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  • Aug 19th, 2019 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me know when [the Government] are comfortabl

    It does protect an individual right to own guns. That’s the plain reading of the amendment. That doesn’t mean it can’t be regulated, see compelling state interest and strict scrutiny, but don’t pretend it doesn’t say what it very clearly says, that’s a very dangerous road to go down irrespective of how you feel about guns.

    P.S., The “militia” in the United States is defined as all able bodied male citizens between 17 and 45 by Federal Law. It should probably be changed to be gender neutral, IMHO, but that’s what it currently says.

  • Aug 18th, 2019 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Let me know when [the Government] are comfortable giving

    That’s the other funny thing: the US Government already massively outguns its citizens. The idea that the weaponry that private individuals are allowed to own gives you any kind of chance against them is simply laughable.

    That's a common misconception on both sides of the gun argument.

    Pro-gun guy: I own guns in case the Government ever turns tyrannical!
    Anti-gun guy: You don't have a chance, they have jets and nukes.

    You're both misreading the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. Parse of the wording of it and study American history. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    Until the post-WW2 era, the United States never maintained a standing army of any significance. People frequently condemn the United States for not getting involved in WW2 sooner than we did but kind of gloss over the fact that in 1939 the United States Army was smaller than Portugal's Army. We had this luxury because we're surrounded by oceans, with our only two land neighbors being friendly powers with minimal armies of their own. We also had (until the post war era) an inherent distrust of large standing armies. This goes back to the Colonial Era when Great Britain stationed a large standing army in the United States to attempt to force her will upon us. See the 3rd Amendment....

    The model that the United States used for defense until the post WW2 era was to maintain a very small professional army and rapidly expand it in times of crisis. This small "Regular Army" -- made up of career professionals -- would train the militiamen that were rapidly swelling the ranks, then we'd fight whatever war we found ourselves in, and afterwards the bulk of the expanded army would be quickly disbanded and the soldiers would return to civilian life.

    The ultimate point of the 2nd Amendment is to ensure that the citizenry is familiar with the use of arms and ready to fight when called upon. There are other reasons, lawful self-defense, hunting, etc., but none of them were regarded as important enough to put in the text of the Amendment.

    So, what happens if the Government goes bad? Again, look at history. Study the Revolution. Random American citizens didn't start taking potshots at Redcoats with their muskets. That's a myth and would have been just as illegal back then as it is now (today we call such people "unlawful combatants"). Rather, what happened is that the colonial governments broke away from Great Britain, then built an army -- under the command of officers appointed by the Continental Congress -- to try and defend that decision. Building this army was made easier by the fact that the American population was already familiar with the use of arms, but it was still a Herculean Task that took years to bear fruit.

    This is the difference between lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful ones serve under officers appointed by a higher authority, wear a uniform, and carry their arms openly.

    If the Federal Government turned oppressive tomorrow and all other means of redress were exhausted, you would see State Governments begin to break away from it and build their own militaries -- again, relying on the fact that many American citizens are already familiar with the use of arms -- to try and defend that decision.

    Would they succeed? Who the hell knows. I hope and pray that I never live to see such a day. The South tried it once and failed quite spectacularly (thank God) but the model they used is the rough outline that any 2nd American Revolution/Civil War would follow. Random Southern citizens didn't start taking potshots at Federal troops, they built an army, commanded by officers appointed by a higher authority, and the citizens served in this army. That's why none of them went to jail at the end of the conflict. The high ranking officers and Government officials of the Confederacy were held for a time and ultimately had to be pardoned before they could return to civilian life, but there was never any thought given to charging the rank and file. They were lawful combatants under the laws of war, then and now.

    Side note: I wish my country would go back to its distrust of large standing armies. We do need to maintain a capable Navy and Air Force, the former being something we always had, but if we did away with the large standing army and went back to our roots you'd see an end to interventionism. I don't think I would go back to the distrust of "entangling alliances", the Western Alliance is something I wholeheartedly support, but we need to end interventionism.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 5:01pm


    I could possibly fuck a porn star at precisely 1 a.m. tomorrow; that the odds are highly against me to the point where that event seems impossible does not make it impossible.

