A Few Thoughts on Gun Violence and Liberty

UPDATE: I totally forgot to include a great resource put out by the Presbyterian Church (USA), Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call. [DOWNLOAD PDF]
First please watch this video  . . .

Now before anyone starts flaming this post and/or does the “What would you do?” taunt, please know that our family has been touched by gun violence, we have lived in neighborhoods where gun violence is very real and we have NEVER felt that the best response for an individual or a community is to have more guns. I am 100% certain that my wife and I will never own a gun . . . NEVER, so that argument with me is a non-starter.

I also know that I am posting this on July 4th knowing that some may deem venturing into the messy conversations about guns and my challenge to how we use and see them in this country is somehow “unpatriotic.” But I would push back and say that one of the ways I understand my own patriotism is to be thankful for this nation-state where we have the freedom to passionately and openly debate the very nature of what it means to be patriotic, so talking about owning guns seems particularly appropriate today.

Two arguments about gun ownership that are often extolled are, “Bad people will always do bad things, so don’t punish the good people” and “Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people.”  While there are many arguments about gun ownership that I simply do not buy, with these two I very much agree.  Society will always have individuals who will make choices that bring about pain, suffering and violence upon the larger community, so with this in mind we must be vigilant in creating a culture that makes sure handguns cannot so easily be acquired by people who should not have them.  I am not even getting into the debate about rifles and hunting arms, but just handguns that are so easily attained in most states and used in so many murders and suicides.

I am not 2nd Amendment scholar, but I believe that our individual right to bear arms should be challenged if society deems that we do not have the psychological capacity to make good choices about the use of those arms.  Sure, there are those out there that don’t really care about the ramifications of loose gun laws and see any restriction on any form of fire arms is an assault on American liberty, but let me be clear in saying that allowing this kind of blind distribution of guns in our communities is an assault on my liberty and the liberty of my family.

One thing that I hope reasonable people can agree upon is that we must better deal with the ways in which guns are bought and sold.  There is too much evidence of irresponsible gun purchasing for us not to have rigorous background checks in all states.  One way that some communities have responded is to encourage – and pressure when need be – gun dealers to adopt a “10 point voluntary code for firearms retailers” that is being advocated by a groups such as Pennsylvania’s Heeding God’s Call and Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Could not reasonable people agree that this is a good idea?  Heck even Walmart has signed on and is part of this movement and, for many folks, you can’t get more “American” than that.  Take a read of the 10 points below . . .

The 10 points of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership are:

  1. Videotaping the Point of Sale for All Firearms Transactions. Participating retailers will videotape the point-of-sale of all firearms transactions and maintain videos for 6 months to deter illegal purchases and monitor employees.
  2. Computerized Prime Gun Trace Log and Alert System. Mayors Against Illegal Guns will develop a computerized system that participating retailers will implement over time to log crime gun traces relating to the retailer. Once the program is in place, if a customer who has a prior trace at that retailer attempts to purchase a firearm, the sale will be electronically flagged. The retailer would have discretion to proceed with the sale or stop the sale.
  3. Purchaser Declaration. For sales flagged by the trace alert system, participating retailers will ask purchasers to fill out a declaration indicating that they meet the legal requirement to purchase the firearm.
  4. Deterring Fake IDs. Participating retailers will only accept valid federal- or state-issued picture IDs as primary identification. Retailers will utilize additional ID checking mechanisms.
  5. Consistent Visible Signage. Participating retailers will post signage created by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership to alert customers of their legal responsibilities at the point-of-sale.
  6. Employee Background Checks. Participating retailers will conduct criminal background checks for all employees selling or handling firearms.
  7. Employee Responsibility Training. Participating retailers will participate in an employee responsibility training program focused on deterring illegal purchasers. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership will create an online training system based on WalMart´s training program.
  8. Inventory Checking. Participating retailers will conduct daily and quarterly audits. Guidelines will be based on WalMart´s existing audit procedures.
  9. No Sales Without Background Check Results. Participating retailers would prohibit sales based on “default proceeds,” which are permitted by law when background check has not returned a result within 3 days.
  10. Securing Firearms. Participating retailers will maintain firearms kept in customer accessible areas in locked cases or locked racks.

