Legal guns to criminal’s hands: Is it uncontrollable?

One of the arguments that Gun Rights Apologists (GRAs) make is that guns will always fall into the hands of criminals no matter what you do, so you might as well not bother with rules or laws or procedures that limit the sale, purchase, distribution or ownership of any kind of firearms. This is, of course, a foundation-less assertion and a rather self-serving one at that. There are two reasons why it is wrong. The first and most obvious is that even if there is a flow of guns from legal to illegal ownership, making that process illegal does send a message, secure funding, and keep the process on the radar screen for law makers and law enforcers; The difficulty of enforcing a law can certainly be taken into account when deciding whether or not to bother with the law, but only after it has been designated as unimportant or insignificant on other grounds. Laws about victimless crimes that are impossible to enforce are probably not worth enacting or expending much energy on. Laws about victim-rich crimes, on the other hand, should not be abrogated just because enforcing them is hard.

But there is a second reason that the argument that “guns will fall into the hands of criminals anyway so don’t bother” is wrong: The flow of guns from legal ownership to illegal possession can be affected by the implementation of statue, according to a recent study.

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research finds that the number of guns that were subsequently linked to crime sold by Badger Guns & Ammo, a Milwaukee-area gun shop, increased dramatically after Congress adopted measures likely to reduce the risks gun dealers face if they divert guns to criminals. The study is the first to examine the impact of these amendments on the diversion of guns to criminals and was recently published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Urban Health.

ResearchBlogging.orgThe Tiahrt amendments were a 2003 Republican sponsored set of changes to existing statute to make it difficult to answer a question we are often trying to answer on this blog: When a crime involving a firearm happens, where did the gun come from? The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) often knows this; Investigations of crime often lead to knowledge of which legal gun shop or gun owner let the guns slip into the hands of criminals (often with, it would appear, a financial gain). The Tiahrt amendments made it illegal for the ATF to release this information, makes access to this information via other means difficult, prohibits the ATF from requiring a physical inventory from gun dealers as part of their inspection, and requires that the FBI destroy background check information immediately after the purchase of a gun. In other words, it pretty much guts some of the most important attempts to stop the flow of guns from legal to illegal hands.

The present study looks at a particualr case with startling results.

In 1999 … Badger Guns & Ammo led the nation’s gun dealers with the most gun sales later linked to crime gun traces. Shortly after [that became widely known] the gun shop’s owner announced that the store would no longer sell … “junk guns” … that are commonly linked to crime.

Data from the new Johns Hopkins study indicate that the gun dealer apparently adhered to that policy for approximately 14 months, a period in which the number of guns sold by Badger Guns & Ammo and diverted to criminals declined by 66 percent. Reductions were observed for junk guns as well as other types of guns sold by Badger. After the Tiahrt amendments went into effect, guns diverted to criminals soon after being sold by Badger increased by 203 percent. The increase in the flow of guns from Badger to criminals following the adoption of the Tiahrt amendments, however, was not limited to junk guns. The study found no Tiahrt amendment-related increase in the number of guns sold by all other gun dealers that were diverted to criminals.

Recent legislation has strengthened the effects of the Tiahrt amendments.

The abstract from the paper:

The practices of licensed gun dealers can threaten the safety of urban residents by facilitating the diversion of guns to criminals. In 2003, changes to federal law shielded gun dealers from the release of gun trace data and provided other protections to gun dealers. The 14-month period during which the dealer did not sell junk guns was associated with a 68% reduction in the diversion of guns to criminals within a year of sale by the dealer and a 43% increase in guns diverted to criminals following sales by other dealers. The laws were associated with a 203% increase in the number of guns diverted to criminals within a year of sale by the gun store, which was the focus of this study. Policies which affect gun dealer accountability appeared to influence the diversion of guns to criminals.

Webster, D., Vernick, J., Bulzacchelli, M., & Vittes, K. (2012). Temporal Association between Federal Gun Laws and the Diversion of Guns to Criminals in Milwaukee Journal of Urban Health DOI: 10.1007/s11524-011-9639-5

Press release and source of blockquotes above is here.

More posts on this topic are here and here.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Legal guns to criminal’s hands: Is it uncontrollable?

  1. Jesse says:

    You’re aware that the GRAs will be here soon, saying that this doesn’t demonstrate anything but the anti-gun bias of the research.

    Here’s my issue: Concealed Carry. There is no reason I can think of to carry a concealed weapon unless you want to get the drop on someone.

    And why would you want to do that? To hurt someone else.

    If you want to carry a gun, go right ahead. But I want to see it so I know to avoid you. Further, if carrying a gun is meant to be a personal safety measure, then showing it will deter all but the most hopelessly stupid psychopaths. “Hey, I have three choices of people to mug, so I will go after the guy carrying the holster with the gun in it!” Yeah, that makes sense.

    “But then the criminals will go after people who don’t have guns.” But they do that now anyway, right?

    Or is the real issue that you want to carry a concealed weapon because you’re just hoping for the chance to go all Charles Bronson on someone? Like I said, you want to carry? Great. But I want to see it. Be loud and proud that you own a gun and can, and will, use it. Something tells me that will crimp the social calendar a bit.

