Gun Control: It's time for Oregon to Take the Lead

Albert Kaufman

SceneI doubt we'll ever see any change on gun control at the federal level, but is there anything that can be done statewide?

If so, I encourage a discussion of gun control legislation that could be passed by our State. Let's continue to be leaders in this country, let's make it 100 times harder for someone to buy a gun, and bullets, while we're at it.

Oregon Legislature, there's still time left. Go ahead, make my day!

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Oh wow. You're going to get deluged by comments, pro and con.

  • Thom (unverified)
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    I could get behind good gun-control legislation, though it's way, way down on my to do list. Here are some bigger fish...

    30+ civilians die violent deaths on any given day in Baghdad. Today it was 150+

    30+ students die on American campuses each week due to binge drinking or suicide.

    60, 70, 80+ Americans die in Iraq every month.

    I won't tear down other people's attempts to tackle gun crime, but that said, i wish Dems would emphasize more urgent issues.

  • (Show?)

    (Thom, could you use a secondary identifier for your name? We're trying to avoid the use of common first names - especially where they can be easily confused with prominent people. It doesn't need to be your real last name; "Thom from Tigard" is fine -- but it needs something more.)

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    alrighty!

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Oh good, knee-jerk reaction. Paranoid Schizophrenic guns went off. Only 100 times harder, then by the same logic we should make it 100 times harder for you to exercise your speech, what do you think - you take my guns, I muzzle you? This is the same silly stuff, recycled for the latest tragedy.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Huh?

    You have GOT to be kidding me...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    WE all wondered, on the anti-Lars thread, how long it would be...now we know.

  • (Show?)

    excuse me, but for some of this, what happened in VA changed nothing. i was against the massive ownership of guns in America, and i'm still against it. we don't need all these guns, and we don't need them to be easy to get, and we certainly don't need anything that does more than stop a burglar or the invading Redcoats. there's nothing knee-jerk in what i believe about guns; it's what i've always believed. guns are part of the national sickness.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Albert:Let's continue to be leaders in this country, let's make it 100 times harder for someone to buy a gun, and bullets, while we're at it.

    JK:Good idea, Albert. Provide more, guaranteed disarmed victims, for the predators and nuts out there. We could start with making it harder for stalking victims to get guns, then maybe we could follow up with law abiding home owners in high crime neighborhoods.

    In case you didn’t notice, guns were banned from that school. I seems that the crazed, suicidal, murderer somehow ignored the law.

    Guns are also banned in Wash DC, murder capitol of the US. Fat lot of good it does. Guns are banned in Japan. They just had a mayor gunned down. (In gun ban areas, only the police and criminal gangs have guns - which group would you like to see run Portland?)

    Switzerland has real machine guns (no crummy semi-auto assault weapon - a real full auto assault weapon) in most houses and shooting is the national sport. They have a low murder rate. It isn’t the gun any more than Rosie O’donald’s problem in the fork.

    Guns are here - learn to live with them. One might even save your life some day, if you learn how to use one.

    PS: Did you notice that guns are a right, just like free speech, the press etc. I hope you are willing to see George II regulate your speech like you want to regulate other’s guns.

    Thanks JK

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    PS: I could probably make a gun in a day's work using Home Depot materials and fire ammo also from Home Depot (which doesn't carry ammo)

    Thanks JK

  • JMG (unverified)
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    (This was first published not too long after Kip Kinkel, but before Columbine, before VA Tech, and all the other examples that are sure to follow for as long as we keep asking the wrong questions (how can we get rid of guns) instead of the right ones (how can we cut the risk and the harm that guns cause).

    The only update I would make is this: How's that war on drugs working out for us? And drugs--more plentiful, cheaper, and potent than ever--aren't protected in the Constitution, and we sure as hell can't seem to get rid of them. So what would ever make anyone think that a prohibitionist strategy would work with guns?

    <hr/>

    Fighting Fire with FIRE--Firearms Insurance Required Everywhere

    We can fix the gun problem. We can make America safer, without limiting our right to bear arms. And we can do it without an expensive, dangerous, and futile "War on Guns."

    To solve the real problem (keeping guns out of the wrong hands-without restricting other people) we must use an idea that has worked to limit losses from many other hazards: insurance. That's right, insurance, the system of risk-management contracts that lets people take responsibility for choices they make that impose risks on others.

    Insurance is what lets society accommodate technology. Without it, we would have few autos, airplanes, trains, steamships, microwaves, elevators, skyscrapers, and little electricity, because only the wealthiest could accept the liability involved. When people are accountable for risks imposed on others, they act more responsibly. Insurance is what enables this accountability.

    Rather than trying to limit access to or take guns away from law-abiding adults, we must instead insist that the adult responsible for a gun at any instant (maker, seller, or buyer) have enough liability insurance to cover the harm that could result if that adult misuses it or lets it reach the wrong hands.

    Who gets the insurance proceeds, and for what? The state crime victims' compensation fund, whenever a crime involving guns is committed or a gun mishap occurs. The more victims, the bigger the payout. The greater the damage (from intimidation to multiple murders and permanent crippling), the greater the payout. The insurers will also pay the fund for other claims, such as when a minor commits suicide by gun or accidentally kills a playmate with Daddy's pistol. This will reduce such mishaps. Insurance is very effective in getting people to adopt safe practices in return for lower premiums.

    When a crime involving a gun occurs, the firm who insured it pays the claim. If the gun is not found or is uninsured (and there will still be many of these at first) then every fund will pay a pro-rated share of the damages, based on the number of guns they insure. This will motivate insurance firms--and legitimate gun owners--to treat uninsured guns as poison, instead of as an unavoidable byproduct of the Second Amendment. Thus, insurance will unite the interests of all law-abiding citizens, gun owners and others, against the real problem with guns: guns in the hands of criminals, the reckless, the untrained, and juveniles.

    Like other insurance, firearm insurance will be from a private firm or association, not the government. Owners, makers, and dealers will likely self-insure, forming large associations just as the early "automobilists" did. Any financially-sound group, such as the NRA, can follow state insurance commission rules and create a firearms insurance firm.

    That's it. No mass or government registrations. Except for defining the rules, no government involvement at all. Each owner selects his or her insurance firm. By reaffirming the right to responsible gun ownership and driving uninsured guns out of the system, we use a proven, non-prohibitionist strategy for improving public safety.

    Each insurance firm will devise a strategy for earning more revenue with fewer claims. Thus gun owners -- informed by the actuaries -- will choose for ourselves the controls we will tolerate, and the corresponding premiums. (Rates will vary according to the gun we want to insure, our expertise, and claims history.)

    Some will want a cheaper policy that requires trigger locks whenever the gun is not in use; others will not. Hobbyists will find cheaper insurance by keeping their firearms in a safe at the range. Newer, younger shooters and those who choose weapons that cause more claims will pay higher premiums. That way, other owners, with more training and claims-free history, will pay less. (Insurance companies are expert at evaluating combined risks and dividing them up-in the form of premiums-with exquisite precision.)

    Soon, the firms will emphasize cutting claims. That means promoting gun safety and fighting black market gun dealers, which is where many criminals get guns. And every legitimate gun owner will have a persuasive reason -- lower premiums -- to help in the fight.

    We need to start discussing this now, because it will take several years to enact. Gun-control advocates will hate this because it forsakes the failed prohibitionist approach. But the evidence is clear: there is virtually no chance that prohibiting guns can work without destroying our civil liberties, and probably not even then.

    And the organized gun lobby will hate it too, because most of their power comes from having the threat of gun prohibition to point to. But again the evidence is clear: we have the current gun laws -- ineffective as they are -- because we have neglected a right even more important to Americans than the right to bear arms: the right to be safely unarmed.

