demonstrably wrong, laughably ignorant, and deliberately deceptive.

(Note: This post is largely directed at my liberal and progressive friends. Yes, I have those, just like I have Libertarian and conservative friends. If your entire social circle shares one political viewpoint, you don’t live in the real world, you live in an echo chamber. Conservative friends: please refrain from “LIBRULS ARE TEH STOOPID!!!1!!ONE!! type comments.)

When it comes to pushing gun control legislation, heavy-handed propaganda is generally excused or justified by a lot of Progressives because it serves the right cause and goal.

  • Among the many half-truths and outright manipulative falsehoods in Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore tries to show the extent of redneck gun-nuttery by making it look like he got a rifle at the bank where he opened his account. (The bank had advertised a free rifle with new accounts, but the transaction still had to go through a local gun dealer, background check and all.) In his version, he walks out of the bank with the rifle in hand, as if they handed it to him in there.
  • Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, lead Democratic sponsor of a bill to introduce a magazine capacity limit, has no idea how ammunition magazines actually work–that they’re not disposable one-time use items, but reusable containers that can be filled with ammunition over and over. She thinks banning them will make shooters “run out of bullets to shoot.”
  • Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, when asked about the “barrel shroud” feature she wants to see banned on rifles, describes it (laughably incorrectly) as a “shoulder thing that goes up”, meaning a collapsible stock on a particular shotgun model.
  • The President of the United States claims that the Newtown shooting was committed with a “fully automatic weapon”, which is simply not the case. (Adam Lanza used a semi-automatic rifle that fires one shot per trigger pull.)
  • Gabby Giffords’ husband is observed buying the same type of weapon he is lobbying to ban, and then claims he recorded the transaction to “show the country how easy it is to pass a background check.” He fails to mention that he was unable to buy a gun on his first try (because he didn’t have a valid Arizona ID), and that the dealer refused to let him take possession of the rifle because he answered a question on the background check form incorrectly (he claimed that he wanted to donate the rifle to the local police department, which means he lied on the “straw sale” question of the federal background check form that asks whether you are the actual buyer of the firearm.) The system not only worked as intended, deliberately lying on the federal form resulted in a refused sale. But showing that would have invalidated Capt. Kelly’s entire argument (which was most likely bogus to begin with, so he either lied to the dealer or the public/media.)
  • The lead gun control advocacy group in the United States muses that the public’s confusion about the difference between fully automatic machine guns and semi-automatic rifles (“anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to work like one”) can only help the support for laws that ban the semi-automatic rifles.
  • The constant invoking of “unlicensed dealers” at gun shows that can sell guns to anyone without background checks. (There’s no such thing as an “unlicensed dealer”–they mean gun show patrons who bring a rifle or pistol of their own to sell to another private party in the parking lot or while wandering the show floor, not the dealers at the show who have to do a federal background check on every buyer.)
  • The claim that guns are “less regulated than teddy bears”, when guns are the only consumer product in the country whose purchase requires a federal background check for every single retail transaction.

If you support restrictions or outright bans on private arms anyway, stuff like that may not be a big deal to you–after all, it only serves to help restrict gun ownership, and any measure that gets us down the road a bit is a good one, right?

Well, you’re actually harming the rest of the progressive agenda by using or supporting such tactics, because they harm your credibility.

If you push legislation on a social issue with arguments that are demonstrably wrong (as in “provably non-factual”), obviously ignorant, and deliberately deceptive, how are people supposed to believe that your arguments are factual, informed, and objective in any other policy debate?

If you think it’s no big deal to get your facts wrong, be ignorant about the issue at hand, and intentionally deceive people into voting your way when it comes to gun control, why should the fence-sitters and the opposition believe that you don’t play loose with the facts when it comes to climate change, energy policy, social justice, economic policies, or any of the other items on the progressive agenda? How can you be surprised when your efforts on, say, climate change are met with suspicion and outright hostility from the other side, and they accuse you of misrepresenting the data to push an agenda? After all, you’ve already set a precedent for that.

