When should we have a gun-control debate?

posted at 9:21 am on July 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

After incidents like the massacre in Aurora, gun-control advocates adamantly demand a debate on new restrictions to prevent the use of firearms in mass murders, and accuse their opponents of callous disregard for the victims when they refuse to engage on the topic immediately.  Opponents accuse gun-control advocates of exploiting the victims and emotional turmoil to score points on a topic in which they routinely lose.  So when is a good time for a gun control debate? That’s the topic of my column at The Week today, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, the Washington Post reports that even Democrats don’t really want a debate on gun rights:

In the weeks after the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, Senate Democrats led the way on passing a modest gun-control bill, even though they were in the minority. The issue commanded the national spotlight for a few weeks until it was blocked by House Republicans.

Thirteen years later, and now holding a majority in the Senate, Democrats have run for political cover after a similar suburban Denver shooting. Congressional leaders have declined to endorse any legislative remedy, and the most politically endangered Democrats have either fully embraced gun rights or lamented that nothing can be done.

The hushed response to last week’s tragedy signals just how fearful Democrats have become of anything that upsets the National Rifle Association, with its vast political clout, and how even once-ardent supporters of gun control are now resigned.

We hear about the NRA’s clout, but this is mainly a dodge to avoid the real truth, which is that the NRA simply represents the widespread consensus on gun rights.  In 2008, the NRA’s PAC contributed just over $1 million in all political races, with about 75% of those donations to Republicans.  In 2010, the NRA’s PAC donated $1.278 million in total, with roughly the same demonstration.  The gun rights lobby in its entirety in 2008 spent $1.187 million, which barely outpaced the pro-abortion lobby’s $1.015 million, and didn’t even make it to half of “human rights” lobby, which spent $2.495 million.

When we compare the NRA’s 2008 contribution against PACs other than single-issue, they get positively dwarfed in clout.  The top 20 PACs for the 2008 cycle all spent more than the entire gun lobby; the 20th, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, spent $2.21 million.  Of the top 20, eleven are unions, with the IBEW coming in second place with $3.344 million, 98% of which went to Democrats.  That cycle produced a Democratic President and large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.  If “clout” was all that was in play, then surely that Congress could have passed gun-control legislation as well as Card Check for their union backers.

Next, Sam Stein seems surprised by a poll of NRA members conducted by Frank Lutz in May and cited by the Center for American Progress, which he uses to argue that even NRA supporters back greater gun control:

According to a study unveiled at the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, 82 percent of 945 self-identified gun owners said they support requiring criminal background checks for gun purchasers. The sample was divided evenly between gun owners who were current or lapsed members of the NRA and non-NRA gun owners. 74 percent of the NRA members said they support the background checks.

The study, which was conducted in May by GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, revealed the following data points as well:

  • 74 percent of NRA members believe permits should only be granted to applicants who have completed gun safety training.
  • 68 percent of NRA members believe permits should only be granted to applicants who do not have prior arrests for domestic violence.
  • 63 percent of NRA members believe permits should only be granted to applicants 21 years of age or older.
  • 75 percent of NRA members believe that concealed carry permits should be granted only to those applicants who have not committed any violent misdemeanors.

Taken in full, the numbers cut against the conventional wisdom, which holds that there is little political will for tackling gun control legislation in the wake of Friday’s shooting in Aurora, Colo. But that theory, the study’s authors insisted, was always based on a false reading of the public opinion data.

“Gun owners and NRA members overwhelmingly support common sense steps to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, even as the NRA leadership continues to oppose them,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which commissioned the study. “It’s time for those in Washington -– and those running for President –- to stand with gun owning citizens who are concerned about public safety, rather than influence peddling lobbyists who are obsessed with ideology.”

One can only conclude that this means NRA members support gun control if one ignores the fact that many states deny permits to people who meet those qualifications.  That’s why Minnesota finally passed a “must issue” law for gun permits that require county sheriffs to approve applications unless one of the above situations apply, after an eight-year campaign by local gun-rights advocates.  Wisconsin recently did the same.  Only Vermont allows people to carry weapons without a permit [see update], and most other states allow county sheriffs or the state to arbitrarily deny carry permits.  To buy a firearm, the federal government already requires these kind of background checks.

