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Anthony Smith
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 840
Location: Ohio

3/12/18 8:37 AM

Real World Solution

Ok Ive thought this through in my own policy wonk way, so here goes:

1. Repeal the statute that exempts the manufacturers of guns and ammunition from liability for their products. That makes them civilly liable for the damages caused by their inherently dangerous products. After the trial lawyers go to work, the risk will most likely be too large to manufacture for and sell to the civilian sector.

2. Mandate that all guns manufacturered and/or sold in the US have fingerprint security. The trigger should have a sensor, similiar to the technology that exists on current I Phones, so that the gun will not fire without identifying the trigger finger of the lawful owner of the gun. The fingerprint ID should be able to be set only once, eliminating the value of stolen guns and eliminating the secondary market.

3. Mandate a new standard caliber size for all guns/ammunition manufacturered and/or sold in the US. It should be slightly different from current ammunition so it will not work in old guns. Reloaders should also be subject to the same sizing requirements. While there are a tremendous number of guns out there with lots of ammunition, it will eventually run out and only the new guns will work.

4. Make it illegal to sell, trade, gift any existing "old" guns. If they are of historical significance or collectable, they must be rendered inoperational by filling and welding the barrel.

None of these regulations would violate the 2nd amendment in any way.

BTW, as an attorney and having studied constituitional law and history, the purpose of the 2nd amendment is moot anyway for two reasons:
1. The preamble regarding a "well regulated militia" is key and must be interperated in context. In 18th cnetury venacular "regulated" means "disciplined" or "drilled" and enlisting soldiers were expected to have and bring with them their own weapons. As military recruits are now given weapons by the armed forces, this justification no longer exists.
2. The secondary subtext of the 2nd amendment was that if there was an armed populace, the government would be in fear of the people and tyranny would be prevented. This purpose has also been rendered moot. Beginning with the ban on "machine guns" to battle organized crime, heavy weapons have been regulated/banned. Unless we are about to take the step of legalizing heavy military weapons up to and beyond 50 caliber, mortars, SAMs, tanks and so forth, no one can seriously believe that you can stop the Army/Marines/SWAT etc with a few handguns or even AR15s. To the extent that the current weaponary is useless to accomplish this purpose, it should not even be covered by the 2nd amendment.

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walter
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 4360
Location: metro-motown-area

3/12/18 10:08 AM

"None of these regulations would violate the 2nd amendment in any way. "

i agree with the majority of your suggestions, but 2A defenders will state that every one of these items "infringes" on their right to bear arms.

if we introduce liability, the whole picture changes for the better.

considering that even universal background checks are a non-starter in today's NRA-dominated firearm debate, this is all moot -- nothing meaningful will change.

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2927
Location: Midland, MI

3/12/18 5:02 PM

kaboom!


quote:
my own policy wonk way


I think I just heard heads explode at the NRA.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Springfield

3/12/18 5:47 PM

In 18th cnetury venacular "regulated" means "disciplined" or "drilled"

So Brian, do I ask Anthony for a citation too?

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2377
Location: Canberra, Australia

3/13/18 1:49 AM

This is what worked here. In 1996, Martin Bryant killed 35 people at Port Arthur in Tasmania (and wounded another couple of dozen). Less than two weeks after that, the Australasian Police Ministers council adopted the National Firearms Agreement, the central part of which was the outlawing from civilian ownership of rapid fire weapons: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2796929-1996-National-Firearms-Agreement.html

In the 18 years prior to 1996, there had been 13 mass shootings in this country. In the 20+ years since, there hasn't been a single one.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16693
Location: Portland, OR

3/13/18 6:46 AM

"National Firearms Agreement"

Far too sensible for the US.

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walter
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 4360
Location: metro-motown-area

3/13/18 6:56 AM

nick

that is relevant and OZ's positive outcome, based on actual data, is totally legit and believable.

however, OZ doesnt have the 2A nor the NRA nor legions of zealots. common-sense take ye elsewhere.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4163
Location: Nashua, NH

3/13/18 7:26 AM

OK Anthony...

...let's examine your ideas.

"1. Repeal the statute that exempts the manufacturers of guns and ammunition from liability for their products. That makes them civilly liable for the damages caused by their inherently dangerous products. After the trial lawyers go to work, the risk will most likely be too large to manufacture for and sell to the civilian sector."