Truth and reality don’t need misinformation. If you misrepresent the facts to achieve a legislative goal, you harm your own agenda and show contempt for the electorate. That goes for both sides, liberal and conservative alike. Liberals would greatly resist legislation on reproductive rights pushed by people who refer to the penis as the “jizz spigot” and describe the act of sex like a kindergartner who has caught bits and snippets from her parents here and there. They can’t be surprised when Conservatives oppose legislation on gun rights pushed by people who know little or nothing about guns (and who actually consider their ignorance on the subject a virtue.)

51 thoughts on “demonstrably wrong, laughably ignorant, and deliberately deceptive.

  1. The claim that guns are “less regulated than teddy bears”, when guns are the only consumer product in the country whose purchase requires a federal background check for every single sales transaction.

    I would alter this line. It is currently legal for me to sell a firearm to a local resident if I don’t think they are a felon, without a background check. So it’s not “every single sales transaction”, it’s “every single sales transaction by a business”. Or something. I’m not sure how to word it.

    • I changed it to “retail transaction”, which is what I meant in the first place.

      • In addition, buying some sort of firearm in many states requires a waiting period before taking possession of the firearm. I don’t recall a waiting period to buy a Gund (a type of teddy bear manufactured in Germany for those not “in”), or a car, or gasoline, or a set of kitchen knives.

  2. Capt. Mark Kelly is a retired Naval aviator who flew combat missions in the Gulf War and a retired astronaut. So he’s got Level Umpity-Superduper security clearance and has been vetted and psych profiled a dozen times over… It ought to be pretty easy for him to pass a background check. But he failed it, because the system works.

  3. I think it would also be interesting to note that when Mark Kelly answered “yes” to question 11a on the 4473, when he was supposedly planning on immediately transferring it to someone else (making himself a “straw buyer”), that the act of “answering “yes” to question 11.a. if I am not the actual buyer is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law.” Quote taken from the actual form 4473 found on the BATFE’s website.

  4. There’s another point to be made here, which I attempt to make to MY liberal friends. That is that politicians are either lying to their constituents on the issue, in which case they can’t be trusted and why trust them on any subject, or they are uninformed on the topic, in which case, why are you listening to them?

    In either case, the trust of the constituent in the politician is misplaced. And that’s not a partisan thing, either, as you can tell when most politicians are lying by whether their lips are moving.

    People don’t go into politics to leave other people to their own devices, choices, and preferences. They go into politics so they can run other peoples’ lives. Who wants that? I keep getting told that the world is run by the people who show up. In which I argue the fallacy is the assumption that the world needs or wants to be run.

    M

    • If by “living document”, you mean “interpreted by judges” and “comes equipped with its own amendment process” then yes, it is. The Limbaugh crew needs to chill on this angle of attack.

      If the Constitution was carved in stone and immutable, we’d only have three fifths of a president right now.

      • I was thinking more along the lines of “auras and penumbras,” myself. Such things can be used to take away rights just as easily as establishing them.

  5. and that the dealer refused to let him take possession of the rifle because he answered a question on the background check form incorrectly (he claimed that he wanted to donate the rifle to the local police department, which means he lied on the “straw sale” question of the federal background check form that asks whether you are the actual buyer of the firearm.)

    True that he was denied.

    False that that’s a “straw sale” or illegal.

    The ATF is quite clear* that a gift purchase, where you are buying a firearm to legitimately freely give to someone else, is not a straw purchase. And there’s no requirement that the gift be to a family member, a close friend, or any other limitation – only that it be a real, honest gift.

    (If they’re supplying the money and deciding on the purchase and you *wink wink* call that a gift? That’s a Federal felony straw purchase.)

    Ms. Giffords’ husband is a fool, but he wasn’t lying on the 4473, and he committed no crime. He was the real purchaser of that rifle, since he was really paying for it and he was really making the purchase decision.

