Gun politics thread

ScarFace88

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I don't think he quite understands what the 94 ban actually did, and that the availability and price of high capacity rifle mags wasn't as affected as pistol mags were. I think what we're seeing is the effect of incessant media reporting glorifying the shooter and spawning copycats. This is a known phenomenon, have a look at the effect of the media reporting on Dunblane and Martin Bryant.
 
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Blind_Io

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I've been thinking about what might actually help curb gun violence. There's been a lot of talk about Red Flag laws, a new AWB, etc. What about making it a criminal offense for government agencies to not report to NICS in a timely fashion? The Texas Church shooting was carried out by someone who should have been flagged in NICS but his dishonorable discharge and legal history in the USAF was never sent to NICS. That level of negligence directly contributed to the deaths in that shooting, if a civilian had failed to report that information, they would face civil and potentially criminal legal proceedings.
 

Spectre

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I've been thinking about what might actually help curb gun violence. There's been a lot of talk about Red Flag laws, a new AWB, etc. What about making it a criminal offense for government agencies to not report to NICS in a timely fashion? The Texas Church shooting was carried out by someone who should have been flagged in NICS but his dishonorable discharge and legal history in the USAF was never sent to NICS. That level of negligence directly contributed to the deaths in that shooting, if a civilian had failed to report that information, they would face civil and potentially criminal legal proceedings.
I was holding fire on both the last shootings until more info is in, as I usually do - but at this juncture, it appears both shooters took and passed their NICS background checks and there wasn’t any sort of thing where a lazy government employee just shrugged and approved it when she shouldn’t have (Charlottesville shooter) or the system utterly failed to have the information input (VT shooter). Or many of the other NICS fails that have happened; NICS is so bad that I was actually surprised to find out that it hadn’t screwed up, to give people an idea of how many times a mass shooter has been cleared by NICS when NICS should have flagged them.

While your idea of holding people responsible for reporting is a good one, unfortunately even if passed into law the government would probably never pursue prosecution of offenders more than on a token basis - because failing NICS is a Federal felony that the government already has the complete evidence for, yet they prosecute less than 1% of justified NICS failures per year.

So, with that in mind, I do not support ‘more background checks’ until they fix the broken crap we have now. To that end, here are my suggestions:

1. First, make the ATF do their job and require it to investigate 100% of NICS denials. While many NICS rejections will be caused by clerical errors, similar/identical names and the like, those should still be chased down and the resulting information used to improve the system. The remaining correct rejections, where the applicant was rejected for actually being a prohibited person who attempted to buy a firearm? We should have 100% prosecution, no exceptions. We currently don’t (again, less than 1%) and that is the first thing we need to fix, especially because it’s a slam-dunk case and a trial would take about three hours.

2. End the ‘oh, you turned 18? We’re wiping your criminal record’ free pass for serious mental issues (more on this in 3) and serious crimes of violence that occurred while under 18. Many of the recent shooters had significant juvenile encounters with law enforcement and mental health professionals that if they’d been adults at the time would have been clear red flags preventing a NICS clearance - including the Dayton shooter, who apparently had an extensive mental health and criminal record as a juvenile.

3. Establish a court of appeals for those wrongfully placed on the NICS no buy list. Right now, there is no effective way to appeal a wrongful rejection and get the system corrected other than to lobby bureaucrats at NICS. Who are, unsurprisingly, capricious. Someone rejected incorrectly should be afforded full legal rights and proceedings to get their status corrected. Likewise, someone who had mental issues as a teen that is now an adult and actually does not have those issues any more should be able to get their rights restored.

4. Politicians should be required to pass NICS before running for office. Just to make sure the system works and is accurate. After all, if they can’t be legally trusted with a gun, there is no way they should be allowed to have the even more dangerous power of public office.

5. Strict personal criminal liability for personnel who are supposed to report to NICS, persons operating NICS and NICS administrators. The shield of sovereign immunity that all the above typically hide behind when they screw up (I hear the lazy worker that passed the Charlottesville shooter was recently promoted) should be removed and they should be personally criminally prosecuted when they fail in their duties. And just to keep them from pulling the classic bureaucratic move of deciding that it's too dangerous to approve anyone, make false reporting or denying a sale when the person is innocent and should have been approved also a crime, with even worse penalties. To that end, mental health professionals who are supposed to be reporting to NICS should also be held personally criminally liable for their reporting to the correct agency - the Aurora shooter would have been stopped if the college dean who had been legally counseling the shooter had actually reported it to a real police agency instead of the campus security goons. Likewise the mental health professionals who would for various reasons spuriously report their patients just to prevent people who aren't actually violent and just need to work out issues from getting firearms (this, by the way, is why many police, fire and ambulance crews as well as military and veterans do not seek out mental help - the consequences of even just talking out your marital problems and figuring out stress can mean that you get put on the NICS list for no good reason and lose your job) should also be held to even nastier criminal penalties if they file a report to unjustifiably deny someone their rights. Right now they're not; see the court idea above - just as someone can prove they were improperly classified as incompetent/insane by going before a court ordered battery of psychiatrists, there should be a similar procedure for NICS reported persons - because we all know there are psychiatrists that falsely report their patients to NICS for personal political reasons. Any mental health worker who falsely reports in either direction should be held personally criminally and perhaps even civilly reliable - just to make sure they're absolutely sure of their diagnosis.