Considering that the law in question was passed specifically to prevent anti-gun groups from using the courts as a method of "back door" gun control, that's not going to happen. Like it or not, firearms are legally manufactured and sold here and the companies who do so should not be saddled with the burden of defending against frivolous lawsuits claiming that their products are "inherently defective", which was the rationale being used at the time. More over, where does that end? Do we sue car manufacturers if someone intentionally drives their car into a crowd? Do we sue knife manufacturers for every stabbing? How about pressure cooker and pipe manufacturers when people make bombs from their products? Product liability laws are meant to protect consumers from defective products, not abuse of those products by lunatics.

If you succeeded in suing gun companies out of business, then what? You have a military with no source of domestically manufactured weapons. Brilliant!

-----
"2. Mandate that all guns manufacturered and/or sold in the US have fingerprint security. The trigger should have a sensor, similiar to the technology that exists on current I Phones, so that the gun will not fire without identifying the trigger finger of the lawful owner of the gun. The fingerprint ID should be able to be set only once, eliminating the value of stolen guns and eliminating the secondary market."

There's a good reason that nobody who knows anything about guns or has to rely on them wants this technology; it can prevent you from using a firearm when you need it most . Every day I see how slow and unreliable the fingerprint reader on my new iPhone is. If my hands are wet or even slightly dirty, it doesn't work. If my skin is too dry, it doesn't work. If I'm wearing gloves, it can't work. Sometimes it fails to work for no obvious reason. On top of that, you have the issue of batteries and what happens when they die. Police departments have tested this tech as a means of preventing officers from being shot with their own guns and guess what? They've rejected it en mass as unworkable. A gun is only useful if it goes bang when you need it to. Currently, "smart gun" technology is a bad - and dangerous - joke.

As for preventing criminal misuse, do you honestly believe that such weapons couldn't be hacked or simply have the locking mechanism removed or rendered inoperable? Be serious.

-----
"3. Mandate a new standard caliber size for all guns/ammunition manufacturered and/or sold in the US. It should be slightly different from current ammunition so it will not work in old guns. Reloaders should also be subject to the same sizing requirements. While there are a tremendous number of guns out there with lots of ammunition, it will eventually run out and only the new guns will work."

Come on Anthony, this is just plain silly and you know it could never happen. Sure, let's have one caliber of ammunition that will suffice for everything from plinking at tin cans to personal defense to hunting elk and beyond. This is so ludicrous and unworkable that you should be embarrassed for even suggesting it.

-----
"4. Make it illegal to sell, trade, gift any existing "old" guns. If they are of historical significance or collectable, they must be rendered inoperational by filling and welding the barrel."

See above. Just laughable.

-----
"None of these regulations would violate the 2nd amendment in any way."

Since none of them have the proverbial "snowball's chance in Hell" of ever happening, I guess not.

-----
BTW, as an attorney and having studied constituitional law and history, the purpose of the 2nd amendment is moot anyway for two reasons:

"1. The preamble regarding a "well regulated militia" is key and must be interperated in context. In 18th cnetury venacular "regulated" means "disciplined" or "drilled" and enlisting soldiers were expected to have and bring with them their own weapons. As military recruits are now given weapons by the armed forces, this justification no longer exists."

That's nonsense and based on your stated background, you know it. The militia's purpose - in addition to protecting the country - is to defend against a standing army created by the government, if necessary.

-----
"2. The secondary subtext of the 2nd amendment was that if there was an armed populace, the government would be in fear of the people and tyranny would be prevented. This purpose has also been rendered moot. Beginning with the ban on "machine guns" to battle organized crime, heavy weapons have been regulated/banned. Unless we are about to take the step of legalizing heavy military weapons up to and beyond 50 caliber, mortars, SAMs, tanks and so forth, no one can seriously believe that you can stop the Army/Marines/SWAT etc with a few handguns or even AR15s. To the extent that the current weaponary is useless to accomplish this purpose, it should not even be covered by the 2nd amendment."

Well, one could argue endlessly whether an insurrection of tens of millions of citizens could resist the armed forces, but the fact is that it probably doesn't need to. If such an enormous segment of the population ever took up arms against the government, it's not likely that the military would follow whatever government orders prompted the insurrection. If it did get to the point that the military turned on the civilian population, it would mean that our system of government would already would have already collapsed, which renders all arguments about rights irrelevant. I don't see the lack of a defense against a doomsday scenario as a rationale for restricting Second Amendment rights.

The Second Amendment has worked as a hedge against government tyranny for ~240 years and I would argue that it still does.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4163
Location: Nashua, NH

3/13/18 7:42 AM

Nick...

...it's interesting to me that accepting draconian gun control laws seems to be common among former British colonies that exited the British Empire without fighting a war against them to do so. That simply will not work here, as our population simply doesn't trust the government enough to allow it. Beyond the initial distrust of government and fear of tyranny, a large percentage of our population is comprised of people (and their descendants) who fled tyranny and oppression elsewhere in the world. Distrust of government is part of our DNA.

