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Fooling the gullibleFollow

#1 Jan 03 2013 at 12:18 PM Rating: Good
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Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she will be introducing legislation to reenact the ban on so-called assault weapons that she authored in 1994. The evidence is in on the effect of her previous assault weapons ban: zero, zilch, nada, as the saying goes. The ban made no perceptible difference in the gun violence statistics when it went into effect, and no perceptible difference when it was allowed to expire 10 years later, in 2003.

That is because the term “assault weapon” is just a PR stunt that fools the gullible and easily deluded. It is defined in legislation by cosmetic features that frighten white bread suburbanites, but do not involve any functionality of any gun. We tried it, conservatives said it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t work. Yet, it is the liberal answer to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Why do the hard work of actually making a difference, when with no work at all you can perform a meaningless and irrelevant gesture that won’t make any difference? A Connecticut state law already banned assault weapons. The difference that made in stopping the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary: zero, zilch, nada, as the saying goes.

The sharpest analyst in America, and probably the whole world, on the issue of guns and crime is economist John Lott, the author of the classic book, More Guns, Less Crime. Early in his career, Lott served as an economist for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which adopted uniform, mandatory, criminal sentencing guidelines for the federal courts. That led to his subsequent career as the world’s foremost expert on statistics relating to violent crime and guns.



There's more as well. I don't know if I'd go so far as the bonus thing for teachers who get trained and licensed for conceal-to-carry, but the argument about how criminals and psycho's target areas and sites that ban weapons certainly is an intriguing point. We might not know if it was a factor in the Connecticut shooting and may never know, but it would be interesting to see any proof that could validate the argument.
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#2 Jan 03 2013 at 12:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Well, the real problem is that you can walk down the street and buy a gun in the first place.

Type only matters if it's effectively defined. I would consider most handguns to be assault weapons. They are designed for assaulting people so they are assault weapons. If it's not designed for hunting and/or you aren't a hunter with a valid license why do you need it?

There is no reason for a gun to be able to fire more than a few shots unless it's for killing people, in which case you shouldn't have it unless your job involves killing people...

Every single weapon type and weapon accessory should require sale approval. If a feature on a gun is not required for the purposes of the license it is being purchased under, you shouldn't be allowed to sell it. There should be a hunting license, a police license, and a military license. The only publicly available purchases should be for hunting licenses which means the general public only has access to weapons specifically designed for hunting game that do not have features designed for killing people and the stores that sell them are only allowed to have hunting license approved items.

Another thing, why does ANYONE need a conceal carry permit? It has absolutely no practical use. As far as I'm concerned if you have a gun everyone around you should be able to see that you have a gun so they can avoid you if they feel the need.
#3 Jan 03 2013 at 1:28 PM Rating: Good
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The author seems to be a condescending ***, blowing all the latest catchphrases out his ****.

I couldn't get past 'white bread suburbanite's.





Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 8:31pm by Elinda
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#4 Jan 03 2013 at 1:35 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
The author seems to be a condescending ***, blowing all the latest catchphrases out his ****.

I couldn't get past 'white bread suburbanite's.


He's a Heartland Institute blowhard. And Lott, the guy he's endlessly exalting, seems to be a purveyor of sketchy statistics.

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Fooling the gullible


Indeed.


EDIT: Though I'll readily admit that I've seen enough uninformed pundits decrying "assault weapons" without the slightest inclination of what they're talking about. That kind of ignorance is a problem, but one can't let it distract from more meaningful debate.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 2:39pm by Eske
#5 Jan 03 2013 at 2:29 PM Rating: Decent
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There's more as well. I don't know if I'd go so far as the bonus thing for teachers who get trained and licensed for conceal-to-carry, but the argument about how criminals and psycho's target areas and sites that ban weapons certainly is an intriguing point


Yeah, fascinating. Also, rain targets areas with the highest humidity. Sneaky ******* rain.
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#6 Jan 03 2013 at 2:31 PM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:
but the argument about how criminals and psycho's target areas and sites that ban weapons certainly is an intriguing point.