And as far as this incident goes, which of those above qualifiers would have prevented the Aurora shooter from getting a weapon?

To get back to my original question, when is a good time to have a gun-control debate?  My answer in The Week is that gun-rights activists are ready to have that debate, as long as people get their facts straight, which clearly hasn’t been the case in the last several days, starting with Brian Ross at ABC. However, we’ve been having this debate for decades, and the facts show that gun control doesn’t work, and providing for individual rights doesn’t increase crime:

Small wonder, then, that conservatives have balked at conducting a debate on gun control in the midst of such irresponsible behavior by the media. Though, in actuality, the main reason so few are interested in the debate is because it has largely been fought and decided. Americans have repeatedly rejected an expansion of gun-control because it doesn’t work. Look no further than Aurora, where both the city and the theater where the shooting occurred have rules forbidding the carrying of any firearms (the city statute was deemed unenforceable, however, because of the state’s concealed-carry permit statute). On top of that, no one can fire a weapon within Aurora city limits except at gun ranges — not even, apparently, in self-defense. Of course none of that stopped the perpetrator in this case from committing the murders.

What about other areas where gun control legislation has been implemented? Illinois has the most restrictive carry laws in the country, and Chicago has one of the toughest gun-control regulations among cities. Yet, the murder rate for Illinois is above the national average, according to the FBI (5.5 per 100,000 in 2010, compared to 4.8 murders for the rest of the country), as is the state’s violent crime rate (435.2 incidents per 100,000 compared to 403.6 nationally). Chicago recently lost a gun-control case at the Supreme Court (McDonald v. Chicago), but the city lost the gun-control argument years ago — considering that its murder rate is 18th among large American cities at 15.2 per 100,000, more than three times the national average. Washington D.C., which in 2008 lost its own Supreme Court gun control case, ranked seventh in 2010 with a 21.9 rate. For the record, Aurora’s murder rate was 7.1 per 100,000 in 2010, while other Colorado cities were significantly lower: 5.0 for Colorado Springs and 3.6 for Denver.

In comparison, Minnesota a few years ago passed a must-issue law that requires counties to issue carry permits unless specific reasons exist to deny the application. Critics of the law insisted that it would lead to a wave of shootings. Instead, in Minneapolis, crime rates have fallen to 1980s levels, with a murder rate of 9.7, 30th for large American cities despite Minneapolis being 16th in size. Its twin city St. Paul has a murder rate of 5.7. Other factors certainly contributed to those decreases in violent crime, but clearly, allowing responsible and law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms did not increase crime rates.

We’ve had this debate, and gun control has lost it.  That’s why no one in Washington is willing to have it again.

Update: Actually, four states allow people to carry without a permit: Vermont, Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming.  Thanks to the readers who provided me links to update my out-of-date knowledge on that issue.

Update: I should have been more clear — I was talking about concealed carry permits when discussing those states.  Some states allow open carry without permits or licenses, but that number is getting smaller, not larger; California won’t even allow open carry of unloaded firearms now.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

Bishop says…NEVER!

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Me loves guns, no debate …….;-D

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

It’s no surprise that the “Never let a crisis go to waste” gang will try to use this tragedy to strip even more of what is left of our freedoms from us.

leon on July 25, 2012 at 9:26 AM

BISHOP!
Gun Control means using good sighting.
Gun Control means using both hands.
You agree, yes?
Good.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion about gun control as much as I have.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Dang you KOOLAID2 …..>:-(

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Bishop says…NEVER!

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Communist!
*I was supposed to be Bishop, you jerk!*
*glares*

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM

When should we have a gun-control debate?

Oh, how about, say, around 1776?

right2bright on July 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Blaming guns for murder is like blaming box cutters for 9-11. How many people have to die before the Progressives escape from Fantasy Island?