    (* See Form 4473 (PDF), notes on 11.a: “You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party. “)

  6. And in the off chance anyone reading this blog thinks the short list above even approaches complete, much less exhaustive…

    Er no, on this topic anyone vaguely interested could probably go on, and on, (and on) for pages in excruciating & never ending detail.

    The list above is a short random list of recent and semi-recent high lights.

  7. As a liberal, I want to thank and commend you for a real, useful, and valuable contribution to the debate. I not only agree with your positions here about honesty but I oppose gun control in general. Not all liberals or conservatives are monolithic.

  8. “Jizz spigot.” Ha! I’m gonna hafta use that one.

    I like the logic of your argument. Facts are facts, and the truth, like a sword, cuts both ways.

  9. nb. If Mark Kelly was using _his own money_ to purchase it, it wasn’t a straw purchase. It is not a straw purchase to buy a gun to give to someone else as a gift, presumably not even if the someone to whom you wish to gift it is the Anytown, PD.

  10. One point to make: Mark Kelly’s purchase was NOT delayed / denied on suspicion of being a straw purchase. THAT was just a side benefit, along with the chance to show off his hypocrisy.

    The purchase of the AR-15 was delayed because the rifle was used, not a new purchase. Because the rifle had been sold to the store (or pawned, I’m not positive which), there’s a waiting period before it can be re-sold, to give the police time to fully investigate the serial number and past history. If I remember correctly, it’s 20 days. If the rifle had been acquired by the store more than 20 days previously, it would have been an instant take-home, with no waiting. He’d still have had to do the background check of course.

  11. Actually that bank that gave a Weatherby rifle as a “reward” for buying a CD – it’s in Boulder Colorado, also called (by conservatives) “The Peoples Republik of Boulder” because of it’s strong progressive slant. And the “reward” was actually the interest earned by the CD, yes you got it up front, instead of at the end, but you absolutely couldn’t withdraw that CD until it’s period was up.

  12. Lament of politically active gun toting liberal

    I marched and petitioned for women’s equal treatment in the work place, because I felt it was right and fair even though i wasn’t a woman.

    I marched and petitioned for equal treatment for minorities for school admissions, even though I am not a minority.

    I petitioned and voted for medical marijuana even though I have nothing to qualify for it, and haven’t touched the stuff personally since college.

    I marched and petitioned for a woman’s right to chose on her life and the life of her unborn child, not because I support abortion, (i don’t, i support adoption, and contraception), or because I’ve ever had a child aborted (I haven’t little girl #3 is on her way now) but because I support the freedom of the individual to make a reasonable responsible choice, and that the choice shouldn’t be taken away from them.

    I marched and petitioned for equal rights for homosexuals in healthcare, and legal matters, and yes for secular marriage (in my church marriage is a sacrament, and the church can define that as they like, but the laws of man are not theirs to make) not because I am a homosexual, but it appeals to my basic love of human rights and fairness.

    I marched and petitioned for unions, because especially in a down economy workers need a bargaining chip, and should be able to consolidate power to compete with the employers to keep from being taken advantage of.

    I support my libraries, I support my public radio, I support my schools, I support my farmers markets, and my co-ops.

    But when it came to my guns, those other F*@#$ing liberals threw me to the wolves.

    Now when marching and petitioning isn’t enough to save your causes or your lives, I may not have guns to come to yours, and even if I do, I may say F@$k you right back.

  13. I had a twitter exchange with someone tonight. She said if people don’t object to TSA scrutiny, why object to universal background checks (I didn’t ask her to define that). I replied they have the same effect, making sheep an politicians feel like they’re doing something purposeful. She replied that I was wrong, that the FBI would catch terrorists through the checks. I replied that i doubted terrorists or criminals would ask for more of a background check than a stack of hundred dollar bills. She then replied well, why have any laws at all? I stopped fencing with her before my head exploded.

    Between her and this CO legislator who thinks magazines, oh sorry, let my aide correct me, clips, have bullets or something that can’t be reloaded, having a rational debate with these people is like trying to explain algebra to my dog.