    Naturally, many gun owners will resent paying premiums, because they resent assuming responsibility for risks that, so far, we've dumped on everyone else. So be it. It is only by assuming our responsibilities that we preserve our rights. Some will note that the Second Amendment doesn't include "well-insured." But, just as the press needs insurance against libel suits to exercise the First Amendment, we must assume responsibility for the risks that firearms present to society.

    The problem is real, even such prohibitionist strategies are doomed to fail, even if passed. Sadly, some pro-gun groups have already revved up their own mindless propaganda, blaming Springfield on liberals, TV, Dr. Spock, "bad seeds," you name it -- anything but the easy access to guns that made massacres like Springfield so quick, so easy, and so likely.

    This won't work instantly -- but it will work, because it breaks the deadlock about guns and how to keep them away from people who shouldn't have them, without stomping on the rights of the rest of us. Thus it changes the dynamics of this issue and ends the lethal deadlock over guns.

    It's time for everyone, people seeking safety from guns and law-abiding gun owners alike, to work together to fight firearms in the wrong hands, and it's time to fight with FIRE: Firearm Insurance, Required Everywhere.

  • Michael Wilson (unverified)
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    Before we jump on the gun issue it might be wise to find out what drugs this guy was on afterall some of the mind altering ones prescribed by docs have some strange impacts, like rage and suicide. MW

  • Matt Picio (unverified)
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    Two comments: First off, regarding Virginia Tech - this guy had a history of mental health issues, and shouldn't have been able to buy a gun in the first place. Let's not propose new legislation until we actually enforce the legislation we already have. Second, guns are only a peripheral issue. The real issue is the culture of "individualism at all costs" that we cultivate in the US. We've lost the concept of responsibility to community, and destroyed our family, neighborhood, and organizational ties. That, and our veneration of aggression is why cars kill 40,000 people a year, why homicide is as big of a problem as it is, and why we feel more connected to the people on the other side of the TV screen than we do to the people on the other side of our backyard fence.

  • pat malach (unverified)
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    I've owned guns, I've fired guns, I've killed things with guns and I've eaten meat that was "harvested" with guns.

    One thing I've never felt I needed a gun for is "protection."

    I'm sorry, JK, but the idea that "more guns would equal less gun violence" is mind numbingly delusional.

  • (Show?)

    Cheap Thrills Albert...........

  • (Show?)

    Both sides in the gun debate are strongly committed to their current version of what makes them feel in control, however illusional that control may be, and that's a huge barrier to making it fly politically on both sides, but the insurance proposal is interesting. I'd not expect it to be a panacea--auto insurance hasn't exactly fixed the drunk driving problem, for example, but even something moderately effective has the potential to save several orders of magnitude more lives every year than were lost at VT. That would be worth doing.

    My take on Seung Cho is that those who are focused on the person rather than the weapon are right. A bright, motivated engineering student will always be able to figure out ways to kill a few dozen people if he's focused on doing so--even in the complete absence of guns. Seung Cho did not act in a momentary fit of rage, he made careful plans. The fact that the kid was mentally ill and no one knew how to help him is what's at the heart of this particular tragedy, not the tools he chose to use to act out his illness.

  • THartill (unverified)
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    Um....Sorry not a good idea. You almost sound as if you are a Republican troll. If legislation was pushed by Oregon Dems, that made it "100 times harder to buy a gun", there would be an immediate backlash.

  • wharf rat (unverified)
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    Hi Folks...

    In the interests of full disclosure I am a former gun owner, hunter, carnivore, and way back in the woods rural resident. I sold the guns when I moved to town and had the grandkids around all the time. I no longer hunt because, quite honestly, hunting has become a beer and shoot at stuff contest for idiots.

    I'm a strong believer in all of the Constitution including the 2nd but we all recognize limits. Even my NRA friends are willing to concede some limits on gun ownership just like my ACLU friends recognize limits on speech.

    The idea of mandatory insurance is intriguing. If you have a swimming pool at your home your insurance company will require some kind of rider to include that risk. Could the company require the same if guns were on or brought onto the premises ? Renters ? The underlying structure is usually covered by the owner who could allow or prohibit guns under the terms of the rental agreement.

    Regards

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    One thing I've never felt I needed a gun for is "protection."

    Obviously the author of this statement has never been shot at by a crazed maniac. If only we could ask the 32 people killed at V Tech for their opinions on concealed weapons for self defense, but I'm afraid it's a little too late for that. It would certainly be interesting to obtain the views of those who were wounded and suvived, however. Something tells me they would have preferred someone to have had a gun who could have come to their defense.

  • spicey (unverified)
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    I think my favorite comment thus far is this one:

    -- because we have neglected a right even more important to Americans than the right to bear arms: the right to be safely unarmed.

    The "Fighting Fire with FIRE - Firearms Insurance Required Everywhere" makes sense to me. Could it be started in Oregon?

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Firearms Insurance? Ridiculous. No insurance company would EVER insure the criminal actions of a gun owner. There are even clauses in your automobile insurance policy that relieve the insurer of liability if you use your vehicle in a criminal manner.

    No matter what type of gun laws are passed, there will always be a large number of unregistered guns illegally in the possession of criminals. Adequate gun laws already exist to cover any illegal use of guns. Most states have mandatory minimums and give felony status to any use of a gun in the commission of a crime.

    As a stalker and a mental patient, Mr. Cho should not have been allowed to legally purchase the guns he used in his crime. But, he fell through the cracks.

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)
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    "PS: Did you notice that guns are a right, just like free speech, the press etc. I hope you are willing to see George II regulate your speech like you want to regulate other’s guns."-Jim

    -Jim,

    I strongly suggest that you actually READ the 2nd ammendment. Gun ownership is NOT a right, it is a PREVILEGE. This is why so many states and municipalities are able to control gun ownership. Please READ the entire 2nd Amendment and don't cut and paste, like Pat Robertson does with the Bible. Also, take pay keen attention to what the Supreme Court has said in this issue.

    I get really tired of uneducated idiots making comments when they have scarcely picked up a history book.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Yes, I think Oregon would be the perfect place to try dealing with guns realistically--we're a state with a tradition of being willing to think differently and to try better approaches, and we've got a whole lot of guns.

    Any legislators here (peering into the monitor)?

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Phil wrote "No matter what type of gun laws are passed, there will always be a large number of unregistered guns illegally in the possession of criminals. Adequate gun laws already exist to cover any illegal use of guns. Most states have mandatory minimums and give felony status to any use of a gun in the commission of a crime."

    On the first, yes, the point of my proposal is that people on both sides of the gun control debate should recognize that all attempts to prohibit guns are doomed to fail and are nothing but a waste of time.

    However, your next point: "Adequate gun laws already exist to cover any illegal use of guns."

    is where we disagree.

    Plenty of laws make various forms of possession and use illegal, but they do NOT create any civil liability or provide for funds to compensate gun crime victims. What we need is a form of extended producer responsibility that ensures that, from the moment of importation, there is a responsible party financially responsible for misuse of that weapon.

    Criminal law is about punishing after harm has occurred.

    Using insurance is about reducing harm. I know that the families of people killed and the people who are maimed by guns are not particularly helped by the criminal laws against gun crimes, because there is no restorative justice there--only retribution.

    What we need is to supplement the criminal law (retributive) with restorative law that provides for the victims of actual and threatened gun violence, whether we catch a shooter or not.

    So what we need in practical terms is a way to pay for restorative justice so that victims of gun crimes can be helped with physical and emotional therapy, rehabilitation, adequate (rather than miserly) disability compensation, and financial compensation for the losses of loved ones.

    Now we could simply tax everyone in the state to provide for the funds used to provide these things to gun victims, but it makes a lot more sense and would actually do a lot more to reduce gun misuse if we made the firearm industry and customers pay for it through insurance.

