Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More Responses to "My Turn: 9 ways to fix the gun problem"

The following is a response to the comments on my recent post titled  "My Turn: 9 ways to fix the gun problem" where I offered my response to an opinion piece by Ken Koenen Peoria, AZ named offered “9 Ways to Fix the Gun problem”

More Legal & Administrative Solutions Won't Help

Well Ken, you are incorrect. I read your post more than a few times – and on separate occasions – in the paper and online. 

To be sure, each time I read it, and as I read your responses to my post, I’m simply beside myself with the absurdity of the ways you propose to prevent gun deaths. You can claim that your approach is not strongly influenced by and colored by your profession but I’m pretty sure a smart 6th grader can see through your ‘ways’ as nothing more than piling on layers of laws, regulations and administrative burdens with the hope of effectively amending the U.S. Constitution. And not a peep about the laws already in place and nary a word on mental health. It’s all a legal and administrative problem for you.

Here are my responses to your seven points.

1. Each of your ‘ways’ involves legal and administrative “solutions.” There is no comparison between the effort needed to complete 1.8M NCIS checks that take about 10-15 minutes with the administrative bureaucracies you propose in TBD and TBD.

2. Have you done ANY research into the long-term impact of the Australian gun buy-back program? And where do you get your stats on who turned them in? Do you know that gun levels in Australia are higher than ever?

3. You didn’t answer my question. Let me rephrase it: How would a “firearm owner’s license” address instances of domestic violence and other events that occur prior to license renewal?

You have way more faith in government entities ability to share data and information; which, BTW, you state would be prohibited in another of your ‘ways.’

Moreover, why does each of your responses to my concerns about administrative burdens, bureaucracies, and attorneys involve more administrative burdens, bureaucracies, and attorneys?

4. You dodged answering my question, again. There are all kinds of objects one can lend to another person. How can you possibly expect normal people to be some sort of expert judge as to another person’s ability to properly employ any object?

5. In your original article, you didn’t say or even imply any exceptions to your current claim that “Nothing prevents someone from loaning a gun.” So now you’re making up your approach as you go and adding in all kinds of fluff: “hopefully” and “maybe” and “some.” There you go, obfuscating. You attorneys are so good at that.

6. The fact that you can’t point to a definition of “improper storage” underscores my point exactly. But you know what “improper storage” is? Huh? 

And you reference sensational gun cases. Hey Ken, remind me who killed Kate Steinle? But that’s whole other thing I’m going to guess you could care less about.

7. I’m pretty sure you’re intelligent enough to know that all of your examples of improper use are already considered a crime or could likely very easily be made a crime without protest by those who support gun rights. 

And, BTW, not that it changes my stance that a firearm owner's license is a colossally bad idea and a violation of my 2nd amendment rights, but my AZ drivers license was good for 20 years from the day I got it.

This whole idea of a firearm owner’s license is just whacked. It’s obviously an end-run around the 2nd amendment. Since gun grabbers don’t like the 2nd Amendment they’ll try all kinds of laws, regulations, fines, taxes, outrageous claims and public shaming to get their own misguided way.

I’ll reply to your other responses this week as soon as I have time. And then I’ll provide you with my ideas for reasonable approaches to balance the Second Amendment and gun control.

Here’s a high level hint in case you can’t wait:
  1. Enforce current laws 
  2. Do away with gun-free zones unless very strong, infallible protections are in place.
  3. Address mental health issues and support with proper funding.

My Turn: 9 Ways NOT to “fix” for the “gun problem”

Note: Temporary post not in line with my usual subject matter.

In today’s AZ Republic, a tax attorney from Peoria, AZ named Ken Koenen offered “9 Ways to Fix the Gun problem” in which he listed his nine ideas to “fix the gun problem.” Here’s my take on why eight of those nine ideas are NOT the way to fix the “gun problem.”

First off, the author is an attorney and, predictably, most all of his “fixes” include new laws and regulations and new punishments and rules to increase administrative burdens, expand bureaucracies and apparently pad attorney retirement accounts. Consider all the following words and phrases that are used liberally throughout his post:

Automatically Required
Award Of Attorney Fees
Civilly Liable
Court Order
Criminally Liable
Different Levels Of Licensing
First Offense
Government Agency
Government Branch
Government Bureau
Held Criminally And Civilly Liable
Improper Use
Minimum Jail Time
Pay A Fine
Provide Documentation
Reasonable Belief
Reasonable Cause
Revoking A License
Sale Must Be Reported
Standing To Sue
Subject To Prosecution

Secondly, it appears to me that the author is somewhat na├»ve when he states that “Since these people (most gun owners) actually obey the law, if they were forced to turn them in, they would probably do so.” What does “forced to turn them in” mean anyway? Forced to turn them in? Ha! Ya think? Now that is rich.

Here are some questions and comments on each of Ken’s nine “ways”

Issue gun-owner licenses

And what about the fact that peoples status (legal, medical, etc.) changes over time?

How many people will have the resources to sue state or federal governments? (Oh yeah, “attorney’s fees!”)

Sell only to those with licenses

What if I want to leave some guns to my family members? What if I want to loan a friend a shotgun to go bird hunting?

Hold loaners accountable for crime

Should we do the same thing for any inanimate object we loan to someone? As in I let my neighbor use my chain saw, he cuts off his foot and he hires an attorney to sue me.

Punish improper storage

I’d like to know the exact, legal definition for ‘improper storage.”

Revoke licenses for improper use

What defines “improper use?” And a gun owner would have to renew this "right to own firearms license" every four years or forfeit his firearms? OMG, this is probably the silliest idea of all.

Break the rules? Go to jail

Sounds sorta like the War on Drugs. And to me, this is designed for attorneys who want to make more money.

Require mental-illness reporting

Good idea – in general. Subject to a lot of checks and balances to account for misuse and abuse.

Host a voluntary gun buyback

This is just a bad idea. How long does Ken think it’d take for “all of this to be completed and licenses issued?” My guess is about 20 to 30 years if starting tomorrow. 

And the idea that “a buyback program directed more to the areas where the most crime occurs” is just plain ignorant. Just like in Chicago, go out to the suburbs to buy your guns. And I can just imagine the political fallout associated with targeting a predominantly poor, crime-ridden area for a buyback?

Keep license data confidential

This one is just rich! “The data, names, and locations of licensed individuals shall not be divulged to any other government branch, bureau, agency or individual without first obtaining a court order, which can be granted only with reasonable cause.” 

Hahaha…uh huh...sure the list won’t be divulged. 

One Good Idea Out of Nine

So I think Ken is in the ballpark on this last (Keep license data confidential) of his nine ways to “fix the gun problem” albeit per his own addition: "this is not a perfect solution.” 

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s even a moderately good solution. It’s a very poor solution designed to add overhead without any consideration for expected value and to line the wallet of lawyers. 

Note: I really didn't plan to write this post. I rattled it off very quickly. Maybe I should share more later?