NickDeringer on July 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

While I am a Life NRA member, I despise La Pierre and his crew.
They have been marketing themselves as the on “responsible” gun owners for generations. They use the image of Uncle Joe and his hunting shotgun as their ‘responsible’ gun owner, and left those of us who consider a gun a weapon of defense swinging in the breeze.

They have been impediments to the major pro-2A cases that we have seen the past decade.

To be nice (and to avoid language that would get this stuck in moderation) I will just say that they fell victims to Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracies and leave it at that.

Nathan_OH on July 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

There is no debate, gun control is political suicide, the only industry that’s booming right now?….That’s right the gun industry …………;-)

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

…we need the gun control discussion every time we have a situation like the one in Florida…in the computer cafe…where the two thugs met a 71 year old man…not after these mass shootings where NO ONE ELSE who is law abiding can carry a gun!

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Twerp
you have to make it short and sweet, not a sentence …….lol

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

There is no debate, gun control is political suicide, the only industry that’s booming right now?….That’s right the gun industry …………;-)

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

…THEY didn’t make that happen!…THEY had help!

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2012 at 9:32 AM

…THEY didn’t make that happen!…THEY had help!

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Why don;t we see Obama touting this monster success story? As he is the one who made this boom happen. *grin*

Nathan_OH on July 25, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I’m thinking at the range over a couple cases of ammo.

“Breathe out and squeeze. Now you got control.”

Steve Eggleston on July 25, 2012 at 9:33 AM

They do know what the word “outlaw” means, don’t they?

kingsjester on July 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM

*glares*

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM

…*wets pants*…but…*peeks lovingly back*!

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM

KOOLAID2
That correct ,they did have help, having a communist in the Whitehouse does help……….

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Only Vermont allows people to carry weapons without a permit, and most other states allow county sheriffs or the state to arbitrarily deny carry permits.

Not true, AZ allows constitutional carry (no concealed carry permit required) like Vermont. However if you want to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol then you need a CCW. Clearly if you are a prohibited possessor then you can never carry a firearm.

wsucoug on July 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Gun control leads to security disparity. I thought liberals didn’t like disparities. Rich liberals don’t need guns, because when they need good security, their security people carry guns.

RBMN on July 25, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Once again, Ed said it all.

We’ve already had it. . . And had it. . . And had it, and had it, and had it, and had it, and had it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on July 25, 2012 at 9:36 AM

KOOLAID2
I was more than glaring, I was cycling a round…………hehe……..°_°

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:37 AM

I love the debate between 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. That is the gun debate that I am willing to have.

search4truth on July 25, 2012 at 9:37 AM

I keep hearing ppl say it was stupid for Ohio to allow carry in bars, it been about a year and I really can’t recall any bar shootings by a ccw holder, SO WHAT’S THE PROB….??????

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:40 AM

KOOLAID2
Oh I forgot the ////// sarc tag, in case someone tries to read more in to that…,…..

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Look at the numbers. If you want to cut down on the proliferation of guns, don’t elect another Progressive.

Finbar on July 25, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Aurora showed the sheer madness of Self-defense Denial zones – gun Control on a small scale.

How many people have to die in those free-fire zones From the criminals before we figure out the stunningly obvious point that Disarming the innocent doesn’t protect the innocent?

Chip on July 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Few people, ouside of the media, think gun ownership is wrong. Many more, including myself, think that ownership of semiautomatic guns is wrong. We do have laws which limit the kinds of guns that are allowed. I think the dividing line between allowable and not allowable needs adjustment. I suspect more people would agree with my position if Holmes’s gun had not jammed and he had killed many dozens rather than one dozen. Some of the new converts would go beyond my position and will advocate banning all guns.

burt on July 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I love the debate between 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. That is the gun debate that I am willing to have.

search4truth on July 25, 2012 at 9:37 AM

.40 S&W all the way, unless of course you’re including revolvers in the mix. :-)

Steve Eggleston on July 25, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Of course, each and every one of those restrictions that Luntz found NRA members to agree with, are already part of federal law.

