MEN OF VALUE

In a first of its kind ruling, a jury in Milwaukee found a pawn shop with a history of minimal adherence to, if not open disregard for, gun laws liable for the death and severe wounding of two men to the tune of $6 million. Unless it's a pawn shop owned by a shipping magnate the suit, which will obviously be appealed, effectively puts the place out of business. Congress recently passed a ridiculously unconstitutional law shielding gun sellers from liability suits so the verdict came as something of a surprise.

Did I mention the two guys were cops? Yeah I guess that's important. See, when a cop dies the justice system swings into action like Thor's hammer. They matter, and the people who do them harm must be punished quickly and decisively. When people who don't matter, like black men or kindergarteners or your friends and family, are shot it's really just a tough situation in which everyone's terribly sad about what happened but really what can you do? You can't do anything except maybe have more people carrying more guns until everyone feels safe or we've all shot each other, whichever comes first.

Given the disinclination of Congress and state legislatures to touch the issue with a 10-foot pole, requiring liability insurance for guns (as every state does for cars) may be one of the few feasible tools available to curb gun violence. Everybody knows that half-assed adherence to existing firearm laws is a problem – off-book sales at gun shows and online are remarkably common – but the problem appears insolvable. By requiring whoever is the owner of record (presumably from the most recent legal sale of the gun) to have liability insurance the number of under the table sales would plummet quickly. Nonetheless, I'm sure that as usual we will decide that since there is some conceivable way to get around an insurance requirement that is definitive proof that we shouldn't bother passing one. You know. Typical NRA logic.

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124 Responses to “MEN OF VALUE”

  1. Delacroix Says:

    The most relevant facts is that the plaintiffs were cops. Normal schmucks lose that case.

  2. mojrim Says:

    Can we please stop wasting oxygen and glucose on the utterly pointless "liability insurance" idea? Pretty please? You cannot insure willful misuse of a product. This is not legal theory but long-established actuarial fact. No insurer will cover this, and the 700 or so accidental firearm deaths per year are not the real issue.

  3. HoosierPoli Says:

    Mojrim,

    The insurance is used as a millstone around the neck of gun owners, not as an actual functioning insurance scheme. BTW, insurers will be happy to write policies for mandatory insurance coverage…whether the premiums will be remotely affordable is another matter entirely (and rather the point).

  4. wetcasements Says:

    Eh, no doubt there's a double-standard but I think this is still a very small win in a very big war against gun companies and the terrorist organization known as the NRA.

  5. Katydid Says:

    "700 or so accidental firearm deaths per year " hahahahaha, you're adorable! From http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/tolls/2014, Gun Violence Archive 2014 Toll of Gun Violence: Total Number of Incidents 51,742

  6. Katydid Says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/14/people-are-getting-shot-by-toddlers-on-a-weekly-basis-this-year/

    People are getting shot by toddlers on a weekly basis this year. But cases like this happen a lot more frequently than you might think. After spending a few hours sifting through news reports, I've found at least 43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger. In 31 of those 43 cases, a toddler found a gun and shot himself or herself.

    These cases are invariably referred to as "accidents" in media reports. But as Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that advocates for stricter gun laws, argues, many incidents like this are preventable. In a study of accidental shootings by children of all ages (not just toddlers), they estimate that "more than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them."

    There are policy and technical responses to preventable childhood gun deaths as well. States and localities could require guns to be locked up at home, a policy supported by 67 percent of Americans. Various types of smart gun technology, which prevent anyone other than their owners from firing a given gun, exist as well. But gun lock requirements and smart guns have been vehemently opposed by the National Rifle Association and its allies.

  7. Major Kong Says:

    The only thing that can stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun.

  8. democommie Says:

    As long as we continue to listen to those who say that we can do nothing about fuckheadz with gunz being fuckheadz with gunz we can do, wait for it, NOTHING!

  9. Well mostly Says:

    The emotional pull of this case, note who was in the videos in the gun shop, two police officers, etc., make the case far easier for a jury than most. The real downside of the shield laws is that the courts in the various jurisdictions don't get to (have to) get in the issue and start drawing lines for responsibility and liability. So that goes untested. Allowing cases to proceed would be a big "something" instead of the nothing we now have. There are real issues of negligence to define and intent, etc. That's what courts are supposed to do: figure out the complexities involved. That's the "legal marketplace" working instead of the subsidized no-responsibility zone congress created. It's enraging to me that the personal responsibility crowd doesn't see through the hipocracy on this issue. The industry has bullied their way out of the law that applies to nearly every other industry (river rafting, rock climbing, paint ball, etc.). In that way the case is a victory regardless of how the appeal goes. A shot across the bow if you will. About time.

  10. Katydid Says:

    Major Kong, you know it! AK-47s for all toddlers! How dare we deprive them of their second amendment rights!

  11. MS Says:

    Of course you can insure both gun "accidents" and willful misuse. The insurance against willful misuse would likely take the form of a bond amount that gun owners would have to put up, that they would forfeit if they misused the product. For example, notaries are required to put up a $10,000-$50,000 bond during their tenure, and if they should misuse their notary seal, they forfeit it and it's used to pay for the damages caused by their misuse. There are dozens of other professions required to post bonds as well.

    Let your toddler blow someone away? Forfeit the bond. Son takes Dad's gun from under the bed and holds up a liquor store? Dad forfeits the bond.

    We have tons of experience in encouraging people to do the right thing. We just utterly refuse to apply that to guns, because white plantation owners are afraid of a slave uprising.

  12. MS Says:

    P.S. – I am convinced the best way to pass national gun control would be a national movement to arm and train black citizens.

    Imagine a charity dedicated to providing free guns to any black person who wanted one, along with training and help in getting the proper licenses. Imagine "young bucks" strolling through malls in the southern United States, proudly open-carrying their brand-new, licensed AR-15s.

    This would result in two things: a number of deaths, as white gun owners decided to pre-emptively shoot some of those other proud gun owners; and also a strong national movement for gun control laws.

  13. Skipper Says:

    And now, Texas will allow college students to bring guns to their dorm rooms. So dorms will now contain people with anger management issues, alcohol, testosterone, and guns. What could possibly go wrong?

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/education/article/Texas-students-can-soon-bring-guns-to-dorm-room-6572147.php

    Meanwhile, toasters, crock pots, incense, water pistols, and nerf gun are still banned. As are, apparently, dildoes.

    Texas is making online education look more attractive by the day.

  14. anotherbozo Says:

    What a great column, er, post. A news item that reveals a problem for which a solution is possible. Probable is too much to ask in this universe, but possible, hey, I'll take it.

  15. Jason Says:

    "Congress recently passed a ridiculously unconstitutional law shielding gun sellers from liability suits so the verdict came as something of a surprise."

    If you read the facts of the case, it's not so surprising. The buyers acted like the worst ATF sting operation of all time and the idiot gun store still sold to them. The law doesn't protect stores that aren't acting lawfully, and the jury found that what they did wasn't lawful. Not a huge deal.

    "Did I mention the two guys were cops? Yeah I guess that's important. See, when a cop dies the justice system swings into action like Thor's hammer."

    I agree. It's despicable.

    "Given the disinclination of Congress and state legislatures to touch the issue with a 10-foot pole, requiring liability insurance for guns (as every state does for cars) may be one of the few feasible tools available to curb gun violence."

    Ah yes, pay to exercise a Constitutional right. There's no way that could function like a poll tax. I assume you know what an actuarial table is. Want to buy a gun and you're poor? Good luck affording insurance! Black? Male? Young? Right. Any combination of those? Better stick to a baseball bat and harsh language if you want to defend yourself, otherwise you'll need a second or third job to pay for your insurance.

    "Everybody knows that half-assed adherence to existing firearm laws is a problem – off-book sales at gun shows and online are remarkably common"

    In total numbers, I guess so. But they aren't anywhere close to the biggest source of crime guns. Criminals don't give a shit about gun shows (and most sales there are checked anyway).

    "By requiring whoever is the owner of record (presumably from the most recent legal sale of the gun) to have liability insurance the number of under the table sales would plummet quickly."

    Which record? Very few states require registration or licensing just for a purchase. So you want to add a registry on to your insurance. Wonderful. And thank you for admitting that you just want to stop people from getting guns at all. Remember all you paranoid gun owners, we're not coming for your guns! (We just want to stop you from getting any in the first place.)

    "Nonetheless, I'm sure that as usual we will decide that since there is some conceivable way to get around an insurance requirement that is definitive proof that we shouldn't bother passing one. You know. Typical NRA logic."

    As logical as holding someone liable for the criminal behavior of someone else. Get run into by a drunk driving a Corvette? Sue GM, that's logical, right?

    Katydid-
    ""700 or so accidental firearm deaths per year " hahahahaha, you're adorable!"

    He said deaths, not incidents. You really showed him.

    "Various types of smart gun technology, which prevent anyone other than their owners from firing a given gun, exist as well."

    They don't exist in a meaningful, functional, or practical way. They aren't a great idea if the tech was reliable and practical, they are worse than that now.

    MS Says-
    "We have tons of experience in encouraging people to do the right thing. We just utterly refuse to apply that to guns, because white plantation owners are afraid of a slave uprising."

