General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Is the NRA's stance on background checks defensible?

Asked by SuperMouse (30723 points ) January 30th, 2013

During upcoming hearings on gun control legislation the head of the NRA is expected to argue that performing background checks on gun buyers is a waste of time because criminals won’t purchase guns legally anyway. The NRA will also be pushing for a loosening on privacy guidelines so a potential buyer’s mental health can be reviewed prior to a gun purchase. In your opinion are these positions defensible?

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83 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Completely ignoring that the last three rampages (the cinema shooting, the school shooting and the breivik shooting) were performed with legally purchased weapons.

DrBill's avatar

I am a long time pro 2nd amendment, and I think background checks are a good idea. It won’t keep criminals from acquiring weapons illegally, but will make it harder then going down to Wal-Mart and buying one off the shelf.

elbanditoroso's avatar

From whose point of view?

THE NRA clearly believes that background checks are worthless. From their point of view, it’s a step to wards government control of what they see as a right to have the ability to kill anyone they want at any time without any controls.

The rest of the country (non-NRA members) sees the NRA position as extremist and a threat to modern comity and a stable society.

marinelife's avatar

Background checks are not just to stop criminals from buying guns. They are also to stop the unstable fro buying guns. They are worth every moment and penny.

jerv's avatar

I rather like the idea of mentally ill people being barred from owning guns. That said, @ragingloli is correct, and I think that the issue isn’t the availability of guns, but rather the fact that otherwise sane, law-abiding people snap more and more frequently these days. What happened to our society that made that so?

burntbonez's avatar

It is usually criminals that use illegally purchased guns, and these laws help prosecute them after the fact. This may prevent subsequent crimes. The reason why it wouldn’t help prevent subsequent crimes is that prisons foment crime; they do not offer rehabilitation, which prevents crime. So there needs to be a change in our criminal justice approach in addition to stricter gun laws.

The idea of opening up people’s medical records for purposes of purchasing a gun is troubling. Yet, since it is a gun, and I do not believe we have a right to have guns (as a matter of morality, not constitutionality), I would say that for the privilege of having a gun, people should be required to hand over medical records. Hiding medical records when seeking a gun should be a criminal offense subject to community service, and a week’s worth of education. Failure to attend results in a fine. Failure to pay fine results in imprisonment for an equal period of time.

dabbler's avatar

@ragingloli is correct about the recent mass murders, but a LOT of other gun deaths are committed with illegal weapons or weapons that were brought into the crime area after being purchased where there are little or no checks done.
E.g. New York City shootings are typically done with a gun from West Virginia or elsewhere within driving distance where there is approximately no restriction on gun sales.

woodcutter's avatar

If buyer lists could be destroyed after a given amount of time I think the NRA would feel easier about a background check. I go through a background check every time I make a purchase. I’m not sure if that information is destroyed or not. The argument is that it won’t do anything to prevent someone who is determined to get a gun illegally from doing bad things and really, how can anyone say if a single life was saved by any gun law as we all know its impossible to prove a negative. That is the main reason the lives saved by lawful use of firearms is almost never known about. Those accounts would cover up all the other news of the day, and those reports are not newsworthy enough. They happen every single day but they are given no consideration. Bad news sells and someone chasing off a bad guy with a pistol loaded with 16 rounds of ammunition will seldom get any air time. But anytime something turns out badly with a gun it’s on the news 24/ 7 giving the impression it is some kind of epidemic.

These extended background checks proposed will turn into a national invasion of privacy that the common street thug will never be on. And for what? For the hope someone polluted with SSRI’S will not decide to kill themselves and others along with?

cazzie's avatar

Wow… now we go back to that discussion of ‘legally’ versus ‘illegally’..... how about the fact that it is easier to get a gun in the US than an appointment to see a doctor for a urinary tract infection? The market is absolutely saturated. Not much we can do about the amount of guns on the market currently, but I think we should make any further manufacture of them crazy expensive or restricted and we should simply make ammunition a million dollars a bullet or something. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuX-nFmL0II

wundayatta's avatar

To me, the NRA is pretty consistent as a moral compass. Of course, they are always pointing to immorality. You can pretty much be sure that if you do the opposite of what they say, you will be doing the right thing.

