Gunning for a moral victory

Recently, a Senate Judiciary Committee approved a Democratic bill expanding required federal background checks to nearly all gun purchases.
Mar 22, 2013

The Democrats who pushed for the bill claimed the passage was a victory for President Obama in his quest to curb gun violence.

Seriously?

Under current laws, a federal background check is required on all purchases of firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers.

The new bill, if approved, would expand those requirements to the firearms sales between private individuals as well, and would also close the well-known “gun show” loophole, which doesn’t require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows.

We tend to side with the Republicans — who unanimously voted against the bill — on this issue.

Instead of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals — who have an uncanny knack at getting their hands on guns, regardless of what laws are out there — this bill will instead make it more difficult and expensive for law-abiding citizens to buy guns.

This certainly appears to be a stepping stone to what will ultimately become a federal registry of all gun owners.

We’re not arguing that background checks are a bad thing. They keep those who have a history of violence or drug use from purchasing firearms.

But to hail this bill as a victory against gun violence is ridiculous. When will these politicians learn that criminals get their hands on guns regardless of what laws are enacted? When will they learn that, for the most part, the people hurt by gun control laws are the law-abiding citizens who already do things by the book?

This bill is another example of politicians clamoring to claim moral victories in the wake of a national tragedy.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

retired DOC

The only way to stop all gun sales/gifts would be to register all guns with their current owners. Once that happens the feds know where to go to get them. As the article points out crooks will be crooks and they will get guns. When the goverment can not control people from coming into this country illegally how do you expect them to control guns?

Back to the Wall

On the surface, you are right, RDOC,however pending legislation requires all transfers be recorded. Then if you sold grandpa's bird gun to me without recording the sale, I sold it to Mr A recording the sale, A got robbed by Z, and Z used it to kill clerk in a liquor store holdup, you'd be on the hook.
What that does is in effect register all weapons within the lifespan of the current law abiding gun owners.
This article,thankfully acknowledges the fact that those who would follow the laws are not the ones who need controlling.

Wingmaster

Finally, a balanced view on a hot button subject. Thanks to whomever put the piece together. Can we see some reporting on success or failure of gun bans in cities that have relaxed gun laws or restrictive laws?

Lanivan

A big problem is that a city can have stringent gun laws, but if guns can be easily purchased in surrounding areas, the laws are just about unenforceable.

Take Chicago for example - some of the most draconian gun laws in the country, but high levels of gun violence. People just go 100 miles in any direction where laws are much less stringent to buy their firearm of choice.

And then you have gun-loving countries like Australia which, since 1996 when tight gun control laws were put in place, has seen a drastic reduction in gun violence and deaths.

retired DOC

Back to the Wall how would the feds know it had been mine? Your theroy falls apart unless all current owners register their long guns. Remember in MI all handguns are already registered All handgun sales are registered.

Back to the Wall

I'd tell them when they trace it back to me.
I'm not taking the fall for you not following the law.
I'm a law abiding citizen, as far as you know.

Ironcop

Agree with retired DOC. Why make it harder for the law abiding citizen to obtain a gun when at least 98% of the problem is "bad guys" who scoff at any laws. Chicago seems to demonstrate the weakness in the more law argument. Nearly everyone is armed in Switzerland and their gun crime rate is microscopic. Just sayin'.

GSD

Where do you start by making America safe? I know you can't make it 100% safe,But Ironcop you talk about Switzerland and their gun rate.Did you see where the U.S. ranks? Up there pretty high with gun deaths.The chart I saw was what ninth? With a whole bunch of third world countries before us.We have a country that lives for guns.It's in our movies,video games,etc.Being a vet,I have no need for a gun.I've asked a lot of cops the question;Does the public need a bushmaster? All of them said no! Look at what happen in L.A. with those bank robbers who had those AK-47's and the police had nothing to combat that.Until we get out of that mindset that we need more guns to solve our problems,Well,I guess we'll keep chasing our tail like a dog.I'll end my point by saying let's take a moment and think about all of those people that lost their lives due to gun violence.

Ironcop

It's not the guns. I've had guns for years and not one has ever harmed anyone else unintentionally. GSD, I agree there is a problem but punishing the law abiding gun owners isn't the answer. We need an "out of the box" solution like more strongly enforcing the gun laws we have. Again, the "bad guys" don't have to follow our laws to get guns. They can get them anywhere. We need to slap these folks harder, make their actions/activities more painful, and thus, get their attention.