    Good example! Who was it who used totally fair and not racist poll taxes? Which weren't used to deny blacks the ability to exercise a Constitutional right. But non-affordable insurance won't discriminate at all, just like poll taxes.

    Skipper-
    "And now, Texas will allow college students to bring guns to their dorm rooms. So dorms will now contain people with anger management issues, alcohol, testosterone, and guns. What could possibly go wrong?"

    The same thing that has gone wrong on the scores of campuses that have allowed this for many years. Pretty much nothing.

  16. Nick Says:

    MS: You're right, gun ownership should be limited to people who can afford to put up a bond. Because if there's one thing this country has too much of, it's equality between the rich and poor.

  17. Nick Says:

    In all seriousness, enforcement of negligence laws would have pretty much the same effect. Seems like every time someone's kid shoots themselves or their siblings with Dad's gun, the response is "oh, well, they've suffered enough." Bullshit. If you have kids in the home and you don't take steps to secure your firearms and ammunition, you're negligent. No need for new laws, no need for "smart guns" that may or may not actually work (sidebar: opposition to these guns is based not on "gun owners love dead kids," as several people above have surmised, but on laws like New Jersey's which states that as soon as a "smart gun" is available for sale anywhere in the US, no other guns will be allowed within a few years, despite the fact that first generation technology is occasionally less reliable than we'd like), no need for insurance that keeps poor people from having the same rights as rich people. Just enforce the law even if we feel sorry for someone.

  18. Captain America Says:

    Jason – Constitutional rights can be regulated. You can't shout fire in a crowded theater because of the 1A. There are a number of categories of speech that are regulated. You can make the argument that there is not much left of the 4A.

    Whatever your interpretation is of the 2A, it isn't any more special than the other Bill of Rights Amendments.

  19. Templar Says:

    Jason, we already do charge people for exercising their constitutional rights. Every person has a right under the Fourteenth Amendment to interstate travel. Car insurance is inherently an infringement on that right as it increases the costs of interstate travel for anyone who doesn't want to hoof it. Requiring a bond or liability insurance would also be a rational government regulation on interstate commerce/under the police powers of the local and state governments which would infringe the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment for anyone who doesn't want to use a crossbow.

  20. Brian M Says:

    But…but….my pwecious. It will limit my ability to cradle my pwecious.

    (cue image of Gollum cradling a 45 instead of The One Ring)

  21. Kmtberry Says:

    While I am sensitive to the point that gun liability insurance will affect the poor more than the rich, I would like to point out that automobile liability insurance does also- and it's legal. If you must own something that has deadly force, you must insure against accident and misuse. Even if you are poor. If you are too poor to insure a car (and that costs north of $100 a month for most folks), you take the bus. If you can't insure your gun, you'll have to use something less deadly.

  22. mothra Says:

    Jason proves it. There is no way to regulate guns or gun ownership, so we all just have to resign ourselves to a parade of mass/accidental shootings. It's just the cost of FREEEEEEEDUMB.

  23. Tsotate Says:

    @Major Kong
    Don't be silly. 31/43 bad toddlers with guns stopped themselves.

  24. zemadmax Says:

    Captain:

    While I agree with the general belief that having a constitutional does not equal no regulation whatsoever, the "fire in a crowded theater" argument is a terrible one (see https://popehat.com/2012/09/19/three-generations-of-a-hackneyed-apologia-for-censorship-are-enough/).

    A better example (IMO) is the fact that First Amendment law does not eliminate libel/slander protections.

  25. Captain America Says:

    Zemadmaz – "There are a number of categories of speech that are regulated." I had no intention of giving a 1A lecture, so I cut it right there.

  26. Jason Says:

    Nick-
    "Just enforce the law even if we feel sorry for someone."

    Thanks for your post, this is something I've struggled with a great deal. I have two young children and I take multiple steps to make sure that I can get to my gun reasonably fast while also protecting them from being able to hurt anyone. It's in a location physically inaccessible to them, and then in a coded lock box. When friends or family bring kids over, I go even further, separating it from ammo and partially disassembling it. So when I hear about these horrific incidents, my first response is wanting to lock up the adults responsible.

    But then I go back and forth. I wonder about further destroying a family that has been (possibly) irreparably damaged already (my sympathy is more for the other children). Then I think, "But we take children from parents for other forms of neglect…" I don't mind admitting I'm not smart enough to know what to do.

    Captain America-
    "Jason – Constitutional rights can be regulated."

    But not so much as to eliminate them.

    "You can make the argument that there is not much left of the 4A."

    You sure as hell won't get an argument from me on that point. But the fact that our government has gutted one part of the BoR doesn't make it a good idea to do it to another.

    "Whatever your interpretation is of the 2A, it isn't any more special than the other Bill of Rights Amendments."

    I'm not advocating it should be. But if someone said that the writer and commenters on Gin and Tacos have to carry slander insurance to express their viewpoints, I'm pretty certain you'd object. Particularly if the cost guaranteed that a huge chunk of the population wouldn't be able to do so.

    Brian M-
    "But…but….my pwecious. It will limit my ability to cradle my pwecious.

    (cue image of Gollum cradling a 45 instead of The One Ring)"

    Hilarious. Cue Axel Foley: "Did you write that?"

    Kmtberry-
    "While I am sensitive to the point that gun liability insurance will affect the poor more than the rich, I would like to point out that automobile liability insurance does also- and it's legal."

    Legal yes, a bona fide, black and white Constitutional right, no. As necessary as car ownership is for most of us, the Constitution has nothing hinting at a right to access to a form of transportation. Nor has the Supreme Court ruled on the question.

    Look, I disagree, often vehemently, with about 98% of what this SC rules, but agree or not, it's a fact that gun ownership has been found to be a right protected by law. That makes it nothing like requiring insurance for a car.

    mothra-
    "Jason proves it. There is no way to regulate guns or gun ownership, so we all just have to resign ourselves to a parade of mass/accidental shootings. It's just the cost of FREEEEEEEDUMB."

    I've not said anything like that. In the comments on other posts on this site, I've listed many current regulations that I have no problem with and proposed new ones. Nothing constructive comes if you argue with your image of gun owners rather than by what one is actually saying. What I am against are laws that make people feel that they've, "Done something," and thought about the children, without regard to whether the law will have any effect or violate people's rights.

  27. Captain America Says:

    Jason – It is typical NRA logic to assume any insurance would totally eliminate the 2A. There are plenty of regulations that already exist for guns: if you don't believe me, check out the CFR. Last time I checked, the NRA's vision for America is still going strong.

  28. Eric the infrequent Says:

    While shouting fire in a crowded theater may be hackneyed excuse for any number of censorship cases, it isn't quite the same when discussing the second amendment, given the similarities in outcomes between shouting and opening fire in a crowded theater.

  29. Jason Says:

    Captain America-
    "Jason – It is typical NRA logic to assume any insurance would totally eliminate the 2A."

    See my comment on actuarial tables. Are you denying that people in particular demographics would have substantially higher rates to pay?

    "There are plenty of regulations that already exist for guns: if you don't believe me, check out the CFR. Last time I checked, the NRA's vision for America is still going strong."

    I'm fairly well-versed in gun regulations. I also know that no current regulations (at least in most states) impose a near impossible cost burden on a massive chunk of the population. Ironically, it's the chunk of the population that is most likely to need a firearm for self defense.

  30. Mo Says:

    Well, hey, Jason, you've convinced yourself. Nice work.

  31. Jason Says:

    Mo-
    "Well, hey, Jason, you've convinced yourself. Nice work."

    Thank you for your persuasive, point by point breakdown of the flaws in my arguments. You've added much to the discussion.

  32. Captain America Says:

    Jason – You are still jumping to conclusions on insurance cost.

    You are referring to only self defense within one's home, correct? The 2A doesn't go beyond that.

  33. Jason Says:

    Captain America-

    I'll ask again. Are you denying that members of certain demographics would have to pay much higher rates for the proposed insurance?

    I've said nothing about what current law says regarding the 2A and defense outside the home. I don't know why you brought it up.

  34. unimportant Says:

    What is with this fake concern the poor/minorities and their access to firearms? I'm just some random yahoo passing through, but personally, I don't give a shit about whether any possible legislation affects whether they or anyone else can afford to own a gun. Fewer guns in the hands of fewer people is an unqualified good thing to me.

    But what about our constitutional rights, you predictably complain. Honestly, if the constitution prevents sensible legislation that improves public safety, then fuck the constitution. Why do we need this ancient document telling us what laws we can and can't make if it leads to such poor outcomes as the current state of the 2A? Update it, replace it, or just burn the fucker, because all it's doing is getting in the way of good laws. Lord knows it's not actually protecting our rights in any meaningful fashion.

  35. Jason Says:

    unimportant Says:
    "What is with this fake concern the poor/minorities and their access to firearms? I'm just some random yahoo passing through, but personally, I don't give a shit about whether any possible legislation affects whether they or anyone else can afford to own a gun. Fewer guns in the hands of fewer people is an unqualified good thing to me."

    Random yahoo checking in. I would like to thank you, as I did someone else earlier, for admitting that maybe, just maybe, the inbred hick portion of the pro-gun crowd, a group I am as contemptuous of as most of the people who post here, aren't 100% paranoid when they say anti-gun people really are after their guns.