Now I understand that any restrictions or regulations voluntary or otherwise, make some people cringe, but honestly, these seem like pretty reasonable practices and would not be that difficult to enact. Not only would I think any firearms dealer who adopts these would create better relationships with the community, but would also be able to rent knowing that they are helping to prevent death.

Now again, there are many more issues that need to be dealt with around guns and violence in the United States: disproportionate amount of violence in poor and/or communities of color, recent decisions about violent video game accessibility to minors and how society in generally understands the roots causes of conflict and struggle. But this day, it is my hope that many can at least agree when it comes to who is allowed to own handguns in the United States, in order to have liberty and freedom for ALL, those who see that freedom and liberty as a free pass to perpetuate situations of violence and death have perverted the very nature of that liberty.

And finally . . . for individuals, families and communities who daily struggle though living with the impact and pain of violence in their lives, may you find some glimpse of peace and hope this day.

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  • Anonymous

    Are people being kidnapped there every day?  No?  Then yes, your fear is *irrational.*  You do not need a Glock in order to go to the store to buy something.  If people ARE being abducted there daily, there is a far bigger problem than your purse-gun will resolve.  If you are a “small woman,” has it never occurred to you that you could be relieved of that gun by “two strong men” in your fantasy scenario and have it used against you?

    C’mon people.  Kidnappings are a rare occurrence.  This is about the most ridiculous (and, I hasten to add, undocumented) excuse for “needing” a gun that I can think of — and I am a gun owner.

  • Anonymous

    Replying above.

  • Anonymous

    There seem to be a great many folk here who are putting words into folks’ mouths or trying to make them mean something they don’t. :-(

  • Anonymous

    Sean wrote:  How you handle that threat remains the same. Call 911, draw your weapon,
    and keep yourself alive until the cops show up. If the home invader or
    kidnapper is dead by then, too bad for him.

    First, I originally asked the poster if she felt she needed to have a gun to go to WalMart and she said *yes.*  This is an irrational response to a rare occurrence.  Unless people are being abducted every single day from the WalMart, the idea that you have to be armed to buy Minute Rice is, indeed, irrational.  If people are being abducted there on a daily basis, there is a problem at the site far greater than gun ownership will resolve.

    To respond to this specific comment I quoted above:  Sure.  If it’s you.  Or me.  Or someone else who is experienced with weapons.  However, the chances that an inexperienced twit (there, I said it) who thinks that the mere presence of a weapon in their home functions as a deterrent is likely to find themselves relieved of that weapon by the intruder and have it used against them. 

    We can agree to disagree as to whether the regulations discussed here (and with which the NRA, Hunter Safety Association and numerous other gun lobbies happen to agree) are valid … because you are never going to see anything beyond the end of your trigger finger. :-(

  • Anonymous

    Replying upline for visibility.

  • Anonymous

    This is not intended to sound rude, but it will seem so. Sorry for that in advance.

    Bruce, the answer is NO. There will not be any further restrictions on my rights. There are several reasons for that. First off, the gun control side lost in Heller, and in McDonald. Despite what the Brady Campaign keeps saying, they were not hollow victories. They were the start of an avalanche of laws that will get overturned. Chicago just got what can only be described as a bare bottomed spanking by the Courts for its silly gun range ban. North Carolina is about to get the same treatment in Bates vs. Perdue. The advance of gun control is over. The tide is retreating.

    More important than court cases is the fact that none of the proposals you consider above will have any effect on crime. And that’s the reason you want to impose them, right? You aren’t trying to impose new infringements on my rights out of meanness or spite, you honestly want to reduce crime. But what you want isn’t what you will get. So could you explain to me why we should go along? Why should we accept your proposals if they will not in any way measurably reduce crime? Miguel Gonzalez, below, answered your post point by point. Please read it (again) and tell me how exactly he is wrong. None of your proposals will have the effect you want.

    So we have two good reasons that gun control is over in this country. #1, the gun control laws we have are being overturned as unconstitutional. and #2, they are ineffective as crime suppression tactics. What possible justification can you have for asking for them?

  • Anonymous

    Again, please tell me how is being afraid of something that has actually happened at a store irrational?  I’m not saying these things could happen, they DID happen.

