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.


  1. I think that you read my article with the belief that I am a bleeding heart liberal who only wants to take everyone's gun away. That could not be further from the truth. I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment, as with most of the other amendments. However, I also believe that many parts of the Constitution need to be amended. Mostly regarding how long someone can serve in office, but I'll save that for another time. Regarding the laws that are already in place, I will address that below. I did talk of mental health in my article, and that certain information should not be withheld from proper authorities. (Sorry that this is in two parts. The response is limited to about 4,000 characters. Remember, it is lawyers who call a twenty page document a "Brief")

    My response to your response:

    1. Unfortunately, that is the society that we live in. Legal and administrative. I wonder how many of those 1.8 million background checks were purchases made by someone who already owned one or more guns, but had to go through it again. I wonder how many were purchasing for someone else. I actually responded to this in item 10 of my earlier response. There would be ways to expedite the issuance of licenses to those who already have obtained guns. I had a number of people who have concealed carry permits support my plan. They realize that there is an inherent danger to have guns in the hands of irresponsible people and criminals. I believe that my solution would bring less administrative bureaucracy in the long run.

    2. Yes, I did research the Australia confiscation. I thought that I was pretty clear that the plan didn't work. The research that I did indicated that most of the guns that were turned in were done so by people who followed the law, which was only about 8% of all guns turned in. I also read an article touting how homicides had gone down in Australia because of the gun confiscation. My research showed that it took many years for the homicide rate to go down, at approximately the same rate as it went down here and in many other parts of the world. I attribute that to stricter sentencing of criminals rather than a reduction of guns. I agree with you that the Australian plan that Obama thinks is so great is not the answer.

    3. What I stated was that that the licensing agency could not divulge information to law enforcement without a court order. I said nothing about police records, arrests or issues of mental incapacity not being made available to the licensing agent. As far as your example of domestic violence and other events that occur prior to license renewal, it won't stop it; just as an individual who is clean as a whistle, but decided that he wants to murder his wife and family goes out and buys a gun the week before. My overall plan is designed to stop the sale of guns from someone who is entitled to own them to someone who is not. No plan will ever be perfect in preventing all violence.

    I think that I already addressed the bureaucracies, etc. above. It is something that we face every day in life.

    4. No, I did not dodge your questions. I just gave a short and concise answer and example. There are very few objects that can kill someone from 50 feet away or create enough fear that he would turn over his money in fear of his life. Use a pencil, go to jail. I am not asking for anyone to be an expert judge as to another's ability to property employ any object. However, a simple license would demonstrate that the individual has training to use the object. Like I said, would you loan your car to someone without a driver's license?

    5. When I said that nothing prevents someone from loaning a gun to someone was like saying that nothing prevents someone from robbing a liquor store, or drive intoxicated, or cheat on your taxes. However, there are repercussions to all of those things. If you DO loan a gun to someone who is not authorized to have one, you need to be held responsible for the result of your decision.

  2. 6. Your guess is so far off line that you won't believe it. I know very well who killed Kate Steinle ... an illegal alien allowed to run free on the street by the morons in San Francisco. Funny how Obama comes down hard on states like Arizona, who try to help enforce immigration laws, but turns their head when it comes to the sanctuary cities who let them run free. For your information, I have known and worked with Liz Sullivan, Kate's mother, since 1992. It was senseless, and would not have happened but for the morons in SF and the agent who recklessly allowed his gun to be taken. (One of the reasons I left California was because Democrats obtained 2/3 majority in both houses of the legislature, giving them a blank check to do whatever they wanted.) Even the NRA provides safety and storage tips.

    7. No, it is not a violation of your Second Amendment rights. There are a number of exceptions to the First Amendment Freedom of Speech. There are limits placed on the right to free speech. Time and place constraints, certain types of obscenity, child pronography making false statements of fact inciting violence in public (unless you are some moron in Ferguson, MO, and Eric Holder is Attorney General) and others.

    The right to vote by a citizen is also protected by the Constitution. However, we do have to go register, or anyone could walk into a polling booth at any time and vote one or more times, whether he has the right to do so or not.

    As you know, there are many situations where states and local governments have set extremely tight controls on gun ownership and banned certain kinds of weapons. Those have all been held to be Constitutional. So, you will need to explain how this suggestion is unconstitutional, since it does nothing to keep law abiding citizens from owning guns.

    Obviously, regarding your (I am assuming drivers) license that you have had for 20 years, do you think that it would not have been suspended somewhere along the line if you had been convicted of drunk driving? Same would hold true for a firearms license.

    I have nothing against the right to bear arms provided for in the Second Amendment, or owning guns. There are obviously people who are taking advantage of that right by buying guns and selling them to criminals for a profit. Unfortunately, your ideas do not solve that problem. Your ideas in order:

    1. Enforce which current laws. Every state has its own laws. The existence of those laws has not helped stem the tide of guns being in the hands of those who should not have them, aka, criminals. Wouldn't it be better for the laws to be universal, so that if you have a concealed carry license in Arizona, you could not be prosecuted in California or Massachusetts?

    2. I agree whole heartedly on this. Like I said in my previous response, I do not like the idea of a "gun free zone". I recently went to Disneyland and an Arizona Diamondbacks game, and in both instances, bags were checked prior to entering. Yet we let anyone onto a school campus.

    3. I agree here, too. Of course, that could cause more administrative bureaucracies. (I couldn't resist ... sorry). I also think that better education is also important. Funny how K-12 education is free, but not mandatory. That's a discussion for another time.

    The reality is that politicians, Republicans and Democrats, love to have the people fighting among each other, and use their positions to stoke the flames. When we are fighting each other, we don't pay any attention to the way that they are screwing the American people. Like I said in my tweet to you the other day, I would bet that if we sat down over a drink or two, we could come up with a solution that would please a majority.


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