Gun Confiscation Reference February 2018

February 2018

[Reverse chronological order]

February 27 2018
Maine Voices: It’s time for a gun abolition movement
We need to stand up to the NRA and push for what is so desperately needed: a complete ban on firearms.

February 27, 2018
Mercury News – Eugene Robinson | The Washington Post:
Robinson: Arming teachers is absurd — ban military-style assault rifles

February 26, 2018
PSMag: Repeal the Second Amendment Already

February. 23, 2018
The Star: Want to end gun violence Mr. President? Get rid of guns

February 19, 2018
La Times: No one becomes a mass shooter without a mass-shooting gun

February 18, 2018
It’s Too Late. You’ve Lost Your Guns.

February. 16, 2018
Democrat and Chronicle: Let’s repeal the Second Amendment

February. 16, 2018
New York Times -To Repeat: Repeal the Second Amendment

Maine Voices: It’s time for a gun abolition movement
We need to stand up to the NRA and push for what is so desperately needed: a complete ban on firearms.
February 27 2018 Greg Bates
MONROE — As students under fire in Florida speak out to end mass shootings, many hope this time it’s different. Indeed, their demand is compelling: Our representatives in Washington must act less like politicians and more like parents. Most of them have children; they should act like it.

But a fuzzy demand for “gun control” will likely squander this opportunity to save lives. To end gun deaths, we need to ban all civilian guns.

We must have laws that keep Americans safe from gun technology that the Constitution’s framers never foresaw, from manufacturing techniques to laser gun sights to automatic weapons. Even a simple revolver was beyond their conceptual horizons. On the cultural front, the Australian experience suggests that pro-gun attitudes shift in favor of reducing weapons – once the restrictive legislation saves lives.

Abolishing guns will profoundly alter the American way of life for the better, just like women’s suffrage did. Is gun abolition too extreme? Not if human life comes first.

Many great political victories aim for what initially seems like an impossible objective. Opponents of slavery didn’t advocate “slave control.” They were abolitionists. Gandhi did not campaign to control the British – he sought Indian independence from a starting point that looked hopeless. Nevertheless, in both cases, proponents succeeded while stating their objectives in uncompromising terms.


If we want to end the carnage, we must advocate for the solution that is required, not one designed to be politically palatable. Instead of shying away from the NRA’s accusation that gun control advocates want to take away their guns, we should embrace it as a mantra.

Let’s clear the air and call for total civilian disarmament. Period.

Mercury News – Eugene Robinson | The Washington Post:
Robinson: Arming teachers is absurd — ban military-style assault rifles

WASHINGTON — The deliberately outrageous idea of arming classroom teachers is nothing more than a distraction, a ploy by the gun lobby to buy time for passions to cool. Don’t get sidetracked. Keep the focus where it belongs — on keeping military-style assault rifles out of civilian hands.

The fact that the GOP and the gun lobby are pushing this nonstarter is proof of how worried they are that the Parkland massacre has the potential to provoke real change. It’s not so much that Republicans would enact sensible gun control, but that voters might replace them with Democrats who will.

That is why NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spent much of a foaming-at-the-mouth speech Thursday making the insane claim that Democrats, if elected, will impose some kind of socialist tyranny. “You should be anxious and you should be frightened,” he warned at the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference. Please, oh please, he wants you to be frightened.

“If they seize power, if these so-called European socialists take over the House and the Senate and, God forbid, they get the White House again, our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever,” LaPierre implored. “The first to go will be the Second Amendment.” LaPierre charged that Democrats “want more restrictions on the law-abiding,” which is an odd way to describe school shooters.

Repeal the Second Amendment Already
We do not need a well-regulated militia (or any militia) to have a free society. We need fewer guns.
David M. Perry Feb 26, 2018
Before we get to the lines about guns and infringement, the Second Amendment opens with, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State….” Turns out, that’s a false premise. A well-regulated militia isn’t necessary at all. Given that people keep being murdered in ever-increasing numbers thanks to the proliferation of ever-more-powerful guns, let’s just go ahead and repeal it. We can start tomorrow.

