What I want is a President who will say,

(best if read in the voice of a throaty rancher, or Wilfred Brimley)

“OK, NRA, the numbers and the American people say that gun violence is a problem in our country. Those numbers simply must come down, and I don’t care how they do.

You get to go first. You come up with what you think the problem is, and how we ought to go about fixing it. If you say it’s mental illness and that we aren’t doing enough identify the sick, get them the help they need, or block them from obtaining weapons, then we’ll draft legislation that says just that, just like you want it worded. We’ll pass it, put the federal dollars behind it, and see if you’re right.

If you’re not, then the gun control people get a crack at it. We’ll see what they think should happen. We’ll draft and pass the law (because you’re going to stay out of it,) and we’ll see if they are right. And if they’re not, we go back to you. And we will proceed in this way until we no longer agree that gun violence is a problem.

I’m taking this to the American people tonight, letting them know about our plan, and committing to updating our progress at every press conference, so you’re in it whether you like it or not.

If you don’t give me anything by the end of the year, I’m calling you out on it every day in public until you do. And if you still refuse to play ball, I’m publically shaming you, and the gun control crowd gets to go first.”

Where is that President?


gumball's picture
gumball 9 weeks 3 days ago

The ironic part is how dramatically LOWER gun violence (and all violence) is than 20 years ago.

BenDorigan's picture
BenDorigan 9 weeks 3 days ago

@gumball, why do I want to add to your comment "...,if you look only at these specific statistics, graphs, and memes that were commissioned, culled, and compiled by the NRA?"

gumball's picture
gumball 9 weeks 3 days ago
Quote BenDorigan:

@gumball, why do I want to add to your comment "...,if you look only at these specific statistics, graphs, and memes that were commissioned, culled, and compiled by the NRA?"

No, the FBI crime data. I thought this was common knowledge among informed voters.


Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 9 weeks 3 days ago

Gumball, another classic case of Bloomberg published bullcrap. This stuff gets dumped over the airwaves daily and all the "polls" they quote have the questions fashioned to support their desired outcome. Fortunately most people are smarter than Michael Bloomberg and all their sputtering sock puppets.

BenDorigan's picture
BenDorigan 9 weeks 2 days ago

@gumball: Would that we all know as much as the knowledge police.

gumball's picture
gumball 9 weeks 2 days ago
Quote BenDorigan:

@gumball: Would that we all know as much as the knowledge police.

I don't understand your point?

BenDorigan's picture
BenDorigan 9 weeks 1 day ago

@gumball: Because my point was not very well made. What I mean is that I take issue with your implication that by not having seen your particular graph/stat that I am somehow an uninformed voter. I have looked into this topic quite a bit over time, and more so recently. There is a sea of information/disinformation out there and trying to determine which is which is a job in and of itself, and honestly, one I don't have a lot of extra time to pursue. I've seen a lot of graphs and I my or may not have come across this particular one in passing. My right-wing friends have sent me plenty lately. I suppose I've never actively searched FBI data specifically because I have never thought of them as particularly forthcoming with their information. Thank you for sharing the link though.

Regardless of whether gun violence is up or down for America, it is still much higher here than it is in most other "civilized" (white) countries. The reason ours is higher is not because we're more savage or have more mentally ill, or more blacks or more hispanics. It's because the other countries have gun ownership laws that we don't. Constitution or not, this could not be clearer. That's the difference. All others are either connected to this one, or fall under its umbrella. I take issue only with ayone who tries to assert that to fix our gun woes, what we need is more gun "freedom," i.e. more guns in more hands.

I personally am not anti-gun. I am however anti- high magazine, military style assault rifles in the hands of the general public. In case that classification is confusing, I mean the guns and magazines that are designed to kill a lot of people really fast. That deer hunters are using their ARs to show that they are "sport rifles" is as believable as it is fair to the deer. Eliminating these turns "36 Dead at Food Court Massacre" into maybe 2 or 3 dead. That, to me, is a meaningful start.

gumball's picture
gumball 9 weeks 14 hours ago
Quote BenDorigan:

Eliminating these turns "36 Dead at Food Court Massacre" into maybe 2 or 3 dead. That, to me, is a meaningful start.

Or 86 killed with a truck like Nice, France. Or 2,977 killed by men armed with box cutters like 9/11.I say that not to be flippant, but to point out that a person with evil intent will find a way.

The vast majority of gun violence is committed with handguns, not rifles. There are hundreds of millions of guns in the US, are you going to start confiscating them? That is why gun owners are so against anything, they see the real goal that gun control advocates want.

BenDorigan's picture
BenDorigan 9 weeks 12 hours ago

gumball, you are the politest troll I have ever encountered. Kudos to you for not being outright rude and vicious.

It amazes me that you made the jump from what I wrote, to- I want to confiscate your guns. You have presumed that's the goal I’m really hiding as a gun control advocate. You fear an agenda that does not exist in me. It may exist in some. I, however, am certain that what most gun control advocates would like to see is something, anything that acknowledges and addresses the inherent danger in these weapons being readily available to what amounts to a volatile and frightened populace hooked on booze and drugs. The evidence that we have a problem surfaces daily.

I, for one, am not trying to take all of your guns. Maybe you see it that way because that's how you see the world, as a constant winner-take-all battle where compromise isn't an option. That's certainly how Republicans in Washington behave. They show no interest in including the Democrats in anything, seeking only to grow more and more radically right and intolerant. That's also exactly how the NRA behaves, yielding no ground ever, seeking only for more of their own gain, getting more guns into more hands.