Siddhartha Vicious on July 25, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Why don’t we ever have this debate when a law-abiding citizen protects the public with a gun?

Chip on July 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Q: When should we have a gun control debate?
A: When the Second Amendment is changed by the constitutionally prescribed process of Article V.

blammm on July 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Rich liberals don’t need guns, because when they need good security, their security people carry guns.

RBMN on July 25, 2012 at 9:36 AM

.
Like Rosie.

To be honest, I don’t hold it against her that she has armed body-guards.

I hold it against her that she denies our capability to handle the responsibility of safely possessing and handling “deadly force”.

We’re suppose to rely on the Police Officer to be our first line of defense against thugs who are determined to purport assault or murder.

Professional Law Enforcement cannot be anyone’s first-line of defense. They can only show up on the scene AFTER they have been summoned by a 911 dispatcher. How long does it take for for your phone call to result in “police on the scene” ?

listens2glenn on July 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

If people on the left really wanted to have a debate about gun control, they’d just start talking about gun control.
Instead they’re talking about talking about gun control. They’re lamenting that they’ve already lost the debate and there isn’t much they can do about it.

Mahna Mahna on July 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

.40 S&W all the way, unless of course you’re including revolvers in the mix. :-)

Steve Eggleston on July 25, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I’ll keep my .357, thanks.

Siddhartha Vicious on July 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

burt on July 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM

On what do you base your belief that semi-autos should be banned…magazine capacity?

Extrafishy on July 25, 2012 at 9:52 AM

…THEY didn’t make that happen!…THEY had help!

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2012 at 9:32 AM

.
Why don;t we see Obama touting this monster success story? As he is the one who made this boom happen. *grin*

Nathan_OH on July 25, 2012 at 9:33 AM

.
That is a good point. I wonder if FOX News will pick up on that.

listens2glenn on July 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Q: When should we have a gun control debate?
A: When the Second Amendment is changed by the constitutionally prescribed process of Article V.

blammm on July 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

To something like:

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.

Chip on July 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I’ll keep my .357, thanks.

Siddhartha Vicious on July 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

As long as you can nail the bullseye consistently with it,….

Steve Eggleston on July 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

BOr got beaten down on Fox…he had no idea that auto weapons are controlled, he kept using “heavy” weapons, as if their was some definition of “heavy”…you mean like over 4 lbs? 8lbs? 2 lbs?
Then he went off on Bazookas, yeah, part of every gun owners list of must haves…I prefer buying a couple of drones with Hellfire missles, they are a little bulky, and I had to buy a larger gun safe, but great for open range deer and those hard to get to mountain goats.
Him talking was like talking to someone about umbrellas…yeah they are great, but will they stop the incoming asteroid? We need larger and better umbrellas…

right2bright on July 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

*glares*

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM

.
…*wets pants*…but…*peeks lovingly back*!

KOOLAID2
on July 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM

.
Ooooooooooooooh . . . . . . you got “the glare”.

listens2glenn on July 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

I go to classes at night, and my university doesn’t allow firearms. During the fall/winter months, I’m left walking several blocks to my car at night in a less than savory downtown neighborhood, often by myself. If anything ever happens to me where I’m not able to protect myself because my university didn’t allow me to do so (I am a CCW license holder), I will be screaming from every rooftop in the city that it’s their fault.

tdpwells on July 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Only Vermont allows people to carry weapons without a permit, and most other states allow county sheriffs or the state to arbitrarily deny carry permits.

Thirty eight states are currently shall-issue Ed. And Alabama and Connecticut may as well be shall-issue even though they are may-issue states. And Alaska,Arizona and Wyoming (state residents only) are the same as Vermont with only different age restrictions.

The states to avoid like the plague:

California
Delaware
Hawaii
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Jersey
New York

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Interestingly, there is H.R. 308, submitted in January 2011 in both the House and Senate, which would stop the sale and possession of high capacity magazines. Now, we could certainly expect it to go nowhere in the House, yet, it has also languished in committee in the Democrat controlled Senate. So, according to Liberal Talking Points, we can blame Harry Reid for the massacre.