Lanivan

I believe in 2nd Amendment, but not war weapons on streets
Q: In 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.

OBAMA: We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves. My belief is that we have to enforce the laws we've already got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comes to enforcement. But weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap hand guns.

President Obama, 2012, 2nd debate

Commissar

You are correct, lets thing of all those lives lost, and grieve for them all. However, how many would have been saved had more law abidding citizens been able to be carrying (if they choose)? How many people are saved every day thanks to the firearms they legally own and carry? Those numbers, while not always able to tracked down to the specific total, far exceed those of deaths; this has been talked about frequently. Not to mention, those guns carried by those people in the North Hollywood Shootout you refer too illegally modified their firearms (which is illegal already), but that didn't stop them. I respect your decision not to own them, and you having served. But one's decesion not to shouldn't out weigh another person righ to do so. Guns don't kill people, people do. This is a chronic problem. While we won't ever fully fix that, we have to do a better job curbing the violence in our media and teaching our childeren the difference between fantasy and reality; it starts at home.

bigdeal

I know people in this area that modify their guns exactly the same way. I know people who build guns like that from scratch right here in GH. Maybe you have never been a little bit North of here (Whitehall) and ever heard automatic gun fire in the woods? It is NOT hard to get the pieces to modify a gun.
But you are right, people kill, and some do use guns. And was that gun manufactured to, a. hurt, b. maim, c. impress someone, d. KILL (choose one)? I guess you have made your personal decision on that point (c?). Actually, a gun is made to kill, period. If you hunt, you surely don't go out to maim an animal. To quote Ozzy, 'If guns don't kill, why don't we just send all the soldiers in without guns?"
As for your 'rights', ALL of those have limits too. Your right to free speech has limits, as you'll get arrested for yelling 'fire' in a theater.

Wingmaster

Bigdeal says "Actually, a gun is made to kill, period." Ever heard of skeet shooting wise guy? These are gun specifically for this purpose. There are guns design specifically for target use as well.

The gun right is explicit..."shall not be infringed" Better get a copy of it and read it. Might help you out when you try debating it.

Does not surprise me either that you know people who make illegal modifications to guns. Be careful of associates like that as you may have a few of your rights limited if your in their company when they get busted.

Wingmaster

"This year we will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future." Adolf Hitler 1935

bigdeal

talk about sheeple Wing, http://blogs.e-rockford.com/appl...

Lanivan

A good site I found to compare countries and gun statistics - GunPolicy.org.

Odd you chose Germany to compare with the US - Germany has much more restrictive gun laws, and their homicide rates are much lower per capita than the US - for example, in 2010, Germany had 903 gun deaths, US = 31,672.

Now if your intention was to compare Nazi Germany to the current situation in the US, we must direct our comparison to the NRA. The NRA, a gun manufacturer lobby, actively blocks and negatively influences vast expanses of our society, from blocking gun violence research, influencing judicial nominations, marketing and advertising (their latest ads target the 4-year-old with a "mini" Bushmaster AR-15..."would be cool to have under the Christmas tree", spending millions to influence and keep Congress under their thumb, to their latest cure-all for the overwhelming amount of US gun violence - arming everyone with guns which is essentially advocating for armed mobs. The gun manufacturers are rolling in the dough, and paying their NRA minions millions! Quick - don't buy guns, buy gun stock!

The NRA has basically created a deadly stand-off between individual liberty and public health and welfare. They do it because they can, because a frightened and ignorant society means greater political power and control for them.

Wingmaster

My bad for a quick copy paste without checking the source. I should know better. I take your smack down and offer this (Wikipedia the source): In 1919 Germany passed Regulations on Weapons Ownership which declared that "all firearms, as well as all kinds of firearms ammunition, are to be surrendered immediately".

In 1928 the Law on Firearms and Ammunition. This law relaxed gun restrictions and put into effect a strict firearm licensing scheme. Under this scheme, Germans could possess firearms, but they were required to have separate permits to do the following: own or sell firearms, carry firearms (including handguns), manufacture firearms, and professionally deal in firearms and ammunition. This law explicitly revoked the 1919 Regulations on Weapons Ownership, which had banned all firearms possession.