Guns are a huge problem in the US, and the NRA wants to make that problem worse.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Though many criminals purchase their guns illegally, background checks serve to filter out people of suspicion and to make it harder for people with alternative goals to have access to firepower. The last few incidents happened by people with no prior record indicating that ANYONE is capable of these murders and that simply creating restrictions for felons/criminals or the mentally ill only solves half of the issue. I advocate background checks and mental evaluation as a requirement for all legally purchased firearms… But then that leaves blackmarket sales as its not that difficult for a resourceful individual to discover these underhanded deals

jonsblond's avatar

@jerv I think that the issue isn’t the availability of guns, but rather the fact that otherwise sane, law-abiding people snap more and more frequently these days. What happened to our society that made that so?

Aren’t most of these killers in mass shootings young, white men? They were probably left home alone because both mom and dad were working. We now have a society where both parents work and their little spoiled babies are left at home with no supervision. They get no attention from their parents. Mom and dad give them everything they want and they think that will make up for them not being there for them. These young men feel neglected and have no one to talk to about their problems. (I agree with you. The availability of guns is not the issue.)

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think both sides have valid points actually.

Any person purchasing a firearm legally should be required to have a background check.

Any person purchasing a firearm illegally or via friends/ family, etc…, which a lot of us normal people do by the way, it wouldn’t make a difference to.

My friend was selling two on fb just this morning, and I’ve been offered several by other gun lovers in the last few months which would have required nothing but cash from me.

CWOTUS's avatar

Background checks are hardly going to resolve the underlying problems of violence and criminality in the USA (which are not as bad as they are made out to be in any case; the UK is far more violent than the US, only “gun crimes” are somewhat more rare).

What background checks will do – will certainly do – is slow down the legal acquisition of arms and put up roadblocks against those who always follow the law, who try to follow the law, or who don’t care enough about the issue to stand in line, attempt to jump through the hoops, fill in the forms, pay the fees, answer the questions and toe the line (the moving line) and all of the other list of “things to do” – and for that reason (and because they are generally law-abiding) won’t purchase weapons.

If you think that these restrictions and laws actually solve any problems, then you are sadly deluded, or one of those who thinks “we need to pass a law!” frequently improves society.

Most gun owners – probably 98% or more – realize correctly that they are not the problem. Subtracting a few more legal (and responsible, trained, safe, etc.) gun owners from the millions that exist in the USA will not reduce the level of crime and violence – or mass murders – in this country. The idea is ludicrous.

But for politicians who want to be seen as “tough on crime” (and who generally live behind the best security that money can buy) “passing a law” – or just promoting that – is all that they can think to do. And I will freely admit that it is nearly impossible for politicians to change our culture in the ways that it should be changed.

We should all be more accepting of difference, more patient with those who think and act different from us, who drive badly and act rudely, and we should not be so quick to anger that “shooting the bastard” is an acceptable response to others’ perceived bad acts. That kid who is breaking in to your garage in the middle of the night is probably not there to murder, maim or rape you or your dog. He’s there to steal something, and he doesn’t deserve to be shot for that. But if he thinks you might kill him if you discover him in the act, then he might carry a gun in his own self-defense, and so things escalate.Politicians can’t make stump speeches about that. They can’t even find a way to promote that. We should probably be more trusting, even more trusting of thieves, for example.

On that basis I am opposed to background checks. Aside from the needless hindrance of the overwhelmingly honest, law-abiding, sane, rational and responsible adults to own weapons, the systems are not at all foolproof, and the databases that will be required to make them work – at all! – will be another incursion of our liberties.

For the record, I’ve never owned firearms, but I’m buying them now. I have started the training process to acquire my Connecticut pistol permit, and as soon as I have that I will start my acquisition.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@CWOTUS Welcome to the club! Everyone is entitled to defend themselves and their property when necessary.

dabbler's avatar

Slowing down the legal acquisition of firearms is a great idea. Note that close to half of the firearms sold legally in the U.S. are sold without any check whatsoever, either at a gun show or between private parties.
The gunshow loophole is especially crazed, it is so easy to buy vast quantities of firearms that the Mexican cartels buy them here. The gun death problem in Mexico is almost entirely caused by two U.S. failed policies, the drug war, and lack of controls on gun sales.

The idea that tightening up legal gun sales will result in only criminals having guns is nuts. Nobody who doesn’t have a legit disqualification will be prevented from having a gun. And criminals right now can buy (or steal) guns freely from people who bought them legally and have no legal requirement to report to whom they have sold them.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@CWOTUS
It’s highly idealistic to think that gun control will miraculously decrease gun violence in America, these regulations mostly affect law abiding citizens who will become more vulnerable to infringement upon their well being. I doubt anyone is this naive to think that stricter administration of legal firearms will “solve” the issue.
But what it will do is aid us in trying to establish a base regulation to control a significant portion of gun distribution…It serves to somewhat “monitor” a large amount of consumers. This won’t solve the issue completely because it is not that simple, but it allows us to take a step in the right direction

jerv's avatar

@dabbler You might want to put the kibosh on 3D printers too. Great advances have been made in the field, and it won’t be too long before anyone can make anything. Remember “zip guns”? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

KNOWITALL's avatar

This is what happens when people are turned away from purchasing a weapon, they just find a way around it.