William Teach on July 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Another gun post?

And Ed, you shouldn’t be citing anything with Frank Luntz. He’s a hack who’s been censured.

You should look up the NRA’s response to Luntz’ gun control polls from 2010 or 2009. He was hired by Bloomberg and lied.

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 9:59 AM

When should we have a gun-control debate?

It is settled science, right? //

All the laws from federal to local currently on the books will not ever stop anyone who is intent on using a weapon of any kind to commit a crime.

The only alternative is to gather up every single possible lethal weapon out there all across the land and melt them into a huge sheet of steel, make it into a fence, put the “good” folks on the outside and put all the “bad” folks on the inside…like a prison or something.

And then turn over every possibility of self-protection (other than bare knuckles) to an approved civilian defense force as large or larger than the military and post these guards at every entrance/door to every dwelling, business or facility in the nation, and maybe inside too…give them nice uniforms, maybe a nice shade of brown…and arm bands, too…

Yep. That’ll work.

So long as there are bleeding hearts who think it bad to punish anyone for their societal transgressions….there will be no progress on this debate or any other regarding crime.

coldwarrior on July 25, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Burt
I think you are wrong, my AR has killed less ppl then a car driven by a Kennedy, do you know how many semi auto gun are sold in the us that have never been used to deter a let alone kill …..millions, just because your scared or whatever, doesn’t mean others should be controlled. If one person had his weapon with him or her in that cinema , we would be talking totaly different about this whole thing ………..

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Many more, including myself, think that ownership of semiautomatic guns is wrong. We do have laws which limit the kinds of guns that are allowed. I think the dividing line between allowable and not allowable needs adjustment. I suspect more people would agree with my position if Holmes’s gun had not jammed and he had killed many dozens rather than one dozen. Some of the new converts would go beyond my position and will advocate banning all guns.

burt on July 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Yeah, and if someone had a gun in the theater, chances are he would have been shot before more damage…so we can trade “if’s” all day.

Let me guess…schooled in a public school, and you live in a densly populated city…just a guess.

right2bright on July 25, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Opponents accuse gun-control advocates of exploiting the victims and emotional turmoil to score points on a topic in which they routinely lose.

This is a true statement. As has been pointed out, more people were killed last week in Chicago than in Aurora. It is nothing but exploitation to hold up the Aurora victims as the reason for debating gun control when we see the use of firearms in virtually every large American city with young black males the largest group of casualties (often drug-related).

That anti-Constitutionalists like Frank Lautenberg and the Brady Campaign only show up after mass killings to demand a ban on guns goes beyond reprehensible because they are essentially preying on the misfortune of grieving families.

Happy Nomad on July 25, 2012 at 10:01 AM

When should we have a gun-control debate?

1776 and 1787

petefrt on July 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

The (D) party meme has always been that the NRA exists in a vacuum, funded by other corporate interests (i.e. gun manufacturers). The facts are that the NRA directly or indirectly represents some 80-90 million gun owning citizens. Some(D)’s are actually aware of that fact, while the rest continue to pander to their liberal base.

southsideironworks on July 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Update On Bogus “Poll” Of NRA Members

Posted on February 19, 2010

On Dec. 11, 2009, we noted that a poll paid for by anti-gun politician-activist Michael Bloomberg, claiming to show that NRA members support gun control, was conducted by a pollster who has been reprimanded and censured by two professional polling organizations, and who (of course) doesn’t have access to NRA’s confidential member list.

Since then, gun control supporters have cited the poll in numerous newspaper editorials, opinion columns, and letters to editors, all attacking NRA’s opposition to gun control. Recently, however, Bloomberg’s pollster, Frank Luntz, admitted how he gets polls to turn out the way his employers want. In a “Penn and Teller” interview posted on YouTube, Luntz says, “The key in survey research is to ask questions that people care about the answers [sic], and to ask the question in a way that you get the right answer.” He added, “[W]ith just a single change of wording, you’ll get a very different reaction in terms of how they think and how they feel.”