  • Anonymous

    Since what she said was “My loud yappy dog isn’t going to help me when people are getting abducted at high noon from the walmart parking lot.” Maybe it’s you that need to read for comprehension. She’s speaking of a specific occurrence.
     
    And a yappy dog does you no good at all in the Walmart parking lot or anywhere else. The dog merely alerts you to the presence of a threat. How you handle that threat remains the same. Call 911, draw your weapon, and keep yourself alive until the cops show up. If the home invader or kidnapper is dead by then, too bad for him.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    @bf5fb83afde0cb619308e15f331961f1:disqus FTR nowhere in my post to I push for a handgun ban. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    Thanks for being willing to comment, i know that this is not always easy to do with the tone of the much of conversation.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    @SeanSorrentino:disqus But the issue that I have with some of the comments is not just about the fact that you disagree with what “intent” there might be, but that you have chosen to charge me with things that I have not said.  IMO this tact lacks integrity and undermines your ability to convince me that you are interested in any kind of meaningful conversation.  If that is NOT the case, that is fine, but not where my energy will be given.  I have had some very good conversations with those who disagree with me about the regulations, respectful and passionate, so this is not just about softening the tone, but about us all trying to work towards the common good, not just our own. 

  • JAtwood

    Thank you Bruce, for raising such an important issue. Guns, gun rights and gun violence for far too long have been the elephant in the living room, which most people don’t want to acknowledge, and particularly a timid church. 
    It is obvious by the reactions you have generated by your very mild and measured blog, you have touched a nerve. You deserve our profound thanks because you have dared to name the American idol of guns and gun rights. 

    The PCUSA issued a word of warning in 1990: “The religious community must take seriously the risk of idolatry that could result from an unwarranted fascination with guns that overlooks or ignores the social consequences of their misuse.”
    Since that warning over 600,000 Americans have been killed by guns on our streets and in our homes and a million more have been injured. Note: none of these deaths include military personnel. These are all civilians killed in “peacetime” by the guns which most people  bought for protection. I’m convinced America needs to confess that we have “an unwarranted fascination or obsession with guns and “gun rights” which has led us to the abyss.I own two guns and I have hunted for over 50 years. Lord willing, I shall go deer hunting again this Fall. Unlike the gun zealots who have commented so vehemently on your blog about the values guns provide, and that their rights are being infringed because of minimal regulations, I stand with the vast majority of gun owners, including NRA members who agree with Bruce Reyes-Chow that wise and unburdensome regulations need to be put in place which respect both “gun rights” and the public’s right to safety.In December of 2010, Frank Luntz, Republican pollster conducted a nationwide poll of 832 gun owners, including 401 NRA members and discovered the following:- 82 percent of NRA members support “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.”- 69 percent favor “requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns.”- 78 percent back “requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen.”- 86 percent of all gun owners and NRA members agree with Luntz’s core idea that “gun rights and gun regulations complement each other. We can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.”- 69 percent of NRA members oppose the idea behind the so called Tiahart amendments passed by Congress which prevent law enforcement officials from having full access to gun trace data from the ATF and require the FBI to destroy certain background check records after just 24 hours.Those on your blog who are defending guns instead of those who are being killed by them are a minority in America; albeit a very vocal minority which is financed and controlled by a Gun Empire which exists to sell more guns and worships all things that go “boom.”Thanks, Bruce  for raising the issue and putting it on the front burner!

  • JAtwood

    Thank you Bruce, for raising such an important issue. Guns, gun rights and gun violence for far too long have been the elephant in the living room, which most people don’t want to acknowledge, and particularly a timid church. 
    It is obvious by the reactions you have generated by your very mild and measured blog, you have touched a nerve. You deserve our profound thanks because you have dared to name the American idol of guns and gun rights. 