Only after we do the above should we look at expanding the use of NICS - because some states already require 'universal checks' and with NICS in the condition it's in, it is worse than useless. The San Bernadino shooters bought their firearms in California, which has universal background checks. Didn't do much good, did it? In fact, California's experience with universal checks is now more than 20 years old and it bears this out.
 
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Spectre

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What do you have to counter what he said other than name calling?
The AWB was utterly useless.
The AWB was so spectacularly successful that it failed to prevent the MASSIVELY INFAMOUS COLUMBINE MASS SHOOTING. Which was, for those that don't know, done mostly with weapons and magazines that were fully legal to sell under the AWB and in fact would be legal under most proposed "assault weapon bans" in one form or another - short of a total ban on modern firearms.

Saving myself some typing and quoting prior posts:
The Columbine massacre was conducted mostly with low-capacity magazines. Harris used a High Point 995 carbine with 13 ten round magazines. He fired that 96 times. He also used a Savage 67H shotgun which does not have a detachable magazine and must be reloaded singly - he fired that 25 times. (There were no so-called assault rifles used at Columbine. Or Virginia Tech. Or Isla Vista.)
"But, but, Columbine's killers used assault rifles, right?" Nope. Per Wikipedia:

These are the actual weapons recovered from the bodies of the Columbine killers (courtesy of acolumbinesite.com):

Hi-Point model 995 carbine - not an 'assault rifle'.


Sawed-off pump-action Savage-Springfield 67H shotgun - not an 'assault rifle'.


TEC-DC9 9-mm semi-automatic handgun - not an 'assault rifle'.


Double-barrel Savage 311-D sawed-off shotgun - still not an 'assault rifle'.

And, of course, a shitload of bombs including a car bomb that Dylan set the timer on incorrectly and a fuel-air bomb in the cafeteria. The list:
48 -- Carbon Dioxide bombs
27 -- Pipe bombs
11 -- 1.5 gallon propane bombs
7 -- gas or napalm bombs
2 -- 20 pound propane bombs
Not an 'assault rifle' in the bunch, and the DC9 was the closest thing to an 'assault weapon' they had. It jammed early and was useless. The supermajority of the victims were shot by the 995 or the shotguns.
 
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Spectre

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Ah, the latest stupidity - the same people that want to ban "assault weapons" also want to keep private citizens from being able to buy a proven method to protect oneself from "assault weapons" in case the law doesn't work.

https://www.apnews.com/a563aba997814450ab1ed471df946d80

Schumer bill would require FBI to regulate body armor sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s top Democrat says he’s introducing legislation to require the FBI to regulate the sale of body armor in the U.S.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday that the legislation would require the bureau to set standards on who would be eligible to purchase bullet-resistant vests and other body armor.

The New York senator says there would be exceptions for law enforcement and other public safety professionals.

Schumer says he’ll introduce the bill after the Senate returns to Washington in September.

The legislation is aimed at trying to curb the sale of body armor, which has been used by assailants in mass shootings. The push comes a week after a gunman wearing body armor killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio.

The FBI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Worth noting that the press and police have misidentified unarmored tactical vests and carriers as "armor" many, many times in the past and that current reports are that the "ballistic armor" was so good that the police were able to penetrate and kill the Dayton shooter with normal, non-armor piercing rounds through the "armor" - so it's very likely that it wasn't actual armor.
 

GRtak

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Because they were right there the police were able to stop him quickly. Yet in that 30 seconds, he was able to kill 9 and wound more.
 

Spectre

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Because they were right there the police were able to stop him quickly. Yet in that 30 seconds, he was able to kill 9 and wound more.
And that disputes the argument that he likely didn't wear body armor how?
Second the above - how, exactly, is your assertion of his 'kill count' even vaguely connected to the question of whether or not the idiot was wearing body armor? Additionally, the 30 second time to takeout is not wholly correct; according to the current official timeline, the perp showed up and began shooting, the on-site officers opened fire 20 seconds after the perp commenced firing and under 10 seconds later the perp was incapacitated - so that gives a time to incap of just 10 seconds or less. Makes it even less likely that he was wearing armor.