    As doretta noted, FIRE is not a panacea--but it would be well worth trying. Every time gun owners look at things like Virginia Tech and say "Well, there's nothing you can do about," the more it helps prohibitionists. Get a couple/three vets back from Iraq with PTSD shooting up schools and you'll see a serious move to amend the Constitution to remove the 2d Amendment entirely.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    The remedy for compensating victims of gun crimes, or any crime for that matter, lies in the courts. Victims have successfully sued and won huge judgements against those who criminally injured them with a gun.

    I recall a case where a homeowner in West Linn about 15 years ago shot and seriously wounded a young man at Timothy Lake who he claimed was partying too loudly at night. That middle aged man lost his home and everything else he owned to the resultant civil lawsuit the victim filed. I believe he also served a short prison sentence of a few months.

    It is not the job of insurance companyies to compensate crime victims, that burden falls upon the courts and rightfully so.

  • Curt (unverified)
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    Don't we already have gun control laws here? You have to show your ID and get checked to buy a gun (I just bought a shotgun last month, and even for a shotgun I had to!), you have to have a license to carry a gun around with you, you can be arrested for bringing a gun some places, there are all sorts of restrictions on where you can shoot.. what's to regulate?

    Disclosure -- I'm a shooter, I've hunted but not recently, and I do own a "self defense" gun. I strongly support the current gun control laws here in Oregon and would support any further gun control laws that I was convinced would reduce gun crime.

    Curt

  • spicey (unverified)
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    Curt, would you support FIRE as described above?

  • VR (unverified)
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    How about we start by ending the war in Iraq?

    How many "gun deaths" are there there? What are they costing us? How many "gun injuries" are there there? What are they costing us?

    Here is a good post about putting the Virginia Tech massacre in an international perspective:

    VA Tech shootings: world perspective

    This article really brings down the quality of Blue Oregon.

  • R.U. Nuts (unverified)
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    Liberalincarnate said: I strongly suggest that you actually READ the 2nd ammendment. Gun ownership is NOT a right, it is a PREVILEGE.

    Below you will find the text of the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. Interestingly, it came from the "Bill of Rights" not the "Bill of Previleges(sic)."

    “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.”

    We can argue about what "well regulated Militia" means but the second part of the amendment is pretty clear. Sure, some gun laws are fine and I would argue they are part of a well regulated militia. However, especially after a tragedy there is a tendency to react. We simply cannot do that.

    I agree with the comments above that if we make guns too hard to get we give criminals the security of knowing when they break into a home, the will not see the business end of a firearm.

    For those that have never had to defend themselves with a gun; you are lucky and I hope that I will never need mine to defend myself or my family. However, hope is not enough for me. I want the security of knowing I am protecting my family to the best of my ability.

    Am I for responsible gun laws, you bet. I am for over-reacting after a tragedy, no way.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    As I type this, Sacramento California has an alert out for a 28 year old suicidal man with a gun who said he intended to make V Tech look like a minor event and claimed he wanted to "die by cop". Do you think anyone in the Gun Free Zones is nervous? I would be. Calling 911 won't protect you as well as someone with a legal gun.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Mandatory gun registration. And mandatory gun safety and training class. Just like we do with dirvers licenses.

    And, to placate the fears of gun rights advocates, a state constitutional amendment explicitly guaranteeing the personal right to bear arms.

  • Old Dog (unverified)
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    As soon as there is an infallable plan to disarm the criminals and the lunatics, then the government, state and federal can start on the law abiding citizens.Until that is accomplished, I believe I will continue to carry my .45 automatic.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    As soon as there is an infallable plan to disarm the criminals and the lunatics, then the government, state and federal can start on the law abiding citizens.Until that is accomplished, I believe I will continue to carry my .45 automatic. JK: You left out of the "disarm" list the biggest killer of innicents in modern hitory: Governments. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao and many more. That is the real reason for the 2nd amendment - to maintain a balance of power against the government. We are seeing an example of what a few armed populace can do in Iraq.

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    UPO said, "to placate the fears of gun rights advocates, a state constitutional amendment explicitly guaranteeing the personal right to bear arms."

    We already have one:

    From the Oregon Constitution:

    Section 27. Right to bear arms; military subordinate to civil power. The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence [sic] of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power[.]

  • (Show?)

    I would like to know if anyone out there thinks that we should actually amend the Oregon Constitution to take away the personal, individual "right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the state," and in the process make it constitutional for the state legislature to pass laws regulating the ability of people to buy and own guns.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)
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    I'm not crazy about handguns, though I was qualified to carry one while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Never felt the need to purchase one for myself or obtain a concealed carry permit, but I think I will now. Only a matter of time until the mighty blue wave erodes my ability to do so.

    At present, I own two guns. One Remington 870 Express Magnum, ideal for home security, camping trips and recreational clay shooting. The other is an ancient Winchester 1894 .30-30 rifle, beautifully restored and recently passed down to me from my deceased father. That item is stored in a trusted friends gun safe, as it's too pretty to shoot, too dangerous to be used for self defense in a suburban setting and too valuable (to me, anyway) not to keep locked up in a safe. Looks like I'll be adding one more firearm to the brood in the form of a .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol followed by submitting an concealed carry application to the Washington County Sheriff's department. I realize that guy's like Albert Kaufman and the good Reverend Chuck Currie don't speak for all modern ("progressive") Democrats, but forgive me if I'm a bit troubled by a party led by the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, etc. Downplay the gun issue all you want in your party talking points, but I remain unconvinced. Guys like Chuck Butcher represent a small minority in your Blue Man Group, and god bless him for sticking with his party and not selling out his other strongly held beliefs just for the sake of the gun rights issue. However, this independent Oregonian aint down with your overall party agenda any more than he's digging the rule of the Bush regime. I was once registered as a Democrat. I have voted for many a Democratic candidate until recent years. Tell me that I have changed, which is true, but understand that your party- especially the "progressive" wing- appears to be the greater of two evils at the moment. As much as you feel that visceral, knee-jerk hatred toward all things Republican, at least a few of us moderate types view you in the same way.

    As disinclined as I am to agree with the writings of T.A. Barnhart, I think I concur with where he's coming from. We do live in a sick society, guns represent one of several symptoms, but I stop agreeing there. Guns are NOT the problem. Short of going on ad nauseum with a 20 page essay (I have better things to do and places to go), I'm fairly confident that Chuck, T.A. and I could spend an afternoon together most anywhere, engage in spirited debate, have an enjoyable time and leave as friends. We'd have our differences, but would be able to respect one another's views in disputed areas while accepting the others rights and personal beliefs. Though our opinions may differ on some issues, our common beliefs would unite us.

    Perhaps this is little more than a Cab-induced rant, but I don't think so. Just reflecting the vibe I get from many of you hardcore partisans on the left. Seems to me our differences are much smaller than our similarities, but some of you appear to be so militant in your views that it's hard to have meaningful discourse. Then again, maybe it's just the liquor talkin'.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    "I strongly suggest that you actually READ the 2nd ammendment. Gun ownership is NOT a right, it is a PREVILEGE. This is why so many states and municipalities are able to control gun ownership. Please READ the entire 2nd Amendment and don't cut and paste, like Pat Robertson does with the Bible. Also, take pay keen attention to what the Supreme Court has said in this issue."

    I have read it, and our state's version as well.

    I am not sure where the H&%$ you got the idea that something in the Bill of RIGHTS is, upon further examination, a "privelege."

    I don't often call someone to the carpet, but i have no choice in your case:

    You, Sir (or Madam) are officially a goofus.

    Now...YOU go back and re-read the Constitution...the ENTIRE Constitution. Then sit down and read the Federalist papers, then sit down and read Miller v. US, and THEN come back to us and explain to us how a document that says NOTHING about how the population should conduct themselves suddenly talks about granting priveleges in one spot, and one spot only. hint: the Constitution doesn't do anything except dictate how the government is supposed to work.