    The PCUSA issued a word of warning in 1990: “The religious community must take seriously the risk of idolatry that could result from an unwarranted fascination with guns that overlooks or ignores the social consequences of their misuse.”
    Since that warning over 600,000 Americans have been killed by guns on our streets and in our homes and a million more have been injured. Note: none of these deaths include military personnel. These are all civilians killed in “peacetime” by the guns which most people  bought for protection. I’m convinced America needs to confess that we have “an unwarranted fascination or obsession with guns and “gun rights” which has led us to the abyss.I own two guns and I have hunted for over 50 years. Lord willing, I shall go deer hunting again this Fall. Unlike the gun zealots who have commented so vehemently on your blog about the values guns provide, and that their rights are being infringed because of minimal regulations, I stand with the vast majority of gun owners, including NRA members who agree with Bruce Reyes-Chow that wise and unburdensome regulations need to be put in place which respect both “gun rights” and the public’s right to safety.In December of 2010, Frank Luntz, Republican pollster conducted a nationwide poll of 832 gun owners, including 401 NRA members and discovered the following:- 82 percent of NRA members support “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.”- 69 percent favor “requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns.”- 78 percent back “requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen.”- 86 percent of all gun owners and NRA members agree with Luntz’s core idea that “gun rights and gun regulations complement each other. We can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.”- 69 percent of NRA members oppose the idea behind the so called Tiahart amendments passed by Congress which prevent law enforcement officials from having full access to gun trace data from the ATF and require the FBI to destroy certain background check records after just 24 hours.Those on your blog who are defending guns instead of those who are being killed by them are a minority in America; albeit a very vocal minority which is financed and controlled by a Gun Empire which exists to sell more guns and worships all things that go “boom.”Thanks, Bruce  for raising the issue and putting it on the front burner!

  • Anonymous

    No, Sean.  The other poster said she was afraid to go to WalMart without a gun — and that was what I was referring to as irrational.  Again, you really need to read for comprehension.

  • Anonymous

    Replied in the other comment.

  • Anonymous

    Who said I was afraid? You did. That’s called projection. You presumed that because I carry a gun that I am afraid. You are projecting your feelings on me. I think it is you that is afraid.

  • Anonymous

    Forensic anthropology involves bodies that have been dead for a while, Sean.  Just so you know.

    Other than saying that I think it’s irrational to be afraid to go to the store without a gun, I have never said anything even remotely against responsible gun ownership — or implied that criminals are the same as responsible owners.  Perhaps YOU, sir, should read for comprehension instead of what you want to see.

  • Anonymous

    I’m looking for the place where I said any such thing, Sean — and I fail to see it.  I guess you’ve repeatedly missed where I said I’m a gun owner.  However, somehow I manage not to be so afraid of the store that I need to take said gun with me to shop.  So, who’s irrational again?

  • Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hel

    They have very good systems for arbitrarily denying people Second Amendment rights or frustrating its exercise. I do not go to New Jersey to shoot competitively, because too many people have gotten nailed for felonies, like Brian Aitken. Their “assault weapons” statute is so insane it covers popular tube fed  .22s if you have the wrong model. These are not examples of laws Second Amendment advocates are going to find remotely acceptable.

  • Anonymous

    Except, Bruce, the process I described above had nothing to do with buying a gun, but with carrying it. When I bought my gun I walked into the store, handed over my credit card, filled out the Form 4473, waited until he called the PA State Police automated instant check line, and walked out with a gun. Strangely enough, that’s the same process at a gun show.
     
    My first carry license was from PA. It was a trip to the Sheriff, a photograph, a form similar to the Form 4473, and a 45 day wait while the background check was completed. I have 3 more carry licenses now, but none of them are necessary to buy a gun. Nor should they be.
     
    Stop trying to add to the already excessive burden. In fact, maybe you should justify the burden we already have. It clearly isn’t working as we still have drug gang murders by the boatload. So if it isn’t working, why should we do it?

  • TruthSeeker

    -If gun bans work….why do police carry guns?
    Since a city without guns is safer, why do police departments still carry guns in

     cities where gun bans are in place? Wouldn’t the city be so safe without guns that

     the police wouldn’t need them just like citizens don’t need them?(BTW – I’m a former Law Enforcement Officer AND Military Veteran…..I found I could get to a violent crime in time to stop it about <1% of the time)Additional DetailsMeaning I was cleaning up a bloody mess and documenting blood splatters on buildings or in streets the other 99% of the time because me having a gun didn't do them any good.  - so since criminals are still carrying guns….shouldn't citizens be able to carry guns? Or do criminals ONLY go after police?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Miguel-Gonzalez/1559615087 Miguel Gonzalez
  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    @SeanSorrentino:disqus I am pretty sure that my post does NOT say that someone like you, who has gone through a solid process should not own a gun.  The assumptions made about my thoughts, never stated, are hard to defend . . . again, never said people should be allowed to have them. Some give here would help make a stronger case otherwise this is more about folks reading what they want o read and now what I actually wrote.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care what the “intent” is of the post. Intent is not transferable. It is a trite, but true, statement that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
     