In the entire 30 seconds, he fired 41 rounds and only - 'only' is of course no comfort to the victims, I am sure - killed 10 and injured 14.
I would point out that even if the shooter had been unable to obtain the pistol he used because of some fantasy 'assault weapon' ban, he could have obtained a completely legal hunting shotgun, cut down the barrel and started dumping rounds into the crowd all the same and probably have achieved at least similar results. 41 rounds is 41 projectiles - that's four 00 Buck shotgun shells and at the ranges inside the bar they would probably cause far more damage and kill more people. AWBs would not have stopped this - in fact, you can get a 12 gauge pump shotgun for under $150 now and nothing short of a total ban is going to get rid of those.

---

In other not unrelated news, this mass shooting seems to have quietly slipped under the radar: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-48522342

It seems that "safe Australia" where Obama claimed this sort of thing never happens because of their "gun ban" has mass/spree shootings too.

Darwin shooting: Banned shotgun used in four killings, police say

5 June 2019

Suspect detained after Darwin shooting

A man alleged to have killed four people and injured another in the Australian city of Darwin used an illegal pump-action shotgun, police say.

The 45-year-old suspect, known to police, was arrested about an hour after the first shots were fired on Tuesday.

Police said he carried out attacks at several locations and may have been searching for a "specific individual".

It was not terror-related, they added.

Authorities have not identified the victims nor the suspect.

However Australian media have identified the gunman as Darwin man Benjamin Hoffman.

One of the victims has also been named as Hassan Baydoun, a 33-year-old taxi driver from Lebanon.

A relative told the Sydney Morning Herald: "It's a big loss... he was one of the best people i knew in my life."

'Prohibited firearm'

Mass shootings - defined in Australia as incidents with four or more deaths - have been a rare occurrence since the country overhauled its gun laws in 1996, in the wake of a shooting in Tasmania that left 35 people dead.

Those reforms included restrictions on gun ownership and the banning of semi-automatic and automatic firearms.

The weapon used on Tuesday was a prohibited 12-gauge pump-action shotgun. Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said it "may have been stolen as far back as 1997".

Such a weapon should have been surrendered or destroyed under the government crackdown on firearms at the time, experts have said.

How did the shootings unfold?

The alleged gunman, who had been on parole since January, was wearing an electronic tag at the time. Police said he had served four years of a six-year sentence.

Police said he travelled to several places across the city, including the Palms Hotel in the suburb of Woolner. There he allegedly opened fire in a number of rooms before fleeing.

One man was killed at the hotel, and another person was wounded, police said.

Another person was killed at Buff Club, another at Gardens Hill Crescent and another at Jolly Street. Police said the suspect also went to the Peter McAulay Centre - a police operations base.

Witnesses said the suspect appeared to have been searching for a specific person called "Alex".

"We know he was looking for one individual," Commissioner Kershaw told reporters on Wednesday.

The suspect remains in police custody at the Royal Darwin Hospital and is expected to be charged with murder, he added.

What has been the response?

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said officials would conduct an urgent review of all prisoners on parole in the wake of the shootings.

"The Northern Territory Government will do everything in its power to determine what led to these tragic events and how this violence occurred," Mr Gunner said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday the shootings were a "terrible act of violence".

Gun crime is rare in Australia, but it saw its worst mass shooting incident in more than 20 years last year when seven members of the same family died in a murder-suicide.

More recently, a man was killed and three others wounded in a shooting outside a popular nightclub in Melbourne in April.
A "banned" weapon wielded by a felon being electronically monitored who didn't remove the monitor and it still happened. So much for the assertion that a gun ban would stop this - because obviously even the much-lauded Aussie ban didn't.

Videos and links at source above.
 
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prizrak

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It seems that "safe Australia" where Obama claimed this sort of thing never happens because of their "gun ban" has mass/spree shootings too.
To be a bit of a devil's advocate, I don't think anyone realistically thinks that any kind of law would prevent a 100% of incidents. It would be rather dishonest to not admit that we have significantly more of these types of mass murder than any other 1st world country.

That is not to say that I believe that the issue is access to weapons or even the types of weapons but there is certainly something in the US that causes more of these.
 

Spectre

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To be a bit of a devil's advocate, I don't think anyone realistically thinks that any kind of law would prevent a 100% of incidents. It would be rather dishonest to not admit that we have significantly more of these types of mass murder than any other 1st world country.
Not entirely sure about that stat on a per capita basis, but it's certainly an elevated number - but then we have over 300 million people in the country now, so there's going to be more idiots going bonkers in the country no matter what.

That said, there's a lot of US politicians and others publicly promising pretty much that - "these incidents wouldn't happen if we had the AWB back".