It's also interesting that Canada has recently relaxed some of its restrictions while also admitting that they are ineffective at preventing crime.

Just sayin'...

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rickhardy
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 1457
Location: Needham outside of Boston - the hub of the universe

3/13/18 7:52 AM

message

[img]<a href='https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPbTZ__A3rlQGnqUovpJfdUNhajxDaSSr7lkUZUhpuw0uiBso-MPeYuKvOamD4aDw?key=YUtTM3RmcVp3cHhVYzQxcWppaE9MLU16eUhKdnVB&source=ctrlq.org'><img src='https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/iTTWQDdJ59ptA_9ofjODtQrtDsLGmEnVXJT4a16EwyDIGyZAHUcjbyL_newGU95qe6EK9HXq0LI4rXEH6hKt8KoFOOIze1VXnPzOTqBpSqNlyEIyHrK_eeD1vG5R7ytxxTIT7CG5Sw=w2400' /></a>[/img]

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4163
Location: Nashua, NH

3/13/18 8:01 AM

The "well regulated militia"...

...is not who's killing children.

I reject any attempt to "broad brush" murderous lunatics and/or criminally insane individuals as being part of the same group as law-abiding gun owners. Are people who abuse their children the same as responsible parents? Are drunk drivers who kill innocent people the same as the rest of us who get behind the wheel every day?

This is just a cheap shot. No pun intended.


Last edited by Brian Nystrom on 3/13/18 8:17 AM; edited 1 time in total

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4163
Location: Nashua, NH

3/13/18 8:03 AM

daddy-o

"In 18th cnetury venacular "regulated" means "disciplined" or "drilled"

So Brian, do I ask Anthony for a citation too?"

Ask him anything you want, I'm glad he chimed in.

If you're implying that his quote conflicts with anything I've said here, I don't see it that way at all. It's part of the same definition.

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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3606
Location: Brooklyn, NY

3/13/18 8:50 AM

So where do we now have a well regulated militia?

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Matthew Currie
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 768
Location: Vermont

3/13/18 9:24 AM

I have a few disagreements with Antony's ideas, but since nothing like them will actually occur there's little point in hammering away. It's certainly an interesting take, and an interesting idea on how to do an end-run around the amendment.

But as far as "cheap shots" are concerned, as things stand, it seems all shots are cheap. That might include the idea that because a car can kill as a semiautomatic rifle can, we should count them the same as if their primary purpose for existing were irrelevant.

Unless one considers all arguments for any gun control as "cheap shots," it must be pretty clear that rational and well considered arguments have largely failed. It might be that for a parent whose child has just been murdered in school, no shot is cheaper than the one that killed her.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Springfield

3/13/18 9:36 AM

Brian, if anything it agrees with your definition, letting you know I saw it.

How about we agree to call it the second source?

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16693
Location: Portland, OR

3/13/18 11:33 AM

"well regulated"

.....

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4163
Location: Nashua, NH

3/13/18 11:58 AM

"Brian, if anything it agrees with your definition, letting you know I saw it."

OK, I agree.

How about we agree to call it the second source?"

Sure, but to what end? I think I'm missing your point.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4163
Location: Nashua, NH

3/13/18 12:51 PM

Matthew, keep in mind that a key point of our system is to make it as difficult as possible do an end run around the Constitution. That's one of the things that's made it so successful. You don't have to look very far to find plenty of examples of countries where an elected president changes the country's constitution to make his office a lifetime dictatorship. In light of this, it makes our Founding Fathers' brilliance even more exceptional. They weren't perfect, but their vision was extraordinary.

Sporting rifles don't exist primarily for killing people. Sure, they're very similar to military weapons, but the overwhelming majority (well over 99.9%) of them will never be used against another human being. In fact, the use of ARs and similar weapons in crime is actually quite rare. Unfortunately, they've been used in some very high profile shootings. I guess you could say that they're the "pitbulls" of the gun world. Most are completely benign because their owners don't allow them to be dangerous, but a few evil/irresponsible owners taint the whole breed.

Believe me, I feel for everyone who loses a loved one due to gun violence. However, I cannot accept knee-jerk proposals from politicians that do not address the problem. Banning ARs is not going to make mass killings go away, as there are plenty of other equally destructive weapon options available, both gun and non-gun. While I agree with the idea of making background checks mandatory for all gun purchases. that's largely just a red herring that's not going to reduce crime and certainly not mass shootings. It definitely won't help unless we fix the system to make sure that everyone who should be denied a gun is flagged. It seems to me that the anti-gun groups see background checks as either low-hanging fruit or a potential momentum builder for their cause. They know it won't do anything to solve the problem.