Every time there’s a gun massacre that somehow exceeds all the other recent gun massacres in horror and scope, here’s what happens: The survivors cry out for justice. The many politicians who still cater to the National Rifle Association, to their lobbying money, and to the gun manufacturers who provide that money, will pause in promoting gun sales to offer their dutiful thoughts and prayers. Next, sober-sounding politicians on both sides offer incremental consensus approaches to gun regulation. Such incremental solutions spark brief hope that somehow this time we might do something, anything. And then the second media attention fades even a little, the NRA and its lackeys find a reason to abandon even the most modest change. Inertia wins. The next massacre arrives.

The time for incrementalism is long past over.

Finally, supporting the Second Amendment weakens other amendments. For example, students around the country seeking to protest the gun violence in Parkland were threatened by their schools with especially strict suspensions, a violation (I would argue) of their First Amendment rights. When right-wing protesters show up to events bearing rifles, they are using the threat of violence enabled by the Second Amendment to chill the free speech of others. The calls to lock up people with mental illness, absent appropriate due process, violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Taking extreme positions on one set of rights often results in trading away others.

We do not need a well-regulated militia (or any militia) to have a free society. What we need is fewer guns. Sure, in this specific political context, constitutional change is not a practical solution. Practical solutions, however, have failed again and again, thanks to the NRA and the Republican Party. Let’s abandon practicality. We cannot arm our way to a safer society, so we’re going to have find a way to change the political context.

Want to end gun violence Mr. President? Get rid of guns
By Heather MallickStar Columnist
Fri., Feb. 23, 2018

The students told him gently — they were not an angry group because that terrific type of student wasn’t invited — about lives lost to guns and why gun control was necessary. But when it came to solutions, the teenage drive for gun control was muted. The 29-year-old brother of a Parkland victim and one Parkland father suggested arming teachers.

So what does Trump get from the meeting? The suggestion that sounded easiest, cheapest and popular with the NRA: more guns.

I have always been sardonic about gun licences. You fill the forms out yourself. The police say they’ll check, but will they? In Canada, the famously inefficient RCMP ask you this: During the past five (5) years, have you threatened or attempted suicide, or have you suffered from or been diagnosed or treated by a medical practitioner for: depression; alcohol, drug or substance abuse; behavioural problems; or emotional problems?

Say you’re Nikolas Cruz. You just write NO. You are a mentally unfit person who doesn’t think they’re mentally unfit, which of course is sometimes a symptom of mental unfitness. Frankly, you’d be the last to know. So NO.

I struggle with ticket machines in parking garages. I often teach in classrooms. Do not give me a gun. My talent does not lie in hitting meat targets.

I have begun to think that a large segment of Americans have a kind of mass psychosis, a faith in weaponry that can only be called a cult. Guns are what President Trump likes best. Is there anything more damning?


No one becomes a mass shooter without a mass-shooting gun
By George Skelton Feb 19, 2018
Look, it’s really simple: Mass shootings will continue in this country until we finally ban mass-shooting weapons.

The more bullets a gun can fire rapidly, the more people will die.

Pretty basic stuff. We don’t need to twist elementary logic into a contortion.

Anyone who doesn’t understand this is probably a firearms addict in denial.

Let’s be clear: I’m not anti-gun. I grew up shooting, have owned firearms all my life and enjoyed them. I’m pro-common sense.
There’s absolutely no reason to possess a semiautomatic, military-style rifle with large-capacity ammunition magazines except to kill lots of people within a few minutes.

It’s not a good hunting weapon. And for personal protection, you’re better off with a 12-gauge shotgun or a handgun. Of course, with those weapons at home, you also might shoot a family member or yourself.

Sorry, but all these gun killings and the national politicians’ inaction afterward are getting old and repetitious. It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day.”

Regarding movies, yes, too many flicks extol gratuitous violence and sow evil seeds in vulnerable kids’ minds. Video games are worse. But again, no one in real life becomes a mass shooter without a mass-shooting gun.

Immediately after last week’s South Florida school shooting that left 17 dead and 14 wounded, there was the usual strained finger-pointing at the lack of mental health treatment. Baloney!

Sure, anyone who murders is a wacko. But that doesn’t mean they’re clinically mentally ill. No more than 5% of all violence is committed by the mentally ill, according to Garen Wintemute, director of the UC Firearm Violence Research Center.

Certainly there should be better mental health care. The suspect was a troubled 19-year-old ripe for therapy.