Not really. Localized bans don't work. A non-smoking section in an undivided room achieves nothing.
#7 Jan 03 2013 at 3:25 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, a single state, especially Connecticut, banning assault rifles does nothing because there's no border guards between states and you can trivially drive to 10 other nearby states to buy a weapon if you wanted.
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#8 Jan 03 2013 at 3:30 PM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:
There's more as well. I don't know if I'd go so far as the bonus thing for teachers who get trained and licensed for conceal-to-carry, but the argument about how criminals and psycho's target areas and sites that ban weapons certainly is an intriguing point. We might not know if it was a factor in the Connecticut shooting and may never know, but it would be interesting to see any proof that could validate the argument.

What's "fooling the gullible" is the notion that any proposal by either side is going to cause a meaningful reduction or increase in these mass shootings. What's also "fooling the gullible" is the notion that reducing these mass shootings is the most important thing.

Really this event is just being used as a bugaboo or a tool to pass some sort of broader-reaching gun legislation than can help reduce the thousands of commonplace gun murders every year. In this regard, you're correct that assault rifles aren't being used in the most homicides, it's handguns. But you take in slack on the rope when you can get it, I suppose.
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#9 Jan 03 2013 at 3:31 PM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
Well, the real problem is that you can walk down the street and buy a gun in the first place.

Type only matters if it's effectively defined. I would consider most handguns to be assault weapons. They are designed for assaulting people so they are assault weapons. If it's not designed for hunting and/or you aren't a hunter with a valid license why do you need it?

There is no reason for a gun to be able to fire more than a few shots unless it's for killing people, in which case you shouldn't have it unless your job involves killing people...

Every single weapon type and weapon accessory should require sale approval. If a feature on a gun is not required for the purposes of the license it is being purchased under, you shouldn't be allowed to sell it. There should be a hunting license, a police license, and a military license. The only publicly available purchases should be for hunting licenses which means the general public only has access to weapons specifically designed for hunting game that do not have features designed for killing people and the stores that sell them are only allowed to have hunting license approved items.

Another thing, why does ANYONE need a conceal carry permit? It has absolutely no practical use. As far as I'm concerned if you have a gun everyone around you should be able to see that you have a gun so they can avoid you if they feel the need.



This post affirms the thread subject nicely.

Three quick points:

1. If any gun used for "assaulting people" should be labeled an "assault weapon", then why bother with the label? Hint: the label is used to scare people.

2. Any gun that fires any number of shots can be used for killing people. Similarly, any gun capable of being used to hunt can be used to kill people.

3. The purpose of the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting anyway.
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#10 Jan 03 2013 at 3:33 PM Rating: Good
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trickybeck wrote:

Yeah, a single state, especially Connecticut, banning assault rifles does nothing because there's no border guards between states and you can trivially drive to 10 other nearby states to buy a weapon if you wanted.


The point you're missing is that the weapons used in that shooting were legal to own in Connecticut under the existing "assault weapons ban". They were not transported from one state to another. Part of the point of the article is that such bans are meaningless because there is no actual functional definition of an assault weapon. A point that a few of you seem to have completely missed.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 1:34pm by gbaji
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#11 Jan 03 2013 at 3:40 PM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:
Linky

Forbes wrote:
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she will be introducing legislation to reenact the ban on so-called assault weapons that she authored in 1994. The evidence is in on the effect of her previous assault weapons ban: zero, zilch, nada, as the saying goes. The ban made no perceptible difference in the gun violence statistics when it went into effect, and no perceptible difference when it was allowed to expire 10 years later, in 2003.

That is because the term “assault weapon” is just a PR stunt that fools the gullible and easily deluded. It is defined in legislation by cosmetic features that frighten white bread suburbanites, but do not involve any functionality of any gun. We tried it, conservatives said it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t work. Yet, it is the liberal answer to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.