    Arrgh.
    Matt
    St Paul
    @1077idaho

  14. In my younger days, I too thought magazines were a disposable item. It’s a forgivable mistake IF the person in question wasn’t a legislator fighting against my rights.

  15. If you actually look at the ATF form (page 4 of this PDF file) you will see that buying a weapon as a gift is not illegal and not a straw purchase.

    More importantly, yes, we should have background checks on all private sales of weapons. How would you know that I am not a criminal or a crazy person?

    • If you actually look at the ATF form (page 4 of this PDF file) you will see that buying a weapon as a gift is not illegal and not a straw purchase.

      If you actually look at the comments before yours, you will see that this has been covered multiple times in excruciating detail.

      How would you know that I am not a criminal or a crazy person?

      Maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re just buying the gun as a gift for a crazy person. Or a criminal will steal it from you.

      Background checks inconvenience good people and don’t even slow down evil ones. They wouldn’t have stopped (or didn’t stop) any recent mass shooting. They are a pointless infringement on an enumerated right.

      • The shooters in Colorado, Arizona and Virginia Tech bought their guns at retail, so yes, background checks should have stopped those shootings.

        The full text of the Second Amendment is “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.”

        Seems to me that the “well-regulated” part allows plenty of room for background checks.

        • The word “regulated” had a different meaning in 1776-era English than in 2013. For an illustration of the 1776 meaning, take a double rifle to a gunsmith and ask him to “regulate” the barrels. He’ll ask you for what load and distance you want them regulated.

          That’s also not relevant to the discussion about what the Second Amendment “allows”, because everything up to the word “state” is prefatory language. In modern English, it would read “Because a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state,…”

          If you interpreted the First Amendment as rigidly as a lot of Progressives want to parse the Second Amendment, we’d have people claiming that the right to free speech doesn’t extend to printing presses or Internet technology, or any public assembly that doesn’t culminate in all the participants signing an official petition directed at the government.

          • Except Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. It seems to me that “regulate” means, well, regulate.

            I happen to agree with Scalia in Heller (my analysis and link to his opinion here) that owning guns is an individual right. But Scalia recognizes that we have a right to own guns because we need a militia, and that Congress can limit that right, just like they can limit the 1st Amendment. (Libel, slander, “fighting words” are all limits).

          • Yes, and the word “regulate” has the exact same meaning in the Commerce Clause: “smooth out and make work”, not “put restrictions upon.”

          • Chris Claypool – there are few (if any) completely unrestricted rights. For example, the right to free speech is “infringed upon” by laws preventing slander, libel, copyright violations and incitement to violence. Similarly, the 2nd Amendment is “infringed upon” in that criminals and the mentally ill do not have the right to bear arms. The issue before the Congress is how to effectively prevent those classes of people from getting guns.

            I keep pointing to Scalia’s opinion because he spends 20 pages explaining how the 2nd Amendment came to be, which addresses your concerns about “infringement.”

          • Slander and libel are civil law matters, not criminal ones. And the restrictions in civil law do not PREVENT libel and slander, they just let injured parties seek redress.

            And as for “criminals and the mentally ill” not having the right to bear arms–the problem with that is that you give the state the ability to negate a constitutional right simply by stretching the definition of “criminal” and “mentally ill” as far as needed. When half the inmates serving felony time are doing so for bullshit non-violent offenses like pot possession, jaywalking or peeing by the side of the road are felonies in some jurisdictions, and the NJ police yanks gun permits from people just because they’re taking anti-anxiety meds, I have a problem with that blanket statement because the definition of both terms is so fluid and subject to political expediency.

          • Scalia also says that “the Constitution doesn’t give anyone the right to an abortion”, which–while technically true–is also irrelevant because the Constitution is a list of restrictions on government, not the citizenry. Just because he’s a SCOTUS judge doesn’t mean he’s the infallible arbiter on Constitutionality. The judges who signed the Dred Scott majority opinion were also all SCOTUS judges.