  36. Skepticalist Says:

    We are told that having regular open discussion and debate in state legislatures for example, on the misery brought about by guns, is some kind affront to human dignity. How lucky we are that the NRA is here to point this out for us.

    Sure it's a mess but just perhaps if gun liability and misuse were at least considered, just for the hell of it regularly, whether practical or not, maybe one or two lives would be spared. Ostensibly, others are allowed to be pains in the ass on this issue not just what we get.

    Our sad history is that we are not allowed to think about guns. We are told gun ownership is all black and white. It's an area where its considered responsible for adults to act shitty.

  37. Jason Says:

    How about we think in terms of thousands of lives.

    How about we think inequities in income and education. How about better social safety nets, real universal health care, ending the drug war, better access to higher education and/or vocational training. How about looking at pilot programs used in several cities that have shown great promise at reducing violent crime. To be fair, a lot of that would be opposed by the right, but not all of it. The funny thing is, if you are old enough, you recognize that these are the types of solutions that Democrats used to champion. Now we are so terrified of being called, god forbid, LIBERAL, that this kind of thing literally doesn't come up in the discussion. Hell, Bernie Sanders tried to point the issue to the broader social problems and got shouted down by the peanut gallery for being some kind of apologist for mass murder.

    If we insist on looking at guns specifically, why don't we try using the resources of the ATF to aggressively pursue black market sellers? Can we look at much stiffer penalties for, and much more aggressive prosecution of straw purchasers (one of the prime sources of illegal guns). Let's go ahead and require all purchases at gun shows to go through NICS and give private sellers voluntary access to the system.

  38. Skepticalist Says:

    Not necessarily on topic but important:

    Being afraid of the word: "Liberal" is something we let the right get away with. Time to grow a pair.

    "Climate Change." This is another one we put up with. I can't remember the specifics but somewhere along the line, to please Big Oil, somebody found that "Global Warming" being referred to as "Climate Change" takes the sting out of describing environmental disaster as simply a natural slow-moving event.

    Why do we let them get away with this?

    Sorry, but this has been on my mind lately.

  39. Nick Says:

    Jason, I do feel for families who have lost kids to negligence, even if they caused that negligence, but it's so eminently preventable that I don't have much sympathy for the argument that they shouldn't be punished legally as well, especially if someone else's kid was hurt. Leaving a loaded gun lying around in a house with kids is like setting your baby on the passenger seat of your car instead of strapping it into a car seat. It's just absurdly easy to avoid.

    Also thanks for taking up the mantle as resident gun guy on this comment thread, as it's given me one less excuse to procrastinate today.

  40. Nick Says:

    Also, I find it interesting that comparing guns to cars is some absurd nonsensical bullshit if the comparison is number of deaths caused, but valid and even necessary if the comparison is insurance requirements.

  41. Mo Says:

    Thank you for your persuasive, point by point breakdown of the flaws in my arguments.

    Time well spent – doing something more interesting and productive of course – I seem to recall it involved staring at a wall.

    You've added much to the discussion.

    Service with a smile.

  42. Jason Says:

    Nick-
    "Jason, I do feel for families who have lost kids to negligence, even if they caused that negligence, but it's so eminently preventable that I don't have much sympathy for the argument that they shouldn't be punished legally as well, especially if someone else's kid was hurt. Leaving a loaded gun lying around in a house with kids is like setting your baby on the passenger seat of your car instead of strapping it into a car seat. It's just absurdly easy to avoid."

    I hear you. It's brutal. I try to be utilitarian about it but I have no way to guess which will do more good. Will the deterrent effect of these laws save enough lives to cancel out the further devastation done to all concerned? I have no idea.

    "Also thanks for taking up the mantle as resident gun guy on this comment thread, as it's given me one less excuse to procrastinate today."

    I could go to a typical gun board and trying to convince them that liberals aren't baby-eating monsters but I'd prefer to discuss it here with people who I likely agree with on most issues, people looking to engage in a good faith discussion of….

    Mo-
    "Time well spent – doing something more interesting and productive of course – I seem to recall it involved staring at a wall."

    Shit, what was I saying?

  43. Gator Says:

    60% of all gun deaths are suicides. What is requiring insurance going to do about that?
    Will a criminal care about insurance? No.
    What about a guy going to shoot up a school to commit suicide. Think he gives one fuck about insurance premiums or tax on the ammo?

    More toddlers are beat to death by their parents than are killed by guns. Look at the FBI and CDC stats.

    If you really want to prevent toddlers getting their hands on guns, how about a tax credit for gun safes and trigger locks?

    Instead of focusing on guns, focus on the violence. End the war on drugs. Create a better safety net and better jobs for everyone.

    I get it. You don't like guns. Unfortunately the USA is awash in guns, and half the population feels very strongly about keeping them. Right now they've got the Supreme Court on their side. You can keep bleating about guns and making up stupid laws that will never pass, focused on guns… and help keep the liberals out of power… or you can be realistic, focus on what we can achieve, and elect people who will have some chance of taking back a bit of America from the 1%.

    I do own guns, but I care much more about having a livable environment, having public schools to teach my kids, a community working together. Being a single issue voter harping on guns like that will create anything good is frankly stupid politically and practically.

  44. Gator Says:

    Jason, take a look at the Liberal Gun Club. Sounds like you might find some common ground.

  45. Al Says:

    While I'm in favor of much stricter gun control laws than currently exist, I agree with a lot of what Jason says, especially his point that requiring liability insurance of gun owners would disarm a much higher proportion of blacks than of whites, and that should bother anti-gun liberals. However, I find strange one point he made that so far as I know no one has responded to:

    Jason said: "I have two young children and I take multiple steps to make sure that I can get to my gun reasonably fast while also protecting them from being able to hurt anyone. It's in a location physically inaccessible to them, and then in a coded lock box. When friends or family bring kids over, I go even further, separating it from ammo and partially disassembling it. So when I hear about these horrific incidents, my first response is wanting to lock up the adults responsible."

    Does Jason tell friends or family that he has guns in his house? Do any of the friends or family he told about the guns refuse to allow their children in Jason's house, regardless of how many precautions he takes? If the friends and family who know about the guns take or send their children to Jason's house are they responsible parents? Does Jason send his own children to homes where there are guns?

  46. Jason Says:

    Al-
    "Does Jason tell friends or family that he has guns in his house?"

    Almost all already know. The ones that don't, no, there's no more reason to tell them than to tell them I have stairs. Now that I think about it, stairs are more dangerous since they can actually access them.

    "Do any of the friends or family he told about the guns refuse to allow their children in Jason's house, regardless of how many precautions he takes?"

    No.

    "If the friends and family who know about the guns take or send their children to Jason's house are they responsible parents?"

    If they know me, sure. If they don't, then it's a slightly better question, but still, more kids die from accidental suffocation than from gun accidents (over 1200 vs 69 in 2013 for ages 0-14). More die in swimming pool accidents. That's a bad example; swimming pools scare the shit out of me.

    "Does Jason send his own children to homes where there are guns?"

    My in-laws have guns in their house. I know how they are stored and I know them well enough to feel safe. If nothing else, I know that there's a couple dozen more likely ways my kids could get hurt (stairs, random falls, etc.). There hasn't been occasion to send them to non-family homes without us yet, they are too young (five and nine months).

  47. Captain America Says:

    "The USA is awash in guns, and half the population feels very strongly about keeping them."

    It would be nice if the ammosexuals could, at the very least, meet everybody else in the middle and peacefully compromise with a pen and paper for the good of the USA, unlike the Southern traitors. America has an embarrassing, tragic third world gun problem that, at the very least, needs to be half way fixed.

    I don't think it is too much to ask to have gun policy other than the NRA's vision of a gun on every hip and shootouts on every corner like the Wild West. I also don't think it is too much to ask to get the mass shootings that occur every other week under control. Personally, I miss the John Lennon's and Dimebag Darrell's and think kindergartners should be able to live to see the first grade.

  48. el mago Says:

    There is no empirical data available for this claim, only limited personal experience, which indicates that the name Jason is generational and usually carried by individuals with in your face opinions and lengthy rebuttals all emotionally charged while disguised as reasoned logic.

    As for guns, insurance, the constitution, bill of rights, ownership issues and on and on and on, I dunno. Skipper and Major Kong got some wedges in per usual.

    BTW I grew up in gun culture in a different time and place and have mucho anecdotes and information, but hardly the stuff for blog comments, not that that's stopped me before. On rare occasions reason dominates.

  49. Jason Says:

    Captain America-
    "It would be nice if the ammosexuals"

    And we're off!

    "could, at the very least, meet everybody else in the middle and peacefully compromise with a pen and paper for the good of the USA, unlike the Southern traitors. America has an embarrassing, tragic third world gun problem that, at the very least, needs to be half way fixed."

    Compromise means both sides give something. Tell me what you are willing to give. And "give" doesn't mean, "You get to keep what you already have."

  50. Jason Says:

    el mago-

    Guilty as charged! But it's ok, because the non "in your face" crowd has delivered lots of non "emotionally charged" responses! Here's a few:

    "the terrorist organization known as the NRA"

    "The only thing that can stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun."