Thanks, Frank, for making it easier for us to write letters to newspapers pointing out why no one should take your “poll of NRA members” seriously.

NRAILA

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Though, in actuality, the main reason so few are interested in the debate is because it has largely been fought and decided. Americans have repeatedly rejected an expansion of gun-control because it doesn’t work.

Look no further than Aurora, where both the city and the theater where the shooting occurred have rules forbidding the carrying of any firearms (the city statute was deemed unenforceable, however, because of the state’s concealed-carry permit statute).

On top of that, no one can fire a weapon within Aurora city limits except at gun ranges — not even, apparently, in self-defense.

Of course none of that stopped the perpetrator in this case from committing the murders.

Question: Has the irresponsible Leftist Media made it known that the theater was a Self-Defense Denial Zone?

Chip on July 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Illinois belongs on the states to avoid list.

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:04 AM

3,308 people, 9 per day, die of drowning…Let’s ban water…

right2bright on July 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM

right2bright
Great minds think alike……………;-)

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

35,000 people die in car wrecks…time to ban cars!

search4truth on July 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Have my pistol now need my conceal/carry. Note to self: go and do….

crosshugger on July 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Opponents accuse gun-control advocates of exploiting the victims and emotional turmoil to score points on a topic in which they routinely lose. So when is a good time for a gun control debate?

I’ve been “gleefully” arguing/debating with the liberals over at the Washington Post for a few days now. Their most ridiculous narrative is that the 2nd amendment was “for militias only” which is total BS. Others are advocating going after the ammo manufacturers (raising prices or adding strict regulations), leaving our weapons useless. And, of course, the NRA is a “right-wing Gestapo organization” that are supported by ONLY Republicans—-another joke.

Rovin on July 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM

The hushed response to last week’s tragedy signals just how fearful Democrats have become of anything that upsets the National Rifle Association, with its vast political clout, and how even once-ardent supporters of gun control are now resigned.

I would imagine that Dems are just as fearful of voter outrage as they are over the political clout of the NRA. Despite what you hear from those who would ban guns, most Americans still support the Second Amendment.

And for idiots (well-meaning or not) who think that this is a regulatory problem where clip size or automatic v. semi-automatic is the solution, I say you don’t really understand the issue. Not every gun owner possesses a weapon for shooting at ducks, deer, or clay pigeons. Your idea of “reasonable” restrictions is really nothing more than an attempt to gut the Second Amendment in much the same way the District of Columbia tried to outlaw ammo instead of guns.

Happy Nomad on July 25, 2012 at 10:10 AM

As long as you can nail the bullseye consistently with it,….

Steve Eggleston on July 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I can – I’ve been shooting the same Ruger Security-Six for 32 years. It’s like a part of my arm, now.

Siddhartha Vicious on July 25, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Only Vermont allows people to carry weapons without a permit…

This would be an incorrect statement.

“Among U.S. states, Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming allow residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States

mwdiver on July 25, 2012 at 10:11 AM

What has always puzzled me about Liberals, is that tbehave as if they were the overwhelimg majority, and yet, they’re only 19% of America’s population.

…and then, they’re mystified when there’s an overwhleming backlash against them.

kingsjester on July 25, 2012 at 10:11 AM

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.

Chip on July 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Heller and McDonald essentially did that redlining of the preambulatory clause.

blammm on July 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Only Vermont allows people to carry weapons without a permit, and most other states allow county sheriffs or the state to arbitrarily deny carry permits.

Good grief. This is absolutely false. You can open carry your firearm in Pennsylvania without a license – not a permit – to carry, except in a city of first class (Philadelphia, the only city that meets the criteria).

You can open carry without licenses in many states.

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

burt on July 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM

You do realize that a shotgun is semi-automatic. So was Wyatt Earp’s revolver.

One trigger pull, one round downrange.

Using scary terms doesn’t change the facts.