1938 German Weapons Act, which superseded the 1928 law. As under the 1928 law, only citizens were required to have a permit to carry a firearm and a separate permit to acquire a firearm. Furthermore, the law restricted ownership of firearms to "...persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit." Under the new law,
-Gun restriction laws applied to all guns and ammunition. The 1938 revisions introduced restrictions specifically reiterating the prohibition for Jews to hold firearms, but made it easier for one party nazi regime to gain acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as was the possession of ammunition."
-The legal age at which guns could be purchased was lowered from 20 to 18.
-Permits were valid for three years, rather than one year.
-The groups of people who were exempt from the acquisition permit requirement expanded. Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and NSDAP members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted.
-Jews were forbidden from the manufacturing or dealing of firearms and ammunition.

Under both the 1928 and 1938 acts, gun manufacturers and dealers were required to maintain records with information about who purchased guns and the guns' serial numbers. These records were to be delivered to a police authority for inspection at the end of each year.

So, Hitler didn't need to impose gun control because gun laws were already in effect! Hitler and the Nazis did benefit significantly from gun control in Eastern Europe in terms of the inability of their victims to fight back. Furthermore, if the population of Eastern Europe were as well armed as the average American, the Nazis would have lost much of their military capacity attempting to implement the Holocaust.

So now you can check this qoute from Hitler:
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." --Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942, quoted in Hitler's Table Talk 1941-44

So after this long Mea culpa, research thru history will show tyrannical governments of history ALWAYS want to control their citizens. One piece of this control always is a form of ban, registration, restriction. Now I ask, WHEN are we going to do something to with the laws we already have to deal with gun crime? WHEN are we going to effectively deal with mental health issues in the country? WHEN are we going to deal with the individuals that commit these crimes BEFORE they commit the crimes. EVERY mass killing situation and the individual that committed them exhibited warning signs and nothing was done to deal with it. The problem is not the gun, its the idiot behind it.

GSD

Wing I have to disagree with you on your comment.One,So your saying we should arrest people on a thought crime? If that was the case,Then should you be arrested for the comment you made in another post towards me and I quote; I shoot back- Ted Nugent. So wouldn't that be considered a thought crime? Wasn't your comment directed towards me by using a third persons quote? would that be considered a warning sign? Two,I'm tired of that cliche,Guns don't kill people,People kill people.What is a gun? It is a tool,A tool of death.What is it's function,To kill something. Can you use the gun to rake your yard? Water the lawn? No.Think of it as this,The gardener that use a shovel to plant a bush,Or the guy that uses a backhoe to plant a bush.The guy that uses the shovel is the responsible gun owner,Uses the gun for protection,And the guy that uses the backhoe to plant a bush is the careless gun owner,He takes out the gas,electric,and water to the subdivision.Everyone had to pay the price for someone's carelessness.Should we punish the backhoe maker or the guy who had no knowledge running the backhoe? I'm not one for taking away guns,I use to be a hunter,I'm a vet,But why do you need a assault rifle? Your like the guy that used a backhoe to plant a bush.Or instead of banning guns should someone have to take an 8 hour class on the do's and don'ts of a gun? If there is something already in place forgive me.We have a culture of worshipping the gun in this country.You are not man enough if you don't have a gun.We use women hardly dressed to sell guns in ads.In the 50's and 60's what tv shows were on? Westerns! how do you settle a problem was the main theme,With a gun.Anger don't solve issues it escalates them.What's the first thing that happens when there is a mass killing?Pro-gun people get on the defensive and the anti-gun want some type of reform,But who are the real losers? The families of the victims who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.We can focus on the mental health problems,But you can't force someone to go.It's up to that person,Remember that too is a slippery slope,Taking away ones rights.So don't complain if your gun rights are being taken away when you want to in turn take away someone's rights because they have a mental health issue.