I like Tom's solution, treating gun ownership like car ownership. I think all fire arms should be registered for life, that owners should be licensed, and that gun owners should carry an amount of liability insurance that reflects the # and type of firearms they own, as well as their record or history as a responsible gun owner. A kid finds a pistol and shoots his brains out in your house, the insurance pays the family and your premiums go way up.

Further, I think there should be a voluntary gun registration period of one year. After that, any arm in the United States that isn’t registered is essentially worthless as anything other than an heirloom because you can't sell it anywhere but on the black market. Likewise, every time authorities find a firearm through the course of their regular duties (no raids just to find guns), they get registered or destroyed. This eliminates law enforcement from potentially dumping traceless, seized firearms into the black market.

I think demonstrating mental fitness for gun ownership should be a part of the licensure process. I think a face-to-face interview with an applicant by a qualified individual armed with a few well-crafted questions may be able to weed out some of the screwballs who shouldn't have guns. It’s not perfect, but it’s something instead of nothing, like the US always does.

I don't like compromising any more than the next guy. Would that the world be exactly as I would have it, right? But I get there are other strong interest besides my own here, and I respect the value of compromise. What Americans who want sensible gun controls in place are up against is a mentality that says- "no gun control, period, because I know what you really want! You want to take all my guns!" I'm telling you we don't (a small minority may). I know how much you love your guns. I don't necessarily understand your passion, but I get that we're not changing that. We just want some give on your side, some compromise, an agreement to try something instead of nothing for a change. I'm willing to have what works be enough.

gumball's picture
gumball 9 weeks 7 hours ago

I'm not suggesting that ending private gun ownership is your intention, I am of the belief that it will be the end result though. Why? Because all the proposed "solutions" will not achieve the goal of lowering gun violence. Why? Because criminals do not follow the laws.

It is not required to have registration on a car that you own. Only to drive it on public roads. That point aside, I think registration is naive. How many do you think are actually going to follow through with this? There are literally hundreds of millions of guns in circulation. What should be done to those that ignore the registration? Is this really an enforceable law?

You ever hear a politician suggest anything close to what you are? They use terms like "Common Sense" gun laws and will not suggest anything beyond assault rifle bans and the "gun show loophole". We closed that "loophole" here in Washington state 3 years ago. It is roundly ignored.

I'm not passionate about guns, and I personally don't really care about gun control.

gumball's picture
gumball 9 weeks 7 hours ago
Quote BenDorigan:

gumball, you are the politest troll I have ever encountered. Kudos to you for not being outright rude and vicious.

I'm not here to troll, I enjoy friendly conversations with folks of a different viewpoint :)

It was more interesting before Thom shut the forum down, this blog set up is not very user friendly.

BenDorigan's picture
BenDorigan 8 weeks 6 days ago

I don't think any solution/action on the gun front will have an immediate effect. If left in place, though, I think licensing, registration, and insurance requirements will have their effects.

You say "criminals," like there are good guys and there are bad guys, the cavalry, and Dr. Evil with his squad of faceless henchmen. We may rightly classify organized crime rings like the Mafia, or the drug lords in Mexico and South America as full-time criminals. This set may also include the gang leaders of large American cities. Yes, these guys will always find their way to the deadliest arms necessary to uphold their regimes. Proportionally, there aren't that many of these guys.

There is also a considerable portion of gun deaths that result from people who temporarily cross that line into evil. Crimes of passion and ones fueled by too much alcohol by otherwise peaceful citizens are examples. Stephen Paddock was a criminal for exactly 1 day of his life. I'm willing to bet these gun deaths outnumber the ones committed by the full-time criminals in any given year. I'm not going to look those numbers up right now, but I'd bet they at least parallel the Darth Vader (full-time evil) killings.

These are the deaths that we're going to cut into with gun laws, the Adam Lanzas, The Las Vegas shooters, the countless crimes of passion, or ones committed by the guy who decided to stop taking his anti-psychotic medication last week. These, to me, are worth trying to prevent, and I know that a big bite can be taken out of them.

Give law enforcement what they need to tackle the bad guys. I'm not wild about them using the same weaponry in policing the general public, but they should have in-kind arms.

I am certain that a more responsible gun policy in America, frightening as it may be to the gun crowd, can only reduce gun violence nationwide. Saying we all need to be armed to have peace is to say that all countries need to have nuclear bombs to have world peace. Yeah, maybe so for a while, until one goes off. Then it becomes clear that we're much closer to safety and security if no one has a nuclear bomb. It's no different with guns. We're all less safe because we have them, not the other way around. The other way seeing it is insane, irrational, upside-down thinking.

I don't advocate taking all guns away by my willingness to compromise for the sake of my fellow Americans who loves their guns. If we're not going to take them away, we're all going to have to agree that as long as we have guns we are going to have gun violence. They go hand in hand. That's what they're made for. So we agree that the goal is to reduce the numbers so that they alone don't make it seem like we are at war. We have reduction as our agreed upon goal. We could even pick a number, say we want it to come down by 50% and work to that end, and take that victory.

gumball's picture
gumball 8 weeks 3 days ago
Quote BenDorigan: So we agree that the goal is to reduce the numbers so that they alone don't make it seem like we are at war. We have reduction as our agreed upon goal. We could even pick a number, say we want it to come down by 50% and work to that end, and take that victory.

The per 100k rate was at 9.8 in 1991, it currently is 5.3. Almost a 50% reduction. But that is not the perception, is it?


You say you don't want to take away guns but what you do say you want to do seems pretty darn close to that. You certainly will not find any national politician who will push that.

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