were to come to that. Speaking academically here, people would be better off fleeing the country, and buying themselves some time to form a resistance movement, providing they can even garner some public support. If they can't even do that, and I have a funny feeling that they won't, then they better run fast, run far, and never return.

There's a perfectly good reason why there was never a credible resistance movement within Germany against the Nazi regime. That's because there was no place to hide and organize! Everybody had their eye on you , and was willing to rat you out to the Gestapo for any little reason! I have no reason to think it would be any different if a tyrant really were to take over the USA. For all I know, the people might very well welcome it if they were sold a good enough jingoistic line at a crucial point, like say - restoring American Exceptionalism or something like that.

I sure as heck hope it NEVER comes to that in our lifetimes.

BuzzBayless
BuzzBayless

@AlecSevins Paper targets don't scream when you shoot them. Metal gong targets go "plink" when you hit them. It actually sounds kinda festive, like a xylophone.

AlecSevins
AlecSevins

@Thoughts... Does "avid hunter" mean you get off on killing, or you actually need the meat? How many animals of what type do you kill a year, and what do you do with them? A lot of "hunters" won't give honest answers to that. YouTube animal snuff videos put the lie to claims that sport hunting is a moral activity. Too many of the shooters are jubilant over the death scene and want to replay it in slow motion. They layer heavy metal soundtracks over kill shot complications and pretend that they're out there for sustenance. Who are they kidding? It's typically a dominion (Creationist) attitude toward nature, with emphasis on "subdue" over respect.

Trophy hunters are scum in my opinion, using phony cover stories to justify their real motives, e.g. the animals are "overpopulated" and "we're just helping them out." You don't travel hundreds or thousands of miles to KILL an animal just because you want to "help" the species. Locals could do that if it was really true. And the root of most animal overcrowding is man-made habitat loss plus the decimation of natural predators. People are just a dangerous species, and guns add to the danger in too many ways.

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@DonPorter 

Some of these people need to be medicated... The bigger issue as a nurse is that patients STOP taking medications of their own volition and then problems begin.

Medical Science and not drug companies compel certain patients to take medication... You do not know jack shit about the medication or how to interpret correlation to things like suicide when in the context of the disease they are treating will be an outcome anyway.

BobSheepleherder
BobSheepleherder

@SamuelClemens @BobSheepleherder I started to type a serious response to your comment, including some things I agreed with and some I didn't ...  until I got to the end and realized you lacked the intelligence to carry on a serious dialog, much less one on guns.

dlpartyka
dlpartyka

@SamuelClemens @JBeechel Our Prisons are filled to breaking now over drug policies that DON'T WORK and you want to fill more with another prohibition? Not to bright are ya? And for your information the laws are to protect you from ARMED TREASON BY your Government.

JBeechel
JBeechel

@SamuelClemens @JBeechel And you, my friend, are a fine example of why nothing whatsoever will happen related to gun laws. 

There are rational steps that can be taken but instead you go all gun ban and registration and then wonder why nothing passes. Just like will happen again. Politically, this is a bomb for the Democrats. The house is solidly Republican for the foreseeable future... but that Senate? Small Democrat majority but 20 Dems up against 13 Republicans? 

And the Dems include Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico and South Dakota. Very seriously pro gun states. Watch the tiptoeing on eggshells once the "Biden Commission" comes back with weak recommendations. While you may be passionate about an issue the only thing politicians are passionate about is staying in power.

As for the communist line, that was funny. See, you want to take the extremists and use them as examples whereas I'm just a normal guy who owns guns, carries a gun, and you would talk to me in line at Starbucks never knowing - just like the majority of us.

Please do remember this post when Biden comes back with nothing substantive... politics first.

MichaelHickey
MichaelHickey

@GTAMS @SeanMaddox If American citizens can't even be safe from summary execution, in the United States of America, from their own government, then Americans truly have a major problem on their hands.

