Wednesday, April 8, 2009

So, Gun Control

I have avoided gun control on my blog, mostly because it is an area where I have some very strongly held opinions, but an honest discussion is needed somewhere, so here goes nothing...

The whole 'Obama is/isn't going to take away your guns' is a meaningless distraction. Period.

Those of us who pay attention to gun control / gun rights are well aware that an all-at-once gun seizure is not going to happen. That was a one-time trick, New Orleans used up the free pass.

What we are watching for is the slow erosion.

Before I go to far into this, a question for the non gun owners who read this:

What do you think Obama's policies on gun control are?

(EDIT 4/10/09: I am going to abandon gun control for bit here. Not because I don't want to continue the discussion, I just have an idea on how to do it without hijacking this blog. Will update when I get somewhere, probably this weekend)


TRUTH 101 April 8, 2009 at 5:02 PM  

Believe it or not, I did some campaign work for Obama when he was running for Senate against Alan Keyes. I asked him about this when he made an appearance in Quincy which maybe 100 people turned out. Still kicking myself for not getting a picture with him. His reply was "We have laws on the books now. We just need to enforce them."

The campaign aid I worked with later on said the same thing.

Western Illinois loves it's guns.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 6:47 PM  

OMB: What do you think Obama's policies on gun control are?

Best guess: no change in the status quo for the most part with respect to domestic gun ownership. However, there are some issues on the table that will not be to the liking of the NRA. Most current in the news right now: The export of assault type weapons to Mexico, and the illicit arms trade to drug cartels.

The issue boils down to this: Why should law enforcement be out-gunned by drug runners and criminals? The NRA has demanded total carte blanche with respect to buying, selling, and trading ANY type of weapon, including military and quasi-military types. In my view, law enforcement is a dangerous job, and they deserve consideration on this matter.

This is where the NRA and I part company. Owning a hunting rifle for sport or a pistol for personal safety is reasonable and acceptable. Trading in military type weaponry is another matter. Taken to illogical extremes, why not allow everyone to own a "new clear" bomb. Sheer idiocy!

TAO April 8, 2009 at 7:49 PM  

I don't own a gun and a few years ago when there were a rash of break ins in my neighborhood, when my neighbors were buying guns I just put a note on my bedroom door that said, "Don't disturb and I won't disturb you"

I can understand the need for guns for hunting and personal protection, and I have a brother in law who will educate me on how we need guns to protect ourselves from the government (he does hunt but his collection of guns is useless against the government if they ever showed up in his front yard).

But really, should we not sit down and look at this situation of automatics, of our police force being out gunned? When in college I worked at a convenience store where a guy robbed me on third shift and he had a 357 magnum, which I did not realize until they watched the tape....

I just gave him the money and told him that he would be better off stealing cartons of cigarettes and selling them...

There was no way a gun would have done a thing for me in that situation...if my hands had moved anywhere besides the cash register that punk would have shot me...

I just do not understand it. But Obama has higher priorities than gun control and hi is not a stupid man...

So your guns are pretty safe with him.

Anonymous,  April 8, 2009 at 8:28 PM  

I'm pretty much with the rest of the crowd. I grew up in northern NY where everyone owned guns because hunting was a tradition. I have no problem with folks owning guns to hunt or shoot tin cans or protect themselves if need be.

But there does have to be some limits. People seem to have access to weaponry that far surpasses the 306s, 22s and 12/16 gauges from my youth.

It doesn't do a lot of good to have unstable people being told that the government is coming for their guns, either. I believe in free speech, but this almost approaches yelling fire in a crowded theater.

Oh, and nice place you got here, OMR.

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

So, at this point would it be fair then to say that none of you are aware that Obama has posted gun control goals?

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 8:33 PM  

Oh, and hi DBL! Glad you stopped by. Feel free to stop by and chip in. As I am always telling people, this blog is more about the discussions than my posts.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

OMR: So, at this point would it be fair then to say that none of you are aware that Obama has posted gun control goals?

A rather blanket statement. If you are alluding to something, out with it ... and with references si'l vous plait. Today, I saw an interview between Rick Sanchez and Attorney General Holder. According to the AG, "no change" is what he said.

So out with it, I say. You don't want this discussion to devolve into a bad marriage, do ya?

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 9:03 PM  

Octo - As usual, I am in many ways more interested in the thoughts and beliefs behind the debate than the issue itself.

One thing I have noticed lately was a lot of comment about how fears of expanded gun control were 'irrational'. Some of these comments were made in response to things people said that were entirely factually accurate.

That just got me to thinking that just because those of us who are interested in gun rights know exactly what Obama's history and stated policy are, it does not follow that people who are not involved do.

Case in point is the Glen Beck clips that we were speaking of in my last post's comments. When I watch them, I cannot see what you are complaining about. Everything he said was demonstratable fact. And make no mistake, I do not confuse the word 'fact' with 'reasonable opinion'. I mean flat-out, documented, indisputable fact.

(Although I still think linking him to the Katrina fiasco, even implicitly, was a bit low.)

Anonymous,  April 9, 2009 at 3:58 AM  

Prohibition has never worked in any case, whether it be alcohol, drugs or various sexual practices. It's not going to work with guns. The Obama administration may work toward some small restrictions, but disarming this country would be a Herculean task, when there is already too much on his plate.

In the past week or so, there have been shootings in Pittsburgh, Binghamton, a Korean church outing, Seattle and Florida. I realize these things come in clusters, maybe. But, when people want the government to not take their guns away, they shouldn't give them a reason to take their guns away. Is it possible that those who are pro-gun could work to come up with solutions that would help police their own ranks and weed out the nuts? No idea how that would work.