    What matters are results. Show me some results. Until you show me results, which you can’t, then what you are proposing is FURTHER infringements upon my rights for no benefit. You’ve already infringed upon my rights for no benefit, why should I allow you to infringe some more?
     
    Your stats are a misquote of the Brady Campaign’s lies. The Brady’s like to tout 1.9 Million. The fact is the vast majority of these “prevented” purchases were later determined to be false positives. In 2008, there were 78,906 initial denials, of which only 147 were actual prohibited purchasers. Of those only 105 were sent to trial and only 43 were convicted. So almost 80,000 people were infringed upon to stop 43. Would you allow a cop to stop 80,000 cars and only issue 50 speeding tickets? Would you allow a cop to search 80,000 houses in exchange for discovering 50 low level criminals? No, you wouldn’t. But since you don’t want a gun, you’re willing to let 80,000 of us get the shaft for almost no benefit whatsoever. You are willing to purchase a little temporary (and illusory) safety with my liberty.
     
    How about instead of controlling guns, you control the violent felons. If a person cannot be trusted with a gun, he cannot be trusted without a custodian. If a criminal can’t be handed a gun once he gets out of prison, then he shouldn’t be let out. It’s a simple concept. Keep the bad people in jail and stop trying to turn the rest of the world into a low grade prison.

  • Anonymous

    And I maintain that a person who is so irrationally afraid of me, a peaceable armed citizen, that she needs to try to restrict my rights instead of the rights of the criminals is a person who should seriously consider getting some emotional support.
     
    My Sheriff, my old Sheriff, the State Bureau of Investigation, the State Police forces of three other states and the FBI have checked me out. If they are satisfied that I am unlikely to harm anyone that doesn’t need harming, you should be satisfied as well. If you are not, perhaps it is you that has the problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Miguel-Gonzalez/1559615087 Miguel Gonzalez

    All background checks anywhere go through the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System either directly or through a State entity such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Also, your 10 “Points” will do little to avoid guns falling into the hands of criminals since they do not like to visit either gun stores or gun shows. Both places are full of law abiding citizens and cops which frown upon criminals quite a bit.

  • Anonymous

    I maintain that the irrational fear lies with the person who thinks they need to carry a weapon to the goddamned store, myself …

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    My understanding is that CA and NJ have very good systems for background checks, but other states have a looser/freer system?  Is that true? 

  • Guest

    I cannot understand how some of the commentators to this blog can make some of the assertions I have been reading. None of the things proposed by Mr. Reyes-Chow prevents citizens from keeping handguns in the home for self-defense. In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban handgun possession in the home for self-defense. The proposals stated in this blog are to prevent firearms from getting into the hands of dangerous people. Do we really want violent felons to be able to walk into a gun store and legally purchase a weapon? The Brady background check  has prevented over a million prohibited purchasers from buying weapons. Laws do bring about results. As far as I can tell, no one has said that gun owners are terrible people. I don’t begrudge the rights of law-abiding, well-trained, responsible citizens to own firearms, but what about the rights of non-firearm owning citizens? We want to be safe. We do not want to be harmed by a person poorly exercising their Second Amendment right. Are we to be the sacrifice for a poorly regulated freedom?

  • Anonymous

    Given that, as I said, people are being kidnapped from there in the middle of the day, yes.  How else do you expect a small woman to defend herself against two large men?

  • Anonymous

    And who, exactly, are you to tell another person what they should and shouldn’t do to protect themselves? You’re not going to be there to help them if they get attacked. So instead of accepting their personal decision to carry a firearm, you demand that they remain unarmed because of your irrational fear of armed law abiding citizens?