Washington Nearsider on July 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I’ve been “gleefully” arguing/debating with the liberals over at the Washington Post for a few days now. Their most ridiculous narrative is that the 2nd amendment was “for militias only” which is total BS.

Rovin on July 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM

They will never win the debate because they can never adequately respond to the accurate statement that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. Depending on where you live, it can be a helluva lot easier to get a gun illegally than it is to get one legally. Gee, I wonder which option a criminal will choose?

tdpwells on July 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM

You do realize that a shotgun is semi-automatic. So was Wyatt Earp’s revolver.

One trigger pull, one round downrange.

Using scary terms doesn’t change the facts.

Washington Nearsider on July 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Well, not completely.

Semi-auto is defined as a weapon (scary word) that ejects the fired case and chambers the next round.

Some shotguns are semi-auto, but many more are pump, double or even single barrel, requiring manual action to chamber the next round.

Wyatt Earp’s single-action Colt revolved the cylinder when he thumbed back the hammer.

However, you are fully correct that all of those including the semi-autos, are one trigger pull, one round fired.

Siddhartha Vicious on July 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Only Vermont allows people to carry weapons without a permit, and most other states allow county sheriffs or the state to arbitrarily deny carry permits.

In fact, in Florida you can drive around with your loaded firearm without having a license/permit, as long as it is in a container with a latch (such as a purse, ziplock bag, glove box, etc.)

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Update: Actually, four states allow people to carry without a permit: Vermont, Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming. Thanks to the readers who provided me links to update my out-of-date knowledge on that issue.

Actually, you’re wrong. The list is much longer than that.

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:22 AM

You can open carry without licenses in many states.

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Good grief, Ed was talking about conceal carry.

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Siddhartha Vicious on July 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I was going more for a 30,000ft view, but you are 100% accurate.

Thanks for the detail work. :-)

Washington Nearsider on July 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM

We can have a gun control debate when the perversions of our second amendment and the demagoguery cease.

Liberals have spend decades combining their drive to debase society and use the resulting criminal actions to attack our Constitution, its no accident that our right to keep and bear arms has born the brunt of those attacks.

When we have our carry rights returned to us and democrats stop their adamant debasement of this country and stop attacking our most precious law, we can talk about reasonable controls until then reasonable equals a loss of civil rights.

Speakup on July 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Stuart Varney, Liz whateverhernameis, and David Asman just had an idiotic gun control debate on Fox Business. Varney (whom I generally like and tends to understand America and Americanism quite well) and Liz were going on about how they thought the Founders would not have wanted to allow private individuals to have Uzis and 6000 rounds of ammunition (as if people are allowed to have automatic weapons, anyway, as a matter of course). Do these people not understand what the allowance for Letters of Marque in the Constitution (written by the Founders, as it turns out) meant? Private individuals had the equivalent of fully armed aircraft carriers and the federal government could contract with them to do some defense work for America, using their privately owned gunships. The idea that the Founders would not have allowed people to have weapons of a certain size is pretty crazy.

Like I said, I generally like Varney and he’s one of the only sane voices on TV (one of the few on Fox Business, even) but he is so far off on this that it defies explanation. I would think that he would be well aware of this little bit of history.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM

It is pointless to argue gun control until people actually learn to respect the Constitution of the United States of America. Until they make the decision to alter the Constitution, then there should be no debate. The constitution says no!

astonerii on July 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

We do need a gun-control debate, since there is serious suppression of civil rights going on in cities like Chicago, New York, and LA. I hope that under President Romney, the federal government is suing these rogue cities to force them to allow citizens to defend themselves.

slickwillie2001 on July 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

right2bright
Great minds think alike……………;-)

angrymike on July 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Stating the obvious is not “great”…

Drownings, auto, drinking…just living. I remember that more soldiers were killed on practice maneuvers than some wars or battles.