Nikolas Cruz had been kicked out of school and his mother had just died. Even before that, he reportedly had tormented neighbors — bit a kid’s ear, threw eggs at a car, shot chickens with a BB gun. He’d posed with guns on Instagram and declared on YouTube: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

He probably couldn’t have shot 31 victims with a six-shooter or pistol holding nine rounds. He would have needed to pause to reload, giving his former schoolmates a few seconds to flee or jump the guy.

Instead, Cruz went to the high school armed with a weapon of choice for mass killers: a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle — the civilian knockoff of the military M-4 — and several magazines. He had bought the weapon legally in Florida, which has weak gun laws.

More of the country should be following California. We banned the sale of such assault weapons many years ago.

In 2016, we took another big step. The Legislature passed a bill and the voters overwhelmingly approved a separate ballot initiative outlawing the possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

But attorneys for the National Rifle Assn. persuaded U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez of San Diego to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the large magazine ban. The California Rifle and Pistol Assn. argued that the ban violated 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms and also protections against government seizure of property without due process or compensation.

Nonsense on the first count. The late conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 2008 opinion affirming the right of individuals to own firearms: “The right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. … The right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

The gun lobby’s second count was on target: The state government shouldn’t be forcing citizens to surrender their ammo magazines without compensation. If the state wants the magazines, it should buy them.

California and every other state should do a better job of detecting potential killers and seizing their guns. Cruz was waving red flags. The FBI didn’t see them.


It’s Too Late. You’ve Lost Your Guns.
February 18, 2018

Last week, a reader named Amy left a comment on the Protecting Your Family post that said:

“I used to think the same way as you with regard to this thought: “I definitely want you to be able to keep your guns, but….”

But you know what, now I do want to take your guns away. Why do you need them? I want to take them all away. I live each day with a pit in my stomach as I send my young children to school. Why do we have to live like this? Maybe we should start having an honest conversation about wanting to take ALL THE GUNS AWAY!!!!!!!”

And I replied with this comment:

“Maybe it’s just in the air right now, but I’ve been hearing a lot of that. One thought that occurred to me yesterday is this: A majority of American citizens have been asking, demanding, begging for improvements to our gun safety laws for a long time. The asks have been reasonable and accommodating. The asks have been small changes and simple fixes — like closing the gun show loopholes, or universal background checks. That same majority of Americans who want better gun regulations have listened to opposing views and acknowledged how unique and important our constitutional amendments are. But still, despite the patience, and small asks, and focus on common sense, and wide bi-partisan support for change, no action has been taken.

Have people reached the point where the majority of Americans are no longer willing to be accommodating about this? Are people feeling like: Hey, we tried to do this in small ways that wouldn’t freak you out, but you wouldn’t compromise even an inch. And now we’re done talking about small ways. We want all guns gone. Our patience is officially exhausted. You had your chance, but you weren’t willing to work with us, and now you’re going to lose your gun privileges.

I don’t know if that’s really how people are feeling right now, but if it is, I get it. And like I said, I’ve been seeing lots of comments similar to yours in the last few days.”

Turns out “seeing lots of comments like that” was understating it.

My social feeds were absolutely overflowing with calls for an outright gun ban. And the biggest shock is that the calls were coming from lifelong gun-rights supporters.

I was honestly a bit stunned at the bold demands and am so curious to know if you were seeing the same thing. I’m becoming convinced some sort of tipping point has been reached on the gun situation in our country. This is a quote I read from a friend in Michigan. He’s a middle-aged white man; a lawyer who I’ve always known to be pro-gun rights, and who lives in a county where there are a lot of hunters, so he’s surrounded by gun-owning friends, co-workers and family members:

“Until now, we were never coming for your guns. Those of us who have no real interest in guns simply wanted commonsense regulations. But now, we are coming for your guns. And we’re going to use our vote to take them.”

And I read a ton of conversations over the weekend from friends who have had a similar change in stance. I confess, I didn’t really participate in the conversations. I just read. As I said, I was surprised by all the bold calls for the gun ban I was seeing, and wanted to read what gun owners said in response. There was a lot of good stuff. I collected bits and pieces from several of these conversations, and edited them together to create one conversation, and I’m presenting it here so we can discuss.