As I've said before, what's needed is for reasonable people to get together and have a rational discussion about the causes and solutions to gun violence. Perhaps something useful will come from Trump's commission on the topic, but we'll have to wait and see.

Every time a tragedy happens, we get the anti-gun side screaming about banning things, which prompts the pro-gun side to scream that "they're going to take our guns" and no rational discussion can penetrate the din. It's a highly emotional issue for obvious reasons, but emotion is exactly what we don't need if there is going to be any real solution. We need calm, respectful discussion and serious proposals to deal with the problem.

Instead, we end up with gun sales going through the roof and deranged lunatics slipping through the cracks in the mental health system and law enforcement agencies. And the cycle repeats. I'd say that we're pretty much at the definition of insanity...

So, the question I pose to all of you is: How do we get the type of discussion that we really need started? Suggestions should not involve finger-pointing or trying to place blame on anyone on either side. Scratch that, there should be only one side, the rational solution side.

First we have to agree on the goal. What say you?

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1578

3/13/18 1:52 PM

@ Nick

Please don't confuse us with real facts and smart common sense, that won't do.
We prefer lots of dead kids and our cowboy image.

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2500
Location: hillbilly heaven

3/13/18 2:28 PM

Am I the only one that wants the second amendment amended and guns not allowed to be owned by private citizens? My position is no more extreme than the NRA.

I see no reason for gun deaths in the USA.

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Matthew Currie
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 768
Location: Vermont

3/13/18 2:45 PM

I don't want to see guns banned, nor hunting. But I keep seeing an all-or-nothing attitude, and it comes up again, that if you can't stop all gun violence or if someone can somehow get around a law, then there shouldn't be any law at all. Sure you can kill people with a hunting rifle or with a pistol, or with a knife or an axe or a car, but does that mean that we should sit back and let people buy any kind of gun, including weapons of war with enormous magazines? If you can't stop mass murders from ever happening, does this mean it's useless to cut them by some lesser percentage? I suspect the parents of murdered children would settle for something less than perfection.

I would agree that changing the rules about who should have guns should also be an issue, along with what guns are available. The NRA and their associates seem to say that but then they resist every effort that's made actually to do it. But I also do think that we have to be a little careful about due process and about who is empowered to do what to whom. The arbitrary power of the state to disarm is, of course, a big argument made by the NRA and others - and as usual it ends up as an all or nothing argument - but there is, I think, room for concern that addressing only the person might invite abuse for political reasons, or the creation of a new class of status crimes. And if you're looking for perfection you won't find there either. Plenty of horrific crimes are committed by people whose insanity is a surprise to everyone.

I think the extremists of the NRA, with that all or nothing attitude, are cutting their own throats, and in the process betraying their constituents, not only by espousing an extreme attitude, but by forcing an all-or-nothing resolution. For the near future they may prevail, but I suspect there will come a tipping point, and if they continue to push for all or nothing, they will end up with nothing.

As DFCas posted while I was writing, I edit to add that I think absolute no guns for private citizens is a poor idea. It certainly would be a difficult one to sell to rural folk. In our current environment, hunting has a role that, although it could be accomplished otherwise, probably would not, given a government that seeks to contract rather than expand services. And out here in the country, it's fine to say nobody should have a gun, but I, though loath to kill anything much less anyone, have had to shoot a couple of dangerously sick animals over the years, and in a place where the police respond to an armed robber report with a suggestion that they'll look into it some time in the next week, I think someone had better have a gun somewhere! And I do also enjoy just plain target shooting, and while I would give it up if I thought it would actually do away with all the murders everyone commits anywhere, I think that would be needlessly silly.

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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3606
Location: Brooklyn, NY

3/13/18 3:21 PM

Guns are dangerous.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Springfield

3/13/18 4:27 PM

This is beyond tedium, too bad it's important.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6019
Location: Maine

3/13/18 5:00 PM

Tedious indeed

The subject is important but this discussion is not. Everyone disagrees with Brian, it has always been such and it will ever be. Move on.

We spent considerable time discussing Anthony's constitutional analysis based on the 18th century meaning of "militia." Some may find that interesting as an academic exercise, but in the real world it's not that relevant because the Supreme Court rejected precisely that analysis 10 years ago.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16693
Location: Portland, OR

3/13/18 6:58 PM

I got off the bus a while back... Not that I really was on it...

But kudos for civility all the way.

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