“After fatally shooting his mother in the face, investigators say he took three of his mother’s legally-owned weapons that he used in the assault, including a Glock, a SIG Sauer, and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle. In addition to those three weapons, cops also recovered a .45-caliber Henry repeating rifle, a .22-caliber Marlin rifle, and a .30-caliber Enfield rifle, a law enforcement source told CNN”.......“NBC reports that Lanza went to a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Danbury on Tuesday to buy a rifle, but was turned down because he didn’t want to undergo a background check or abide by the state’s waiting period for gun sales.”

http://gothamist.com/2012/12/15/ct_mass_school_shooting_suspect_for.php

dabbler's avatar

@jerv Understood. But at this time it is fortunately difficult to 3-D print a gun that is good for more than a few shots. As you’ve mentioned elsewhere it’s easier to make a useful gun in an NC machine shop. And it’s already legal to make a gun only for personal use, not for re-sale.

Right now I think the huge loopholes on gunshows and private sales need plugging. If we get that done and people suddenly start making large numbers of them on 3-D printers then… next step.

Coloma's avatar

At risk of sounding cliche, but if only ONE background check results in not putting a weapon into a screwed up persons hands, well….that is still one LESS fucking lunatic out there that is enabled to go on a shooting spree.
There are probably hundreds of potentially lethal gun incidents that could be prevented for those that would not have the wherewithal to go seeking out illegal weapons from shady sources.

CWOTUS's avatar

No, @HolographicUniverse, your assumption that background checks and other legal obstacles to gun ownership will (in your words) establish a base regulation to control a significant portion of gun distribution is illusory.

You see this as (your words again) a step in the right direction toward… what? I don’t know. Elimination or confiscation of all firearms? Complete bureaucratic awareness of the ownership, location and use of every weapon and every piece of ammunition? I can’t imagine. A neat trick if you (plural) could manage any majority percentage of any of that. It’s an impossible task.

The idea of “control” by any government is laughable on its face.

Until fairly recently, I’ve been operating on high trust. That is, my neighbors, friends and in-laws have weapons, and I’m cool with that. My uncle and cousins have weapons, and that doesn’t bother me. Most of those people are responsible nearly all of the time, and the few times that they’re not (such as when they’ve been drinking), they are at least responsible enough to stay away from their guns. I hear guns in the woods around me from time to time, and even if they are sometimes illegal, such as when poachers take deer or other game out of season, I’m not worried about the guns per se, or their owners. I’ve even trusted the government to an extent, even though I do not like it.

But to the extent my rights are now about to be infringed – again – farther than I have accepted in the past, I’m drawing my own line in the sand. ¡No mas! I have zero trust from those who want to strip me of my rights, rights that I haven’t even exercised until now.

If guns are outlawed, then I will be an outlaw and I will have a gun. It’s how we came to be an independent nation once upon a time, after all.

cazzie's avatar

@Coloma you shameless idealist, you. How dare you value human life like that. (read sarcasm)
<3 @Coloma

That mantra of ‘if guns our outlawed…etc’ is such a cop out. Guns will not be outlawed, but we need to stop the bullets getting into people in such a way that those people die. Those bullets aren’t being manally inserted.

cazzie's avatar

@CWOTUS you think the muskets the colonialists had are what made America an independent nation? Really? Don’t you think that is rather simplistic / reductionist?

KNOWITALL's avatar

What concerns me is that with all the attention from both sides of the argument, I think we are actually rebuilding the gun culture, with people like @CWOTUS now exercising their rights while they still can.

“First, we are a less violent nation now than we’ve been in over forty years. In 2010, violent crime rates hit a low not seen since 1972; murder rates sunk to levels last experienced during the Kennedy Administration. Our perceptions of our own safety have shifted, as well. In the early 1980s, almost half of Americans told the General Social Survey (GSS) they were “afraid to walk alone at night” in their own neighborhoods; now only one-third feel this way.”

“Second, for all the attention given to America’s culture of guns, ownership of firearms is at or near all-time lows. Since 1973, the GSS has been asking Americans whether they keep a gun in their home. In the 1970s, about half of the nation said yes; today only about one-third do. Driving the decline: a dramatic drop in ownership of pistols and shotguns, the very weapons most likely to be used in violent crimes.”