    At the risk of a digression and without knowing much about you, the only thing stopping you from fucking a porn star -- or any beautiful woman for that matter -- is probably your own self-confidence. Take it from me, a manwhore who doesn't fit the stereotype of manwhore (I'm not rich, I don't have fancy toys, I'm not a "Type A" personality, and while I'm reasonably fit by American standards I'm far from an athlete) it's actually not that hard to have as much sex as you want with as many beautiful people as you want.

    All you need to do is be a reasonably decent human being, cast a wide net, and accept the fact that chemistry isn't always there, meaning that you can accept rejection (or reject someone; it goes both ways) and walk away without hurt feelings/resentment/loss of self-confidence. A baseball player is doing exceptional if he gets a hit 3 out of 10 times. That means 7 out of 10 times he fails. Does he quit? Nope. Nature made us want to fuck for a reason, it's not as hard as people think it is, in fact, "thinking" is usually the problem, lol. :)

    With the digression over, yes, if you want to play word games, it's not technically impossible to repeal the 2nd Amendment, but it might as well be. You want to fuck a porn star? Go meet a few of them. It's not that hard. You want to repeal the 2nd Amendment? You need to convince a super-majority of 300,000,000 people to go along with you and you need them to be geographically spread out because of the nature of our political system. Can you and your like-minded friends convince 2/3'rds of the population of say Louisiana or South Carolina? You haven't even convinced me and I like to think I'm a pretty reasonable fellow.

    When I say that politics is the art of the possible this is what I mean. It also comes down to priorities. How important is this to you? I don't know if you're an American or not, if you are I don't want to pen a novel about our political system, but suffice it to say the road to national power in our country runs through very gun friendly States. Democrats need to take back Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. The type of gun control that you desire is a guaranteed loser in every one of those States. It's actually worse than that, I would argue, because the position you've staked out likely flips Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado red. It damn sure puts Texas out of reach and if you've been looking at trend lines there's a very real chance to flip Texas blue, but not on a platform of "Make gun owner's lives so difficult that many of them abandon the hobby."

    When I think about everything that's wrong with our country and the World -- I'll just pick one issue, climate change, which I would hope you care about more than guns, particularly if you have kids -- I just think the stakes are too high to blow an otherwise winnable election on gun control. I'm not advocating we do nothing, there are effective proposed measures that command broad popular support, but what you desire is a political loser.

    Yes, and? Your status as a gun owner should be difficult to obtain and maintain precisely because a gun is a thing that was built only to kill another living creature with ease. Owning a car should be less of a hassle, but still a hassle of its own, because a car is dangerous yet still serves a purpose that isn’t “murder machine”.

    This is the fundamental cultural breakdown. I do not view a gun as a "murder machine." I do not regard a gun as a thing that was built only to kill another living creature with ease. A gun sends a projectile downrange. What that projectile does is entirely in the hands of the operator. Most guns never kill anything, human or animal. You should go target shooting, it's fun as hell, and I'd like to think you're open minded enough to give it a try.

    I grew up around guns, in a hunting culture, but I never felt the need to own one for most of my adult life. I got into shooting because it was a challenge, here's something I've never done before, let's see how good I can become with a little bit of practice. Any idiot with a functional index finger and thumb can pick up a gun and fire it, but to actually learn to do it well takes study and practice. The self-defense rationale came later, not out of any specific trauma that happened to me, just a personal decision I made.

    That’s my whole point when I say gun ownership should be a responsibility-laden privilege instead of a guaranteed civil right: If you want a gun, you should ensure your ability to be responsible with it.