A third thing that's dumb about this article is the idea that just because the previous legislation mis-targetted cosmetic features of assault rifles, that the new one will too. Who says that her new legislation is going to be identical to the old one?

And if your big problem is that the legislation poorly defines what an assault rifle is, then why wouldn't you argue to improve that definition? Instead of calling the whole thing worthless? (Obviously - the reason why is because he just wants to advocate pro-gun positions, not to fix the problem).


Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 3:40pm by trickybeck
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#12 Jan 03 2013 at 4:00 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
1. If any gun used for "assaulting people" should be labeled an "assault weapon", then why bother with the label? Hint: the label is used to scare people.


Yep, that would be true, completely irrelevant since that's not what I suggested, but true.

gbaji wrote:
2. Any gun that fires any number of shots can be used for killing people. Similarly, any gun capable of being used to hunt can be used to kill people.


Yep, how many people can you kill with 3 round shotgun vs say an AR-15 in 10 minutes? When you buy an AR-15 you're not buying it to hunt with, you're buying it because it's a lethal human killing weapon with a badass looking profile.

gbaji wrote:
3. The purpose of the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting anyway.


You have no idea how much I don't give a @#$% about your 2nd amendment. It's one of the most retarded excuses for retarded behaviour I've ever seen.

The purpose of the 2nd amendment was to allow militias to maintain firearms in defence of their communities in the event that government got out of control and started oppressing the people. 1. Which militia are you a part of? 2. Do you seriously think a bunch of hicks with guns have even the slightest of chances against the US military? 3. Is it even a concern in modern times? How oppressed do you really think you're going to be living in the US? People can read now, guns are no longer necessary to maintain your freedom, get over it.

#13 Jan 03 2013 at 4:07 PM Rating: Default
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trickybeck wrote:
A third thing that's dumb about this article is the idea that just because the previous legislation mis-targetted cosmetic features of assault rifles, that the new one will too. Who says that her new legislation is going to be identical to the old one?


Because she's re-enacting the same ban. While I'm sure they may attempt some minor linguistic changes, they really are talking about just passing the same law again.

Quote:
And if your big problem is that the legislation poorly defines what an assault rifle is, then why wouldn't you argue to improve that definition?


Because while there is an actual definition of "assault rifle", those are already banned (fully automatic rifles btw), there's no functionally useful definition of "assault weapon". The problem is the attempt to come up with a definition which bans "scary guns", which are not fully automatic, without violating the 2nd amendment. This is what the author was talking about. You can't do it. It's like trying to come up with a way to ban "cars that gang members like to drive" as a means of reducing gang violence. It's stupid. It's absurd. Sure, we might be able to point to a car and say "that's the kind of car a gang member might drive", but try actually writing legislative language around that and you'll fail.

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Instead of calling the whole thing worthless? (Obviously - the reason why is because he just wants to advocate pro-gun positions, not to fix the problem).


Try to not think of this based on being pro or anti gun. It's worthless because it is actually worthless. There's no way to do more than ban cosmetic features of firearms via this approach. Trying to do more ends out with too broad a ban which will never pass constitutional muster. These kinds of laws really do end out being attempts to placate anti-gun folks by appearing to do something about the kinds of guns that scare them. And that's just a really really dumb way to approach the issue.
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#14 Jan 03 2013 at 4:15 PM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
gbaji wrote:
2. Any gun that fires any number of shots can be used for killing people. Similarly, any gun capable of being used to hunt can be used to kill people.


Yep, how many people can you kill with 3 round shotgun vs say an AR-15 in 10 minutes? When you buy an AR-15 you're not buying it to hunt with, you're buying it because it's a lethal human killing weapon with a badass looking profile.


Sadly, it's the bolded bit which most makes you scared of the weapon though. There are plenty of quite lethal weapons which don't have badass looking profiles, but no proposed "assault weapon ban" will affect them. Hence, why they're useless.