    "I get really tired of uneducated idiots making comments when they have scarcely picked up a history book."

    You must be a troll. This cannot be happening. How could we have raised subjects, not citizens?

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    "I'm fairly confident that Chuck, T.A. and I could spend an afternoon together most anywhere, engage in spirited debate, have an enjoyable time and leave as friends."

    I haven't had the pleasure of making Chuck's acquaintance...I have been a friend of T.A.'s for several years now, and we have this very spirited debate, and always walked away better friends afterwards. He is a good egg.

    I would love to say that a partyline vote is desireable, but it isn't. We need rational voting, sadly. Most of the time it is a Dem, but even the most dogmatic among us can point to the occasional Rep that is better than their opposition.

  • VR (unverified)
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    I honestly have never understood how many Liberals who I consider very smart on so many issues - who I find grasp simple concepts on most of the things I find important - simply become so single minded and closed minded and irrational when gun control is the topic.

    I think gun control is to Liberals what abortion is to Neocons. Outlawing guns makes no more sense than outlawing abortion, yet either side clings to these single issues so tightly - especially when there are such larger fish to fry.

    Why not make sure EVERY child has health care? Why not guarantee EVERY American has the tools and resources to find gainful employment and allow said employment to be steady and pay well? Why not assure every American that we can have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink? Why not make sure that regular people - blue or red - are not being raped by corporations? And why waste trillions of dollars killing our own troops in useless wars?

    Take care of THOSE first and THEN start tackling the - by comparison - TINY issues of gun control and abortion.

    And I bet we would find something really strange. If everyone has good employment, good health care, good retirement packages, good homes, good schools, and clean environments - I bet that there would be little need to seriously look at things like gun control or abortion laws. Crime and abortion rates drop as people have more stable more prosperous and rewarding lives.

    I agree with Liberals on so many points until their brains shut down when you mention you own a gun...

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Nice summary of why prohibitionist gun control strategies will never work (by Sam Smith, author/editor of The Progressive Review and books like "The Great American Repair Manual"):

    WHY MORE GUN CONTROL WON'T HELP

    • Gun prohibition has much the same effect as drug or alcohol prohibition. It would increase the price but not limit the availability of guns for those who really want them. One of the effects, for example, of banning cigarettes in prisons is to create a booming trade in contraband tobacco.

    • Within a few years of DC passing a gun control law so stringent that it was recently ruled in violation of the Second Amendment, the war on drugs was launched by Ronald Reagan. In the years that immediately followed the murder rate doubled despite the gun law.

    • The killer was mentally deranged and driven enough to have easily obtained a gun even if there were gun prohibition.

    • Since 1993 the U.S. handgun murder rate has decreased 48 percent while the number of privately owned handguns in America has increased by more than 20 million

    • Culture is a far more important factor in violence that gun ownership. There are more guns per-capita in Maine than in any other state save possibly Alaska. About 50,000 Mainers have permits to carry concealed weapons. Yet Maine has a crime rate one-third below the national average. Maine has one or two fatal gun accidents a year, lower than the death rate for snowmobiling or boating. These figures -- which reflect those of certain high gun-ownership countries such as Sweden, Norway and Switzerland -- suggest that the culture of a society affects the problems caused by guns more than the guns themselves. Introduce guns to an inherently violent community and you'll get more violence. Introduce guns to an inherently lawful society and the crime rate drops. In 2004 the South, on the other hand, had a murder rate 57% higher than the Northeast.

    • Forty-six percent of all those dying of gunshots in 1997 were between the ages of 15 and 34. Presumably guns work mechanically the same way for this age group as they do for others, thus something other that safety would appear to be involved.

    • Treating gun laws as a national issue exacerbates cultural conflict, such as those between rural and urban, east and west, wealthy and not so well off. Telling rural Westerners to get rid of their guns is like telling urban blacks to stop reading African-American books.

    • John R. Lott has pointed out that "less than one out every thousand times people use guns defensively is the attacker killed. Ninety-eight percent of the time, simply being able to brandish a gun is sufficient to cause a criminal to break off an attack and the two percent of the time when guns are fired, the vast majority of those are warning shots. It's something like less than one-half-of-one percent of the time is the gun fired in the direction of the attacker. Even when they do hit, woundings are much more frequent than times when the attacker is killed."

    • A Justice Department stud, conducted from 1993-1995 tracked 4,000 boys and girls aged 6 to 15 in Denver, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, NY. According to the study:

    Children who get guns from their parents don't commit gun crimes (0%), while children who get illegal guns are very likely to do so (21%).

    Children who get guns from parents are less likely to commit any kind of street crime (14%) than children who have no gun in the house (24%) and are dramatically less likely to do so than children who acquire an illegal gun (74%).

    Children who get guns from parents are less likely to use drugs (13%) than children who get illegal guns (41%).

    "Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use [than boys who get illegal guns] and are even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns," the study reported.

    • The Columbine killers violated at least 17 existing state and federal weapons control laws.

    • In 1997 it was reported that Americans use guns defensively around 2 million times each year, five times more frequently than the 430,000 times guns were used to commit crimes that same year. And 98 percent of the time, simply brandishing the weapon is sufficient to stop an attack.

    MORE ON GUNS http://prorev.com./guns.htm

  • (Show?)

    In 1997 it was reported that Americans use guns defensively around 2 million times each year, five times more frequently than the 430,000 times guns were used to commit crimes that same year. And 98 percent of the time, simply brandishing the weapon is sufficient to stop an attack.

    Reported by whom? That strikes me as a perfect example of what Stephen Colbert calls "factesque".

  • Susan Abe (unverified)
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    Matt Picio: this guy had a history of mental health issues, and shouldn't have been able to buy a gun in the first place. Let's not propose new legislation until we actually enforce the legislation we already have.

    My understanding is that Virginia law requires only a quick computer check to verify that a gun purchaser is not a felon, and that Virginia law was followed. When you say "shouldn't have been able," do you mean you think Virginia should change its laws to require a mental-health checkup before a gun purchase?

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Here are some facts on gun control--these are some of the few unbiased ones I have found out there.

    It includes the 2 million figure.

    Oh, and Susan:

    There is a standard form 4473 that everyone buying a gun fills out and it is from that form that the NICS (Brady) instant background check gets called in. On that form is a space to denote if you have been committed for mental illness, along with a spot for thumbprint and all sorts of other fun things. Lying on this form is a felony.

    Of course this begs the issue of how this feller filled out the form and whether or not he lied about his mental state. Since the news reports indicated an involuntary detention for mental illness, it would seem so.

    A search on "form 4473" or "NICS Brady" will give you tons of info on the process. This process is required whenever someone with an FFL -Federal Firearms License sells a firearm: at a gun store, a gun show, a pawn shop, or at a shadetree FFL dealer's home. This included Curio and Relic (Called CruffleR in the parlance) license holders as well--they deal in antiquities ONLY.

    Hope this helps inject sanity into the deal.

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    JJ,

    He was referred by a judge for a mental health evaluation but apparently not committed because he did not meet the standard for being an imminent danger to himself or others. Hard to quibble with that determination since that was roughly a year-and-a-half before he erupted.

    Given what I think we know now, I don't believe he had to lie on the application.

  • spicey (unverified)
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    Well, so far the best idea has been FIRE, I'm really appreciative of all the comments on this issue. I think what we're all wanting is to live in a safe place, and feel protected. My sense is that our society is not like that right now (see Bowling for Columbine). The gun insurance idea sure seems like a good one to me. I'd love to see Republicans take the lead on this issue - could be an agenda they could get through the OR legislature. Don't R's want to be safe, too? Is it more important to have the freedom to bear arms than it is to live in a safe society?