    This is another fundamental disagreement that I have with you. I do not want to live in a society where I have to prove that I'm a responsible adult. I want to live in a society that assumes people are responsible adults until they prove otherwise. Is this society as safe as the one you want? Probably not. But I'm 37 years old and have no desire to be treated like a child by my own Government. I'm well past the age of majority, if I fuck up, hold me accountable, but don't make me prove that I'm not going to fuck up before you let me engage in adult activities.

    This opinion of mine extends far beyond guns. I'm not keen on the War on Drugs, I would legalize nearly all of them for full recreational use. I fully support public education campaigns to bring awareness to the dangers of drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, which have combined to kill more people than any illegal drug and infinitely more than marijuana, but at the end of day if a grown adult wants to try a drug even having access to information about the risks, well, that's his or her choice.

    I want to discourage gun ownership because guns exist only to harm living things. Guns are one of mankind’s worst inventions; if I could permanently prevent their invention, I would do so without hesitation.

    Guns are one of mankind's worst inventions? I don't even rank them in the Top 10. Nor do I think you've fully thought this through. Guns are simply an equalizer, a weapon that allows a physically weaker person the ability to credibly threaten a physically stronger person. Mankind has been making weapons since the first one of us picked up a rock. Without them, we'd likely be extinct, or at the very least a prey animal.

    Look, I get the sentiment, I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and still dream that one day we'll outgrow our darker impulses and achieve that sort of utopian society. Ironically enough, that society was portrayed with weaponry, weaponry far more destructive than anything we've dreamed up, because no matter how peaceful your society there will always be those that don't share your values and hope to do you harm.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 12:12pm


    So don’t tell me it isn’t possible.

    I'm sorry, but I'm going to tell you it's not possible. Name the 38 States that would ratify a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. I bet you I can name more than 13 that would reject it. My home state (New York) is one of the most anti-gun States in the Union and I doubt we would ratify it, we have a word for word copy of the 2nd Amendment in our own Civil Rights Law, and in spite of New York City there's a rich firearms culture in this State.

    Even if you could do it, it doesn't change the fact that prior restraint is frowned upon in the American system of jurisprudence. It's a little bit easier with rights that aren't constitutionally recognized but what you desire still wouldn't pass muster under our system even if the 2nd Amendment wasn't a thing. You'd also have to get rid of the 5th, 9th, and 14th Amendments, plus over 200 years of case law, and I doubt very much that you actually want to do that. You may not value the right to keep and bear arms, but I suspect you're rather fond of free speech, racial and gender equality, and the right to due process.

    Setting that aside and addressing the idea itself:

    Gun ownership should have a licensing requirement with renewal periods of no longer than a year and no shorter than six months

    My issue with this is that it seems deliberately designed to make my life as difficult as possible as a gun owner. There's no compelling safety argument to be made for a 6 or even 12 month renewal, the real objective is to discourage gun ownership by making the process as burdensome as possible.

    Case in point, in my long winded explanation above about New York City's process, there's no good reason why they can't permit people to do most of the license application and renewal online, but rather than offer that they compel you to come to an office that's inconveniently located, understaffed, and only open for six hours a day on workdays. They further compel you to visit that office no less than three times to complete the process.

    Cars kill more people than guns do and driving is actually a privilege as opposed to a right. Ask yourself if a six month driver's license renewal would be accepted by society. Ask yourself if the Government could even build the infrastructure to handle that many renewals on a day to day basis, particularly if the process required that you demonstrate you're a safe driver (which is what you want, right?) rather than simply show up to renew the license.

    I would support licensing to permit the authorities to keep track of the nation's weapons inventory and to hold accountable those that engage in unlawful transfers and smuggling. Licensing would be "shall issue" meaning that if you're not otherwise disqualified (i.e., you're a convicted felon, an adjudicated mental defective, dishonorably discharged from the military, a convicted domestic abuser, etc.) the authorities HAVE to issue the license. The license would be good for life, subject to revocation only if you later become a disqualified person, with fees kept at cost, or possibly even absorbed by the State since the whole argument here is public safety.