Life is full of death, broken bones, auto accidents, in a country of 200 million, and affluent in the sense we are not restricted to just fending for food, we have people who are not well, we have had “Mack the knife” from the beginning of time.
Presidents shot and killed… astronauts go up in flame…and people surviving events they never should have survived…
So I embrace Ecc. 9-11….

right2bright on July 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Good grief, Ed was talking about conceal carry.

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM

No he wasn’t.

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM

35,000 people die in car wrecks…time to ban cars!

search4truth on July 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Time to impose a Transport Vehicle Ban.

Chip on July 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM

No he wasn’t.

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I don’t argue with children. Only a child is so blind to what is clearly obvious to everyone else and then stubbornly digs in when corrected.

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

35,000 people die in car wrecks…time to ban cars!

search4truth on July 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Frankly, as a potential offensive weapon, a 3,000 pound hunk of metal that a private individual can propel at 100 miles an hour is far more dangerous than any gun. Someone who wanted to cause mass casualities could just drive a car into some outdoor cafes and take out tons of people, while using the car to escape the scene, as well.

It’s amazing that leftists try to paint guns as being so dangerous when cars are far more dangerous and we let any 16 year old take them out in public on their own without a second thought.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 25, 2012 at 10:37 AM

We do need a gun-control debate, since there is serious suppression of civil rights going on in cities like Chicago, New York, and LA. I hope that under President Romney, the federal government is suing these rogue cities to force them to allow citizens to defend themselves.

slickwillie2001 on July 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Not civil rights, natural rights. The right of self defense falls into that category.

Nathan_OH on July 25, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I don’t argue with children. Only a child is so blind to what is clearly obvious to everyone else and then stubbornly digs in when corrected.

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Florida does not have open carry and one does not have to have a license to carry. As usual, you are short on your facts. Regardless, Ed is incorrect, even with his update, and he was not talking about conceal carry.

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM


It’s a nice day out, go play outside like a good little boy.

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I don’t argue with children. Only a child is so blind to what is clearly obvious to everyone else and then stubbornly digs in when corrected.

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Now you’ve done it. If you don’t argue with Dante the Stupendous, he won’t get to spend the next three pages of comments telling you how stupidly stupid you are and he’ll be forced to settle for gazing at his bedroom mirror (decorated with pictures of Ron Paul).

CurtZHP on July 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Illinois lack of ANY ‘right-to-carry(no Castle Doctrine or death penalty either) was one of the MANY reasons that we decided to escape to Texas.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Dante,

If you’re such a super-smart libertarian guy, you should know that yes, Ed is correct — currently four states have what is referred to as Constitutional Carry: the right to carry concealed without a permit (and the states he lists in the update are exactly correct).

How do I know? Maybe because I work for the group that helped get that very law passed in Wyoming.

And, for the record, we’re not too far off from having it in a few others. Stay tuned…

The National Association for Gun Rights.

GDrobny on July 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Congratulations on escaping. States like Illinois need signs at their borders that say, “Criminals welcome.”

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 10:04 AM

We been here since the spring of 2011. It was like moving from Hell to Heaven.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM

We been here since the spring of 2011. It was like moving from Hell to Heaven.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I guess sometimes Heaven is hotter then Hell. :P

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 11:02 AM

I’d like there to be a debate in my state about what the justification is for requiring a CHL at all and why open carry of pistols is not legal anymore.

Open carry of loaded rifles is still allowed but only ‘if it does not cause distress’ – a blank check for abuse of power by the police…

CorporatePiggy on July 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on July 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Yep. It’s almost as purty as Mississippi. LOL.

kingsjester on July 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

CorporatePiggy on July 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

State?

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

We had a .25 automatic that my stepson’s got right now. The way things are going in the Memphis Area…maybe, I out to get it back.

kingsjester on July 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Dante on July 25, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Those four state allow open and concealed carry without a permit.
The other states you are talking about allow open carry without a permit. But require a permit to carry concealed.

chemman on July 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM

State?

NotCoach on July 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Tejas.

CorporatePiggy on July 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Guns are scary and scary things should be banned, like spiders. Ban spiders and guns.

Bishop on July 25, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4