  • Anonymous

    Are you really suggesting that you require a handgun to shop at Walmart?  Perhaps a different store would be a better answer for you …

  • Notso

    @0eebf696f5e0a780b4f8b80e92101a98:disqus 
    At least Barbara is an honest person stating her ultimate desire to ban handguns. If we could only get that kind of honesty out of all the other anti’s.

  • Anonymous

    My loud yappy dog isn’t going to help me when people are getting abducted at high noon from the walmart parking lot.

  • Anonymous

    “One of the screening questions physicians use for depression concerns suicidal or homicidal ideations.”

    yep. Are you a danger to yourself or to others.

    “The majority of in-home shooting accidents come from children fooling around with weapons that are not properly secured.”

    that’s fine, but what does it prove? Heller threw out any requirement to store a firearm in a condition that would make it difficult to use in a self defense situation. Plus, I have no kids. Why should I care if my gun is secured in a way that makes it “safe” for kids?

    If you are a forensic anthropology major, please tell me what the link is between drugs, gangs, and murder is in this country. I think that if you are honest, you will discover that the majority of murders are drug and gang related, and have nothing whatsoever to do with how I store my firearm, how and where I carry my firearm, nor what type or how many firearms I am allowed to purchase. People who kill are not like you and me. They are generally hardened criminals with prior records making it a crime for them to possess a firearm. Focus on the problem, not the symptom.

  • Anonymous

    No, the number is not at all suspect.  26.2 percent, according to the latest study:  http://www.narsad.org/?q=node/12158/information_and_statistics

  • Anonymous

    Sean wrote:  Major depression is not mentally incompetent. Major depression is not “a danger to themself or others.”

    One of the screening questions physicians use for depression concerns suicidal or homicidal ideations.  And it’s not because people in major depressive episodes tend towards the rational.

    I have done plenty of cop ride-alongs, thanks (I’m a forensic anthropology major).  The majority of in-home shooting accidents come from children fooling around with weapons that are not properly secured.  http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html

    Again, I am a gun owner and grew up in a household of hunters.  I am not talking through my hat, but about actual facts.

  • Anonymous

    “Actually Sean, I happen to be a person of color”

    And you think that makes a difference? You were the one who said that “guns are far too easy to come by in black and brown neighborhoods. ” That’s racist. The fact that you are talking about people who share your skin color makes it worse, not better.

  • pemily

    Actually Sean, I happen to be a person of color and work with pastors of color on the south side. I am reflecting the reality that I (and many of these pastors) live in…these are their words as well. It is not the white man’s burden; it is all of our burden and part of being responsible in responding to that burden is acknowledging that there are disproportionate affects when it comes to well-intentioned (and I feel like I’m being generous here) laws.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Conlaw-Bloganon/100002402694026 Conlaw Bloganon

    Allow me to rephrase my previous reply so that it is not censored.

    I am part of a team that seeks to ban all electrical cords, because my cat gnaws on them and anyway why can’t we just beam electricity everywhere. /sarcasm

    Twenty times as many children under age 5 are killed by accidental drowning in bath tubs and home swimming pools compared to firearms. Read a book. And if you are concerned about public safety, find something new to ban. Preferably something that isn’t a god given right (Self defense), and furthermore protected by the US Constitution.

    Read more: http://conlaw-bloganon.blogspot.com

    Reference: Guns and Public Health: Epicdemic of Violence or Pandemic or Propaganda? Kates, Schaffer, Lattimer, Murray, and Cassem. 61 Tenn. L. Rev. 513-396 (1994)

  • RamonR

    The only reason that the anti-gun mouthpieces ever brought up gun shows is because they hate for Americans to assemble for the purpose of exercising their Second Amendment rights. The fact that the “gun show loophole” is a myth, and that it really represents private party sales between citizens to them, in the kitchen, or on the porch. This is what they’re really after. The ability of citizens to sell their private property. Notice that lately they’ve changed their tune from the “gun show loophole.” The public is on to them. So they’re more likely to call it what it is today. Banning private party sales.