    Transfers (aka: sales) of firearms would have to go through the licensing authority, the idea being to enable the tracing of firearms from manufacture to possession, to enable the investigation and prosecution of gun smuggling and illegal transfers. There would be an exemption for loans between family members, provided both are licensed or one is underage and under the immediate supervision of a licensed adult, as well as temporary transfers at gun ranges, hunting grounds, etc.

    A requirement to report any lost or stolen guns immediately upon discovery of this fact is reasonable and is something that I would support.

    I would support magazine size restrictions, as noted above, any number you pick is somewhat arbitrary but I think 10 is reasonable.

    I support the repeal of "Stand Your Ground" laws, there's nothing wrong with the duty to retreat as defined by New York State law, where you have the duty to retreat if you can do so with "Complete safety as to oneself and others" (if you can actually do this you have no moral right to take someone's life)

    For carrying in public I would support more onerous licensing requirements, specifically the need to demonstrate safe gun handling as well as an understanding of the laws surrounding the use of force, but again, I would make it shall issue, meaning that if someone can meet a clearly defined set of requirements they get the license, the same as a driver's license. Your driver's license examiner can't fail you if you pass the road test because his gut tells him you're a bad driver, he doesn't have that kind of discretion, and if a State attempted to give it to him it would be struck down by the courts as arbitrary and capricious.

    There's a lot more I'd probably be cool with, if you asked me and I thought about it, but if my choice is between the whack jobs at the NRA and proposals like yours above, where the ultimate objective is simply to discourage gun ownership, well, sign me up for a membership Mr. LaPierre. At least he means what he says.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 10:52am


    I’m on my phone now, so I can’t give you a fully fleshed out reply, but the Assault Weapons Ban is a waste of time. It’s pushed by people that don’t know anything about firearms except that a particular type looks scary.

    Look up a photo of an AR-15. Now look up the Mini-14. View them side by side. One is banned and one is not. The banned one is banned because of cosmetic features like a pistol grip. That’s the only reason. They fire the same cartridge and both are semi automatic firearms. The Mini-14 is arguably the deadlier of the two, as it has a more reliable action, but few people want to ban it because it looks and feels like an ordinary hunting rifle. Indeed, its most common application is pest control on farms, where you need the semi automatic action and an design that can be severely neglected and still function. Neglect an AR-15 like that and you’ll have an expensive paperweight, but I digress...

    A simple magazine size restriction would be just as effective and less politically controversial than a ban on particular firearms. 10 rounds is ample for any conceivable civilian purpose. I would argue the police shouldn’t have larger magazines either, since they ultimately carry firearms for self-defense, not offensive military action, and 10 rounds is sufficient for that purpose.

    As for making it a privilege rather than a right, that’s called prior restraint and the American system doesn’t do that except under extremely narrow circumstances and always with the least restrictive means available. What you desire won’t ever happen in the United States, neither the political nor the judicial branches would allow it. As I said elsewhere, politics is the art of the possible, so even I agreed with you it’s a non-starter.

    I’ll flush out ideas I have in addition to magazine size restrictions if you’re truly interested in hearing them with an open mind.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 9:18am


    A gun’s primary purpose is to be a weapon — to wound or kill living things, and only that.

    That's precisely why they're useful. Human beings have a right of self-defense. Nobody is compelled to surrender to someone that seeks to do them harm. Article 3, UDHR, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

    More often than not, one does not need (and is not legally and morally justified in using) deadly force to effectively exercise this right, but there are times that one does, and every single country on this planet codifies situations in which one is justified in using deadly force to defend themselves. They don't all permit civilian firearms ownership, but they all do acknowledge that occasionally a citizen will have to use deadly force of some sort to defend themselves against unlawful aggression.