“Thus long-term trends suggest that we are in fact currently experiencing a waning culture of guns and violence in the United States…”

http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/07/21/the-declining-culture-of-guns-and-violence-in-the-united-states/

Coloma's avatar

Well..the closet I can come to relating to this issue is this.
I am a cookie monster, if the cookies are in the cupboard all the more easy to eat them, but…if I have to drive 40 minutes to get the cookies I’ll probably pass.
For every extroverted, go getter, gone off their rocker gunslinger, there are a dozen lazy ass killers that would just give up and go to bed and dream their murderous dreams of cookies crumbled. lol

cazzie's avatar

@CWOTUS Look at it the other way. I know you fear the governnment knowing where all the guns are. That does have some thought behind it, but think of it this way. If your country is ever invaded (which is more likely than the government turning on its people) then, a militia against invading troops could be better coordinated if there was a special agency that knew who was armed and, better yet, who had military training as well. We have that here in Norway. We have a practiced and armed malitia. We also have a very well armed population, but they are armed for sport and not for ‘self defense’.

Taken another wa: If I was running a SIM Nation and my population felt like they had to arm themselves to shoot eachother in self defense, I would think I had failed as a nation builder. Do you think the founders of the USA and people who have been voted in since have failed on such a primary and basic level of safety for its citizens? If so, shouldn’t it be fixed on a systemic level and not be left for each, struggling individual to deal with? Being in fear every day for one’s life and property enough to have to hold a gun close seems like a terrible way to live, to my mind.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@CWOTUS
I’m going to be concise

You seem to be basing your opinion on people you know, yes there are many responsible gun owners but there are just as many people who abuse this constitutional right therefore we are trying to gain a grip on the current trend that is occuring.
I am not suggesting complete confiscation of your weaponry thus disabling your defense but rather reasonable regulation to weed out potential abusers. You want to be an outlaw? Fine, it is highly possible considering illegal gun trade but the idea is still to develop a system where so many loopholes and opportunities to abuse the 2nd amendment do not exist (or where the chances are slim)
Do you think I trust my life in the hands of others or that I do not understand the benefits of such a right? I understand completely but I also acknowledge the fact that not many are suitable to have such a freedom

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Coloma I love the way you put that, but after reading a lot about serial killers and criminals, I’m afraid the ‘impulses’ and “rage” or other emotion, will drive them to find a way. I’d rather believe your opinion though.

CWOTUS's avatar

No, @cazzie, it wasn’t the muskets. Or rather, it wasn’t “the muskets alone”. It was the idea that, “No, you can’t have my musket.”

The shot heard ‘round the world as Emerson dubbed it, was what set off the American Revolution in April of 1775 when the British came to confiscate the arsenals at Lexington and Concord.

What made America an independent nation was the word “No.”

cazzie's avatar

@CWOTUS you are ignoring the facts surrounding why they were trying to take the guns.

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL True, many will find a way, but, make it a little more difficult and we save lives.
Just like most burglars are going to skip the house with barking dogs and motion detectors in favor of the soft target.
Of course, with truly sociopathic types, they will find a way.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Coloma Sociopaths often look just like us, and I’m not sure that severe mental illness left untreated can turn dangerous.

For me, it’s a mental health and family issue, more than a gun issue, but no one wants to try to decrease the divorce rate, or make parenting classes mandatory, or actually give mental illness funding a major increase across the nation.

It’s much easier and cheaper to say we’re going to try to control gun ownership. Trust me, I hope it works for you, but I personally feel like this is putting more guns out there, not less.

ragingloli's avatar

I think the massive french military support and supplies had a lot more to do with it.

CWOTUS's avatar

@HolographicUniverse your comment that there are just as many people who abuse this constitutional right is blatantly and completely false. You have no statistics to back up such a claim because it is simply not true. Yes, there are “some” who abuse any right or privilege, but the percentages are so tiny that they can hardly be measured. That’s why it is still “news” (in most places) when crimes occur.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@CWOTUS Think of all the people killed by drunk drivers every single day, but because it’s so ‘acceptable’ to society, it’s not really considered a problem worth fighting much anymore, we accept it as a risk every single day.