        • The shooters in Colorado, Arizona and Virginia Tech bought their guns at retail, so yes, background checks should have stopped those shootings.

          And yet they didn’t. They cleared the mandatory background checks with flying colors because they were not criminals nor adjudicated mentally defective nor committed to an institution. (In the U.S., enumerated rights are not stripped without due process of law.)

        • So one can “smooth and make work” trade between foreign nations but not restrict it? Every Congress since and including the first one has imposed some restrictions on foreign trade. After all, we get “regulate” from the Latin regulare (to control by rule, direct) and it was used in it’s modern meaning since 1715 (bottom of page under “word origin and history.”)

          If you look at the actual 1st Amendment, we have free speech and the right to petition for redress of grievances. They are very clearly separate rights.

          The Bill of Rights has a Preamble, which called for “further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.” So why would we construe the part of the 2nd Amendment that you don’t like as a preface? Is the part of the 3rd Amendment saying “in time of peace” a preface?

          No, the answer to “well-regulated” is what Scalia argues: Congress has the right to regulate what kind of guns citizens have and where they can carry them.

          • How does your concept of “regulate” square with “shall not be infringed”? I’m pretty sure that infringed has the same meaning now as then, that the right to keep and bear arms cannot be limited in any way, that the government may not cross into even the “fringe” of the right.

            And I have no particular respect for Supreme Court rulings, as they have gotten a lot of issues wrong in the past. The justices are human, for one thing, and thus subject to the pressure of opinion. And the current gaggle do not have even one member with experience on the defense side of the table.

          • Chris Gerrib, I don’t have a problem with your reading of the term “well-regulated.” However, the basis of your argument rests on the misapplication of the phrase.

            The phrase “well-regulated” applies to the militia, not to the “right to keep and bear arms.” Anyone would agree that a militia would benefit from good order and discipline; it is this idea for which the phrase “well-regulated” exists within Amendment II.

            In addition to good organization and discipline, the Founders also recognized that a militia would obviously require arms. Because the militia was made up of the citizenry, most of whom already possessed their own arms, and because the Founders viewed the ownership of arms to be the birthright of a citizen (much was written by them to this effect), they spelled out the nature of the right — that it “shall not be infringed.”

            The nature of the right to keep and bear arms and the requirement of militia regulation are distinct. Thus, an alternate rendering of the Amendment: “A militia ought to be well-organized and disciplined to be useful to the republic which requires it, while the right to keep and bear arms, necessary to the arming of a useful militia, should not be restricted.”

  16. Chris, in concept universal background checks seem like a good idea. What we have issues with is how they may be implemented and enforced.

    1. Show your papers…
    What do you use to run the background checks? SS#? Drivers license? Neither are required for a US citizen, both are easily faked. SS# is NEVER supposed to be used for identification purposes (original act). What else is there?

    2. Who gets to check?
    Do I need to bring the firearm to a dealer to have the transaction processed or can I do it at home? If I have to do it at a dealer, now do I have to pay? How much? Will it even be worth the dealers time, or will they refuse? If I get to check at home, can I run illegitimate background checks on people on a whim?

    3. Where is the data maintained, how is it confirmed and corrected?
    What happens if you have a common name, Joe Smith? What if Joe Smith in Arizona committed a felony and is a prohibited person, and it comes up as you? How do you correct this? Is there a path for it? What data gets into the system? If you got anti depressants for six months after the tragic death of your parents 10 years ago, are you now down under mental instability and prohibited?

    4. How does it get enforced?
    Lets say I own a rifle that was a gift. I sell it to someone else. It was never registered or sold to me, so no such record exists, if I sell it to someone else privately maybe even illegally, no record exists, how can this new law enforce this? HERE’S WHERE THE UNIVERSAL REGISTRATION FEARS COME OUT. Many view this law as a stepping stone to registration. Four years from now, it comes out that there are millions of weapons that cannot be tracked in this manner to see if they are transferring legally or not, so everyone needs to register them going forward. Using this existing inherit failing as justification for it.