    I'm willing to engage in a discussion about gun control, I'm willing to support all manner of regulations and even some restrictions that I believe would be compatible with our legal system and not unduly burdensome to non-criminals, but it's hard to engage in this type of discussion when the loudest voices in the gun control movement are the ones that ultimately want to see the end of significant civilian firearms ownership.

    Understand that I'm not giving a pass to "my" side, I stopped going to the range years ago because I couldn't deal with that crowd anymore, there are extremists in both camps, but at the end of the day I want to be able to own a firearm for self-defense. That's really it. If the people I'm engaging with can't wrap their head around this concept we're probably not going to find any common ground.

    One of the coolest things I ever thought Barack Obama did was during the town hall after Newtown when he acknowledged -- without prompting -- that some people may desire to own a gun for self-defense and stated that this was fine. Most politicians in favor of gun control give lip service to hunters, "We hunt too", "Nobody wants to stop hunting", etc, and that's it, they never acknowledge any other reason (be it target shooting, collecting, or yes, self-defense) for gun ownership.

    I don't like hunting, I grew around it and I've done it, but I don't have the patience for it and I don't enjoy killing things. I don't think it should be banned, it's just not for me. To me, when I hear statements like the above, what I really hear is, "We hope to one day be like the UK, where guns are only allowed for hunting and pest control."

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly

    What straw man? You've outright said that reducing the gun ownership rate is a desirable goal:

    reduce gun ownership in a city that until recently was notorious for being an extraordinarily violent place to live? Yeah, sounds about right. What's the problem?

    I do not agree with and will never support that objective. I don't think the gun ownership rate is a problem. I think there are a lot of problems but that's not one of them. Your position is irreconcilable with mine.

    Which is perhaps why those laws might need addressing to stop it happening over and over again? Just a thought.

    If you read everything I wrote about New York City's gun licensing process and thought, "That's not strict enough" there's really no further reason for us to engage in this conversation. The whole process is designed to reduce the gun ownership rate, by making it as difficult and expensive as possible to exercise what is a constitutionally protected right in my country.

    As stated above, I do not agree with and will not support that objective.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: disappearing all the guns would actually solve the under

    Australia doesn't have the 2nd Amendment and United States Senate.

    Politics is the art of the possible. Even if I agreed with you that we should disappear all the guns (obviously I don't) it's not possible. It won't be possible for many generations and probably not even then.

    There are things we can do, if we can stop looking down on each other and actually find some common ground.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fai

    But, hey, as long as you can blame someone else for your poor voting decisions, it's OK I suppose.

    Pretty sure I said earlier that I've never voted for a Republican for any level of office higher than Mayor and City Councilman.

    even if you feel the need to have one locked up somewhere nearby so that you can use public transport, for some reason.

    "For some reason?" Maybe I'm going hunting. Maybe I'm going to visit a friend in another city and they want to go target shooting. Why do I have to justify to you why I desire to travel with a firearm? Why do you want to make that process more difficult for me? I am not the problem.

    This is the whole point that you refuse to see. Your comments ("gun fetishism?") are laced with contempt for nearly half the American population. Yet you probably legitimately scratch your head and wonder why we can't find common ground on this issue.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread ownership of

    I think the ultimate point is that he doesn't like firearms. Not going to psychoanalyze the reasons why, he's entitled to that opinion, though I don't really understand it.

    I think the difference is what you're exposed to vs. what you're not exposed to. I grew up around firearms, in a culture where hunting season was something the whole community looked forward to all year, so to me they're just tools. It doesn't make me uncomfortable to see a firearm on someone's hip. It barely even registers, unless it's a particularly cool firearm, then I might ask them about it.... ;)

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespre

    But nowhere has the same level of access without far greater restrictions than are present in the US.

    I don't think you understand how the American legal/political system works. Not sure what country you call home, but in the United States we have two levels of Government, State and Federal. The Feds set the minimum standards for gun ownership, but the States are free to mandate additional requirements, and nearly all have done so.