cazzie's avatar

Registered gun sellers, like Walmart, have to do a background check, right? In every State, regardless, correct? It is the ‘sometimes sellers’ at gun shows that do not need a federal liscence to deal in guns that are not required to do background checks. Some states also have waiting periods, from what I can gather. What is the objection to that? (I have heard some anecdotal stories…) It is the ‘person to person’ trade of guns that seems most open to abuse. Probably like when my father sold his handgun. I can’t even remember who bought it, but I was amazed at how much it was sold for. How many guns are stolen each year? Would a homeowner who had guns stolen be likely to come forward and list stolen guns to the police? What happens to their insurance when that happens? Would burglers be more likely to come back to that address, once the insurance is paid out and the guns are replaced? Hmmm… Insurance actuary tables would have some information on that. *curiosity peaked

cazzie's avatar

@KNOWITALL another good point about potential killers. Drunk driving and the toll it takes is bad, but pointing to it doesn’t make any other bad thing better. Ask any parent who lost a child to a drunk driver (I know a few) and they will say it is very much a battle worth fighting.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@cazzie I have bought a few cheap rifles at Walmart, just hand them the money, like you’re buying Kleenex, so no bg check. Not sure about now though.

Homeowners have to list all serial numbers like any other item and report them stolen to the police, so if they’re used in a crime, you’re safe from prosecution. Just like anything else, you can insure them or not. Most people I know do not list them on their homeowners policy.

There is no way for anyone to prevent guns being handed down in the family or traded or anything. My friends father’s two service revolvers (bought back from) from the Sherriff’s Dept have his initials and he also has assault weapons. Not a lot of people I know purchase guns from a store at all.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@cazzie That’s what I’m saying, why aren’t we putting effort into things like that then?

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL I agree with all you share, but realistically, the first step of the thousand mile journey is gun control IMO. Taking away the matches prevents the budding little arsonist from lighting the curtains on fire at grandmas house. 1st things first I think.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@CWOTUS
Haha fair enough
” In 2009, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 66.9% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm. [5] There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000. [6] Two-thirds of all gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides. Of the 30,470 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2010, 19,392 (63.6%) were suicide deaths, and 11,078 (36.4%) homicide deaths. [7]”

What percentage of 305 million americans own guns? In turn what percentage of gun owners commit crimes as opposed to those who don ‘t? I would assume that the amount of gun crimes in America outweigh the level of “reasonable ownership” meaning more people use guns to perpetuate malicious behavior rather than to protect themselves against “tyranny”, intrusion or threats on their lives

cazzie's avatar

@KNOWITALL regarding why do we only focus on the guns: I think it is a media thing. A ‘topic du jour’ right now. If it was about numbers only (fatalities) they would be focusing on suicides. Statistically speaking, if we took @CWOTUS ‘s guns away, we wouldn’t be saving the life of a burglar or his loved ones, we would be saving his life, because statistically speaking, he, is at a much higher risk of killing himself with his firearm than using it to defend himself or go on a murderous rampage or fight a revolution against the government.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @cazzie
Sometimes it does have to come down to the classroom mentality.
Punishing all for the acts of a few.
I have always been of the same mindset, stats.aside. The odds of a firearms related “accident” are far more likely than the actual need to ever use a weapon for self defense reasons. It is what is.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@cazzie Media sensationalism and politics, making Obama’s team look tough on something that is a predominantly Right-wing issue.

cazzie's avatar

I don’t know about the ‘punishing everyone’ part. I don’t think it does punish people. I like @jerv ‘s take on that side of things, with the question, ‘why do people feel they need them?’ I mentioned, in jest, once, on a gun control issue that people who feel they need an arsenal to defend themselves against an elected government need a 12 step programme. I was only sort of, half kidding.

@KNOWITALL crazy thing is, Obama has been one of the most ‘pro-gun’ administrations in the White House. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/76717-gun-control-group-gives-obama-an-f

CWOTUS's avatar

@HolographicUniverse

I don’t know how reliable the statistics are on Wikipedia are, but they are convenient. According to Wikipedia, “guns owned” in the USA (not to be confused with “number of people with guns”) exceeds 80 per 100 people.

If you want to be hyper-conservative, I suppose you could assume that more than 10,000,000 people own weapons. Personally, I think the numbers are over ten times that much. Your numbers of bad acts are tiny fractions of that number.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@CWOTUS I second your opinion on the number of guns owned. Not many people I know have an registered weapons and only a handful get a legal permit to carry concealed. They’re in the truck, home or glove box though.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@CWOTUS
Yes but you are disregarding these gun crimes in favor of preserving a right that you support out of perceived danger… You’re telling me that you want loose, to no, moderation of firearms despite there being millions of gun crimes annually? That’s highly selfish of you.

Reviewing some information I have to recant my previous statement because if we go by available numbers, which seem suspect to me, then less than 2% of crime in America, presumably, is gun related. A number that seems small but in actuality consists of many homicides and suicides,you’re willing to allow this activity to continue because you want to keep your gun?

