Gun Regulation and Common Sense

Today, we speak of gun regulation and common sense — two fellows who rarely travel together but who should get to know each other.

Big Red Car here on a smoking hot Father’s Day. Salutations to all those who have fathered children and taken care of them. Salute!

So, with the advent of another mass shooting — condolences to all — we are once again worshiping at the altar of gun control. There is a difference between gun control and gun regulation.

Please include the Big Red Car amongst those who think it is time to do something, something substantive and based on common sense. Common sense, particularly coming out of Washington, is uncommon.

First, let’s review a few facts.

What is an assault rifle, Big Red Car?

The definition of what exactly constitutes an “assault” rifle is a little murky.

Harkening back to the now defunct 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban (expired in 2004) one can safely suggest an assault rifle is a weapon which:

  1. can fire in a semi-automatic manner (one trigger pull, one bullet),
  2. has a large capacity magazine (20+ rounds per magazine),
  3. a pistol grip, and,
  4. other such characteristics as being able to accept a flash suppressor or a barrel shroud or a bayonet (a bayonet mounting lug).

In the fine print is the necessity that it was designed for a military use, which, of course, almost no weapons ever were.

There about 6-8,000,000 assault rifles in existence in the United States. I am always surprised that the number has such a high range of uncertainty.

AR 15 rifle

AR-15 showing semi-automatic firing, magazine loading, pistol grip, flash suppressor, barrel shroud. It also has an extendable shoulder stock. This is an “assault rifle” by the definition of the 1994 law. Note that AR stands for “Armalite” the manufacturer of this weapon. It does not stand for “assault rifle.”

How often is an assault rifle used in a mass killing?

As noted above there are between six and eight million assault rifles in the US and in the last few years, the notable uses are primarily Sandy Hook (14 December 2012) and Orlando. There may be others but those are the big two in the last few years.

Out of eight million assault rifles out there, two have been used in mass killings. This implies that 7,999,998 assault weapons were NOT used in mass killings.

Meanwhile, there were 445 deadly shootings (out of a total of 2,551 shootings, the balance not being “deadly”) in Chicago alone in 2015. More people were killed and wounded in the months of May, June, July, August, and September (individually) 2015 than in Orlando. [Since Rahm Emanuel became Mayor in 2011, there have been 2,208 homicides in Chicago.]

Most of the Chicago murders were committed using pistols and can be traced to ten lawless neighborhoods.

For more detailed Chicago mayhem statistics, go here: Chicago Crime and Murder Statistics.

I use Chicago as the exemplar because ALL GUNS ARE BANNED IN CHICAGO. Banning guns does not seem to have the desired effect, or do I have that wrong?

What happens if you ban assault weapons, Big Red Car?

As it relates to Sandy Hook and Orlando, the jury is definitely out. Both murderers were carrying handguns in addition to the long rifles they used.

We had an AWB (Assault Weapons Ban) for ten years starting in 1994 and the rate of mass murders went up. Yes, it went up. Not by much but up it went.

I will spare you the obvious shibboleth that criminals are not constrained to acquire their weapons legally and being criminals, they can be counted on to acquire them illegally.

Further, the mass murderers at Sandy Hook and Orlando came with handguns in addition, indicating to a rational person a high unlikelyhood of forestalling their evil intent by banning assault weapons.

Bottom line: Should we enact feel good laws that do not work?

What CAN we do gun regulation-wise, Big Red Car?

Here are some modest proposals:

Let’s start by finalizing the Crazy List — a requirement of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which was not completed by all states. Let’s build a national database of folks who should never own guns: felons, mental patients, perpetrators of violence (wife abusers), terrorists (there’s your Terror Watch List), drug abusers, persons under treatment for a number of psychiatric maladies who might pose a danger to themselves or others. Not an exhaustive list but you get the idea, right?

With the Crazy List invigorated, let’s use it. [Pro tip: Likely all of the mass murderers for the last ten years should have been on the Crazy List. All of them. How can we not do this?]

Let’s start enforcing existing Federal and state laws which throw the book at criminals who use weapons in the commission of any crime. Let them know that it’s 10-20 years guaranteed if you use a weapon in the commission of any crime. And, then, let’s do it. Hey, there are such laws on the books right now, y’all. Let’s just enforce them.