    There are States and Cities in the United States with far more restrictions than is typical in the EU and Canada. These locations still have spree killers. With the exception of the VA Tech shooter, not a single spree killer that comes to mind broke the law to purchase his weapons. They all compiled with the laws of their jurisdiction, even those jurisdictions with restrictions far more onerous than is typical in the Western World.

    (Side note: The VA Tech shooter actually bought his weapon through lawful channels, but should have been disqualified; he was not in the appropriate database because of a reporting failure at the State level. He broke the law, by purchasing a weapon as a disqualified person, but the system was the ultimate failure point because it allowed him to do so. This issue was fixed afterwards.)

    The whole point here is that we have deeper societal problems than "easy" access to weaponry (newsflash: It's not as easy as you think it is), so I'm not certain why you insist on beating that dead horse. I get it, you don't like guns, you think they should be heavily restricted, and your ultimate objective is to significantly reduce the gun ownership rate.

    That objective is why we will never find common ground, I want to keep guns out of the hands of bad actors, but I'm not losing sleep over law abiding citizens with them, even those citizens that I frankly think have lost their marbles and all sense of perspective.

    I hate extremes and your extreme is just as off-putting to me as the person who is stockpiling guns because he thinks Obama is coming to get them. I own two firearms, as I stated earlier, and I can't help but think that's two too many in your mind.

  • Aug 16th, 2019 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly wide

    So... why? Did she vote because of a nefarious scheme to stop you accessing toys, because she voted them way that her voters wanted her to do, or because nobody had presented a compelling argument for reducing security on trains?

    Explain to me how an unloaded firearm in a checked bag that I have no access to reduces the security of a train.

    Go on, I'll wait.

    While you deliberate that, keep in mind that Americans have been flying with firearms in checked baggage for decades, without incident. You declare the firearm at the check-in counter, sign a release attesting to the fact that it's unloaded, they take your bag as they always do, and that's it.

    Your whole attitude here is condescending. "Toys?" This is exactly why common ground can't be found on this issue. It's not about safety for you, it's not about keeping firearms out of the hands of bad actors, it's about making my life as a gun owner as difficult as possible in the hopes that it discourages people from owning firearms until one day there's so few gun owners left that you can go for an outright ban without political consequence.

    People like you are the reason why Donald Trump is President. Thanks for that.

  • Aug 15th, 2019 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread owner

    but it cannot be denied that easy access to guns is one of the reasons why there's so many mass shootings in the US

    Again, there are European countries with comparatively easy access to firearms that do not suffer from this problem on the same scale as the United States. It is not actually that hard to get a firearms license in most EU jurisdictions or Canada. Outside of the UK, it's easier to get a firearms license in the EU and Canada than it is in my hometown (New York City).

    Firearms licensing reduces impulsive acts, i.e., suicide and so-called crimes of passion. It will not stop a determined spree killer. See Anders Breivik. Someone who plans an attack over the course of many months or even years is not going to be stopped by any amount of gun control. Mr. Breivik built a AFNO bomb. How are you going to stop that? You can't.

    I'm not opposed to licensing, or many other gun control measures, but you will never have this utopia where there are no firearms in the United States. The EU isn't even there. Nor do I think it's desirable for us to get there. Firearms are tools, with myriad legitimate purposes, and in the United States the possession of them is protected by the supreme law of the land.

    Even if I agreed with you that we'd be better off without them it's not politically or logistically feasible in the United States. Public policy discussions need to be grounded in reality, otherwise we're just talking over each other.

  • Aug 15th, 2019 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread o

    That's a good trick. You don't have evidence to back up a claim, so you just pretend they are secretly doing something.

    Dude, I lived in New York City. New York's pistol licensing process is deliberately set up to:

    1) Price people out of gun ownership. The license costs $340 every two years. The average pistol costs $500-$600. This is analogous to it costing $15,000 every two years to register your $30,000 car. Do you think that's appropriate?