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Gosh, I thought y'all said that all we needed to do was pass the gun show "loophole" and we'd have all we need. Was that a lie, i.e. did y'all fail to tell us that there was more to follow?

    Well, there are right wing authoritarians and there are left wing authoritarians. I see very few real liberals here.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Mick (unverified)
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    This is my favorite quote ever: "there's nothing knee-jerk in what i believe about guns; it's what i've always believed."

    -Mick

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    LiberalIncarnate I strongly suggest that you actually READ the 2nd ammendment. JK: I have. You should too.

    LiberalIncarnate Gun ownership is NOT a right, it is a PREVILEGE. JK: Apparently you missed a few details: A well regulated regulated b.+Of troops: Properly disciplined; obs. Rare -1 + = obsolete word Discipline" b. spec. To train in military exercises and prompt action in obedience to command; to drill. (The Compact Edition of Oxford English Dictionary, Twenty-Third Printing in the U.S., January 1984) Militia militia 3.a. . . . . to denote a 'citizen army' as distinguished from a body of mercenaries or professional soldiers. 1776 Adam Smith W.N.v.i. (1869) II. 281 it [the state] may . . oblige either all the citizens of the military age, or a certain number of them to join in some measure the trade of a soldier to whatever other trade or profession they may happen to carry on. ( Oxford English Dictionary, (1989), page 768) being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people Comment: are you going to claim that phrase means you and I in the 1st, 4th, 9th and the 10th amendments, but means only national guard members in the 2nd. Laughable! to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

    LiberalIncarnate This is why so many states and municipalities are able to control gun ownership. JK: They used to control racial minorities too.

    LiberalIncarnate Also, take pay keen attention to what the Supreme Court has said in this issue. JK: They just overturned DC’s gun ban if that has any meaning to you.

    LiberalIncarnate I get really tired of uneducated idiots making comments when they have scarcely picked up a history book. JK: Me too (you need to look in the mirror.)

    PS: You are not a liberal, you are a statist. A liberal believes in empowering people, not taking away people’s rights to suit the popular delusions of the day.

    Thanks JK

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Just to make sure some things are clear:

    TA & I are friends, mostly long distance, but enjoy the time we do get to spend together.

    I am not a liberal, I am a lefty, and as such very committed to personal liberty and freedom

    I am a member of the Democratic Party and a DPO delegate, just re-elected by Baker County Democrats

    I own a bunch of guns - all shooters - of varying types and capabilities

    I do not have a favorite Amendment, I don't worry much about housing troops or Prohibition (as a non-drinker)

    One thing I'm very sure of:

    Ignorance is curable, stupidity is forever (see GWB)

  • pat malach (unverified)
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    It would certainly be interesting to obtain the views of those who were wounded and suvived, however. Something tells me they would have preferred someone to have had a gun who could have come to their defense.

    Something tells me they'd have preferred to be able to sit in their classrooms knowing that one of their fellow students, a person deemed mentally defective by a court, wasn't able to so easily purchase two killing machines.

    Once again, "delusions" aren't just a chain of islands off the coast of Alaska.

    Anyone with a lick of common sense, an ounce of gray matter and a passing nod to honesty knows more guns equals more gun violence.

    If you weren't nuts yourself, you wouldn't fear attempts to keep guns out of the hands of nuts. Right?

  • Laura Calvo (unverified)
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    I really appreciate the discussion on gun control. On some level I am torn by the issue. What I keep coming back to ultimately are some issues that I think have been touched upon in this discussion. First of all, without having to cite a bunch of statisitcs, far more people in US are killed each year in automoblile accidents than all the deaths and injuries where a gun was involved. More police officers are killed each year in car accidents than by guns. Another inescapable fact of life is that there are bad people out there. If they don't have acccess to a gun, they will use whatever they have access to carry out their goal. Whether it's diesel and fertilizer, box cutters, knives, or other implement. I feel that possessing a gun is a profound responsibility that some people take for granted. If you own a gun, you should be fully aware of the responsibilities and prepared take full control of those inherent responsibilties. If you aren't truly prepared to do this you have no business owning a gun. Lastly, when the gun control discussion comes up, I really can not help but feel that it's not really the issue of guns, but much larger issues we must be discussing and doing something about if we are to stem the needless tragedies. We can totally ban guns from our society. It is something that is not likely to happen. Even if it were possible, what we have not fully and adeqautely addressed are the underlying issues. Just to name a few, crime, mental illness, and a culture where violence is present in every corner of our lives. Do we have adequate laws in place to curb gun violence? The answer is debatable. Have we addressed crime, drugs, mental illness and an insensitivity to violence in our culture? I think the answer is clear. We have not to date. Just my thoughts.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Just a couple/three observations because so many people refer to the greater carnage from autos than from guns--

    1) I don't see anyone complaining about mandatory auto insurance.

    2) If it's the courts' job to compensate crime victims, why do we have mandatory insurance laws for autos? After all, 99.99% of auto accidents represent at least misdemeanor level criminal misconduct.

    3) How can we possibly co-exist so peacably with mandatory auto insurance--which requires us to insure a device that only kills incidentally (mostly)---and yet somehow reject the idea that we ought to make gun owners insure devices that are intended to kill?

    I'm depressed by the response to the FIRE (Firearms Insurance Required Everywhere) proposal here. It seems we would rather just continue the flame wars over gun violence than try to actually develop a workable approach that is consistent with the 2nd Amendment but that would also help reduce gun violence and crimes.

    If the person/company that sold Cho his weapons were looking at a huge liability payout, I guarantee you that they would have acted a LOT more responsibly.

  • Nina (unverified)
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    <<the real="" issue="" is="" the="" culture="" of="" "individualism="" at="" all="" costs"="" that="" we="" cultivate="" in="" the="" us.="">>

    matt nailed it with that comment. what happened at VT isn't about guns and i am amazed that people still engage in these knee-jerk reactions and demand for tougher gun restrictions. we all know that saying--guns don't kill people, people do. sometimes people choose guns as their weapon of choice. this young man was determined to take out a lot of people. if he didn't have access to a gun, he would have used a bomb. perhaps a knife. or if trained, with his hands. what are we going to do? make it tougher to buy knives, too? or otc products that when combined, make a bomb?

    rugged individualism has failed us. the current system of capitalism (where human and planetary respect and dignity has taken a back seat to profit) has failed us. we need to study the videos and the words left by this young man to learn what we can change about how we live and interact with one another. this young man left a trail of red-flag behaviors that largely went ignored. we need to redefine worth and value. people slip through the cracks everyday. some act out in their pain and rage. others turn it on themselves and destroy only themselves.

    some have suggested this young man was the victim of mind control. while i know this exists, it is my belief this is a young man who was in a lot of emotional and mental pain, who was a loner, likely bullied (which leads to that loner type behavior), who had reached his breaking point. i hope his life and his relationship with his family will be discussed openly so that we may learn from this.

  • Albert Kaufman (unverified)
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    Still think that FIRE is a great way to go. Also, I wonder if it would make sense to try a poll on BlueOregon, and perhaps elsewhere to see if this idea could be accepted by society?

  • Ian (unverified)
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    Iam a gun owner, Iam a Dem as well. I think that having fire arm insurance is not going to even solve the problem that everyone is focusing on. The easiest way to solve the gun control isues are as follows.

    1. Have backround checks include mental health records.

    2. If any person living at your address has mental health issues that can pose a risk any one residing at that address may not own a fire arm or must not posses them at that address.

    3. Continue backround checks on all fire arm sales private and retail including gun shows.

    4.Make all fire arm sales to 21 and over only.

    1. All ammo sales 21 and over as well,

    These steps are pretty simple and would help eliminate alot of problems. People also need to remember that a gun is a machine it only dose what the operator tells it to do. Dont get me wrong I am for gun control but I am not for any fire arm bans because we cant get good gun control laws passed.