    Universal backgroun checks is sorta like the thing in the UK recently “Everyone should be able to go to University”. its hard to argue against a soundbite like that, but not everyone has the ability, motivation, or finances to go through University. Eventually you have to either lower the standards invaluing the entire system, or admit its wrong. Also whos going to pay for it when thousands or millions of people are going to University, who have no business going there and will never get a job that would pay for it in the first place?

    • 1) Government-issued photo IDs work for me. When I bought a gun in Florida under their instant-background-check law, they used my military ID. Seemed to work fine, and yes IDs can be faked.

      2) Having a dealer run the check is fine. I think California does that, and has a mandated $25 fee for checking. I’m also okay with making the seller call / go online and check. All they should get back from any check is “okay to sell” or “not okay to sell” so I don’t see the problem with privacy.

      3) These are all valid concerns, and need to be addressed in the law. But they don’t override the big picture idea of keeping crooks and crazies from having guns.

      4) We’re not registering guns, we’re validating that buyers are legal. Doesn’t matter how you got the gun – sell it, you run a background check. The law is enforced just like any other law – if police catch you breaking it, they arrest you.

      • It seems that what they are driving at is pretty close to that. In my state the first part is already the case….

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/04/10/guns-background-checks-senate-manchin-toomey/2070099/

        Money quote—

        “The deal would expand background checks to purchases made at gun shows and online sales of firearms. It would impose penalties on states that do not add records of felons and the mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

        The agreement would not require private citizens to keep records of gun sales. It would specifically ban “the federal government from creating a national firearms registry” — a key sticking point for the pro-gun rights community.”

        Money quote #2—
        “Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA. But he did say the private sale exemption in the compromise amendment was a “positive development.””

      • 3) These are all valid concerns, and need to be addressed in the law. But they don’t override the big picture idea of keeping crooks and crazies from having guns.

        Y’know, no one else has addressed it (though Marko was close to it earlier) but I, for one, simply disagree with your premise here.

        “Criminals” and “crazies” have just as much right to self defence as any other human being. And frequently have more practical use for it than your average citizen. If someone is so dangerous to others that they cannot be trusted with a firearm, they need to be separated from society. (i.e.: in jail or a mental institution.) If they have been sent to prison, and been released, it must be presumed that having served their time has taught them the proper lesson of behaviour. If this presumption cannot be made, they should still be in prison. Likewise someone who was so crazy that they had to be locked up. If they have been treated and released, they must be presumed to be healthy again. If not, they should not have been released.

        But not being in prison or a mental health facility, they have just as much right to own the tools for effective self-defence as anyone else. Self defence is a human right.

        • perlhaqr – I’m not even sure where to begin on this post. The US imprisons a higher percentage of its population than anywhere else in the world – higher even than the old Soviet Union. Do you really want to lock up more people?

          In most states, we don’t let convicted felons vote. Do you want them to vote as well? Serve on juries? Run for elected office?

          If you support the rights of felons to own guns, then surely you support them having these other rights.

          • Let’s turn that question around: what other rights in the Bill of Rights do you want to deny convicted felons? The right to free speech? To free exercise of religion? To a jury trial?

            And how do you avoid giving the government a handy universal adapter to deny any right they want to anyone they please just by expanding the roster of felonies?

          • perl already covered most of it, but I’d like to respond a little to the imprisonment ratio thing. Do I think we should imprison more people? NO! We should imprison the RIGHT people. As Marko mentioned, we have a bunch of folks rotting behind bars for simple non-violent, malum prohibitum offenses. Martha Stewart is a prohibited person FOR LIFE, because she has been found guilty of an offense for which the penalty COULD HAVE BEEN over a year in prison. That’s how the feds define a felony for the purposes of gun rights denial.

            As Marko said, state any other right specifically enumerated in the US Constitution that a felon loses (or should lose) for life upon conviction. Just one.

