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18 May 2012


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Devereaux's thoughts, in broad terms, at least, reflect my own thinking on the matter, too. Guns are dangerous things with enormous potential for misuse, and there are lots of nitwits with guns without knowing what to do with/about them who are liable to do something very foolish with them. Some sort of training and licensing requirement seems only prudent.

Of course, I'm not so naive to think it's practicable at political level, at too many places in US: there are too many irrational opponents of guns who will use these requirements, should they be adopted, as means to stamp out guns altogether...

Laura Wilson

It is nice to see a logical plan for gun ownership. I especially agree with the training requirement and national approach. Last summer we camped in a VERY family-oriented campground in Washington State where the next campsite had two pater familias who wore "security" T-shirts and Glocks in holsters. SERIOUSLY, were they going to shoot the fish?

It was all I could do (and my husband had to stop me) not to walk over and ask them if it was true that a big gun meant a small penis...? My second option was to ask their wives the same question. There were 6 children between these two families and we were NOT out in the middle of nowhere.

Silly people, but a dangerous situation because we had no idea if they had any kind of training or smarts. What if someone going to the head at night accidentally walked into their campsite? Stuff like that happens all the time in a busy campground...but you don't expect to get shot.

And, yes, my army-trained husband does carry a handgun in our trailer exactly for those times we are camped in the middle of nowhere which we often are. He is fine with regulation and training...as long as everyone plays by the same rules.

Al Spafford

GREAT ideas/points. Perhaps the NRA could go back to it's original purpose of TRAINING gun owners/users instead of politically advocating for such idiot issues like coated bullets that can pierce cops' chest protectors. That one issue by itself 20+ yrs ago got me to send back my NRA membership card.



I would say Mr. Deavereaux should take a look at Afghanistan if he doesn't understand how an insurgent force with small arms can cause a nightmare for a 'modern' armed forces.

I live in Arizona, where I can drive around with a heavily modified AK47 in my backseat and no one bats an eye.

Maybe what 'works' in California isn't for the rest of the nation. I know its apparently racist to mention the Tenth Amendment, but I thought that's what the original intent was.

The Moar You Know

I'm in more or less total agreement with Mr. Deavereaux, with the exception that I believe we should be required to carry liability insurance on firearms as well. Much like you need to drive a car.

Otherwise, he's pretty much nailed what I've been saying for years. Licensing and insurance are reasonable restrictions that still preserve the right to own, and are inclusive of both the "right" and the "responsibility". Across the board ownership bans are not.

I'm a lifelong gun owner, and also live in California.


As a lawyer...I'm all for it. It sounds like the Lawyers' Full Employment Act.

John Minnerath

Whew! The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. When did a Federal "one size fits all" law ever work.
What of Constitutional Rights. Do away with the 2nd Amendment?, where are States Rights?
Individual States and Local jurisdictions already have laws in place to keep firearms out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them.
Because the legal system can't make current laws work you would burden all the sensible and law abiding gun owning citizens with more draconian law and attempt to make more or all of us criminals.

Pirate Laddie

Since the best definition of "gun control" is "The ability to hit what one aims at," I think Deavereaux is pretty much spot on. Also think that the liability insurance issue is interesting -- just as long as you don't have to give a list of the firearms you own. In response to the frequent question, "How many guns do YOU own?" I've found the most politic response to be "Almost enough."


This is all well and good, but it can only happen if conservatives and Republicans take the lead.

Sacred cows have to be slain by the people that worship them.


Re-reading, a lot of this seems to exist in a world where the government has never expanded a program beyond its political scope.

You say there is no reason for me to own a 30 round magazine? I say there is no reason for me to not own one.

Travis Miller

Gary Kleck, Professor of Criminology at Florida State University has written a number of books on the subject of defensive gun use and gun control. His writings address why just about everything in Mr. Deavereaux's comment is a bad idea from a practical standpoint. No matter how good Mr. Devereax's intentions may be, nothing in his post would prevent or reduce gun violence. Kleck's work is considered the gold standard of the field and worth seeking out for those who have an interest in what real world data suggests to be the real cause of gun violence- social issues.

The licensing, ownership transfer and training requirements are effectively gun prohibition for the poor. Even though the commenter mentions this issue, I don't think he properly appreciates how expensive this can get. My state of residence, Massachusetts requires safety training and licensing for all gun owners. It costs around $100 for a safety class and $100 for the license. The license must be renewed every six years. $200 to get started is a steep buy in price for the poor.

Several of the items he puts forward are already on the books. Minors, felons and the insane are already prohibited from owning firearms. Certain aftermarket modification to firearms are illegal.

Criminals get guns irrespective of gun laws. Nearly 90% of all homicides are committed by people with a criminal record, many of them felons who are already prohibited from firearm purchases. The only thing these sorts of laws do is disarm law abiding citizens and force responsible law abiding citizens to make the choice between owning a firearm illegally or protecting themselves against violent criminals who don't care about gun laws at all.

Magazine capacity has nothing to do with the lethality of a gun. Reloading takes all of two seconds with a semi-auto and four or five with a speed loader in a revolver. If law abiding victims aren't armed, what's it matter if the bad guy has 6 or 15?