  • (Show?)

    Regarding FIRE, I think it sounds good in theory, but in reality you would have a hard time finding any insurance company that would be willing to cover it. Or, premiums would be very high.

    Not to mention, requiring people to buy insurance in order to own a gun would be simiar to requiring people to pay a tax in order to vote. So it probably would not be constitutional.

    You can't make people pay money in order to enjoy a right guaranteed by the constitution.

    It is funny how people tend to view guns as similar to automobiles or other products. But they miss the critical difference that owning or operating an automobile is not a constitutional right, as is the right to own a gun. The right to own a gun is more like the right to vote, or the right to free speech, or freedom of the press. No one ever suggests (anymore) that people should have to pay some kind of fee or tax in order to exercise those rights.

    Go back and re-read Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution, as well as the second amendment to the federal constitution.

    I don't think FIRE would be Constitutional without passing an amendment to the Oregon Constitution.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    But we do have to pay to exercise fundamental rights--we have the right to own property and not to have that taken from us without due process, but that often requires paying lawyers to enforce. We have a fundamental right to free expression, but the only free speech is standing on a soapbox on the corner--you can't even print handbills without paying money, much less use the airwaves.

    People in the business of exercising the right to free speech typically have to pay for liability insurance to defend against slander and libel claims, and they have to pay lawyers to prevent censorship attempts by government.

    Likewise, you have to pay to have a lawyer in a civil suit, although that's a fundamental right.

    By your logic, books and newspapers cannot be taxed, nor gun sales, nor ammo sales.

    Also, if you would read the proposal, you would see that it presumes that gun owners would self-insure, rather than pay for the privilege of owning guns. That is, gun owners would band together and form a self-insurance association (the original form of insurance), so there's no requirement to pay anything to an insurance company. What does it tell you if gun owners refuse to accept some of the liability for the harm that guns can create?

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    RE: Gun insurance. JK: Doesn't insurance come free with NRA membership?

    PS: Why not really treat guns like cars: You only need a license to use (shoot) it on public property.

    Thanks JK

  • R. M. Phipps (unverified)
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    Sometimes Oregon isn't a leader in certain areas. Note that a Georgia city REQUIRES gun ownership. And there are more like this one across the country. Many will not agree with me, but here are two news articles that speak to the subject. If you disagree with them, that is your choice. Use the delete button.

    Randy

    Also, look at the second posting, which offers some suggestions on how the damage could have been eliminated, or lessened.

    U.S. Town Requires Residents to Own Guns

    KENNESAW, Georgia (April 18) - The Virginia Tech killings have set off calls for tighter U.S. gun laws but anyone wanting to know why those demands likely will make little headway should visit Kennesaw, a town where owning a gun is both popular and mandatory.

    The town north of Atlanta had little prominence until it passed a gun ordinance in 1982 that required all heads of a household to own a firearm and ammunition.

    Kennesaw's law was a response to Morton Grove, Illinois, which had passed a gun ban earlier that year as a step to reduce crime.

    But it also was an affirmation of what gun advocates say is a blanket U.S. constitutional right, under the Second Amendment, for citizens to keep and bear arms. Gun opponents challenge that right and say the language in the Constitution is open to interpretation.

    The Kennesaw law has endured as the town's population has swelled to about 30,000 from 5,000 in 1982.

    "When the law was passed in 1982 there was a substantial drop in crime ... and we have maintained a really low crime rate since then," said police Lt. Craig Graydon. "We are sure it is one of the lowest (crime) towns in the metro area.

    Residents say they are comfortable with the image the gun law projects on the city as a bastion of gun freedom.

    "There's been no move to get rid of the law . Why would you?" said Robert Jones, president of the Kennesaw Historical Society. "The law is a great tourist attraction. It's the town with the Gun Law .

    "People in Europe feel they need to be protected by the government. People in the U.S. feel they need to be protected from the government," said Jones, the owner of a .357-caliber Magnum.

    FAMILY TRADITION

    Many U.S. citizens see gun ownership as an essential freedom on a par with free speech and the view is particularly strong in rural areas and the South where sport hunting is often a family tradition.

    In a bid to expand gun rights, a bill was introduced in Georgia's state legislature to allow individuals with no criminal record or history of mental illness to conceal a weapon in their car.

    The state Senate adjourned debate on the bill on Tuesday, fearing it would send the wrong message in the wake of the Virginia rampage.

    Dent "Wildman" Myers, 76, styles himself as a keeper of the flame when it comes to Kennesaw's gun ordinance. His downtown shop contains a cornucopia of artifacts, including old uniforms and dozens of flags of the Confederacy that fought the Union in part in defense of slavery in the Civil War. At the back is a Ku Klux Klan outfit with a noose and a hood.

    There also are posters praising defenders of the white race, White Power CDs and a sign that reads: "No Dogs Allowed, No Negroes, No Mexicans." Someone had crossed out the first part of the sign and added "Dogs Allowed."

    Myers said he wanted to protect the values that made the town and the South distinct from other parts of the United States.

    GUNS AS TOOLS

    "They destroyed anything historic and replaced it with the PC (politically correct) stuff. It's become a cookie cutter town," Myers said, his hands resting lightly on two .45-caliber guns at his hips. He said he considered his guns to be tools, much like a rake or a shovel.

    Since the Virginia Tech shootings, some conservative U.S. talk radio hosts have rejected attempts to link the massacre to the availability of guns, arguing that had students been allowed to carry weapons on campus someone might have been able to shoot the killer.

    Without guns the students of Virginia Tech were "26,000 sitting ducks," said Chris Krok of Atlanta 's WSB radio in a view echoed by many residents of Kennesaw.

    When the town's gun law was passed, about 70 percent of households likely owned a gun , Graydon said. But Atlanta commuters have since swelled the town's population and gun ownership now is about 50 percent.

    An amendment to the gun ownership law grants exceptions to convicted felons, conscientious objectors and those who cannot afford a gun . No one has ever been prosecuted for failure to own a firearm, Graydon said.

    The law may deter criminals but proactive policing and close police liaison with community and business groups were the main reasons why crime has stayed low, he said.

    Some residents said they found the law objectionable or silly and simply ignored it.

    But Linda Warman, who works in a Kennesaw shop, said she lived alone and was taking no chances.

    "I wouldn't hesitate to use it," she said of the gun she keeps loaded with hollow-point bullets. "My little .22. It'll do whatever I want it to."

    http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/us-town-requires-residents-to-own-guns/20070418233109990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

    04/17/2007 Needed: More Americans with guns

    by Andrew Longman WorldNetDaily.com

    First, it is not a tragedy. Tragedies are sad things that occur naturally. A friend dying of cancer is a tragedy. This, instead, is an act of evil and of infamy. It is an act of terror and sabotage. The murders at Virginia Tech are willful malevolence, but they are not tragedy.

    Second, the White House temporary press secretary just showed she is an amateur. Dana Perino: "The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed."

    That is a really dumb remark.

    The idea that Americans should be hearing from the White House is: "The right to keep and bear arms provides for concealed-carry laws, which could have prevented this situation. We do not know why there were not more law-abiding citizens carrying firearms in the vicinity so that this madman could have been stopped. The vulnerability of our population to terrorism needs to be addressed, and the Second Amendment to the Constitution provides a starting point. The president intends to do everything he can to see more lawful people armed as a bulwark against terror."

    We have got to get over this namby-pamby, lets-squeeze-a-teddy-bear mentality. Frankly, the feminine response has become the national first-responder. It is fine for the families, for the home life, for children and for the interpersonal relationships that have been affected by this act of terrorism. But the public response, the societal response, the nationwide reaction, as distinguished from the interpersonal one, needs to be masculine, firm, well-defined and solution-oriented. I don’t want to hear a bunch of emotional garbage from the president of Virginia Tech or the president of the United States. I want to hear of good and evil.