Quote:
gbaji wrote:
3. The purpose of the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting anyway.


You have no idea how much I don't give a @#$% about your 2nd amendment. It's one of the most retarded excuses for retarded behaviour I've ever seen.


Given that we're talking about legislative action in the US, your opinion of the 2nd amendment is somewhat trumped by its actual importance in US law.

Quote:
The purpose of the 2nd amendment was to allow militias to maintain firearms in defence of their communities in the event that government got out of control and started oppressing the people.


Almost correct. The purpose of the 2nd amendment was to ensure that all citizens could freely keep and bear their own arms, so that they could form into such militias in time of need. You do realize that if you're not allowed to have weapons until after you form into a militia, it's kinda too late, right?

Quote:
1. Which militia are you a part of?


None. But that's not a prerequisite.

Quote:
2. Do you seriously think a bunch of hicks with guns have even the slightest of chances against the US military?


Not the point. Or, more correctly, it's a great point for having less restrictions on private firearms rather than more. I'm sure that's not where you were going with this though.

Quote:
3. Is it even a concern in modern times?


It's always "modern times". Think about it.

Quote:
How oppressed do you really think you're going to be living in the US? People can read now, guns are no longer necessary to maintain your freedom, get over it.


Excuse me. What was the literacy rate in 1930s Germany? Is this seriously your argument? That there's some kind of magic that prevents governments in "modern times" from oppressing their citizens? How incredibly naive you are.
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#15 Jan 03 2013 at 4:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't think this ban will achieve anything.

I'd rather have a law that requires on-site background checks for gun shows and put in place an infrastructure to support it. That loophole has go to go.
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#16 Jan 03 2013 at 5:02 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
I don't think this ban will achieve anything.

I'd rather have a law that requires on-site background checks for gun shows and put in place an infrastructure to support it. That loophole has go to go.


I'm curious about this loophole, as I keep hearing about it. I've been to gunshows here in Colorado, and even purchased one of my guns there. I had to fill out the paperwork and have a background check run while I waited before I could finish the purchase. Is that not the case in other States? If so, I guess Colorado has closed that loophole, not sure why other States have not yet. I have no objections to that.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 4:02pm by Kakar
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#17 Jan 03 2013 at 5:13 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
The author seems to be a condescending ***, blowing all the latest catchphrases out his ****.

I couldn't get past 'white bread suburbanite's.



Can't say I disagree, almost lost me there too.


Eske Esquire wrote:

EDIT: Though I'll readily admit that I've seen enough uninformed pundits decrying "assault weapons" without the slightest inclination of what they're talking about. That kind of ignorance is a problem, but one can't let it distract from more meaningful debate.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 2:39pm by Eske


One should ensure that they're somewhat educated on the subject before arguing against it and having a "meaningful debate" though don't you think?

trickybeck wrote:

Really this event is just being used as a bugaboo or a tool to pass some sort of broader-reaching gun legislation than can help reduce the thousands of commonplace gun murders every year. In this regard, you're correct that assault rifles aren't being used in the most homicides, it's handguns. But you take in slack on the rope when you can get it, I suppose.


Agreed, so what would be a more practical approach to it? Banning all handguns, or just certain kinds such as those with clips, or certain capacity clips?



trickybeck wrote:
A third thing that's dumb about this article is the idea that just because the previous legislation mis-targetted cosmetic features of assault rifles, that the new one will too. Who says that her new legislation is going to be identical to the old one?

And if your big problem is that the legislation poorly defines what an assault rifle is, then why wouldn't you argue to improve that definition? Instead of calling the whole thing worthless? (Obviously - the reason why is because he just wants to advocate pro-gun positions, not to fix the problem).


Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 3:40pm by trickybeck


The legislation would have to be changed or it would be pretty worthless. The gun manufacturers would just do the same thing as last time and modify weapons to conform to the standards allowed. Better defining it might work, again assuming you could do so without allowing loopholes for manufacturer's to manuever around.
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#18 Jan 03 2013 at 5:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_shows_in_the_United_States#Controversies

"Private sellers" and those who only make "occasional sales" - the types of folks that can rent a booth at a gun show three or four times a year and not have to legally register with the department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms - aren't required to conduct background checks at gun shows. So, a big store that comes down to a gun show will likely have the criminal background check stuff set up, require the forms, and whatnot. The dude with the rack of weapons that look like they were stolen from a Mexican drug cartel? Nope, he's exempt because he only occasionally sells guns.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 6:41pm by catwho
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#19 Jan 03 2013 at 6:30 PM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:
catwho wrote:
I don't think this ban will achieve anything.

I'd rather have a law that requires on-site background checks for gun shows and put in place an infrastructure to support it. That loophole has go to go.


I'm curious about this loophole, as I keep hearing about it. I've been to gunshows here in Colorado, and even purchased one of my guns there. I had to fill out the paperwork and have a background check run while I waited before I could finish the purchase. Is that not the case in other States? If so, I guess Colorado has closed that loophole, not sure why other States have not yet. I have no objections to that.

It's pretty simple really, if you're an FFL dealer, you have to do the background check. If you're not then you don't.
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#20 Jan 03 2013 at 6:53 PM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:
trickybeck wrote:

Really this event is just being used as a bugaboo or a tool to pass some sort of broader-reaching gun legislation than can help reduce the thousands of commonplace gun murders every year. In this regard, you're correct that assault rifles aren't being used in the most homicides, it's handguns. But you take in slack on the rope when you can get it, I suppose.


Agreed, so what would be a more practical approach to it? Banning all handguns, or just certain kinds such as those with clips, or certain capacity clips?


And this is where we get to the crux of the problem. We *can't* ban all handguns. Supreme Court just ruled on that quite clearly a few years back. That's a done issue. You can't ban "guns with clips" either. You can ban magazines above a certain capacity and still remain within the constitutional boundaries, but despite big media attention of "assault weapons" with "high capacity magazines" being used in high profile shootings, the overwhelming percentage of time a firearm is used in the commission of a crime, it's either not fired at all, or only a few shots are fired. So limiting magazine size just doesn't have any effect at all. Additionally, trying to confiscate all existing magazines would be problematic (and potentially run afoul of the constitution again), so such bans can only affect new sales, or new construction. Which means that if someone really wants or needs to obtain high capacity magazines, there's a zillion of them out there.

And that's before realizing that magazines are the simplest component to a firearm anyway. It's a box with a spring. The mechanism on the gun itself has no knowledge or care about the capacity of the magazine. It could be 100 miles long as far as the gun is concerned and it works the same way. Point being that if you can't ban all forms of semi-automatics (which you can't), then you can't really ban high capacity magazines. They're trivially easy to make. Kids could make them in shop class if they wanted to.


Quote:
The legislation would have to be changed or it would be pretty worthless. The gun manufacturers would just do the same thing as last time and modify weapons to conform to the standards allowed. Better defining it might work, again assuming you could do so without allowing loopholes for manufacturer's to manuever around.


Yeah. But I just don't think it's possible to write legislation solid enough to avoid loopholes and still comply with the 2nd amendment which would accomplish what those writing it want. Heck, I'm not even sure what they actually want either. It appears like the whole point is just to look like they're "doing something" to panicky people who know nothing about firearms. It's basically legislation which has the intent of accomplishing nothing at all. That's what makes it worthless.
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#21 Jan 03 2013 at 8:24 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_shows_in_the_United_States#Controversies

"Private sellers" and those who only make "occasional sales" - the types of folks that can rent a booth at a gun show three or four times a year and not have to legally register with the department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms - aren't required to conduct background checks at gun shows. So, a big store that comes down to a gun show will likely have the criminal background check stuff set up, require the forms, and whatnot. The dude with the rack of weapons that look like they were stolen from a Mexican drug cartel? Nope, he's exempt because he only occasionally sells guns.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 6:41pm by catwho