Let’s make background checks uniform amongst the states — right now, Texas, as an example, has a very stringent sales regime. It has the highest rate of gun ownership in its history and the lowest rate of murders, also. Use the FBI database and the Crazy list. [And, no, President Obama, it is not administered by the ATF, it is the freakin’ FBI. As President, somebody should have told you that before you got all teary eyed and made a complete fool of yourself.]

Let’s make all gun show sales subject to the same requirements of FFL (Federal Firearms Licensees) to sell a gun. This one is a close call but let’s make a few close calls, shall we. No more gun show loophole. Though, the vast majority of gun show exhibitors are FFLs and have been for years.

Let’s harness up Big Data and identify people who buy inordinate amounts of ammunition and weapons. Send a local detective to chat them up. Do not ban them, just monitor them. Another close call but very easy to do. We do this in the banking system to fight money laundering wherein all transactions in excess of $5,000 are monitored.

Let’s start a gun awareness program — similar to what was done with cigarettes — not to deny gun ownership but, rather, to teach responsible gun ownership and to spread the word as to who should not own guns. This is a long term project and something the NRA should be interested in doing. We are not going to be judgmental, we are going to be instructive. Just like teaching people to drive a 2,000 lbs hunk of burning love, a car.

Let’s start a nationwide hunting safety course that must be taken before one can get a hunting license. Be proactive.

Let’s start a national gun buy back program — this is a fop to the liberals who cannot imagine a gun regulation initiative without some element of confiscation. This one’s for y’all. Buy back guns to your heart’s content. Melt them down — have meltdown parties — and make them into coins and let folks buy the coins at a discount. Make the program self-funding. Ask Mike Bloomberg for a couple of billion to jump start the program.

Let’s get right on the facts. Neither the Sandy Hook nor the Orlando shooter were on the FBI’s Terror Watch List. Both acquired weapons legally and both, interestingly enough, were turned down by legitimate gun shops when they sought to acquire weapons.

Let’s stop with the silliness of banning assault weapons and let’s stop grandstanding in Congress pretending this is going to make a difference. It will not and we learned that lesson in the 1994-2004 time frame. Stop playing for the cameras and act like adults.

Let’s know what we’re talking about. The President of the United States has NO earthly idea how Internet gun sales work. In his teary eyed exposition, he made himself look like an idiot suggesting one could buy a gun on the Internet without any background investigation. In fact, if you buy a gun on the Internet, it can only be delivered to a FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) in your state and you then go through the complete purchase discipline of your state. That’s the way it works right now and it’s a freakin’ shame the President doesn’t know that.

So, there you have it. No silly, feel good Terror Watch List nonsense; no silly Assault Rifle ban (hey, we tried that) and a bit of actual knowledge. Then, let’s reason together and pass workable gun regulation (not control, regulation). Let’s crawl, walk, run and let’s stop demonizing those who peacefully enjoy their Second Amendment rights.

And, no, Congressman Grayson, an AR-15 cannot fire “700 rounds in a minute.” Read here: Congressman Claims AR-15 Fires 700 Rounds a Minute

Common sense gun regulation. We can do this, right?

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car but I’m willing to take a step toward common sense gun regulation. Are you?cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png





12 thoughts on “Gun Regulation and Common Sense

  1. ‘Let’s start a gun awareness program — similar to what was done with cigarettes — not to deny gun ownership but, rather, to teach responsible gun ownership and to spread the word as to who should not own guns. This is a long term project and something the NRA should be interested in doing. We are not going to be judgmental, we are going to be instructive. Just like teaching people to drive a 2,000 lbs hunk of burning love, a car.’

    Actually, there is an organization, Friends of NRA, that does just that. Raise a good bit of money, plow it back into education programs like Eddie Eagle, who goes to elementary schools to teach gun safety to little ones. I’m not deeply involved, but do throw a few shekels their way every year.

  2. Good data and arguments.

    If going to put people on a list that takes away some of their rights, then need some due process for that.

    From the content of this thread, my conclusion: 99 44/100% of all the discussion about gun control is just hot air, political nonsense, a deliberate attempt to manipulate, scare, and confuse some people. Then, sure, the media is complicit because they always want a story that is scary so that they can get clicks and ad dollars.

    Maybe much of the rest of the noise is an effort to shake down the NRA: So, a politician tells the NRA that they will shut up about gun control, e.g., banning “assault weapons”, if the NRA makes a campaign contribution.

    If the anti-gun people are just manipulating and/or shaking down people, then there isn’t a lot of reason to be reasonable, show them good data, try to reach agreement, etc.

    Soon they will give up on guns and find something else to scream about.