Gun control tries to cap and manage these statistics, if you feel so inclined to own a firearm then buy one illegally but can we afford to lose more human lives because you fear a tyrannical government?

CWOTUS's avatar

I make no apologies for being selfish. I am. And I contribute to violent crime in no way, ever. I don’t know anyone whose weapons have contributed to violent crime, and I do know a lot of people with guns. It is beyond silly, it is irresponsible to conflate my ownership of weapons with any crime in any place.

“Gun control law” gives an illusion of control. That’s all. It’s more “security theater” that has nothing to do with real security.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@HolographicUniverse ” In 2009, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 66.9% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm.”

Interesting statistic. I wonder how many of those homicides were perpetrated in relation to illegal drugs? Just a thought.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@Yetanotheruser

Ah good point as gun control relates to the “war on drugs”, we didnt eliminate drug trade completely but we still enforced noble laws to deal with it

But by your implication even if alot of them were drug related, unless there was a possibility of decreasing drug related (or even gang related) incidents.. They are simply more reason to establish “control”.
@CWOTUS
Yes yes I know but this doesn’t negate the fact that many gun owners dont share your principles and responsibility.

YARNLADY's avatar

@HolographicUniverse I think the part where nearly one fourth of them were family members is important too. I don’t see that the background checks will change that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Missouri is #21, but is there anyone from one of these areas that wants to talk about the problems they see in gun ownership versus registration? Just curious.

States with Extremely High Populations of Gun Owners(more than 50%)

•1. Wyoming – 59.7%
•2. Alaska – 57.8%
•3. Montana – 57.7%
•4. South Dakota – 56.6%
•5. West Virginia – 55.4%
•6. Mississippi – 55.3%
•6. Idaho – 55.3%
•6. Arkansas – 55.3%

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@YARNLADY
I agree with you, I also agree with the original statement from the NRA

I was simply saying that background checks can/will be useful in certain circumstances (better than not having one at all)

CWOTUS's avatar

@HolographicUniverse I’m going to give up on this thread sooner or later, because what I say seems to hardly make a difference. “Many” does not mean “most”. Most gun owners are responsible and safe, because if they weren’t both of those things then they could easily be dead.

There are a lot of ways to hurt yourself with a gun, and that doesn’t even get into “confrontations with intruders” and other conflict situations. A gun owner has to be careful in purchasing ammunition, cleaning and maintaining the weapon, storing it (and the ammunition) appropriately and safely, transporting it, handling it at all times, loading it and practicing with it, including handling hang fires and misfires. Mishandle any of those steps and your gun can kill you by any number of accidents. They are certainly not toys, and not to be toyed with.

If you expect to own a gun and live, then you have to be at least somewhat responsible.

With that said, it’s true that “many” owners are not responsible. That is still not a majority of owners, and it’s not even as large a percentage of owners as the number of automobile owners on the road with unsafe automobiles, or operating them in an unsafe manner.

You could learn a lot if you take a course in gun safety. At least you would begin to know what you are talking about.

jerv's avatar

@dabbler Technology moves faster than the law.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@CWOTUS I’m with you there. My guns are in a locked room in a locked gun cabinet and I have no kids at all. People lack common sense in a lot of areas of life, but it’s not my fault and I’m not changing anything. John Wayne’s rolling over….lol

cazzie's avatar

This is sad… here is a poorly supported, but could-have-been interesting source of information from the US Department of Justice. http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/welcome.htm

cazzie's avatar

Also…. I put this in google: US statistics crimes committed at gunpoint

and the fourth in the list was:

What percentage of crime is committed by black offenders

WTH…???

cazzie's avatar

But this article came up at number 5 and was worth a read because it was, essential, a discussion among law enforcement officials from several different cities, all comparing notes. Very interesting. Perhaps this is why not much is done?
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/28/us/police-chiefs-focus-on-disparities-in-gun-violence.html?_r=0

” Chief Flynn recounted pleading with a state senator to include a provision in Wisconsin’s concealed weapons law that would ban habitual criminal offenders from obtaining permits. The senator, he said, told him, “Here’s the phone number of the National Rifle Association lobbyist in Washington, D.C. If it’s O.K. with him, it will be O.K. with us.” The provision was not included, Chief Flynn said. ”

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@CWOTUS

My friend you are missing the point I am attempting to make, re read my statements before making snide remarks.