The time for half measures has passed. A full ban is inevitable. There are other ways to interpret the second amendment. It can be argued that activist courts tortured the plain ‘militia’ language of the amendment into some basic human right. That interpretation could be trumped by a constitutional amendment banning guns.

You keep talking about simple regulations. Like what? What are you talking about? What laws would prevent gun violence?

No solution will be perfect, and one idea does not necessarily preclude another. We can try many different things. Here are 12 smart regulations I’ve seen suggested. None have been taken seriously or advocated for by gun owners. (There are dozens and dozens more on this thread.)

– A true national background check for all gun sales with a fully funded complete database.
– Taking a harder look at who has the ‘right’ to own a gun.
– Defining what responsible gun ownership looks like. Are there mandates there?
– Making gun owners responsible for whatever happens with their gun.
– Making high-capacity weapons illegal.
– Requiring a mandatory 2-month waiting period.
– Requiring fire arm insurance.
– Requiring firearm registration.
– Requiring annual mental health checkups for gun owners.
– Banning bump stocks.
– A lifetime ban from any gun ownership for domestic violence convictions (which funding to enforce). If you are being investigated for any domestic violence crime you lose all guns until it has been settled.
– Allow the CDC to study firearms as a matter of public health.


Let’s repeal the Second Amendment
Michael Leroy Oberg, Guest Essayist Published 11:56 a.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018
Thirty thousand Americans die every year from gunshot wounds, whether from homicide, suicide, or accident. We have had several school shootings in the past several months, roughly one every sixty hours thus far in 2018. And our feckless leaders in the Senate and the House remain beholden to the National Rifle Association, a trade organization that has opposed any attempt to remedy the problem. While children die, they remind Americans that the Founding Fathers asserted in the Second Amendment that “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

No matter what arguments the advocates of gun control deploy — that the phrase “well regulated” implies some ability on the part of government to limit gun rights; that the verb construction to “bear arms” has been used almost always to describe a military use for weapons; that the Constitution is a “living” document that ought to be interpreted in the light of changing circumstances; and that the Founding Fathers could never have considered that the sort of violence acted out in Las Vegas or Orlando or Newtown a justifiable example of bearing arms — the advocates of “gun rights” will always have their tendentious reading of the Second Amendment to defend their position.

So let’s repeal the Second Amendment. It is dated, lethal, and morally abhorrent. The Constitution is not a sacred text. It is a framework for government, the product of dozens of compromises. The men who framed the document envisioned that it would be changed. They made the process difficult and time-consuming, but it has happened.
Michael Leroy Oberg is Distinguished Professor of History at SUNY-Geneseo


To Repeat: Repeal the Second Amendment
By Bret Stephens Feb. 16, 2018
Had Wednesday’s massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school been different in one respect — that is, had alleged perpetrator Nikolas Cruz shouted “Allahu akbar” during the course of his rampage — conservatives would be demanding another round of get-tough measures.

Tougher immigration laws. Tougher domestic surveillance. A rollback of Miranda rights for the accused. Possibly even a Muslim registry. Constitutional protections and American ideals, goes the argument, must sometimes yield to urgent public safety concerns.

But Cruz, like Las Vegas’s Stephen Paddock or Newtown’s Adam Lanza and so many other mass murderers before them, is just another killer without a cause. Collectively, their carnages account for some 1,800 deaths and close to 7,000 injuries in the United States since the beginning of 2013, according to The Guardian — though that’s only a small fraction of overall gun-related deaths. And conservatives have next to nothing of use to say about it.

There’s a good case to be made for owning a handgun for self-defense, or a rifle for hunting. There is no remotely sane case for being allowed to purchase, as Paddock did, 33 firearms in the space of a year. But that change can’t happen without a constitutional fix. Anything less does little more than treat the symptoms of the disease.

I know what the objections to this argument will be. What about John Locke and Cesare Beccaria? What about the preservation of American liberties and the encroachments of bureaucratic liberal despotism?

Right. What about another 17 murdered souls, and their classmates and families, and the inability of today’s conservatives to offer anything except false bromides and empty prayers?


Author: Torcer

Differential equations teaches us that one can use the initial conditions of the present to extrapolate events in the near term balanced with the knowledge of the past. The interaction of technological advances and the march of history is fascinating. History can inform those willing to listen as to what will happen in the future because the laws of human natural are as immutable as the elegant equations of Newtonian physics.

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