    "fuckheadz with gunz"

    "AK-47s for all toddlers! How dare we deprive them of their second amendment rights!"

    "But…but….my pwecious. It will limit my ability to cradle my pwecious."

    "ammosexuals"

    "and think kindergartners should be able to live to see the first grade."

  51. Jason Says:

    unimportant-
    I owe you an apology, I read your post too quickly and responded thinking you were referring to me as the random yahoo. Though I'm sure plenty of people here think I am one (or a fuck of a lot worse), that's not what you did. Sorry about that.

  52. Nick Says:

    Jason: "I hear you. It's brutal. I try to be utilitarian about it but I have no way to guess which will do more good. Will the deterrent effect of these laws save enough lives to cancel out the further devastation done to all concerned? I have no idea."

    I dunno if the deterrent effect will be particularly pronounced–I mean, if you're not deterred by the possibility of your kid dying, you're probably not going to be deterred by the possibility of heavy fines and maybe a little jail time–but honestly, I don't care too much. Keeps those people from buying any more guns, provides funds for crime victim programs etc., and helps protect any other kids the family might have.

    Gator: Re suicides, that's why one of the very few gun control laws I'd be okay with is waiting periods on purchase (though I'd also want an emergency exception–e.g. if someone is being stalked or threatened or has recently had to take out a restraining order against another person–and a sunset provision if it proved ineffective). While empirical data on gun control as a whole tends to show that gun crime tends to have root causes unrelated to the availability of guns (shockingly, those tend to be the same roots as other crime), there is a fair bit of evidence that removing a means of suicide, even if only temporarily, tends to reduce suicides–e.g. barriers on bridges, changes to gas ovens that made suicides by gas difficult or impossible, etc. I don't know what proportion of people who commit suicide with a gun purchase the gun with the intent of killing themselves and follow through immediately, but it's probably a nonzero number and at least deserves some study.

  53. Captain America Says:

    Jason – I didn't know supporters of a third world, embarrassing policy had any chips at the bargaining table. I don't even know what a compromise you speak of would sound like. We'll be okay with keeping every other John Lennon and will be okay with a mass shooting every month rather than every other week? Instead of hanging out with the first world countries, we'll be okay with hanging out with the second world countries?

  54. Khaled Says:

    This thread has quickly degenerated, as usual, when it comes to guns. I don't like guns, and I wouldn't feel safer if people around me had them. The only "civilian" who I know that I would feel comfortable carrying a gun on their person would be my cousin who was a Navy Seal, is a very, very good shot, and was in Afghanistan and Iraq. As for the common yahoo who feels the need to open carry while eating at a fast food joint in suburbia, I have no patience for people like them. I worked in very tough neighborhoods in Dayton and Pittsburgh. If the idea that "more guns equals less crime" was actually true, those neighborhoods should be peaceful and no robberies would ever occur. But since we don't live in fantasy land, the opposite is true.

    Now, while I'm all for gun control, I don't think turning over money to the insurance industry is the way to go. Criminals will not buy it and those who wish ill upon their fellow man by planning a mass shooting aren't going to give a shit either. And what makes people think that buying insurance will actually result in anyone getting paid by said insurance company? A little example here. A bar across the street from one of my old stores had a security guard shoot at a couple of not-so-nice people who were causing trouble. Dude missed the troublemakers, killed an innocent bystander and hit at least one of his friends. The shooter plead down to some manslaughter or similar charge. The bar was sued, and they lost, because, duh. You can't hire a cowboy and tell them to shoot at people and not have it come back on you. The insurance carrier for the bar refused to pay out, since a crime was committed they had no obligation to cover the bar for the damages. Court agreed with the insurance company. The bar was closed, and the insurance company paid exactly dick to the victim's family. The bar's owner was on the hook for the large amount of money that the victim's family won in a suit. I can almost guarantee that family will never see the full amount of that money, since there is no way the owner or his family will ever be able to pay it off. And it's a shame (for the bar owner) that he didn't set the bar up as a corporation, since he would then be able to separate corporation assets (the bar, liquor license, etc) from his personal assets. Gun liability insurance will rarely be paid out, because insurance companies don't pay when a crime has been committed. It happens with car accidents. I had an employee catch someone crashing into parked cars on his street after the person totaled his car. Turns out, the person was drunk. They also did not have insurance. Police came out and arrested the person. His insurance company did not pay him at all since a crime was committed, and they told him to sue the person that hit him. Oh, if it had been a hit and run, they would have paid. If the person had insurance, he still wouldn't have been paid, since the other insurance company likely would have denied the claim because, again, a crime was committed.

    Background checks, waiting periods, restrictions on semi-automatic weapons, etc. will go farther to reduce accidental gun violence. Ending the "war on drugs" and giving people who live in abject poverty the ability to get an education and work a real job will do more to end gun violence than insurance. Oh, and holding gun dealers accountable for obvious straw purchases is another good way. Making people buy insurance will only line the pockets of insurance companies, and not solve anything.

  55. Jason Says:

    Nick-
    I can't disagree with anything you said. And as you pointed out, the suicide-to-guns issue is real, but still complex. The research backs up what you said, and yet there is still no question that many other factors play a role. Both Japan and South Korea have virtually no civilian gun ownership yet have much higher suicide rates than the U.S. The obvious answer is the myriad cultural differences, but all that does is show that though guns play a significant role in our suicide problem, they aren't all there is to it. When politicians talk about mental health being the issue, THIS is what they should be emphasizing as opposed to mass shootings. I still haven't heard anyone repeating the mantra about mental health explain exactly what they mean. But if we had a better overall health care system and if we could work to de-stigmatize mental illness, we'd save a lot of lives.

    Captain America-
    "Jason – I didn't know supporters of a third world, embarrassing policy had any chips at the bargaining table. I don't even know what a compromise you speak of would sound like."

    You know why I thought I had bargaining chips at the table? Because you gave them to me!

    "It would be nice if the ammosexuals could, at the very least, meet everybody else in the middle and peacefully compromise with a pen and paper for the good of the USA, unlike the Southern traitors."

    If you meant, "It would be nice if the ammosexuals could, at the very least, capitulate on every gun control issue," then fucking say that. Don't tell me I should compromise and then get pissy if I ask for details.

  56. Nick Says:

    Jason–Obviously suicide goes much deeper, both in mental health and in cultural terms, than the method chosen. But waiting periods do seem like a reasonable stopgap until we decide that maybe allowing people to see a therapist without having to take out a second mortgage and lie to everyone lest they be considered crazy would be a good thing to do.

  57. Jason Says:

    Khaled-
    "Background checks, waiting periods, restrictions on semi-automatic weapons, etc. will go farther to reduce accidental gun violence."

    Did you mean gun violence in general? If you've read the thread, I won't repeat my problems with those sentiments, but if that wasn't a typo, how would any of that reduce *accidental* gun violence?

  58. A.B.A.B.D. Says:

    Jason—one question about your not telling people whose kids are coming over to your house that you have guns. You mention that both stairs and swimming pools are more dangerous than guns (statistically, I think that's correct), but there's one important difference between stairs/swimming pools and guns. The former are risks that are readily visible and obvious, while possession of guns is not. I understand that you're appropriately cautious in eliminating the risks of your guns as much as possible, but imagine that someone doesn't know you very well and that this person doesn't want their child to be in a house with guns. Do you think that it's ok to not tell this person that you have guns in your house?

  59. democommie Says:

    Somewhere upthread, the "guy s v cars" comparison is brought brought up for the umpteenth time. It'S as lame, trite and debuneed as other gunzloon "arguments".

    The simple math that even I can do, using numbers available from the FBI UCR, the CDC'S (flawed and incomplete as the are, fuck you, VERY MUCH, NRA) and the DoT, show the average US driver uses their car in excess of eight hours a week, in all sorts of weather, visibility, road surface, mental and emotional states and other highly variable conditions. Plus, when doing so, the average driver is also dealing with OTHER drivers, many of them going in the opposite direction or at assorted angles.

    In order for their "comparison" to make any sense, they would have to compare two groups who were doing something even roughly similar, say, "driving in LA rus hour traffia v COMBAT"; the numbers in THAT comparison speak for themselves.

  60. democommie Says:

    I forgot to address the, "but whow wI'll think of the poor shooter's PAIN?!".

    Sorry, you allowed your child to be killed through a combination of hubris and stupidity? Fuck you, you self-center asshole. There, I hope I struck the right tone.

  61. Jason Says:

    A.B.A.B.D.-
    "but imagine that someone doesn't know you very well and that this person doesn't want their child to be in a house with guns. Do you think that it's ok to not tell this person that you have guns in your house?"

    Yes, it's fine. It's incumbent upon them to ask me, not for me to provide an itemized (and necessarily novel-length) list of everything in my home that presents a possible threat to their children. If their kids take a leap off my balcony, the injury isn't any "better" than if they'd somehow managed to find my safe, used something to get high enough to get it, figured out the code, pulled open the heavy door, put the slide back onto the frame, re-attached the backstrap-safety (which isn't easy for me, thanks Walther!), found a loaded magazine and inserted it, racked the slide, pointed it at a living thing, and pulled the trigger. The scenario where a child manages all of that is so remote that any objection to having their child in my home would be based on a misguided sense of ideological purity, not the actual risk. They have a right to their irrational fear but I don't have to indulge it.

    democommie-
    "In order for their "comparison" to make any sense, they would have to compare two groups who were doing something even roughly similar, say, "driving in LA rus hour traffia v COMBAT"; the numbers in THAT comparison speak for themselves."