          • I think our current restriction of rights to felons is about right. We deny them the right to own a gun (2nd Amendment), vote (15th Amendment) or run for office, but allow them free speech, etc.

            The “government will expand the roster of felons” argument is silly. We ARE “the government” – we elect lawmakers and we serve on the juries that have to individually convict people of a felony.

            So, do y’all want felons voting, holding office or serving on juries?

          • Actually, as an anarchist, I’m generally opposed to “voting”, because I don’t agree with the common premise that my life is subject to majority rule. But given that this is how our current society is organized, and I don’t think humanity is going to be ready for stably living under anarchy any time soon, then yes, I do support them having the same rights as anyone else, once they have been released from prison.

            Do you really want to lock up more people?

            I’m not quite sure where you got that impression. I said that people who have committed crimes, and are too dangerous to be allowed to be a part of society should be locked up. I said that people who are so completely mentally ill that they are a determinable threat to society should be locked up.

            You will note that this eliminates pretty much everyone who is in prison solely on a drug possession or distribution charge.

            So, do y’all want felons voting, holding office or serving on juries?

            Sure. Why not? No matter how many felons vote, murder will never be made legal (or if it is, no amount of preventing felons from voting would have saved society at that point anyway) but a bunch of stupid malum prohibitum laws might get overturned. If a felon can convince people to vote for him, why should he be prohibited from holding office? And who better than a felon to serve on a jury, to know what he is voting for, if he votes “guilty”?

          • So, do y’all want felons voting, holding office or serving on juries?”

            Depends.

            Do you mean rapists, murderers, and the like?

            Or do you mean people who received lobsters shipped in clear plastic bags?

            There are too many felons because there are too many felonies. There are too many felonies because we, collectively, want legislators to do something and the only thing they can do is legislate.

            What’s the fix? Fuck if I know, but I’m pretty sure making more felons isn’t it.

  17. The “government will expand the roster of felons” argument is silly. We ARE “the government” – we elect lawmakers and we serve on the juries that have to individually convict people of a felony.

    That entire paragraph is silly, and particularly so for someone who likes to appear to be pretty handy in the research department. Can you really not think of any felonies that don’t make any sense? What do you think those felonies were made felonies for? Some genius along with a “There Oughta Be A Law” mentality figured that if they made it a felony for a TN resident to purchase more than two cartons of cigarettes in VA, folks would stop doing it. Well, why do you suppose the TN government, of which you allege is really, really, really made Of The People, By The People, and For The People, would try to create such a felony? Might it be, just maybe, the threat of losing specifically enumerated rights?

    I mean, did you even bother clicking on Tam’s links, or is she just another silly person?

  18. I don’t understand what the fuss is about registration… (no, really, I don’t get it, someone please explain it). Why should we not have registration for something as easily dangerous as guns? Why should firearms have less regulation than automobiles? Seriously, look at the paperwork around owning and operating a car. And yet, everyone does it. Why not treat firearms similarly?

    • First of all, registration does not do anything to prevent crime. Don’t believe it? Let me write down the serial number of my gun on these two pieces of paper and hand you one of them. What crime exactly are you going to prevent with that?

      Second, registration is pretty much good for nothing except preparatory groundwork for confiscation. (Look at NY for a current-day example.)

      Third, firearms do not have “less regulation than automobiles”. If they did, I’d be able to walk into any gun store and walk out with any gun I want, without having to show anything but a means to pay. I could own whatever I wanted on my own property without license or insurance (you only need those for a car if you plan on operating it on public roads.) My carry license would be valid in all fifty states and most countries abroad.

      Conversely, if cars were regulated like guns, you’d need to pass a federal background check for each and every dealer purchase, your driver’s license would only be good in your own state unless some other state had explicitly agreed to reciprocity, and things like the capacity of your gas tank, the spoiler on your trunk lid, or the mode of shifting could be legal in one state but a five-year mandatory felony prison term in a neighboring state.

      I WISH they’d treat firearms like cars when it comes to regulation, I really do.