Therefore, if all of this is really true, then shouldn't the typical ordinary American that wants to be free be getting the heck out of the United States of America while they still can?

Thoughts...
Thoughts...

@AlecSevins @Thoughts... AlecSevins Thoughts... Some years we take 2 deer and 2 or 3 turkeys, usually less. All of the meat is consumed. There is never a gloating by anyone, we see many deer and could shoot ( if there was no a limit ) over a 100. So, we make a choice and select the older ones. Bolt action rifles are always used, never an assault rifle except in the case of ferrell hogs. You can run across a herd of 30 or 40 and they can decimate a pasture in a few days digging it up and rooting around. - they tear up pasture land and crops. The sows can have up to 4 litters a year with about 8 to 10. It is unreal.

In my opinion (and many, many others) Hunters keep the species around, without the money hunters spend to feed the herd and care for the environment they live in many game animals would die off, mainly due to starvation. Hunters have saved some species of antelope from Africa by bringing them to the states and providing them a good habitat. These animals were not hunted for years and years so they could thrive. Some of these are now being exported back to Africa. Without that being done, they would be extinct. We do care and our money provides for animals so they are always here.The You Tube videos are a joke. Those dumba**es give all hunters a bad name.

BobSheepleherder
BobSheepleherder

@mlnewton Indeed. I'll make an assumption that, one, you didn't read his statement to the end, or two, you misunderstand what he wrote in his penultimate sentence, or three, you agree with him. In case of the first two, I would advise a more careful reading of his post and in the case of the third, I'll just place you in the same category of intellectual ability and move on to other posters with better qualified opinions.

mlnewton
mlnewton

@BobSheepleherder @SamuelClemens When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

GeorgeAdamrovich
GeorgeAdamrovich

@JBeechel @SamuelClemens Biden is not going to do anything, Obama is not going to do anything. We will have guns forever in America. I am sorry about the kids that died I am sorry about the people that died in the twin towers, but we are all soldiers in America and we all have at times to give our lives to keep us free, even kids!!!!!!!!

GeorgeAdamrovich
GeorgeAdamrovich

@SeanMaddox Hitler took all the guns off his people too, see where that got them. you have never seen a assault rifle, you have never been in combat. you don't know what you are talking about.

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@SeanMaddox 

Still ignores the political reality of the nation being one consisting of about half the population being in favor of private ownership... You are burying your head in the sand to ignore that half the country supports really lenient firearm control.

GTAMS
GTAMS

@SeanMaddox 

Ok, that's just absurd.  MEXICO has far stricter gun laws than the US, but has MUCH higher instances of gun violence.  The drug cartels control whole sections of the country -- and substantial portions of the military.

Gun bans DON'T work.  Connecticut has the 5th strictest gun laws in the country, but gun crimes happen there all the time.

SeanMaddox
SeanMaddox

But it is ridiculous that in this nation we're more concerned about who can get married than who can have access to an assault rifle. It is ridiculous that in this country it is harder to get a car and drivers license than it is to get an assault rifle. Gun nuts will never be satisfied, as the recent calls by them to arm everyone in America prove, including putting guns in every class room and having children sacrifice themselves to charge and take down a gun man. Lastly, mountains of evidence shows gun control does curtail gun violence. It has been recorded in every modern nation that has instituted strict and tough gun laws, including complete bans. However, a complete ban is too much, but this unwillingness to give any ground at all, and actually try to take more, in gun control by gun nuts is ridiculous.

SeanMaddox
SeanMaddox

I'm fine with hunting purposes, but I disagree with allowing hunters having assult rifles for ferrel boar. They are a major environmental threat as a invasive species. But it isn't a good enough reason to allow anyone to buy a military grade weapon, made for killing quickly and easily as many things as possible. Instead, we should license a small force, under the EPA, to try and deal with this invasive species. They can have access, through the government, to assault rifles after proper training and so on. If their weapon ends up being used for anything else at all, they are held in complete liability up to negligent manslaughter.