That is not to say that I believe that the issue is access to weapons or even the types of weapons but there is certainly something in the US that causes more of these.
It is, unfortunately, the current culture - and a lot of failure on the part of government.
 

Blind_Io

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I think that both sides are seeing part of the picture, few are seeing all of it. Other countries have mental health issues - but also tend to have socialized mental healthcare. I've seen clients who had to ration their psychiatric meds or go off them due to financial concerns, clients who would not check themselves in for inpatient, or who discontinued therapy all due to money. I also believe that there's a media/cultural component to violence and that our entire nation is one big "cluster". When we see a suicide in a community (such as a student at a school), we know that others in that community are more likely to attempt or complete a suicide. We call this a Suicide Cluster; it happened for over a year at one of the local high schools in my area. Every couple of months there was another suicide, each one increasing the likelihood of the next. The media's rabid fascination with mass casualty events, especially those that can be spun politically, is probably a significant contributing factor. The polarization of the country politically is likely also a factor, as some of these shooters have quoted or referenced political rhetoric. Finally, there's the relatively easy access to firearms that most other nations don't have.

It's likely not any one of these factors, but when taken in combination we have a very dangerous situation. When assessing for suicidal or homicidal ideation, we look for three things: intent, a plan, and access. Each one contributes to risk, but the more that occur at the same time, the much greater the risk. Right now the US is at the intersection of culture, access, and lack of care - if we can address any one, we would likely reduce the likelihood of another mass shooting/mass casualty attack. If we can address two, the risk goes down significantly more. The focus of the anti-gun groups is on the "access" component, which, if we are honest, needs to be addressed. Studies show it's not about how many guns are out there, it's about who can access them. That guy with the "arsenal" at home isn't necessarily a threat if there is no intent and adequate access to supports.
 

Spectre

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I don't disagree that we need to seriously overhaul our mental health care in this country, but I haven't seen any proposal that wasn't a sick joke making the VA's historically pathetic attempts at veteran medical care look like a shining beacon of good practices.

One thing that we absolutely need to do in the US is reverse the whole idea of "socialization" as a method of treating the severely mentally ill. At this point I think it's pretty clear that this idea has been a massive failure, with more victims in the populace than inmates that ever suffered under the old mental asylum systems. Yes, those old systems were insanely bad, but what we replaced them with turns out to have been worse - not only are we not protecting society from the severely mentally ill, we're not protecting the severely mentally ill from society.

Let me give y'all a personal example. I have a client with a now-adult child who (I have been told by people not covered by HIPAA, so I am not violating any laws) is on the autism spectrum (among other mental disorders). The child is not really functional in society and has threatened to kill themselves and others repeatedly over the years. They have actually attempted to carry out these threats more than a few times. They file false charges of assault and rape at the drop of a hat - and they are almost all demonstrably false upon even cursory examination. When I go over to the client's home in the course of my work, I am absolutely wired for audiovisual recording and carrying my Taser under my shirt because I'd rather explain why I tased their offspring and present the recordings as evidence backing my story than be sitting in jail as the next victim of her false rape accusations.

This person has been through all sorts of mental health support options and at this point it's pretty clear there's nothing that anyone can do at this point in medical science. Exposure to regular society has made this person worse in the last decade. Pretty sure they needs to be institutionalized; what I am told (again, in conversation with non-HIPAA-affected personnel) is that this option has been explored, but pretty much all of the few facilities that would take this person have years long waiting lists and are difficult to place them in to start with, and extremely expensive on top of that. (The last isn't really a concern for this family, just mentioning it for the post.) So there's basically nowhere for them to go to be protected from us, and for us to be protected from them.

I have to go over there this evening. You can bet your arse I will have my Taser and multiple recording devices on me.

The state of the mental health system in this country has been a damn disaster for the past 30 years. Yeah, the old institutions were horribly broken, but we didn't fix them. We just dumped people who couldn't function in society onto that society and hoped for the best. And then we wonder why crazy people were allowed to/able to do X/Y/Z.
 
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prizrak

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To build on the other stuff, there is also a large stigma and in some cases severe negative consequences for getting mental health help that is needed. If you are a first responder getting any kind of mental health help basically means you are out of a job.
 

LeVeL

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So all he's guilty of is owning guns and smoking pot (and maybe shrooms) concurrently. That's an asinine law, by the way - for example, even though MA has legalized marijuana, if I wanted to legally smoke it I'd have to permanently give up my guns and basically forfeit my right to self-defense. His arrest is just more evidence that federal weed laws need to change with the times.

The rest of the info in that article is just normal stuff that'll get anti-gun liberals all hot and bothered (omg how dare he help someone build an evil black rifle!!!1!!).
 
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