    I'm in complete agreement that 99% of the time, cars VS guns comparisons don't make any sense and I try to discourage them when I can (for what very little that's worth). There is one small flaw in your debunking though. Some, not all, some, anti-gun people present the risk of guns in terms of the mere ownership or presence of guns, meaning that they are talking about a 24/7 risk, not just when guns are being handled. Viewed from that perspective, every second my gun sits obediently in its safe not harming anyone should "count".

    "I forgot to address the, "but whow wI'll think of the poor shooter's PAIN?!".

    Sorry, you allowed your child to be killed through a combination of hubris and stupidity? Fuck you, you self-center asshole. There, I hope I struck the right tone."

    Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I think this is in response to me worrying about the further damage done to a family who loses a child or causes the loss of another family's child. My sympathy isn't for the adult responsible for the negligent act, it's for the *family*, more specifically, the other children. A four year old who shoots his brother isn't any more responsible for the death of his sibling than a baby is for crapping its diaper, but he's going to deal with some serious shit for the rest of his life. I simply wonder if in every case his interests are best served by taking at least one (maybe both) parents out of his life. I'm leaning towards a yes on that, but I still debate it.

  62. Nick Says:

    Oh hey, it's democommie. Did you copyright the term "gunzloon" yet? You always seem very proud of it, and I'd hate for you to lose out.

  63. Major Kong Says:

    Speaking as a gun owner here, I've known some people who were pretty fucking weird about their guns.

    I don't think they owned their guns, I think their guns owned THEM.

    I'll let others come up with a term to describe such people.

  64. Nick Says:

    Kong: In Soviet Russia, gun owns you! So I'm gonna enter "Jackoff Smirnoffs." Although "mall ninjas" is always a classic.

  65. Skepticalist Says:

    The cute statistics that more people fall down the stairs or are maimed in traffic accidents or in so many other ways than by guns has nothing, NOTHING to do with the fact that tens of thousands of people die or are maimed by firearms.

  66. Greg Says:

    I tend to agree that the insurance industry needs no further enrichment, but you absolutely fucking wrong that the right to interstate travel has not been ruled upon by the SCOTUS, and for quite a while too. A quick google search will fix that.

  67. Gator Says:

    Nick, if you're concerned about suicide, it would be interesting to compare rates in states with waiting periods to states without waiting periods. I don't know if anyone has specifically done that.
    CA has a 10 day waiting period on every firearm purchase. It has been challenged successfully in court. Making someone wait 10 days for their first firearm might help reduce suicide, but there seems to be no compelling reason for subsequent waiting periods.

    The overheated rhetoric may excite the already convinced, but will do nothing but polarize the situation into further inaction. The NRA and MDA are different sides of the same coin.

  68. Greg Says:

    Gator why are you angry at the Muscular Dystrophy Association? What do they have to do with gun access?

  69. Captain America Says:

    "The cute statistics that more people fall down the stairs or are maimed in traffic accidents or in so many other ways than by guns has nothing, NOTHING to do with the fact that tens of thousands of people die or are maimed by firearms."

    As Jason has shown us, a large part of the NRA talking points are basically false analogies and red herrings.

  70. Jason Says:

    Skepticalist-
    "The cute statistics that more people fall down the stairs or are maimed in traffic accidents or in so many other ways than by guns has nothing"

    I'm the only one that mentioned stairs but I never said that more people fall down stairs than are harmed by guns. Those were in reference to two specific locations, not the entire country. I don't even have to look, I know the WISQARS database doesn't break down injuries/deaths based on stair falls, only falls in general (and for the record, that number is almost identical to total gun deaths, but as you said and I agree, unless we are talking about specific arguments, they don't have anything to do with gun deaths).

    Captain America-
    I can't stand the NRA and I go out of my way to not use their reasoning or talking points. If I do, it's only because they fell ass-backwards into the truth. Also, I never said more people die falling down stairs than are shot with guns. I said that someone is more likely to hurt themselves falling down stairs in *my* house because they actually have access to the stairs but not the gun, and I said that falling down stairs are a bigger risk in my in-laws' home because I have explicit knowledge of how they store their guns as well as the death trap they call a stair case.

    Any intention of answering the earlier question you've dodged twice? Do you think gun liability insurance will be cheap and equally priced for everyone?

  71. Nick Says:

    Gator: Fair point, once someone already has a gun if they're inclined to shoot themselves they'll probably just use that. Of course, determining whether they currently own a gun would involve a registry, of which I'm not in favor. In any case, ten days seems excessive. From what I've read, the effect of suicide barriers seems to be that the decision to commit suicide is made at a particular and fairly brief point in time–suicidal people may be suicidal for a while, but they won't actively attempt to kill themselves during that whole time. I suspect (and again, I'd like to see some studies) that a waiting period in the interest of suicide prevention would see diminishing returns after about 24 hours, and would likely be essentially useless after 48 to 72. Worth looking into though.

  72. mojrim Says:

    So many fallacies…

    1. Per the CDC, which collects data from medical providers nationally, there were 505 accidental gun deaths in 2013. Every other gun death counted (33,131) is suicide or murder.

    2. Only those which are accidental will be covered by insurers, not a subject for real debate. Since vehicular manslaughter is, by definition, accidental it is covered by auto insurance. The accidental gun deaths are already covered under homeowners or renters insurance and not really worth getting exercised about. If you really want gun owners to carry accidental injury and death insurance, fine, but it will be a pretty small fee as it's so rare.

    3. The 14A guarantees interstate travel but says nothing of means; cars are an option, not a requirement, and certainly not a right by any means. More importantly, you must only register and insure your car if it is used on the public right of way. Set up a racetrack on your property and you may do whatever you want. NB: The same amendment is what makes the 2A universal as well.

    4. We already license and investigate CPL holders (at least in sane states) and some training requirement would be perfectly reasonable. Since we offer driver ed in HS (to continue the car analogy people are so fond of) we can start there.

    5. Requiring an unattainable bond is a pretty transparent way to restrict gun ownership (a right) to exercise by the few. We call the an unreasonable barrier to exercise, aka Poll Tax. As with driving on public roads, no one has a right to be a notary.

    So let's address the straw man of regulating rights. Obviously we can, but the burden of proof rests on the restrictor in adherence to strict scrutiny.

    http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/leadcaus10_us.html

    http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html

  73. Captain America Says:

    Jason – I'm choosing not to engage in that stupid argument. You do understand that it is logically stupid, correct?

  74. Jason Says:

    Captain America-
    "Jason – I'm choosing not to engage in that stupid argument. You do understand that it is logically stupid, correct?"

    You are choosing not to engage the argument you already chose to engage. Got it. This is a cousin to:
    "Gun nuts should compromise."
    "Ok, what are you willing to give?"
    "FUCK YOU CRAZY GUN NUT!"

  75. Gator Says:

    "MDA" = Moms Demanding Action of course, short hand for all the hysterical gun control advocates in the same way NRA is short hand for the hysterical 2A absolutist, "Obummer is coming to take ur gunz" types.

    Captain American and Katydid fall into the MDA camp. Focus on "teh gunz", forget about what actually matters — trying to make stronger, healthier communities.

  76. Gator Says:

    Nick,
    Re suicide and waiting periods. CA has a 10 day waiting period on every firearm purchase. [No gunshow loophole! :)] CA has other restrictive gun laws.
    In comparison, Texas has no waiting period at all for any purchase and very very lax gun laws.
    Both have suicide rates below the national average.
    So on the face of it, a waiting period does not seem to make a huge difference. Of course this is just an observation, and not a proper study controlling for socio-economics etc. But I doubt any study could come up with a huge effect because there just is not a huge difference in suicide rates in states like CA and TX.

    The same is true with arguments like John Lott's "More guns, less crime." John Lott says with by controlling for 42 variables, one can tease out a small effect that more guns => less crime. Others tweak the analysis and come to the opposite conclusion. My take away is that either way, the effect is small, and taking guns away will not make the world a magically better place.

    Better health care, better affordable educational opportunities, jobs, less pollution — these WILL all make the world a better place. Probably reduce violence of all types as well.

    So instead of focusing on guns, just like the NRA does, and losing yet more elections, let's have our politicians go right to the source. Stop giving tax cuts to the rich and use that money to help the rest of us build a better USA. We'd have a better chance getting poor red-staters on our side if we didn't say we were going to do stupid things to their guns. Let them have their guns and raise them out of poverty and ignorance through populism.