Wingmaster

All over the board there trying to deflect and change the subject. I'm not biting. I will take you to task over one of your rambling points. Every single time after one of these mass killings its the gun grabbing libs that go running to a camera to proclaim we need to get rid of guns. Well meaning people who know nothing of guns or don't partake in any kind of sporting use of the guns are lead to believe if the guns were banned we would all be safe and no one is murdered senselessly. Let me see Oklahoma city bombing, Tylenol poisoning, the idiot that ran a car thru a crowd in Minnesota, various murderous crimes without a gun. The largest single mass murder event in human history, 9/11 was committed without a gun. There is a good chance that atrocity could have been avoided if pilot's were allowed to carry guns. Everything is a tool of death.

Don't infringe on my right and take away my ability to protect my family, or myself with the gun of my choice. I could care less if I can buy an Ak rifle. Don't have one, don't want one. Problem is it doesn't stop there. Soon as the next mass shooting happens with lets say a Bennelli automatic shotgun in synthetic black, well guess what?

I'm not giving an inch on ANY of the constitutional rights many have died for and many like you that have fought and interupted your lives to stand for. I owe you for protecting the rights for me to debate you in this forum. Whether you realize it or not I and others who see those rights eroding away are now defending you by defending the constitution as written. Thank you for the time you spent serving in the armed forces of this country. If your a 'Nam vet you deserve even more praise as the some of the same libs that are now attacking the 2nd Amendment were the same attacking you when you came back from that conflict. The liberal erosion in this country my friend is the real danger in all of this.

Lanivan

I know you mean well, Wing, but....

1.) "Every single time after one of these mass killings its the gun grabbing libs that go running to a camera to proclaim we need to get rid of guns". Simply not the case. 80% of the NRA membership (NOT the leadership), law enforcement, Mayors of both political parties, and poll after poll showing a large majority of US citizens of both political parties, including gun owners, veterans,.....all say they want to see tighter, more stringent controls on guns, gun availability, gun violence, and gun public safety policy. It is true that most Republican congressional leaders do not run to the cameras, as they are on the payroll as NRA minions, but even that support is being eroded, as a few Republican leaders have come out to support gun control.

2.) You might recall that after the Tylenol poisoning and the OC bombing, certain products were pulled from the marketplace for an indefinite period. That never happens after a mass shooting - the current shortage of ammo/assault weapons is simply because of high demand, not the banning of said product.

3.) Your comment that the "same libs that are now attacking the 2nd Amendment [are].. the same attacking you when you came back from that conflict", should be retracted. I don't think you really mean this, and if you do, for shame. That's a wild accusation, can not be substantiated, and is unnecessarily inflammatory.

Besides, there is a decades-long history of bipartisan legislation regarding gun control in this country...that is, until the NRA got it's slimy tentacles wrapped around congress.

3.) No one that I've heard is attacking the 2nd. Everyone I've heard states clearly they fully support the 2nd. I've not heard a single voice say they want a total banning of all guns. That's a ridiculous argument whose sole purpose is to muddy the waters and spew hate and fear. It's not liberal erosion that is the clear danger in all of this, it's the NRA leadership, with their unyielding, dysfunctional, delusional, deliberate debasing of our society, and their minion puppets, walking in lockstep, and the gun manufacturers who are making billions off unfounded fears and the mutilating, violent deaths of our innocent children.

4.) All our Constitutional rights have some degree of regulation placed on them. A Constitutional right that is regulated is a not right denied.

Wingmaster

1.) Simply disagree with you here. Every single time without fail its a Democrat politician running to the camera beating the ban this, regulated that, 2nd Amendment challenge drum.
2.) You make my point about wrong focus after one of these events. Remove the product for extended periods, or permanately does not focus the attention where the problem is. Mental health is the bigger issue.
3.A) I stated "some" (grammar was a little messed up...using smart phone at the time) so you may not have understood that statement. Sticking flowers in gun barrels, against the military...I'm not being inflammatory just connecting dots. For those of you not there go look it up, for those of you who were there, as a vet or as a hippie, you know there is a connection.(see Yoko Ono, Hanoi Jane)
3.B) Wrong O...See Illinois HB1155 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/... and HB1027 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/... Theres others you do the work and look it up.
4.) Look it up: 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. I think the 2nd amendment clearly states SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

You can throw out inflammatory, left speak about the NRA, (not a member by the way) but without this strong counter weight to the barrage of anti-gun attacks out there, the 2nd amendment would not resemble anything close to what the founders wrote it to mean.

Lanivan

Over months of debating the finer points of gun control, we clearly have opposing viewpoints, and never the twain shall meet.