  • RamonR

    Yes, and if you need to save your life today instead of in ten days, the gun prohibitionists don’t seem to have a problem with it. Which goes to show their agenda comes before the lives they purport to be concerned about.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    @facebook-100002402694026:disqus  . . . I responded to your note sent to my personal email.  Unfortunately, I have to delete your other comment for the use of vulgarity, as my kids to dead this blog and it is my space after all.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    @8a532ef30262f970404f0c395d115bec:disqus  . . . aaaaaaand, welcome to my world ;-)  Thanks for commenting and I get from where you are coming.

  • Anonymous

    “Unfortunately, guns are far too easy to come by in black and brown neighborhoods. ”

    Let me translate that for everyone else.

    “We have to do all we can to disarm the black and brown communities. It’s our modern ‘white man’s burden.”

    Rarely do you see the hidden racism of gun control so openly displayed. You should be ashamed of yourself to even hold such a thought, much less feel safe enough to commit those thoughts to print. It is clear that your biggest fear is that non-white citizens might get their hands on guns. Please explain to me how that could possibly be more racist than the attitudes in the South in the 50′s.

  • pemily

    Thank you for writing this post! I live on the south side of Chicago and am grateful to say that I have not been directly touched by gun violence. However, I recently attended a service of lament and commitment to peacemaking at my local church. 213 Chicago Public School students have been shot and 24 have died. This is only counting the CPS students. Unfortunately, guns are far too easy to come by in black and brown neighborhoods. It has gotten so bad that even Chicago’s top cop, Garry McCarthy, has recognized that our gun (and other) laws have disproportionately affected select demographics of our national make up. 

    Not everyone can be as responsible as many gun owners and not everyone is interested in being a responsible gun *distributor.* This isn’t about the right to protect ourselves from potential political insurgents; it’s about the right to protect our most vulnerable populace (young, at-risk youth) from getting their hands on a weapon that could not only alter their future, but the futures of those who are unfortunate enough to cross their path on the wrong day. While there is more to the equation than gun control (i.e. social breakdowns on many levels), the immediate issue is that these kids can get their hands on a gun very easily. First things first: let’s stop them from killing each other so that we can then address the even larger systemic issues at play!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Conlaw-Bloganon/100002402694026 Conlaw Bloganon

    Yeah, and I’m part of a team trying to ban electrical cords because my cat gnaws on them and anyway why can’t we just beam electricity everywhere?

    Children under age 5 are TWENTY TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DROWN IN THE BATH TUB then they are to be killed by a firearm. Read a fucking book, thanks.

    Read more: http://conlaw-bloganon.blogspot.com

    Reference: Guns and Public Health: Epicdemic of Violence or Pandemic or Propaganda? Kates, Schaffer, Lattimer, Murray, and Cassem. 61 Tenn. L. Rev. 513-396

  • Barb Cathey

    Thanks for taking this issue on, Bruce.  I am part of a team in Chicago organizing an event for the Presbytery in response to the hundreds of school age children who have been killed in Chicago and the surrounding counties in the last few years by guns and other forms of violence.  When social justice staff at the Big Tent heard what we are doing, they gave me all the copies they had of “Gun Violence, Gospel Values.”  All these kids lost their right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in this violent nation that rabidly defends the 2nd amendment at all costs.

  • Anonymous

    Mental incompetence is strictly defined in law as involuntarily committed to a mental institution as a danger to themself or others. This is why the VA Tech shooter was able to buy a gun with a background check. The bleeding heart judge decided not to involuntarily commit him even though he should have.

    Major depression is not mentally incompetent. Major depression is not “a danger to themself or others.”

    As for my “laissez-faire” attitude, until you can show me proof that any restrictions on gun purchase and ownership have a net positive effect upon violent crime rates, then I will not agree with them. The problem is not gun ownership, gun use, or gun carry. The problem is criminals murdering people with or without guns, usually over drugs. Go spend some time with your local cops and find out how many murders in this country are “crimes of passion” versus business disputes between recreational pharmaceutical distributers. It’s time to solve the problem instead of treating the symptoms.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lecturerrich Richard Egan

    I would also – in general the only people affected by regulations are law abiding ones.  Now I do agree that there should be something in the way of mental competency but currently it is hard to administer and once on the list almost impossible to get off.  Note:  Senator Edward Kennedy was on the Federal Watch list for airline flights and even he could not get off it.


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