    That in response to Orlando Obama talks about guns but not about radical Islamic terrorism is upsetting, sickening, really, but (A) it’s what I’ve come to expect from him, (B) I’m getting used to it, and (C) he will be out of the White House in January.

  3. Just got back from Singapore. What people have to realize is that you are all in or you are not. I am great with if you possess a gun instant death. Single live round death. Traffic drugs death. Knife over five inches….20 years hard labor. Gum $10k fine. Graffiti…20 lashes = broken bottom. Our prison population would approach zero. Executions = millions for the next couple of years.

    I’ll consider controls if you are willing to do that. Never going to happen in the U.S. so therefore……people need to shut their mouths.

  4. Andrew, so the Brits have few GUN homicides but beatings and crime with knives are common. Even hacking to death in the streets. Can we do more as BRC suggests? Sure. It is however a path not a destination. I also have been in life threatening situations three times, 1) In NYC where weapons are banned to law abiding citizens but the guy who mugged me had one. 2) in Hong Kong where two groups of criminals were trading words in front of me, had fully automatic true military weapons 3) in Denver where I was able to open my jacket revealing my hand gun only to see the attackers backside as he ran
    I want more of #3, remember that our police force is custodial not preventive in crime.

    • True alphas use a gun like a carpenter uses a pencil.

      I won’t argue to compare our happenstances of bad luck with its proximity to violence.

      There is something eerie to these situations, the way the people move their body language the angles, the positioning, what they ask you. It’s almost as if they are trying to convince you of something?

      To me it’s amazing how much luck is involved when the glass jar of marbles shatters and they scatter.

      The only reason I wasn’t shot through my rear side window was because the guys couldn’t drive stick. They couldn’t get away.

      I would have preferred a beating. Everyone would.

      BTW, I love question marks?

      FINE? Hong Kong Doesn’t count? It’s not America?

      Would you like dovetails with your soft Pine?


      • Agree it all depends on response tone and body langue. One reason that CCW should require “active shooter” training. At least one day. Denver was my third so I did not respond rapidly I opened my jacket and simply stated in Spanish ” I practice, Do you? the words seemed to enter his mind slowly, 3.2.1. RUN

  5. The Brits had 15 gun homicides last year because they don’t allow guns. Simple. What is the real paranoia about guns in the U.S. is that if we give them up there is this possibility of feelings that some other nation will take us over. Or it’s our “right” to have good vs. evil. Begs the question of why we need them then doesn’t it? Let’s face the truth make every 18 year old male in the U.S. have to do at least one year of service, seriously. The conversation would be a bit more American, No? And it will never happen, because it’s smarter and better to be the good guy with a gun….. WTF does that mean? I haven’t shot a gun and I haven’t had to need to. It’s my right if I want to do it but there is no need.

    I have had the need a couple times before as I have been in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once strangely. As a civilian I was out numbered 10-1 with no gun, I’m extremely lucky to be alive as I would have no qualms with shooting those punks and want to be gangsters. Pussies. Cowards they were. I had accepted my death in that situation and was calm about it, but I got lucky and once the situation turned my way the anger was profound. I would have righteously gone back and shot all of them.

    Having all of us have the right to kill is unnecessary and is needed only for warriors in my opinion.

    • .
      The comparison to the Brits is well made because we are a free people today because we did, in fact, have guns back in 1775. We fought the Brits until 1783 — most people don’t know how long the American Revolution lasted.

      They dispatched the most professional army of its time, the largest navy and intended to give us a good scolding. King George thinking he had a riot on his hands rather than a movement which had built up over 20+ years.

      The right to bear arms springs from the right of a free people to defend themselves against tyranny. The Founding Fathers made this abundantly clear and trusted the citizenry.

      Carrying a weapon is also a fixture in some parts of society and is a simple work tool. A rancher in Texas carries a rifle to shoot coyotes and other varmints and a gun to shoot snakes like a carpenter carries a hammer.

      As to personal and physical safety, we differ to an extent not able to be adequately expressed in our humble English language. I do not intend to ever sacrifice my safety to the lowest common denominator of violence. While I may not choose to exercise this right, I do not intend to ever give it up.

      I, of course, have been a long time advocate of dueling and see guns as an ideal tool with which to resolve disputes. Who wouldn’t?

      The big point of the post is there are a lot of things we can do on the crawl, walk, run continuum to make progress on this subject.

      Gun confiscation is not one of them.


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