Those “many” gun owners who are irresponsible and abuse the 2nd amendment (you know, the ones who commit crimes) are who gun control is intended to affect.
I didn’t say gun owners are irresponsible, I didnt ask how are they responsible, I made a mistake in saying a majority aren’t as opposed to a minor percentage (that is still a dangerous number)

I don’t need a course in gun safety to understand that the small percentage of irresponsible gun owners are making large impacts on citizen’s lives, to negate that fact is highly selfish (how ironic that one implies the government is corrupt when they are simply reacting to the severe consequences of citizens who abuse their right(s) and freedoms.
As I said I dont agree with confiscating weapons entirely but rather strict regulation

cazzie's avatar

@CWOTUS what @HolographicUniverse means (If I can be so bold as to help clarify) is that it isn’t most. Of course it isn’t. The majority of gun owners are probably like you and @KNOWITALL , where your guns are secured and you are trained and responsible. I have shared before that I was raised in a hunting family and there were guns and I knew where they were and they weren’t actually locked away, but my father knew how to keep us safe and he taught me. (basically how to defend myself against a red squirrel, should it ever provoke me.)

We are talking about the people who are purchasing guns to commit crimes and it is very much the Elephant in the Room. Guns are used to kill and rob and take revenge and to commit suicide (which, I believe is also a crime, still….) Guns make intimidation and crime and killing easier. Point and shoot. Almost sounds like a Sony Camera commercial. These guns are coming from somewhere. They are being purchased or stolen (or stolen and then sold) and then, ultimately used, in committing crimes. Why shouldn’t a civilised society make some effort at minimising the carnage created by this? Is it the numbers and percentages that sound inconsequential to you? ‘Oh, well, there were only 16 people killed in my state this month with firearms, and 40% of them had a record of violent crime themselves, so I guess they had it coming.’ ‘It was one of those black-on-black violent crimes, so we need not concern ourselves.’

CWOTUS's avatar

Right, @HolographicUniverse. So you really think that criminals are going to be thwarted for long by background checks, waiting periods, “restricted” lists and the like?

Here is a study from the National Institute for Justice which documents a study of 1874 felons who had re-offended.

Look at the statistics:
1. Around 50% of the felons had re-offended… with a gun. These people are restricted from owning firearms, period. Yet half of them had guns.

2. Around 80% of them had stolen the weapons. Background checks? We don’ need no steenking background checks.

You’re proposing to put more restrictions and roadblocks in front of the law-abiding and responsible users as if “it’s a step in the right direction”.

Well, here’s an idea: Let’s put restrictions on the purchase of food! We can starve the bastards. That’ll solve everything!

Aside from the snide remarks, when you make foolishly incorrect statements then I knock them down. I cannot read your mind. I don’t want to.

woodcutter's avatar

I’m not sure of what opinions are here regarding NPR as a reliable news source. But a few days ago I’m certain I heard a discussion on the air that stated that 60% of all gun deaths in the US were self inflicted, as in suicide. Wow. Why is it so bad here that makes people want to kill themselves? Do any other countries suffer from this problem? Is big pharma partly responsible? They have the big lobby in DC and it seems that they can sell us anything and pay doctors to prescribe all this shit to us. How many people really truly need the meds they are on? Is it something in the water supply or in the food we get? Maybe all the street drugs are coming back to bite people and manifesting itself in insanity? Over ½ of all gun deaths here are suicides. That is hard to get my mind around.
A study on mental health is sorely needed and you can bet the drug companies will make sure they come out of any studies smelling like a rose.

jonsblond's avatar

@woodcutter Interesting. The United States isn’t even in the top 10 of Highest Suicide Rates in the World

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@cazzie precisely

@CWOTUS
Remember that “background check” is not exclusive to “criminal”. Furthermore a background check should cause no problem for “law abiding citizens” just like searches haven’t for law abiding passengers at an airport.
A background check will be useful in identifying people of interest who try to purchase firearms (people with mental health issues, criminal records, bad credit etc etc) The ramifications have not been agreed upon yet, all that has been suggested were background checks and loosening privacy guidelines to inquire about mental health.

