Gun Violence Poll

Started Jan 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
gatordog93
Contributing MemberPosts: 502
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Re: Gun Violence Poll
In reply to aus4ever, Jan 28, 2013

aus4ever wrote:

Let me start by apologizing for jumping in on this one.  No fault of anyone, but it appears that there is a general lack of understand from people within the U.S. and those outside the U.S.

Maybe I can clear-up some of the confusion.

By better regulation, I mean

1. All guns should be registered under the user's name and the gun owners held accountable for their use and safe custody. Should they lose it or transfer it to someone else, it must be reported. All gun owners should have gone through thorough background check.

Forgive me, but here's a short explanation about the safe-guards that have been in effect for many years here in America.   When a person buys a new gun from a dealer such paperwork is generated (call it "registration" if you want).

As it stands, without any future modification to the laws, the application process includes information about the applicant.   Key elements in the application relate to one's historical mental instability and their criminal past (arrest/conviction in court).   The application must be approved by the FBI before the person is allowed to physically take possession of the firearm (all firearms).

I won't speak for all within the U.S., but in Illinois (one of the states with the most restrictive gun laws), all firearm owners are required to apply for a "Firearm Owners Identification Card" (known as FOID....Firearm Owners ID).   These applications must pass the approval of the Illinois State Police...the ID includes a photo image of the person and an ID #.   The entire FOID situation is much like a drivers license....all law enforcement agencies have access to the data base and can run "checks" on those that have the FOID.

To buy ammo....you need to present your FOID.   To even touch or hold a new gun at a store/dealer you present your FOID.   If you are stopped by the police and have one bullet (no gun) in your pocket but don't have a FOID you can go to jail.

There's a state law that requires the sale of all weapons (private or commercial sale) to documented (including the FOID # of the person buying the gun)....and it is illegal to sell to a person that doesn't have a FOID.

2. There should be a minimum age that people are allowed access to guns. If driving a car can only start at 16, why should a kid of 12 be allowed to handle a gun which is considered more dangerous?

There are already restrictions for this.   As a general rule the age is 18...can't even buy ammo unless one is 18 years of age.

3. For self defense, go for the least common denominator. It makes sense for some places that policeman on the streets are armed with handguns that are designed to incapacitate, not to kill. In a way, the innocent passerby is protected. If you want more lethal firepower, you need justifications. If you want it for target shooting, leave it at the shooting range.

Police have always been "armed".   Handgun on their side and a "long gun" commonly accessible in their patrol car.   Traditionally that long gun was a "shotgun".   But more than 10 years ago the national trend changed and in many areas/departments the shotgun has been replaced by a "patrol rifle" (most common being the AR-15 style "assault weapon").

Myth that police shoot to wound!   They may shoot to "incapacitate", but nothing about their weapon, caliber, or ammo is designed to "wound" as opposed to "kill".   As a general rule any/all "firearms" can and will be lethal is fired into human flesh (excluding air rifles and such, but even some of them these days have the muzzle velocity to penetrate and "kill").

4. Hold authorized gun dealers accountable for their sales and their record of sales. All stolen guns must be reported and investigated.

As mentioned above, when a gun is sold by a gun dealer there is a National application process/form that must be completed.   All gun dealers must have the appropriate "license" to sale (called an FFL...Federal Firearms License).   At this level and in this case there is already a "record" of the sale and who purchased the gun.   Again...this is not a new process here in the U.S. and has been in place/practiced as the "LAW" for many years.

Lawfully purchased guns are prized possessions by their lawful owners.   I can't think of a reason why anyone would NOT report the theft of their gun to the local police, and that crime would be investigated.

5. Law enforcement agencies should have access to a shared national database of guns, gun owners, authorized dealers, and a record of people who have been rejected.

We have such a database...have had it for years.   If a gun is stolen and a police report taken on the west coast it all goes into the national database.   If that gun surfaces on the east coast the police will know it is "stolen".

Database for gun dealers.....application process and "license" issued by the federal government...documented and in the database.

Record of people rejected during the application process to purchase from a gun dealer....the FBI (federal law enforcement) approves or refuses the application...and keeps a record of the event.  In fact it is illegal to provide false info on the form, yet ironically there appears to be a low percentage of "suspects" prosecuted for falsifying info on their application as they attempt to illegally purchase a gun.

6. Participation in the UCR and to conform to the guidelines should be compulsory for all law enforcement agencies.

Such laws are in place...each agency must submit crime rates and the info used to form the UCR.

These are by no means the only measures that should be taken. I should also mention better mental health care to make Chato happy.

I have no comment/knowledge of how the mental health care stuff works (or doesn't work).  But I can imagine how there are faults and this could be leading to many of the high profile acts of gun violence (or the ones the media selectively tells all of us about).   Sorry...I am NOT a fan of the media!

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Australia, home forever.
Freedom without discipline is chaos.

This might explain why some that are in support of the right to own guns are complaining about the proposed changes.   It is easy to make a valid argument that we don't need additional laws/restrictions as it appears the current laws/safe guards are NOT being fully enforced.

The gun groups/supporters are further frustrated by the fact that it seems many of our politicians apparently aren't aware of the current laws or how things are working (or aren't working).   Legal sportsmen and hunters appear to be upset because of the current proposals to make changes...increase the restrictions when the current set of laws might make a difference if they were actually enforced in our courts.   I mention this only because the problem is much more expansive than just "guns" and adding more "restrictions".

In many cases (such as New York) they've increased the language to restrict (make "illegal" specific styles of weapons.   In many cases what they essentially are doing it taking the same weapon in one configuration and making it "illegal" while in a different configuration it will supposedly be "legal".   For instance...a hunting shotgun with a "thumb-hole" style stock and or a "pistol grip" would be "illegal".   Yet the same exact weapon with a different stock would be "legal".   Neither the "pistol grip" nor the "Thumb-hole stock" make one version any less/more effective as a killing machine.   Regardless of the "stock" mounted to the gun, it still functions the same..has the same rate of fire...fires the same ammo.....and holds the same number of rounds.   But one looks more "evil" because outwardly it is being lumped into the "assault weapon" catagory...because it has a "feature" or two that visually reminds a politician of an AR-15.   Some appear to think that if one were to paint their wooden hunting shotgun black it would suddenly be a more lethal "assault weapon".

A key thing to note is that felon's can NOT possess or own a firearm.   Yet the largest percentage of illegal firearm use during the commission of a crime are committed by "felons" with a firearm.  This might partially explain the debates/claims by some American's when they say "guns don't kill, people kill"....or more laws will only effect those that have always been law abiding contributors to our society.....or that further laws will only make criminals out of law abiding people because their lawfully owned/used hunting and sporting weapons will suddenly become "illegal" under some of the new proposals.

No matter which side one stands on the entire gun issue...it is safe to say we (as Americans) have a major issue on our hands.   If I had the answer I'd be "somebody".   Unfortunately I don't!   But the root of the problem extends much deeper than "guns".

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