    2) Make it as difficult as possible; the licensing office is only in one location, serving a city of >8 million people, and is only open Monday through Friday from 9:30AM to 3:30PM. You will need to visit at least three times to go through the process. Can you take three days off work to get a license? Most Americans can't. We don't have European levels of paid-time-off from work.

    3) Use any and all excuses to deny people a license. NYPD will deny you a pistol license over traffic violations. I'm talking speeding tickets, not DWIs. Do you think a speeding ticket should disqualify someone from gun ownership? If you have an actual arrest (note: I'm talking arrest, not conviction) don't even bother applying. We have an "innocent until proven guilty" system of jurisprudence here, you're not supposed to be penalized for arrests that resulted in no charges, acquittal, or dismissal, but you will be by NYPD.

    4) Restrict the hell out of the license. You can't transport your firearm outside of the city limits. Want to go to a shooting range outside of the city? You can't. Want to take your firearm to your second home? You can't.

    This is just for a license to own. There's another license, which authorizes one to carry a firearm in public. You won't be able to get this license unless you're rich and well connected. Donald Trump has a NYC carry license. Do you think has the appropriate personality to carry a deadly weapon in public? I sure as hell don't. But he can get this license because he's rich and well connected.

    Google "Sullivan Act". That's the legal framework for New York's pistol licenses. It has racist origins; it was passed in the early 20th Century, not to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but to keep them out of the hands of "undesirables" (read: minorities and immigrants).

    Feel free to verify any of this if you think I'm spinning a yarn. I'm not.

    There are other American jurisdictions (Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Washington DC) with similar processes in place. I'm not as familiar with them as I am with New York, because I'm from New York and lived there for most of my life, but at the end of the day the objective is to make it exceedingly difficult to legally own a firearm and so discourage people from doing it. That's why people are skeptical of Democratic claims on the national level that it's just about safety and "common sense." They don't buy it when they can look at these jurisdictions -- jurisdictions that are essentially one party States, run by Democrats -- and see what they've done.

    You may not see a problem with any of this but it's not compatible with the American Consitution, culture, and history.

    I 100% agree with you that we have a cultural problem with guns. I own two guns. I don't fetishize them, I don't have delusions of standing up to the scary Government gone rouge (that's a separate discussion; tl;dr, the folks who claim this is why we own guns are misreading history), they're just tools. I own one because it's a piece of history (M1 Garand) and the other for home-defense and target practice.

    I would be cool with a ban on high capacity magazines. I am cool with expanded background checks. I would even be cool with licensing that was set up in a way to actually protect people rather than discourage gun ownership and price poor people out of it. I've studied the licensing laws in Canada and Europe, they're burdensome, by American standards, but not oppressive like New York; the point is to make sure the gun owner is a safe gun owner, not to discourage people from owning guns.

    At the end of the day I just don't trust Democrats on this issue. They treat guns the way Republicans treat abortion. We'll pass a bill restricting abortion but justify it as patient safety or some such, wink wink. That's exactly what Democrats do with guns. My home state Senator (Kirsten Gillibrand) voted against a bill to allow people to transport guns in checked baggage on Amtrak. We've been able to transport firearms like this on airplanes for decades, without incident, so what's the compelling incentive to ban it on trains? There is none. She voted against it because it makes gun owners lives more difficult. That's it. There was no other justification for it.

    I say all of this as a lifelong Democrat that has never voted Republican for any office higher than Mayor and City Councilman. If they can't win me over -- despite my willingness to support all the aforementioned measures -- how do you think they're going to win over the actual "gun nuts?"

  • Aug 15th, 2019 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread ownership

    Well, "removing" guns isn't tenable in the United States. The assault weapons ban is a joke, it criminalizes cosmetic features like pistol grips, making your standard issue AR-15 illegal while your standard issue Mini-14 is unaffected, despite them firing the same cartridge and both being semi-automatic firearms. I would argue that the Mini-14 is actually a better firearm anyway, as it has a more reliable action, it's the one I would want for the zombie apocalypse and is on par with the AR-15 when it comes to killing things very quickly, but it doesn't look as scary so nobody wants to ban it.