  77. Beleck Says:

    all these "excuses" for guns. lol gun nuts need to be shot, lol, in my opinion. just for the fun of it. heh, it's just so plain obvious and clear to everyone who isn't a gun nut, that guns kill, on purpose. that is what a gun is for.

    so we have a stupid 2nd A. that was written over two hundred years ago. people change, societies change, lots of things change. there will never be acceptance by some for either side of this argument. Living in a "Frontier" mentality is where Gun Nuts live, while the rest of us mostly live is a somewhat civilized neofeudal society, thanks to St. Reagan, nowadays that is.

    divide and conquer really works, especially when you have gun nuts excusing the killers who use guns to kill. enjoy your right to die by the 2nd A. aka gun. i choose not to want to have gun nuts easy access to guns. but then again, gun nuts won't ever allow a difference of opinion. they shoot you down first, either figuratively or otherwise.

  78. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    "Congress recently passed a ridiculously unconstitutional law shielding gun sellers from liability suits so the verdict came as something of a surprise."

    I'm having trouble figuring out how Congress passing a law that restricts the availability of a tort cause of action could be unconstitutional.

  79. Jason Says:

    Gator-
    "So instead of focusing on guns, just like the NRA does, and losing yet more elections, let's have our politicians go right to the source."

    This needs more discussion. Set aside whether gun control is a good idea and look at it from a cold, strategic angle.

    There is not a single state, not one, that will choose to vote for the Republican nominee instead of Hillary because she doesn't talk tough on guns. On the other hand, several very important purple states are close enough in each election that gun rights *might* be the difference.

    What is often not discussed when anti-gun people talk about polls supporting their side is that raw percentages don't tell the whole story when it comes to public sentiment. There's a factor called intensity that makes all the difference. If 60% of the people tell a pollster that they like vanilla and 40% say chocolate, the case isn't closed in favor of vanilla. Because if the 40% really really really LOVE chocolate and the 60% think, "Yeah, vanilla but whatever," 60 VS 40 becomes meaningless.

    Most of the intensity on this issue comes from the pro gun people. Urban Democrats favor gun control, obviously, but are they going to vote for Jeb Bush or whoever if Hillary doesn't make it a priority or changes her position a bit? No. On the other hand, there are blue dog Dems who will abstain or even switch if the Dem pushes gun control too hard. Don't think New York or California, think Pennsylvania, Ohio, states that are hugely important, almost always in play, and on balance are pro-gun.

    I hope most anti-gun people concede that even with no new gun laws, if you address numerous social ills, you can bring violent crime of all types down. Take that route! Play to the Democrats' strengths rather than giving single issue voters an excuse to dump or oppose you.

    Beleck-
    "lol gun nuts need to be shot, lol, in my opinion. just for the fun of it."

    Heh. Heh. Riotously funny.

    "heh, it's just so plain obvious and clear to everyone who isn't a gun nut, that guns kill, on purpose. that is what a gun is for."

    Strange then that 99.9something% of guns have never and will never hurt anyone. That's because they are inanimate objects that, whatever they were designed to do, require a person or very talented non-human to do anything other than take up space.

    "divide and conquer really works, especially when you have gun nuts excusing the killers who use guns to kill."

    Even the biggest, Wayne LaPierre-worshiping dipshits don't want to see kids massacred and obviously don't excuse the killers since they don't think the guns were responsible.

    "enjoy your right to die by the 2nd A. aka gun. i choose not to want to have gun nuts easy access to guns."

    Thankfully, you're losing.

  80. Jason Says:

    Comradde PhysioProffe-
    "I'm having trouble figuring out how Congress passing a law that restricts the availability of a tort cause of action could be unconstitutional.

    Seconded. I didn't think that made sense but I'm not an attorney. My wife is. Though she doesn't specialize in Con law, she doesn't get that argument either.

  81. Nick Says:

    Beleck: Proving the logical superiority of the anti-gun side, since 2015.

  82. Death Panel Truck Says:

    I don't think they owned their guns, I think their guns owned THEM.

    And there are two examples here. Two people who never show up here unless there is a post related to their precious penis extensions. Do me a favor, both of you: don't come anywhere near me with your guns. I neither want nor need your protection, because, unlike you, I am not SCARED SHITLESS of the world around me.

  83. democommie Says:

    Nick, darling:

    No, I haven't bothered to seek copyright status, that would be something an authoritarian would do.

    Jason:

    So, when the stats are NOT on your side, you can ignore them. ? Check.

    So, Trump is your guy?

  84. Major Kong Says:

    The problem is that modern firearms are highly efficient killing tools.

    Yes, you can kill someone with, oh let's say a baseball bat, but you have to get close and it requires a bit of effort.

    A modern semi-automatic rifle (or handgun for that matter) allows you to kill almost effortlessly, at a distance, multiple times in quick succession.

    Figure something like an AR-15 with 30-round magazines. Depending on how fast you can swap magazines I would guess you could achieve 45 to 60 rounds per minute (if you didn't care about accuracy).

    That's an awful lot of killing power in a small, portable package.

    There's a reason we issue rifles to infantrymen and not baseball bats.

  85. drouse Says:

    @Jason The fix the underlying ills argument is just a big a dodge as focusing on mental illness. I know and you know and even the dimmest bulb in the political universe knows that the right will never ever allow enough resources to have any effect.

  86. Nick Says:

    DPT: I've been coming here since 2006 and posting occasionally on a number of topics. If I do so more frequently on gun posts, that's just because I find discussions with some disagreement to be more interesting than echo chambers.

    Democommie: So, copyright law is "authoritarian"? You sound like Republicans describing something as "socialist."

    Drouse: Why is it that when anti-gun control people say that gun control is both ineffective and politically impossible, they're called defeatist and illogical, but when pro-gun control people suggest that addressing the actual causes of violent crime is politically impossible, they're just being realistic?

  87. Captain America Says:

    Jason – Debate between us is not possible: it would consist of me educating you about Constitutional Law, and I don't dispense legal advice without getting paid an hourly rate. For you, it would be $1,000 an hour up front. I don't feel the need to educate you for free and tell you why you don't know what you are talking about. I've tried to do it in a basic way, but that's as far as it goes. If not me, have your wife educate you. Go to law school. Get a library card.

    This is the thing I love about the ammosexuals. They sure like to throw terms around like "Constitution," "2A," and "discrimination," but they don't have the slightest as to their legal meaning. Oh, they can flail around and be passionate and maybe they've even read a statute here and there, but the only thing they can really prove is that they like guns.

  88. Nick Says:

    Captain America: I'm currently in my last year of law school. I'm curious what, exactly, Jason said about the Constitution or the Second Amendment that indicates he doesn't have the "slightest idea as to its legal meaning," given that thus far all he's really said is that there's a difference between regulations that exist now, and regulations that would a) create a disparate impact based on class and/or race (e.g. requiring expensive insurance or bonds for gun ownership) or b) fail to comply with the rulings in Heller and McDonald. Don't tease us, show your work.

  89. Beleck Says:

    lol there ain't no "question" in this battle. either you live by the gun or you die by the gun. that's the society we have in America today.

    you can choose the type of society you want, gun nuts, can i mean, armed and dangerous to anyone, including other gun nuts.

    some things are real simple. any excuse for gun is just that. An excuse for gun nuts

    depends on what kind of society you want to live and die in. one with guns and one without guns. Since guns only purpose is to "kill" , lol, kind of simple, the choices, i mean. lol

    it's always fun and really distorted, the excuses gun nuts come up with. never a safety issue, never, always my dear old "2nd A. " excuse.

    those who live by the gun, die by the gun.

    enjoy "rationalizing" your "excuse" for guns. like i said earlier, gun nuts are so consumed with their "right/love" of guns, nothing, not even the right to live life free from gun nuts is okay, cause,… Guns triumph all other rights, especially the right to "live,aka breathe and exist apart from guns."

    sad excuse no matter what words are used.

  90. Beleck Says:

    Gun nuts, you won't ever be able to change the facts or find excuses for guns. your Right to kill overrides others' Right to live in America. Guns kills and gun nuts used guns to kill. so talk to someone else who hasn't a clue. that's what American Gun Nuts do. Kill and then say, "2nd A., excuses all killing. and in America Gun Nuts win, every time, every single time!

    let the ignorance and deceptions continue!

    talk about American Exceptionalism lol. Murka, Murka, Murka,

  91. Nick Says:

    Reading Beleck's posts is like playing Mad Libs via text with a teenager who just discovered punk rock.

  92. Captain America Says:

    Nick – The wonderful thing about being out of law school and a practicing attorney is I don't have to dispense any legal advice without getting paid. If you want to cheapen the profession and educate others for free, knock yourself out: I have no inclination to do so.

  93. Nick Says:

    So, backing up what you're saying is considered "legal advice" now? I wasn't aware smug self-righteousness created an implied attorney-client relationship.

  94. Captain America Says:

    You can define legal advice however you want to. When you are applying Constitutional legal standards to a Constitutional inquiry, it sure sounds like legal advice to me.