I would like to make a final point, and distinguish between being opposed to war, or the government who sends our troops into the battlefield, and supporting those troops. I was opposed to both the Vietnam and Iraq wars (although not WWII although was but a twinkle in my father's eye then), hated that we really didn't accomplish much in relation to the cost of lives and treasure, and feel that overall those wars weakened our country rather than strengthened it. But I always supported our soldiers, and pray daily for them, both then and now. I saw firsthand the collateral damage to our brave troops, and think they are the bravest people on earth.

I think I speak for lots of people when I say that speaking out against a government declaration of war shouldn't equate with being a liberal, conservative, libertarian, hippie, being disrespectful of our troops....it just means we recognize war is hell on earth and think governments should resort to full-scale military action only when there is no other alternative available.

GSD

Hey Lanivan,Thanks for supporting the men & women of our armed services.I agree with you on this post.

Wingmaster

1.) Simply disagree with you here. Every single time without fail its a Democrat politician running to the camera beating the ban this, regulated that, 2nd Amendment challenge drum.
2.) You make my point about wrong focus after one of these events. Remove the product for extended periods, or permanately does not focus the attention where the problem is. Mental health is the bigger issue.
3.A) I stated "some" (grammar was a little messed up...using smart phone at the time) so you may not have understood that statement. Sticking flowers in gun barrels, against the military...I'm not being inflammatory just connecting dots. For those of you not there go look it up, for those of you who were there, as a vet or as a hippie, you know there is a connection.(see Yoko Ono, Hanoi Jane)
3.B) Wrong O...See Illinois HB1155 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/... and HB1027 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/... Theres others you do the work and look it up.
4.) Look it up: 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. I think the 2nd amendment clearly states SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

You can throw out inflammatory, left speak about the NRA, (not a member by the way) but without this strong counter weight to the barrage of anti-gun attacks out there, the 2nd amendment would not resemble anything close to what the founders wrote it to mean.

sirhansalot

good job telling it like it is....

GSD

I don't need your help interpreting the constitution or defending it.I don't see the world in your twisted narcisistic way.For someone that complains that our country is going like nazi germany you sure act like one.You need to get some help and I'm serious! The hatred that you write on the forum about the president,people of color and race,Difference in opinion with others in their viewpoint.It's amazing that your guns are more important than kids lives.

Wingmaster

Huh? Wild charges you are making of me because you cannot compete in the arena of ideals. Amazing how you and your side can make such assumptions, charges and inflammatory statements and no one will call it out. When a conservative stands strong and firm the same ole charges of bigotry, Nazi, uncaring about the children, gun crazy right wing wacko names come flying out. Well after watching years of this crap being dished out from the left onto the right, I decided to treat the left to some of their same medicine. Well, well look how sensitive we are now.

I'll have a civil conversation with any opposing idea, but as soon as I sense or read condescending, mean spirited talk or insinuations, I will come out swinging and swing hard. Treat me with respect, you'll get the same. That's your deal, take it or leave it.

GSD

The problem is you think your always right! You were quick to jump on bigdeal about his opinion and belittle him.I'm not a lib,I'm just tired of people like yourself that bully people because they have a different point of view or lifestyle than yours.And the only time you will have a civil conversation is if someone agrees with you.I can see why no one posts anything, mr.bully pulpit is quick to jump on them.Your a sad little man with a chip on his shoulder! Oh look wing! Someone just spray painted something bad about you righties up on the water tower you better go defend their honor and go remove it!

Wingmaster

Your such a contradiction, look in the mirror. I have admitted when wrong on here, I have agreed with opposing views here. You see nothing wrong with the slander, and defamatory crap thrown my way. Difference is I stand my ground when attacked and voice my opinions. I look for common ground when have you? You don't want to play civil, don't cry to me. I takes two to tangle and I will tooth, fang and claw. You want a reset, say when and maybe we can find some peace and common ground.

bigdeal

I find it humorous when a cyber-bully thinks he is slandered and defamed. When it is his own words and attitude showing his true colors. He is doing that to everyone he encounters on here with opposing comments. Grow up Wing ("pull up your big girl pants"), you DON'T win every battle. No one does (but Lan comes close). Just because you put in the final angry word, does not equal a win in anyone's book.

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