I do think there are several industries with vested interest in pushing the idea that "Obama is going to take yor guns away." Not just the gun manufacturers, but the talk radio folks.

Slightly OT, if I were the Mexican government and had weaponry flowing to criminals in my country, I might think hard about just saying screw it and legalizing drugs. But then, I like the thought of disempowering criminals.

TRUTH 101 April 9, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

Look where this is going OMR. Gun fanatics will claim liberals want their guns taken away. I'm quite liberal. DLB is to the left of me. TAO describes himself as Conservative but I think he's at least as left leaning as I am. None of us want to take the gun away from responsible law abiding citizens.

Regulations to keep guns away from nuts are sensible to keep society safe. That I have to fill out a form and wiat a day or so for a background check isn't that big a deal after all the shootings that have been going on.

If a guy is buying a semi automatic weapon a month I'd like to know what he is doing that he needs a new one every month.

It's not hard to take a resonable statement and spin it into something irrational. We are all talented enough to do it. Beck and Limbaugh have made loads of money doing that.

OpenMindedRepublican April 9, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

DLB - Might want to look into how the stats for Mexico played out.

Truth - I have averaged just under a new gun every month for the last year. Need has no more to do with it than with any other collection.

TAO April 9, 2009 at 11:30 AM  


I am all for liberalism: I believe that PEOPLE working together and sharing a common set of values can achieve greatness.

It seems that liberals are the only ones focussed on the positive and look at today and the future in a way that says, "we can make a difference."

I DO NOT like big government and I absolutely hate big business....what worries me now is that big business and big government are becoming one.

Bigness strangles growth, strangles individuality, strangles freedom...

oh, I could go on and on....but this is OMR living room...

Gun control...lets get real...way too many guns out there and they are not being used for the intended purposes. Going to have to do something but it will not be government that does anything about it.

OpenMindedRepublican April 9, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

Tao - the number of guns is irrelevant. The vast majority of guns are in the hands of collectors. It is the one or two percent in the hands of criminals that are a problem.

But of course, that presupposes that they would be signifigantly less of a problem without guns. I submit that history shows people are quite adept at killing each other with whatever weapons are available.

If you look at the demographics of homicide in the US, the solution is obvious and productive. Blacks make up about 1/8 the population, and just over half of all homicides. Instead of trying to fix how they kill each other, let's fix why they kill each other.

A concentrated push to eliminate pockets of poverty and racial inequality will do far more to reduce homicides than any other approach, and no ones rights need be trampled to do it.

TRUTH 101 April 9, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

I wouldn't have a problem with a police officer asking why you buy a semi automatic weapon every month OMR. If you're legit I have no problem with your buying a semi automatic gun every day.

TAO April 10, 2009 at 5:24 AM  

"A concentrated push to eliminate pockets of poverty and racial inequality will do far more to reduce homicides than any other approach, and no ones rights need be trampled to do it."

OMG! Looks to me like you have your next issue to deal with! Can you do this with tax cuts and less spending? :)

Couldn't resist that one!

Everyday it seems that you turn on the news and somebody has killed somebody, or some big shoot out occurred.

I remember in 1990 I rented a building and financed a young lady to start a daycare. We had that recession and all of the sudden the number of children that had obviously been abused at home increased dramatically and one day the young lady called me up frantic and I went over to her facility....

She showed me a three year old who had cigarette burns on her body.

Then the recession ended and everything went back to normal. Then in early 2008 I warned her about a recession and I reminded her about the issues in the early 90's....

That is why I voted for Obama and it is why I have a tremendous respect for Octopus...we both agree that government must concern its self with the social aspect of our society. It is one of the reasons that the issue of wealth distribution is so important to me.

I grew up during the 60's and I lived in Detroit during the riots...

We have done our society a disservice over the last 20 years.

No one has an issue with gun ownership, but we need to deal with the fact that in our quest for wealth we have left a large portion of our society behind.

Its not just blacks and inner city youth...come to Kentucky and let me introduce you to the divide that exists among well to do whites and the rural poor whites...

It is the divide that scares me the most...

OpenMindedRepublican April 10, 2009 at 5:32 AM  

Yeah, I have had my eye on putting together a post on my theory for how to address some of the poverty issues in America. But it's a big enough theory that I do not know I can fit it in a single post.

And in the end, I am a white middle class suburban male talking about how to fix black urban poverty. Dangerous waters.

TAO April 10, 2009 at 7:02 AM  


No one can allievate poverty; if there is wealth there will be poverty.

Where our effort needs to be is in opportunity. We need to create a dynamic economic system that creates opportunity. That gives people an opportunity to take risk, fail and get back up on their feet and try again.

We need a safety net that rewards people to move up and and off of welfare rather than ensares them and keeps them down.

We need schools that demands performance rather than constantly searches for excuses and justification.

I actually like the idea of some sort of summer camp or youth program that takes kids out of their environment and gives them exposure to something different.

Somebody is always going to end up losing a race, any race, but at least if we put as much effort into creating opportunities someone does not have to be born the loser.

Everything I have said thus far had nothing to do with inner city or is based on what I see and hear in my own neighborhood.

OpenMindedRepublican April 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

(EDIT 4/10/09: I am going to abandon gun control for bit here. Not because I don't want to continue the discussion, I just have an idea on how to do it without hijacking this blog. Will update when I get somewhere, probably this weekend)

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