These ideas seem perfectly reasonable because there are people (criminal or not) that purchase guns legally and at gun shows (which also should be regulated) who then turn and use them maliciously
You seem emphatic on keeping things as is despite the possibility that you won’t be affected….I am sure your opinion would be different had you been a victim of a gun crime.

woodcutter's avatar

@jonsblond Holy crap! I assumed the US was the most emo that way. How do you suppose those poor souls in the suicide heavy countries carry out their own demise? Pills?

woodcutter's avatar

How do people come up with the number that ½ of all gun sales are undocumented? If they are undocumented where is the data that supports this number? Because It makes no sense.

jonsblond's avatar

@woodcutter I found the following information about recent suicides in Russia. Experts blame alcoholism, family dysfunction and other kinds of fallout from the Soviet Union’s collapse, as well as the absence of a mental health structure and social support networks to help troubled young people. Here is the link It looks like the majority of those suicides were by hanging or jumping.

woodcutter's avatar

@jonsblond Oh, ok so it is doable sans gun. Just takes a little imagination. So we Yanks have an imagination deficit~

CWOTUS's avatar

@woodcutter

The scare stories of “undocumented gun-show sales” are just that: scare stories.

@HolographicUniverse you must live in a different world than the one I inhabit. You really think that security screens at airports are “no problem”? Really? I used to be able to show up for a flight, walk into the terminal and onto the plane in about 20 minutes or less… when I was stopping at the counter to buy a ticket first. Now I have to be at the airport 2 hours ahead of scheduled takeoff for international flights. When I have to drive three hours to the airport in the first place, that’s not a non-issue.

I used to be able to walk into the terminal to meet new arrivals or to see flyers off. Can’t do that any more.

Aside from that, background checks are time-consuming, personally intrusive and will not be done at no cost. So I’ll be giving up more cash and more of my privacy for zero benefit. Criminals steal their guns. If they had to do a background check before stealing the weapon, then maybe I’d be on board with this silly idea.

SuperMouse's avatar

@CWOTUS I find your arguments in this thread incredibly interesting. If I am understanding correctly, you are saying that background checks will do virtually nothing to decrease gun violence in this country. You also seem to be saying that if gun control efforts are ramped up you will see it as an attack on your civil liberties and in an act of defiance you will go out and buy a gun. To my mind your most fascinating statement is that if a robber was fairly certain the homeowner he was planning to rob was unarmed he would probably be unarmed as well and if fewer law abiding citizens were armed for the purposes of defending themselves and their property, fewer criminals would feel the need to arm themselves.

So the take away is that if any more gun control is passed one should by and own a gun legally as a way of rebelling against the restrictions on buying and owning guns legally. Once they own that gun the individual should show trust in felons everywhere by not using the gun for protection.

From my perspective this a truly unique and rather head-spinning point of view.

CWOTUS's avatar

Actually, @SuperMouse, you interpreted my statement pretty much backwards from what I wrote. What I said was that I believe (I have no statistical evidence) that more home invasions are done by armed criminals because they are concerned about armed homeowners.

In fact, I’ll go further than that. I think that if home invaders are fairly certain that the homeowners will be unarmed, such as in Chicago and Washinton, DC, for example, then they know that they can ply their trade with relative impunity. I would expect that crime of all sorts, not just “gun crime” is higher in those cities.

What’s head-spinning to me is how dense “gun control” supporters can be regarding the effectiveness of regulatory laws on criminals.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@CWOTUS
Again a background check is one suggestion of gun control and it is actually quite decent in it’s function, you seem to deny that because of personal convenience

Furthermore not just the criminals but criminally insane, I do agree that we should conceive a law pertaining more to them rather than the entire population overall but at least this is a start.

In regards to your post to supermouse I must disagree
A criminal uses a firearm for their own protection but to also establish control of the situation and domination over their victim (There are surveillance videos of robbers shooting clerks despite already having the cash in hand)

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Sorry, duplicate

woodcutter's avatar

@SuperMouse Do you really think that the bad guys are really interested in being fair to their victims? If they assume bad gamble ,that their victims are defenseless, that they will be soft on them? You seem to view a robbery as a straight forward transaction.

Be nice to the bad guy and this will all be over in a minute?

Do you understand the social precedent this would set? It will mean that there is no risk to robbing and maiming someone unless they guy is stupid enough to do this in front of a swat team? Many anti gun advocates probably have deterred a crime against themselves because they “looked” like the sort who would resist even when they certainly would not have been in that position. In my town and state, it is considered a sure suicide to go full hot inside a home they believe to be occupied. So it doesn’t happen much.

SuperMouse's avatar

@woodcutter um I wasn’t sharing my opinion, I was summing up my interpretation of @CWOTUS‘s opinion. Read his very first post and you’ll see what I meant.

rooeytoo's avatar

This pretty much explains how I feel about the subject.

CWOTUS's avatar

You’d like this one, too, @rooeytoo.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Haha Am I being ignored? I must say that doesn’t sit well with me considering i’m an attention whore

rooeytoo's avatar

@CWOTUS – I’m calling the number immediately! (Even though I already live in a, theoretically, gun free zone!)

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