    The one thing we could do is ban high capacity magazines, I'm down for that and think it's long overdue, one doesn’t need >10 rounds at a time for self-defense, target shooting, or hunting, but our political system won't get there because one side secretly (sometimes openly) wants to eventually ban all firearms and the other side knows this and wins elections they'd otherwise lose because of it.

    Expanded background checks and red flag laws are a no brainer too but a background check won't stop someone who is a criminal "virgin", which nearly all of these killers have been. I love the concept of red flag laws, I think it will stop some intimate partner violence, which is a huge win, but I'm skeptical it moves the needle on mass shootings because the history of mass shooters is a history of young men that have fallen through all the cracks.

    Until we address the problem of society failing these angry young men the problem isn't going anywhere. So yeah, talk about gun control, I suspect you and I will find some common ground there, but ultimately it's just a bandaid.

  • Aug 15th, 2019 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Umm?

    What history of "War on Encryption?"

    The only thing that comes to mind for me is the debate in the 1990s and that was a combination of:

    1) The law not keeping up with technology (export controls vs. the Internet)
    2) Ill informed politicians.

    We won that one and it hasn't really been a mainstream debate since.

    To the best of my knowledge there hasn't even been a bill introduced in Congress, much less scheduled for committee meetings and actual floor votes. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Worrying about nothing, IMHO.

  • Aug 14th, 2019 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread ownership of

    I would encourage anybody who is legitimately interested in this problem to read One of Us by Åsne Seierstad. It tells the story of the Norwegian shooter and some of his victims, in excruciatingly painful detail.

    Nobody wakes up one morning and just decides to kill dozens of people. Nobody is born a racist, homophobe, misogynist, etc. It generally takes years for someone to deteriorate to the point that they become a spree killer. Years that their friends, family, and society could have intervened, yet they slipped through the cracks.

  • Aug 14th, 2019 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread ownership of fire

    You missed the point entirely.

    I agree with you that we have a culture that fetishizes guns, I agree with you that it should be changed, I say all of this as a gun owner myself, but you're delusional if you think waving a magic wand and disappearing all the guns would actually solve the underlying problem or even significantly reduce the body count.

    Take all guns away tomorrow and the next disaffected loner with a chip on his shoulder will just drive a car through a crowd. The next one will try to top his body count and one after that and the one after that.....

    I can talk about all manner of ideas I have about gun control, if you really want to, but at the end of the day soceity failed these young men by allowing them to deteriorate as far as they did. Their friends failed them, their families failed them, we all failed them. Our friends across the pond have citizens that fall through the cracks too, but a lot less of them than we do, per capita.

    If I was dictator for a day and had the ability to fix one thing about the United States it wouldn't be the number of guns in circulation, it would be our social safety net.

  • Aug 14th, 2019 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Those Same Violent Games And Movies ...

    There are other countries with fairly widespread ownership of firearms that don't have mass shootings like the US does. I could pen a War and Peace length post positing the reasons for this; suffice it to say the US is generally a more angry and fearful country, with winners and losers, and we do a significantly worse job at taking care of the "losers" than other Western Countries. :(

    I do think we need a saner approach to firearms, there are far too many people that fetishize them, but that's the work of a generation, not something that will happen overnight, and regardless, so long as the anger/fear/resentment persist there will always be individuals that lash out. You're just as dead if you're run down as you are if you're shot.

  • Aug 14th, 2019 @ 10:22pm


    Because, America, and we're a bunch of prudes by the standards of the rest of the Western World.

    Your average American has few issues with their kids watching violence but put a nipple on screen --- even in a non-sexual context, yes Americans, nudity isn't always sexual -- and they freak the hell out.

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