As a device for killing human beings, a hunting rifle that costs less than $1,000 is just as effective as a "tactical" rifle that costs $10,000. So called "assault" weapons are very rarely used in criminal acts in the US. Gang bangers are not using $10,000 rifle and optics packages (.50 cal mentioned in the post) to bump off the local liquor store. They are using commonly available, stolen handguns that retail for less than $400.

Canada recently shut down it's long gun registration system. Turns out that after ten years and millions of dollars in cost, having a firearm registration system never solved or prevented a single crime.

Nancy K

I live in NC now but for 65 yeaars I lived in California and my gfather, father, brother and my husbands (2) had/have rifles or handguns. They had been in the military and had them for protection or sport, none of them hunted but they enjoyed shooting. I also feel gunowners need to have some type of training, and to understand the dangers if children are around. My grandson when he was very young and had been sheltered, never seeing a gun or watching anything violent on TV, saw a little toy gun and picked it up pointed it and pretended he was shooting. Maybe it is in the genes. A boy and his toys.



Thank you Nancy for the boys and toys routine. Are you going to favor us with the line about genital size and guns as well? How about the inability of women to restrain themselves from shopping, or chocolate and their lack of skill in spatial relations or driving? The men here can talk about that. Nothing more dangerous than a woman driver in a parking lot. Give us a few more, fellows. Nanacy, if you wake up in the middle of the night and there are strange noises downstairs, are you going to go look or will you send the IDF veteran whom you live with? pl


I pretty much agree with the Pelican's Brief but I would suggest that the regulations be universal, federal and state and municipal lines cease to exist in this regard.


lars and Pelican

As a practical matter, how do you intend to deal with "Stare Decisis" in SCOTUS decisions in this matter? I suppose that a new court can emerge that will overturn previous SCOTUS positions, something like what the right has in mind for Rowe vs. Wade once Romney has
the opportunity to appoint a Justice or two. pl


Just out of curiousity, if I Started limiting the First Amendment with rules such as 'these topics are off limits' and ' you must have attended a class on this topic before you can speak publically on it', how popular would it be?

I imagine not too popular. I'd say I was bemused, but liberals seem to enjoy cognitive dissonance, such as wanting a soda tax because of the health costs or some such while declaring "My body my choice!" IRT abortion.

But back to guns. This really isn't as good an idea as some of you are making out. It is, as one poster said, quite cost prohibitive and does nothing to address any real violence issues. I guess we could follow the path of the UK and require people to be 21 to buy knives with points while we are at it?

scott s.

Well, I guess Mr Deavereaux would confiscate all my firearms, except my Ruger Vaquero, Hi-Standard Citation and Winchester 94 carbine because he doesn't like their looks/capacity.


I appreciate that what is proposed is unlikely to happen and may not even be legally possible. That said:

Even if this had NO effect on the crimes-with-firearms rate, I would still like to see some kind of registration/training set up to reduce the danger (to themselves and those around them) from the untrained and thoughtless. (Eg, the Arizona legislator who was showing off the laser sight on her (loaded) handgun by pointing it at people.) After all, we do this for motor vehicles, in part because they also can be deadly.

Paul Deavereaux

pl, not to dodge the bullet (heh heh) but I'm not a lawyer and had to wiki stare decisis. I get the idea though that whatever higher courts have already ruled on lays out the available playing field. Never said it was gonna be easy or even practical. As you mentioned, Supreme Court decisions have been overturned before. Taking the weight of the current court into account, that type of switch is is unlikely for probably a generation.

Might be a better idea to narrow the scope of the argument presented and then count on the intervention of one friendly justice to bend the argument from a specific case brought before the court to a statutory position as Scalia did with Ted Olson & Citizens United.

Paul Deavereaux

Laura, your account of a family camping trip reminds me of a motorcycle trip I took a few years back to French Meadows Reservoir in N Calif. I stopped at the ranger station on the way in to check on campsites and was warned of the danger of gunfire, drunks and rowdy behavior all around the lake. Turns out they had a serious problem with Russian immigrants (!) from Sacramento on gun-buying sprees going camping, shooting up the campsites and anything else in sight. The ranger flat out told me he would NOT go up there if any trouble developed.

Naturally, I had to see it with my own eyes. It was like Mardi Gras with guns. Freedom-loving Russians shooting the bark off every tree they could see and any blue-jay stupid enough to hang around. I'm still surprised they didn't plug me.

Packed up the bike and went up the road to (I kid you not) Hell-Hole Reservoir -- a much safer place.


As far as I know, SCOTUS has not ruled on administrative or geographical limits on gun regulations. The only ruling that I remember is the one regarding DC and their ban on guns that was overturned as unconstitutional.



SCOTUS has ruled that goun ownership is an individual constitutional right and on that beasis overturned the DC city ordinance. jonst is correct that to attempt to enact the Pelican's program would be a bonanza fortrial lawyers. Now that is something that NRA would be willing to spend money on. pl



I didn't realize that this would become an anti-immigrant thing. Why didn't you call the police if you were concerned? pl



"Even if this had NO effect on the crimes-with-firearms rate, I would still like to see some kind of registration/training set up to reduce the danger (to themselves and those around them) from the untrained and thoughtless." I particularly like the part about how you don't care if gun control would reduce crime rates. Thank you mommy. pl



PD will be one of the few here who knows what those firearms are. The only guns of miine that he would get are in .22 LR. That .270 would be safe at home. pl

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