The Conversation

Gun Control: Issues and news about gun control efforts

'Shotgun' Joe Biden

Feb 21, 2013 2:46 PM PT

Vice President ‘Joking’ Joe Biden is telling Americans that don’t need to go out and buy AR-15 style rifles, but to go out and  “buy a shotgun” for home protection. I didn’t need Joe to tell me to buy a shotgun because I had already purchased this Mossberg 500 ‘Special purpose’ tactical shotgun for my own protection from lunatic leftist and criminals that may want to cause me  and my dogs harm.


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Absolute Moral Authority on Gun Control

Feb 21, 2013 7:56 AM PT

Instapundit links to this very important open letter from Evan M. Todd, a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre.  Read the entire thing here.  I think this excerpt is especially important:

Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.

Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?

You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:

First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.

Sweden Doesn't Have a David Gregory Exception to Gun Laws

Feb 19, 2013 2:01 PM PT

In 2010 a Swedish tabloid did an undercover expose on illegal guns circulating in the city of Malmö (Sweden's 3rd largest city). The journalists involved decided to find out how easy it was to buy a gun illegally on the black market by buying a gun illegally on the black market. Turns out it was fairly easy.

After writing about the experience for the paper the journalists turned the illegal gun over to the police. At this point, Sweden's version of the "David Gregory exception" to gun laws should have come in to play. Surprisingly, the Swedish police filed charges against the two journalists and their editor. Today, all three were found guilty of crimes by an appeals court:

According to the verdict issued on Tuesday by the Svea Court of Appeal, the reporter, Diamant Salihu, is guilty of gun crimes, while Mattsson was convicted of conspiracy to commit gun crime, alongside senior news editor Andreas Johansson who was convicted as an accomplice.

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NY Dems: Mandatory $1M Insurance Policy for Gun Owners

Feb 19, 2013 9:27 AM PT

Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn has proposed a law that would require gun owners to carry a $1M liability policy. 

Bill S2353 will require all gun owners in NY to obtain and “continuously maintain” insurance coverage of at least $1 million, or they will suffer “immediate revocation of such owner’s registration, license and any other privilege to own” a firearm.

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Ammunition Shortages Reported

Feb 18, 2013 7:34 AM PT

Gun dealers are reporting an ammuniton shortage. The reason: consumers are fearful of the potential gun control legislation coming down the road. Anyone who is gun owner looking to replenish their ammo supply has experienced this first hand. Even Wal-Mart is out of ammunition, much to my dismay. In particular, .22LR is hard to find. 

"We absolutely are in uncharted territory," said Larry Hyatt, of the family-owned Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, N.C.. "Our store is 53 years old, and we have never seen anything like this. We have had some spot shortages and busy gun times in the past. This is a level (of demand) never before seen." 

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Gun Ranges Wussing Out

Feb 16, 2013 3:13 PM PT

I just got back from squeezing off some rounds at a local gun range in Pompano Beach, Florida, and could help but notice that one of the targets the range was using, was that of a Terrorist armed with a RPG, and wearing the traditional terrorist garb.

What is the big deal? The Terrorist's skin was painted blue. Any part of the image that displayed the terrorist's skin was painted in blue. Is this too P.C.? God forbid that we  shoot at an image of a person who's skin is darker than the paper the image is printed on.

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Chicago: Four More Shot, One Dead, After Obama's Gun Speech

Feb 16, 2013 7:44 AM PT

Just hours after the President spoke in Chicago about the need for more "common sense proposals" on guns in that city, four people were shot, and another was killed, within a 90 minute span

In his speech, President Obama said "Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun." Striking the same chord reminiscent of his message in the wake of the Newton massacre Obama said, "we may not be able to save every child from gun violence, but if we save a few, that starts changing the atmosphere in our communities." 

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Obama's Speech in Chicago's South Side, Just Another Photo Op

Feb 15, 2013 2:36 PM PT

In response to As Obama gets under way in Chicago: Joel, I agree with you here. But I think you're being a bit too generous. You're right, Obama has helped to downplay and undermined the idea of individual responsibility--but I fear the damage is far more devastating. Obama hasn't just undermined the notion of individual responsibility, he's nuked it. 

Obama's policies have pushed more American's into food stamps dependence in four years, than President Bush did in eight. From "Obama phones" to ObamaCare, the soul-crushing cancer of dependency is spreading at breakneck speed. While Obama pays lip service to civic responsibility, as you suggest, his government-growing actions fly in the face of responsibility. 