    And I want to hear about the good guys being armed and the bad guys being shot dead.

    We should conduct a public ad campaign urging the law-abiding public to utilize concealed-carry laws as a bulwark against terrorism. We should consider legislation in state legislatures and Congress to require a large portion of teachers, professors, coaches, etc., to be given incentive to pass firearms training and carry weapons. And we should quit thinking of this as a random, naturally occurring, unavoidable disaster like a tornado.

    You do not fight evil the same way you fight an earthquake. Disasters can be confronted with statistics and preparedness. But in the case of an evil-motivated individual, the only way to combat an evil intelligence is with another intelligence. You can hide people in basements from tornados, but there is no such thing as a safe-room where an intelligence is trying to get in. That should be the big lesson here: Lockdowns are for tornados, well-armed good-guys are the solution for bad guys. It is folly to propose the police as the well-armed good guys. They get called only after something happens. The good guys must be the great, historical, American citizen minuteman, the militia, the God-fearing and law-abiding rugged Yankee, the hospitable and reverent Southern gentleman with a shotgun within arms reach.

    All of these massacres, these terrorist attacks, have genuine possibilities for being stopped dead in their tracks if they encounter a well-armed, well-trained, educated public vigilant to defend their freedoms. The proper private response to this evil is to share the emotion and inestimable losses with the families. But the proper public response is to promote the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    We can stop this evil if we choose to.

    Let’s roll. --------------------------------------------------

  • anon (unverified)
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    Belief in gun control is the belief that citizens will never need their guns to protect themselves from the government that is supposed to protect them. The Founding Fathers created the 2nd Amendment to go along with freedom of speech, press, etc, to protect from enemies "foreign and domestic."

    Leaving aside the debate over whether or not revolutionary organizations like the Bavarian Illuminati, Jacobins, Orleanists, Martinistes, etc. exist today, they definitely did exist when the Constitution was written and their threat is reflected in the letters and memoirs of the Founding Fathers. The fact that some of the catch phrases and symbolism of previous revolutionary movements are bandied around today by powerful men doesn't add any comfort that it can't happen here. Bush Sr spoke of a New World Order, just as Hitler had. Prescott Bush was castigated by the Roosevelt Administration for Union Bank loans to Germany after Hitler invaded Poland. The Iran-Contra hearings revealed FEMA plans for detention centers for U.S. citizens should Vietnam style insurrection occur again. The Bush Admin's Total Information Awareness program used the All-Seeing Eye for a logo.

    Think about it. The stakes for taking over the U.S. government, free of democratic control, are as high as can be. The incentive is control of the world's richest economy and biggest military. The greatest threat to America comes from traitors within. The 2nd Amendment is one of our best protections from this threat.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    "Not to mention, requiring people to buy insurance in order to own a gun would be simiar to requiring people to pay a tax in order to vote. So it probably would not be constitutional."

    This might seem a litte disjointed...but follow me here:

    I don't think that guns are like cars.

    Cars are worse. Insuring guns like they do cars would lead to just a bunch of criminals. After all...why would I insure something that sits in my safe - a "safe queen". I don't take out out every day day to polish it, use it only occasionally, and it isn't taken LONG miles across all manner of road surfaces in all manner of environmental conditions competing for space with other firearms (broken analogy, but y'all should get the point.)

    In short: this proposal just doesn't pass the sniff test.

    Guns are more like cameras. Both are more closely related upon thinking about it:

    Both are mostly benign: Neither will go OFF without physical manipulation of the operator--unless malfunctioning.

    Both are capable of doing tremendous good: Guns protect families from people bent on evil, and we have all seen the photos of Tiananmen Square and Dr. MLK.

    Both are capable of doing tremendous evil: Firearms are often used in some of the most ghastly crimes, and we are all aware of the existence and prevelance of child pornography.

    Both are regulated by their own industries: Canon, Nikon, Leica et al police thier own as do SW, Ruger, Charter, and others.

    Both tools court, in their use, acclaim: Utah Police Officer Ken Hammond, Robert F Williams. Ansel Adams, Jim MacMillan.

    Both tools court, in their use, condemnation: Kleibold/Harris, Cho. Reifenstahl, Heinrich Hoffmann.

    Both are protected under clauses in Amendments to the Constitution.

    Of course, the idea of background checks on cameras is treated with ridicule, but are we absolutely sure that the camera will be used for good (pics of the kids on the lap with grandpa reading a book) or evil (pics of the kids with grandpa in another less wholesome activity)? Further...perhaps camera control isn't needed in the face of all the kiddy porn, but rather, FILM control? Maybe we could stamp an identifier on the film so we could track it back and help us solve these horrible cases?

    Lucricrous, no?

    Insuring a camera against the actions of the user would be insanity at its height, yet cameras are often used to destroy lives (just ask any abuse survivor years after their photos have been traded on internet chat rooms.)

    Insuring a firearm against misuse carries with it the taint of Poll-tax, or insuring a typewriter, paper, ink, or bullhorns.

    Ultimately, these items are things that SHOULD be owned by anyone that can legally do so, and is so inclined. The founding fathers considered them equally in regard. Of course, they couldn't ahve forseen the advent of the semi-auto (not quite true, but close enough), but they hadn't forseen the advent of the typewriter, ballpoint pens, or amplified sound at Political Rallies, either.

    Forcing the population to insure their firearms would have 2 effects: create a LOT of criminals, and create a massssssive problem of enforcement. How would the police check to see if your firearms are insured? Go door to door? I would personally tell the cop to buzz off regardless of my compliance with said law.

    Lastly, there is NO record in the US of who owns what, and relying on the form 4473 as a "registry" would be difficult at best. People die, hand down firearms to the children, give them to a friend, lose them, have them stolen, have them destroyed by rust, all sort of conditions would render a 4473 search almost useless. Would the burden be on the 4473 card holder to prove that they do NOT have the firearm any longer? That would be comical at best. I no longer have one of the firearms on my 4473. I did keep a record of who I sold that firearm to, but I am unsure I still have that record--it was years ago.

    Sorry, but this idea stinks with a BIIIIIG peee-ew!

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    HEY!

    STOP POSTING FULL ARTICLES--IT VIOLATES COPYWRITE AND FAIR USE.

    Put up a chunk thats relevant, and then YOUR commentary. I couldn't give a rats-ass about what WorldNetDaily has to say on anything...but I do* want to see what YOU think. Use the html tips at the bottom of the page, if you need help, but for the love of all that is holy...stop it.

    *by the way, you DID realize that WND is out of that great news-hub of Medford, OR, and that anyone that can fog a mirror and type can be a correspondent, right? Right? At least you went with the "local" wingnut group.

  • jj (unverified)
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    It seems I left open the bold tag.

    There...that should close it.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    As described in the article, there would be no checks to see if the guns were insured--the law is the law, and presumably people follow the law.

    Where gun crimes occur, if the gun is found, then the owner is liable; if the owner is not good for the liability, then the last insured owner is. That's the teeth that keeps gun stores from selling to guys like the VA Tech kid.

    If the gun is never found, then all the insurance funds pay the liability in proportion to size.

    So, no, no police state, no attempt to run around seeing if guns are insured. Simply a way to put the burden that gun ownership places on society where it belongs.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    I know this is silly, the gun control crowd will ignore it, but I'll try it for the undecided.

    There is criminal behavior and there is legal behavior, gun control is simply an attempt to place the burden of criminal behavior on those behaving legally. Try to think rather than just react. Someone who is going to engage in criminal behavior is not going to bother with the niceties of legal behavior. They will break the law. Cho was determined to do what he did, he would have found a way to do it. There are innumberable ways to beat any gun control law, all it takes is the willingness to engage in criminal behavior, which is exactly what he intended to do.