Ahhh, gotcha. I guess neither myself or the friends I went with bought from the non-licensed sellers. Guess I know where to get the ones I can file the serial numbers off of...
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#22 Jan 03 2013 at 8:28 PM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:
catwho wrote:
Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_shows_in_the_United_States#Controversies

"Private sellers" and those who only make "occasional sales" - the types of folks that can rent a booth at a gun show three or four times a year and not have to legally register with the department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms - aren't required to conduct background checks at gun shows. So, a big store that comes down to a gun show will likely have the criminal background check stuff set up, require the forms, and whatnot. The dude with the rack of weapons that look like they were stolen from a Mexican drug cartel? Nope, he's exempt because he only occasionally sells guns.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 6:41pm by catwho


Ahhh, gotcha. I guess neither myself or the friends I went with bought from the non-licensed sellers. Guess I know where to get the ones I can file the serial numbers off of...

You don't even need to do that, the gun isn't traceable to you anyhow...
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#23 Jan 04 2013 at 3:13 AM Rating: Decent
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trickybeck wrote:

Yeah, a single state, especially Connecticut, banning assault rifles does nothing because there's no border guards between states and you can trivially drive to 10 other nearby states to buy a weapon if you wanted.


I realize this is an edge case, but interstate law violations do occasionally get prosecuted when found.
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#24 Jan 04 2013 at 7:14 AM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:


The legislation would have to be changed or it would be pretty worthless. The gun manufacturers would just do the same thing as last time and modify weapons to conform to the standards allowed. Better defining it might work, again assuming you could do so without allowing loopholes for manufacturer's to manuever around.

Any legislation that attempts to curtail types of guns versus a flat out ban will be useless under this type scenario. The gun manufacturers will find a work around, the gun lobby will support the loophole...probably even expand it. So yeah, I'd agree - there are many gullible legislators that actually think making laws for the good of all is a worthwhile business.
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#25 Jan 04 2013 at 9:31 AM Rating: Good
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Gbaji wrote:
You can't do it. It's like trying to come up with a way to ban "cars that gang members like to drive" as a means of reducing gang violence.


No, it's like banning cars with spiked bumpers designed to impale people.

If you want to keep the guns that were available when the 2nd amendment was written fair enough. Anything more advanced shouldn't have the same protections. We didn't have mobile guns that could kill masses of people in minutes when the 2nd amendment was written. When the 2nd amendment was written you'd have been tackled before you got your second shot loaded.

This idea that the constitution (of any country) is the be all/end all of legislation regardless of technological progress is the height of ignorance.

Frankly I don't think this can be solved, there are too many guns in circulation in the US to put a cap on it now so the only option is to put limitations in place that prevent adding to the problem and let the old guns die off over time, a very very long time.

I'm aware, of course, that my opinions have no bearing on US politics.
#26 Jan 04 2013 at 9:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Frankly I don't think this can be solved, there are too many guns in circulation in the US to put a cap on it now so the only option is to put limitations in place that prevent adding to the problem and let the old guns die off over time, a very very long time.


Most assault rifles use one of a few various types of ammo incompatible with common hunting and self-defense weapons. Ban such ammo sales, and the problem will eventually fix itself (outside of illegal sales, which is a law enforcement issue, not a legislative one). There's absolutely zero reason a citizen should be able to stockpile .762 nato rounds or any variant thereof.

However, there's a larger ignorance problem at work here. Just yesterday, I was reading a Sandy Hook article stating that the shooter used a .223 bushmaster rifle in his mass shooting, which is entirely false. He had one, yes, but the shootings inside the school were committed with common 9mm handguns. No amount of assault rifle bans will prevent this scenario. It's a red herring, in this case.

Edited, Jan 4th 2013 9:43am by BrownDuck
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R.I.P. Jessica M. 5/3/2010
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


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