  95. Nick Says:

    Here, Captain, this might help you in your practice: http://hirealawyer.findlaw.com/do-you-need-a-lawyer/what-is-legal-advice.html

  96. ronzie Says:

    "Jason – the Constitution has nothing hinting at a right to access to a form of transportation"

    "mojrim – The 14A guarantees interstate travel but says nothing of means; cars are an option, not a requirement, and certainly not a right by any means"

    Since the 2A says nothing about "firearms", would you concede that laws that "infringe" on bearing them but allow swords, knives, spears, bows, etc. aren't infringing on 2A rights? Wait, what's that, you want to bring the intent of the framers into the argument by pointing out that firearms existed when they wrote the 2A, so clearly they meant it to cover them? OK, then you can have all the single shot muzzle loaders you want! What the hell, you can even haul around a muzzle loading cannon if you like! But if you want a semi-automatic with a multi-round magazine, go sign up for the "well regulated militia". And don't give me that shit about how every able bodied male between 15 and 50 is automatically a member of the militia, because you still have to organize them and train them, that's what "well regulated" meant at the time the 2A was written.

    "Gator – So instead of focusing on guns, just like the NRA does, and losing yet more elections, let's have our politicians go right to the source. Stop giving tax cuts to the rich and use that money to help the rest of us build a better USA. We'd have a better chance getting poor red-staters on our side if we didn't say we were going to do stupid things to their guns. Let them have their guns and raise them out of poverty and ignorance through populism."

    LOL, that's what the gun issue is for, to distract the commoners from realizing that the "natural aristocracy" uses the tax code to avoid paying for any governmental services that don't benefit them directly and use the monetary system to extract productivity gains out of the economy in a way that is designed to prevent workers from gaining the power to say "take this job and shove it". That's why we'll never see anything but meaningless chatter on the subject of a guaranteed basic income. Oh, and the red-staters aren't going to go for any program of poverty relief or education that benefits non-whites or threatens their "right" to indoctrinate their children in their bronze age superstitions.

  97. Captain America Says:

    Nick – I would recommend you take a look at the website you provided and comprehend it yourself. If informing a paying client one on one about the Constitution and 2A as it pertains to a possible insurance policy that would affect their gun ownership doesn't count as legal advice, then I don't know what does.

    In all seriousness, here's a website that I think will help you:
    http://www.barbri.com/

  98. Nick Says:

    So, commenters on Gin and Tacos are "paying clients one on one"? Weird, I always thought this was a blog, not a paid legal advice website. NB in the link, under things that do not constitute legal advice: "Responses to legal questions posted in online Q&A boards, even if provided by a licensed attorney."

  99. Captain America Says:

    I stated the only way I would take the "debate" any further with Jason is if he pays me to dispense legal advice: that sure sounds like legal advice to me.

  100. Mo Says:

    Why no one will miss most gun owners when they're dead and in hell:

    A retired military K9 who became his veteran handler’s service dog when they returned from Iraq together was shot and killed in front of his Wyoming home last week.

    Retired Army Ranger Matthew Bessler said a bicyclist killed his beloved Belgian Malinois, Mike, on Oct. 18. The biker told cops he felt threated by the 9-year-old pooch.

    “I just lost my family member,” Bessler told the Billings Gazette. “He was very laid back … He was happy. He was a happy-go-lucky dog.”

    Mike — who earned the rank of Major while serving two tours of duty in Iraq alongside his Sergeant 1st Class handler — became the Bessler’s service dog when they returned to the U.S. together, both suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

    “I raised him and trained him as a puppy, and the ability he has to sense some of the issues that I have with seizures, with my PTSD, my TBI (traumatic brain injury) and severe anxiety disorders,” Bessler said. “He can … help me calm down or relax me.”

    Family friends set up a fundraising page to help pay for a military funeral and burial for Major Mike.

    The 59-year-old cycling shooter has not been charged with any crime since he felt threated and was acting in self-defense, the Park County Sheriff’s Office told the Powell Tribune.

  101. Skepticalist Says:

    I suppose something like liability insurance legislation wouldn't affect most parts of our tribalist society. However, just putting ideas out there wouldn't hurt. The weekly response by the NRA show would make for entertaining perverse humor if nothing else.

    Being born in 1946, I became familiar with guns, some of which were works of art, displayed hung over the mantle–ours too. They of course could be fun when used by people from the right neighborhoods, you know. I was Davy Crockett and I got to play with them over the years. Some of it was fun but not all. The cold war, Vietnam and even more assissination took a toll on us.

    Some years ago I got rid of the guns. It was about this time that the gun "culture" as I know it, really got going. It sounded like something Rod Serling would have come up with. The thing it has become gets uglier every year. The older I get, the more I realize selling it was the right decision. I've never missed the things. Our terrified friends in the gun culture have gone out of their way to make guns themselves hideous.

    The chief selling points today for guns even those sold for "sport" are efficiency, kill rates and how fast it can be reloaded with expensive ever more deadly ammunition. Guns are now nothing but gritty machines without being interesting.

  102. Gator Says:

    Captain America — hehe. Can't argue, so falls back on "legal advice" defense. LOL. Must be an awesome attorney.

    Beleck. Proving my point that the anti-gun people fetishize gunz just as much as the NRA people. If all the guns disappeared today we'd still have violence, poverty, bad healthcare and bad education.

    Jason — totally gets it about purple states. This is the most important point. Passing (or attempting to pass) a AW ban will be not only be useless (very few "assault weapons" are used in violent acts) but will motivate the NRA types to get out and vote for Teahadists.

    Namecalling is so persuasive and coalition building.

  103. Robert Says:

    One thing that surprised me was the realization that many people who oppose further restrictions on the use and ownership of guns are concerned that a possible solution to the current USA gun situation would be worse than the current situation.

    Worse than the way things are right now. Think about that.

  104. Captain America Says:

    Gator – If you can name one Supreme Court case that applies to Jason's inquiry, state the facts and legal standard, and sufficiently explain the court's reasoning, I'll provide response to it.

  105. Bryan13t Says:

    One thing i wonder about that doesn't seem to crop up in the responsible-gun-owner discussions is what happens down the road when those responsible gun owners no longer should be trusted with guns? Surely many adult children of aging parents have wrestled with the issue of getting their parents to stop driving when they are no longer safe behind the wheel; how much more of a struggle is it to get gun owners to give up their weapons when they should? Most of the gun aficionados I know personally are far more invested in their guns and what they contribute to their sense of self than they are in their driver's license, and the suggestion that age or infirmity or just common sense dictates that they need to give up carrying is viewed as a personal attack. Which is understandable, because for them, the guns are so much a part of who they are. Doesn't alter the fact that they're a danger to themselves and others. In situations i've been aware of, family and friends tend to turn a blind eye, trust that the weak, aging, PTSD-afflicted alcoholic veteran with chronic depression will not in fact turn his previously excellent skills in marksmanship and reloading and his lifelong hobby of collecting guns of all make and model into a road-rage bloodbath. But when it happens, surely no one should act surprised. Where does responsibility for this lie?

  106. Captain America Says:

    Nick – Commenters on Gin and Tacos are "paying clients one on one"?

    Why would you assume that? Nobody has paid me anything, nobody has asked me for advice, and I'm not at my office meeting with said hypothetical commenter.

  107. Katydid Says:

    @Bryan13t; I discussed your points with my spouse. The spouse's entire extended family hunted (mostly deer and geese) while he was growing up. His father passed away in the early 1990s; what happened with the guns? Spouse called his oldest brother (we owed them a call anyway); the guns were sold to a gun shop in the late 1980s. None of the family are gunzloons and nobody in that generation taught their own children to hunt because it's not actual an economical way to get meat by the time you buy the ammo, pay for the gas for the truck to haul the deer to the butcher, and pay the butcher to butcher the meat (nobody in the family has a handy barn and the tools to process the meat themselves, plus wild game takes a lot of effort to make it taste palatable).

    My FIL, who was the biggest hunter, had no problem giving up his gun when his health started failing because apparently his masculinity wasn't dependant on the size of his gun.

  108. Nick Says:

    Captain: So, you're not actually giving legal advice? Yeah, that's what I said. Now do you care to give an explanation of your positions, or are you going to get all "oh no backing up the claims I make costs money" on us again?

  109. Captain America Says:

    Nick – I haven't given legal advice or any type of information that would assume an AC relationship, nor did I intend to on this blog. You did a lot of assuming, and you know what that does.

    Under the circumstances, if Jason walked into my office and offered to pay me money to provide legal expertise to a gun insurance scenario, I would categorize that as giving legal advice and assume an AC relationship existed. Considering attorneys are more than free to charge for both legal advice and legal information, I don't really see what your point is beyond being a smart ass: the distinction only really matters for non-attorneys. I would have the option to create a disclaimer or limit the interaction to information.

    First, McClesky v. Kemp. Second, Washington v. Davis (Title VII is a separate matter).

  110. drouse Says:

    Nick: Seems like you flipped the sides making the argument. Jason is taking the anti-gun control side(My apologies if I'm wrong). My take is when the pro-gun side uses the fix the underlying problems argument, it is a smokescreen to derail the debate. The argument is made in the knowledge that the resources will never be made available.

  111. Nick Says:

    Captain: My point is exactly that you haven't given legal advice, and more directly, that smugly claiming you can't make the argument you're insinuating because it would be legal advice is silly.