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As Obama gets under way in Chicago

Feb 15, 2013 1:29 PM PT

I've seen Obama speak in Chicago in person--in 2008, at a church on the South Side. Obama often repeats a message of responsibility in these settings: parents should read to kids, kids should do their homework, young people should help their communities instead of hanging around in gangs, etc. That message of responsibility is part of what built support for Obama among suburbanites more used to hearing the usual grievance rhetoric from city politicians. I fully expect Obama to use the same language in his gun control (sorry, "economy") speech today at a school in Hyde Park. I also expect to see the media fawning over it. And--all well and good, because more of that rhetoric is needed. The problem is more than rhetoric is needed, and Obama has done much to undermine the notion of individual responsibility to which he pays homage in these speeches.

Judging Obama's gun policy by liberal media's 'racial code'

Feb 15, 2013 9:01 AM PT

President Barack Obama seems to think that different gun rules should apply to people in rural areas and people in urban areas. As I noted last month:

Curiously, the president attempted to draw a distinction between gun ownership in rural areas versus urban areas, according to the interview: 

Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family's traditions, you can see why you'd be pretty protective of that.

So it's trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.

Were any other politician to have made such a distinction, they might well have been accused of racism.

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Obama to Push Gun Control Agenda in South Side Chicago...WAIT, WHAT?

Feb 15, 2013 7:15 AM PT

Obama is paying a visit on his post-SOTU campaign tour to the south-side of Chicago to push his gun control anti-gun violence agenda. 

Chicago, with a gun violence death count of 500 for the year of 2012, has some of the most restrictive firearm laws in the nation.  It's not clear what Obama will talk about to his audience, as they are largely restricted from legally owning a firearm.  He may ask them to support more background checks for the guns they can't purchase in the first place. Or perhaps he will ask the criminals who buy/sell firearms to intitute some sort of background check within the black market where these guns are sold and purchased.  

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The treasures of an advanced society

Feb 14, 2013 1:37 PM PT

In response to South Africa's domestic violence disaster:

The health of a society may be reliably measured by how well it treasures its women.  Abandoning them with children or demanding government-subsidized contraception, so they can be more easily treated as recreational devices, isn't so great either.  There are many ways to cultivate a bad culture; fewer paths to the nourishment of a good one.  And the volume of shame swirling through a culture does not diminish just because people refuse to feel it.

South Africa's domestic violence disaster

Feb 14, 2013 1:17 PM PT

It is shocking that Oscar Pistorius would (allegedly) murder his girlfriend. But such events are all too common in South Africa. In December, I wrote about a South African friend who was stabbed to death by her husband.

That culture of domestic violence is not a black/white issue. It persists throughout the country. There are no easy solutions to it--and banning guns is not the answer, since men seem willing to hurt women with whatever comes to hand. We don't have the same cultural problem in the USA, but culture is part of the problem.

Toy Gun Makers in the Crosshairs

Feb 13, 2013 6:32 AM PT

The toy gun industry has experienced a backlash, as they struggle "to strike a delicate balance between profit and sensitivity."

"I have heard that toy guns that look like real weapons have slowed down in general, but toy weapons that are whimsical, fun and colorful, those have not been affected," said Beaver Raymond, co-founder of the Marshmallow Fun Company, a toymaker.

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Time to tug the ol' gun control heartstrings

Feb 12, 2013 8:54 AM PT

In response to Gun Control May Be "In Vogue" But It's Not Popular:

Doubtless that's why we're getting a big gun-control show at the SOTU tonight, complete with human props.  This issue is the quintessential example of emotion triumphing over reason.  Gun control sometimes polls well for a while in the abstract, after a big gun-related media freakout, but support always evaporates when the public takes a deep breath and begins thinking about the specific proposals on the table.  It only takes about ten seconds for people to remember that the police will most likely be visiting the site of their violent murder to investigate the crime, not to protect them.

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Julia, Get Your Gun!

Feb 11, 2013 8:29 AM PT

For years the feminists' underlying message to women was that they needed the government to support and protect them.  How empowering!  In 2012 the Obama campaign told us the story of Julia -- a woman who needs government from cradle to grave. 

Before conservatives give up on the "women's vote," I saw this hopeful headline in the New York Times, "Rising Voice of Gun Ownership is Female."  From the article:

In the debate over firearms regulations, the voices of gun owners have largely been those of men. But at firing ranges across the country, a growing number of women are learning to use firearms and honing their skills.

Women’s participation in shooting sports has surged over the last decade, increasing by 51.5 percent for target shooting from 2001 to 2011, to just over 5 million women, and by 41.8 percent for hunting, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

Gun sales to women have risen in concert. In a survey last year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 73 percent of gun dealers said the number of female customers had gone up in 2011, as had a majority of retailers surveyed in the two previous years.

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