  • spicey (unverified)
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    one way to keep track of the firearms in the country would be to use these new computers that we have to create a national database. you would have to register your gun, the info would go into a computer database, and when you sold it (as one might sell a car) the transaction gets recorded. That might do a lot right there, to bring down the violence. But I still like the idea of FIRE and hope that the Oregon legislature would debate the issue. Someone needs to get the ball rolling.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Pat Malach said: "Something tells me they'd have preferred to be able to sit in their classrooms knowing that one of their fellow students, a person deemed mentally defective by a court, wasn't able to so easily purchase two killing machines.

    Once again, "delusions" aren't just a chain of islands off the coast of Alaska.

    Anyone with a lick of common sense, an ounce of gray matter and a passing nod to honesty knows more guns equals more gun violence."

    To that I say: Your argument against my suggestion that someone in the building should have had a legal gun is weak. I agree it should not have been so easy for Cho to have obtained his guns in light of his previous mental diagnoses and arson history. I'm all for gun possession restrictions on those who have shown themselves to be criminals or mentally unstable. However, even the strictest controls won't stop some crazy, suicidal fool who is determined to commit crimes with a gun. Guns are stolen and purchased on the black market every day by criminals. This can be slowed by legislation, but not stopped. If you don't realize that fact, it is you who has no common sense or gray matter.

  • JMG (unverified)
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    Someone want to explain why this shooting victim should only be getting $30 for his pants?

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/steve_duin/index.ssf?/base/news/1177122329220450.xml&coll=7

    And don't say that a civil suit is the solution here--what possible benefit to society is there by clogging the courts with a civil suit where the liability is already established under a much more strict standard of proof? The only thing that needs to be determined is where do you get the money to provide this victim with serious compensation, and how to make gun owners pay for this kid's incarceration, rather than the rest of Oregon.

  • (Show?)

    Cho was determined to do what he did, he would have found a way to do it. There are innumberable ways to beat any gun control law, all it takes is the willingness to engage in criminal behavior, which is exactly what he intended to do.

    As I understand it, what needs to be addressed in the Cho case is the loophole in Virginia law that allowed the mentally ill Cho to circumvent Federal law and purchase a firearm. We don't really need new laws to accomplish that, what we need is a clarification of Federal law that would create greater uniformity in the implementation of the existing law.

    Having said that, Chuck is dead wrong when he says that people with criminal intent will invariably find a way to carry out their plans. The data I've seen suggests that many criminal acts by youth under 25, and gun-related self-injurious acts (read: suicide), are acts of impulsivity and are heavily dependent on easy access to firearms. So, for example, suicide attempts among teens are fairly constant across households of gun-owners and non-gun-owners, but rates of suicide completion are 5-6x higher in households with guns. Go figure.

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    Sal's right on. To quote Homer Simpson, "FIVE DAYS??? But I won't be angry then!"

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Studies have shown that more than 50% of all gun sales in this country are between private parties with no documentation whatsoever. Anyone can buy used guns from internet ads and have them sent to their door. Please don't be so naive as to think tightened gun laws will prevent criminals from obtaining guns.

  • 2A Liberal American (unverified)
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    What most here fail to grasp is that the beloved First Amendment doesn't hold much weight without the Second Amendment to back it up.

    America could take a hard lesson from the Swiss regarding firearms. You can rant all you want, but the bottom line is that every Freedom and "Right" that you enjoy is backed up with the barrel of a gun, and it is that reality that allows you to enjoy these rights & freedoms.

    If you're anti-gun then you're anti-America.

    From my cold dead hands... 2A FOREVER!!!

  • ever vigilant (unverified)
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    Some thoughts regarding the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

    ...long forwarded article removed.

  • Lance in Lane (unverified)
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    Actually, there is a very insidious Anti-Gun bill already in the current session: Senate Bill 1012. This is the most direct attack on honest sportsmen enjoying legitimate shooting sports ever in the history of our state. It has nothing to do with promoting gun safety, and is an attack on the very shooting ranges here in Oregon where gun owners enjoy their shooting sports.

    And guess what folks? If there are no places to shoot guns, then how will gun owners be able to enjoy their sports, or be proficient with their firearms? This is the most sneaky and deceptive attack on gun rights ever.

    The bill would remove current protections provided by the state of Oregon to shooting ranges from local regulations. Most important of these is protection from NEW local noise regulations created AFTER the range was built. Such laws have been widely used in California to either shut down shooting ranges, or impose severe restrictions on their operations. It would also impose a number of expensive regulations on gun ranges, making them record information about every gun owner and gun allowed to shoot at the range ( a form of back door registration ). In addition, it would require the Oregon State Police to develop a training program for gun rangemasters, and only allow rangemasters who have been trained and certified by the state to operate shooting facilities. Shooting ranges, which already have qualified rangemasters, would have to go through all of the red tape and expense to comply with these new state regulations and bureaucracy. I wonder if OSP currently has money in their budget that could be used for all of this??

    A few hunting and target shooting organizations got wind of this bill, and immediately thought that this must be the work of those evil, vile, gun-hating DEMOCRATS, now that they control the legislature. Well, guess what people?

    It turns out the bill was submitted by a REPUBLICAN Senator: Senator Jackie Winters of Salem!!

    Well, I did some snooping on this bill, and here is the scoop folks: This is actually a bill tailored for a local SPECIAL INTEREST in Salem! The Four Corners Rod and Gun Club near Salem is one of the best shooting facilities in our state. It is also one of the best run, and has a great safety record.

    But, as Salem has grown in size, homes are being built closer and closer to it. And some of these neighbors have gotten together the past couple of years, complaining about noise, and alledged safety issues. And I found out that it is THEY who controled the drafting of this bill!! And then got their Republican Senator Winters to submit it to the current session.

    So the REAL REASON for the bill is for some home owners in Salem to get rid of a local range that is bothering them. And if the range is legislated to the point where it is no longer practical for it to operate, land around the range will increase in value greatly for more housing! I wonder if any Republicans might possibly profit from that happening??

    You know, if the Democratic Party really wants to deal a death blow to the Republican Party here in Oregon, why don't they come out on the side of legitimate sportsmen and law abiding gun owners for a change? They should publicize this Republican Senator's attack on shooting ranges and honest sportsmen, and oppose this bill.

    If gun owners became alienated from the Republicans, it would harms them greatly. I know so many fellow gun owners who PRIMARILY vote Republican all because of gun issues.

    Most likely, though, the Democratic Party will instead embrace SB1012 with wide open arms.

    So far, though, that has not happened. No Democatic Senators I have contacted so far told me that they would indeed support it. So maybe there is hope for sanity on the part of the Democratic Party on guns here in Oregon yet.

    I sure hope that someone in the Democratic Party comes to realize that this bill is an opportunity to turn the tables on the Republicans for a change on gun issues.

    Lance in Lane County

  • fred (unverified)
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    Guns,

    I come from france...i always like guns. But I think that having a gun it's a responsability, like having a car, like owning a building. a car has to be registered, every year.A fee should be collected for the registration of your gun. A car shall be insured, let the insurance industry calculate the cost of insuring guns and let the owner pay for it. If you have work done in your building that requires permits, the inspector will make sure that the lights in the kitchen are fluorescent, why not making sure that you have a safe place for your registered gun also...If you want to buy ammo...show your registration. Is that simple.

  • fred (unverified)
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    Guns,

    I come from france...i always like guns. But I think that having a gun it's a responsability, like having a car, like owning a building. a car has to be registered, every year.A fee should be collected for the registration of your gun. A car shall be insured, let the insurance industry calculate the cost of insuring guns and let the owner pay for it. If you have work done in your building that requires permits, the inspector will make sure that the lights in the kitchen are fluorescent, why not making sure that you have a safe place for your registered gun also...If you want to buy ammo...show your registration. Is that simple.

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