    To your point. Yes, under McClesky you have to show more than a disparate impact. But if the fees or insurance are high enough that they affect gun ownership rates, as people here have advocated, then it would be a much easier argument, because the policy would clearly be targeted at poor people and it's common knowledge that racial minorities have a much higher poverty rate on the whole than whites. Furthermore, McClesky involved actions by individual juries and judges, not direct action by a federal or state agency. Davis did involve a state agency, but it's going to be easier to file a suit alleging that a government action which deliberately attempts to disenfranchise poor people and likely poor minorities is unconstitutional than it is to argue that a police department that has actively recruited minorities also wants to discriminate against them. Particularly now that the Court has clarified that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, an Equal Protection argument against essentially charging money to exercise that right would likely succeed.

    Drouse: I think I got it right, but I used odd terminology, sorry about that. My point was that if pro-gun people raise the underlying issues argument, they're being unrealistic, perhaps deliberately, about political realities, but if pro-gun people raise the argument that gun control is likely to be ineffective and is political suicide, they're being defeatist and illogical. If we're going to attempt something ridiculous, I'd rather attempt to get at the things that cause crime and make people's lives better in lots of ways than attempt to get at guns and accomplish little except inconveniencing people who follow the law while ensuring a Republican stranglehold on Congress.

  112. Captain America Says:

    Nick – The Supreme Court has stated that they don't give a crap if blacks are executed more than whites. Why on Earth do you think they would care more, under the 14A, if somebody has to pay $50 a month for insurance for an item that costs $1,000? And, since when have poor people ever been a protected class under the 14A? That is rational basis review.

  113. drouse Says:

    Nick- The pro-gun position is that gun control cannot be effective due to human nature ect ect . They are not being defeatist(illogical? opinions differ), this is a basic tenet of faith like tax cuts pay for themselves. Without it the their position is severely undermined so it cannot be questioned.

  114. Nick Says:

    Captain: Because in that case, there was no direct state action with a discriminatory intent. Black men convicted of murder are much more likely to get the death sentence but the same laws are applied to each defendant; it's just that white people are much more comfortable sentencing a black man to death. Personally, I think the necessity of a discriminatory intent is bullshit, but it's not super relevant here–I'm not suggesting that poor people are a protected class, but attempting to disenfranchise poor people is effectively attempting to disenfranchise minorities, and as a requirement set by the government, it would be subject to Equal Protection actions regardless of McClesky.

    The other and less legalistic point is that anti-gun types tend to be all about avoiding disparate impacts both on class and race, until it comes to disarming poor people, at which point they're perfectly fine with tying what rights you have to how much money you have.

    Drouse: While I can't speak for everyone on my side of this issue, anecdotally pro-gun people don't dismiss gun control because human nature is evil or violent or whatever. They dismiss it because trying to control crime by addressing effects and not causes is like trying to vaccinate against the flu by treating the sniffles.

  115. Captain America Says:

    Nick – Are you on drugs? How would requiring insurance for every gun owner, similar to car insurance we have now, be intentional discrimination towards anybody?

    The only argument you have is disparate impact: it is absolutely relevant, and the 14A case law is not close to being in your favor, even for minorities. That is such NRA logic: paying $50 a month for insurance is more of a travesty than a person's right to life and to not be subjected to capital punishment under the 8A. My goodness.

    Furthermore, how is the state criminal justice system not direct state action? If anything is state action, it is the state criminal justice system.

  116. Nick Says:

    If gun insurance is proposed with the intent to keep people from being able to exercise fheir rights, then it is targeted at people without the ability to pay for it. If it's targeted at poor people, it is effectively targeted at black people. Stop acting like you don't understand reality because you don't want to admit that gun insurance would disenfranchise poor minorities. If your best argument is "Well, given the Court's disregard for disparate impact, we'd probably get away with disenfranchising poor black people," you might not be the good guy.

    State action refers to direct action by a state actor or agency, as opposed to facially neutral laws which are applied in a discriminatory manner by non-state actors (i.e. juries). This is not difficult.

  117. bobbyp Says:

    They dismiss it because trying to control crime by addressing effects and not causes is like trying to vaccinate against the flu by treating the sniffles.

    Well, they are pretty choosy about addressing causes, as these same folks tend to feel that locking up vast swaths of the population will address the "causes" of crime. They also tend to favor capital punishment, a policy that certainly cannot be shown to reduce crime.

    Granted, many of the measures advocated by anti NRA types may not do much to reduce either violence or crime. This is due to the constraints of our political system.

    The plain fact of the matter is this: More guns = more gun violence. They should be heavily regulated or just banned outright.

    That we have such a travesty as the 2nd Amendment clearly shows the Founders were far from infallible.

  118. bobbyp Says:

    If gun insurance is proposed with the intent to keep people from being able to exercise fheir rights…..

    Assumes this right is price sensitive. A strange right it is. Therefore, we must, per your logic, give everybody free guns, because to do otherwise is a deprivation of the rights of those who do not own guns, may want to, but simply cannot afford to buy them.

    then it is targeted at people without the ability to pay for it. If it's targeted at poor people

    Alas, poor people are not a protected class.

    it is effectively targeted at black people.

    Black people are about half as likely as white people to have a firearm in their home.

  119. Captain America Says:

    Nick – Capital punishment laws passed by state legislatures and carried out by a state criminal justice system is not state action? Jury systems created by Constitutions and their verdicts are not state action? Execution of individuals by state employees is not state action? That is a rather interesting interpretation of state action.

    The key word is "if" insurance legislation is passed that intentionally discriminates, and that is a rather large assumption. And, guess what: the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to everybody equally because society is unequal. Guns, attorneys, free speech, abortions, etc. cost money, and rich/white people have better access to them. Not everybody has the right to Johnny Cochran or to spend a million on ads for a candidate. You have to draw the line somewhere.

    I wrote a paper against the death penalty. I do think the death penalty is arbitrary and capricious in large part because mainly blacks and the poor are executed. However, you are going to have a very hard time convincing me that a reasonable insurance premium is discriminatory.

  120. democommie Says:

    "However, you are going to have a very hard time convincing me that a reasonable insurance premium is discriminatory.

    Well, it is, cuz, FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEDUMB!!

    Nick is not making a great deal of sense; when it comes to gunz that is not a sooprize.

    So, Nick; you're in your final year of law school? Are you <25 yo? Have you spent time in the military, been a cop or done anything other than go to school? I'm just asking because you're making an awful lot of claims about things that you might not really know anything about.

  121. Nick Says:

    Captain: Perhaps, but that's about the size of the Court's reasoning in McClesky–no clear, deliberate, conscious bias on the part of legal officials means no discriminatory state action, even if a juror just really hates black people.

    People upthread were discussing liability insurance and bonds, not as a small premium, but as deliberately sufficient to make it more difficult for people to own firearms. There's a difference between a private party charging for a good or service, the availability of which is legally protected, and the government imposing a fee on the exercise of a right in an attempt to limit that exercise. That's the difference between a store charging money for a megaphone and the government requiring megaphone owner's insurance in order to try to prevent "the abuse of the right to free speech." Advocate for it all you want, but case law interpretations aside, if you don't think that imposing a fee on exercising a right limits its access in a de facto discriminatory matter, you're being willfully ignorant.

    Democommie: Ah, nothing like having a guy who thinks replacing an "s" with a "z" makes him clever suggest a lack of maturity on someone else's part. For the record, yes, I am older than 25 and worked for several years between college and law school, not to mention working through college. Please, go ahead and explain what claims I'm making that would require me to have been in the police or military.

  122. Gator Says:

    Let's say I own some guns… I am paying $50 per month in insurance for those guns.
    How is that going to cut suicide rates?
    How is that going to stop violence in Chicago?
    How is that going to stop drug dealers from shooting each other?
    How is that going to stop a toddler from shooting his grandmother?
    How is that going to stop school shootings?

    It's not. It's a stupid idea because it doesn't actually help ANYTHING except perhaps some insurance companies.

    That is why I would advocate spending political currency and hard dollars on actually addressing the root causes of the problems.

    Someone upstream said (paraphrasing) "pro-gun people want to address root causes because they know it derails the gun control argument and they know no resources will ever be made available." Arrgggghhh. No, I want to address root causes because that might actually decrease violence of all kinds. And I think it would be MUCH easier to end the war on drugs than to ban handguns. Ending the war on drugs might actually free up money that could be then used for other useful things like jobs programs.

    We're at a point in history where it might be possible to raise taxes on the rich; but that will disappear if the democrats lose elections because they are wasting time pushing for a useless assault weapon ban.

  123. Captain America Says:

    That's where general Constitutional right analysis would come in: it would be the more fitting challenge instead of 14A EP. There are other serious rights at play (public health, right to life) besides 2A rights (however 2A rights might be interpreted): there isn't a lot of 2A case law, and Heller wasn't very clear what standard of review applied. I think lower courts have been applying strict scrutiny or "heightened scrutiny," which makes sense.

    I'd agree that the more unreasonable the burden on the 2A, the more likely an insurance statute or regulation would be struck down.

  124. democommie Says:

    Nick:

    Get back to me when you've grown up. @25 yo, I knew a lot of shit, most of it based on something other than NRA bullshit. Even a fair amount of that was wrong.

    I think I went to school, served in the military and worked a good part of my life with self-assured prats like you, it never occurs to most of them that their "knowledge" is being served to them by the people who benefit from their fealty and ignorance.

    You seem to be a bit hung up on the "z" thing, gunzloon.