    This leaves aside the very real problem with guns and alcohol. Can you imagine a bar with everyone armed? Booze makes you stupid. And reckless. The death rate would be sky high. Combine alcohol, young men and guns, and viola: dead guy. Odds are someone he knows will be the one who killed him, who will be saying “I didn’t mean for the gun to go off I was just trying to scare him.”

  2. Greg Laden says:

    It might be OK if people were just required to wear a special hat while they were carrying the gun and you couldn’t lie.

  3. itzac says:

    This is interesting. Once Badger couldn’t be shamed for selling guns to criminals, it seems they went right back to doing it. Imagine what could happen if a serious attempt was made at regulating the sale of guns and harmonizing gun laws across states. I think one of the reasons we see less gun crime in Canada is that it falls under federal jurisdiction.

  4. Dale says:

    Nice to see there are a couple of Americans with some common sense about the gun issue. I’ve been arguing this online since I moved here from Canada in 98. But the NRA has politicians running scared so nothing will change and this will always be the most violent and dangerous first world country there is.

  5. Paul Hunter says:

    When I’m losing an argument a great tactic is to go on the offensive and label for my opposition with a description makes them look dumb, so I’m calling them “Gun Nuts”?
    Oh, wait I read their points most are about civil rights and don’t sound to nutty.
    Well my superior knowledge shows they’re still wrong, so I’m going to take the High Ground and call the opposition “Gun Rights Apologists”. That is obviously accurate and has wonderful religious undertones.

    Great way to start an argument Greg, you really took the high ground.

  6. Mu says:

    This research proves conclusively that people who cannot legally buy guns get them at the easiest source, and if that source makes it more difficult, they buy at alternate sources, and return to the original source once the restrictions are lifted. It does not seem to state, at least in the non-paywall section, that the measure actually prevented anyone from getting their hand on a gun if they so desired.
    With other word, the article contradicts your conclusion that federal law can keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

  7. Greg Laden says:

    Paul, this post contains or refers to data, research findings and solid arguments about how to stop or slow the flow of guns from certain legal points of position to criminals. Your argument against what is stated here is to claim that i’m making an argument based on a phrase.

    Does it matter to you at all that your credibility just vanished into thin air? Does it matter to you that your comment identifies you as:

    a) A gun nut

    b) A gun rights apologist

    c) all of the above?

    (you pick)

    Jeesh.

  8. Greg Laden says:

    This research proves conclusively that people who cannot legally buy guns get them at the easiest source, and if that source makes it more difficult, they buy at alternate sources,

    Which part of the research says that? You are making that up in your own head.

  9. Drivebyposter says:

    Greg: you’re going to be AWFULLY SORRY that you don’t bend to the will of tone trolls when a patriotic hero patriot with a conceal carry license heroically saves your ass from a crazed gunman/dinosaur in a grocery store in a very heroic and patriotic manner! IT HAPPENS DAILY@
    /snark

    Paul:
    Make a fucking argument worth reading or go the fuck elsewhere.

  10. KathyO says:

    I don’t get the argument that you might as well not legislate against criminals having guns because they’re going to get their hands on them anyway. Should we get rid of laws against burglary? Theft is going to happen anyway, right? How about murder and rape? In fact, I guess there’s no point in having any laws at all, since someone is bound to break them.

    Having a law doesn’t magically stop the illegal activity. But it means that there are now consequences for doing that activity.

  11. SundogA says:

    This is an eminently supportable position. Require a licence to own a gun, require that anyone you sell it to does also, and that the sale is registered with the appropriate authority (probably the local police). Require the reporting of any stolen gun be conducted within 24 hours of the discovery of the theft. Then, enforce the heck out of those laws.
    That should reduce the transfer of firearms to illegal hands. It won’t prevent it (aside from anything else, it’s eminently possible to MAKE a handgun given a lathe and some metalworking tools) but it should reduce it.

  12. Dunc says:

    It might be OK if people were just required to wear a special hat while they were carrying the gun and you couldn’t lie.

    I’ve often thought that gun carry should have the same sort of requirements as driving a car – both the person and the thing should be registered, the person must be appropriately trained and insured against damage to other parties, and they should display some prominent means of identification such as a license plate. So the special hat needs to have a license number printed on it that you can read from at least 50 feet away…

  13. Charlie Tall says:

    I’m commenting here because Greg thinks I am afraid of you all and therefore chose another blog. I don’t know why he would think that; most of the comments here are rather short on logic: certainly nothing to fear.

    Greg Laden says:

    It might be OK if people were just required to wear a special hat while they were carrying the gun and you couldn’t lie.

    Why not wear a special hat if you are not carrying a gun? But now that I think about it, that wouldn’t make any difference. If all those carrying concealed are wearing Greg’s special hat, all you unarmed guys are going to be pretty obvious. Heh, heh.

    Many of the gun grabbing assholes (GGA) commenting here misread the original post. The report (according to Greg) does not state that Badger sold to criminals. It states that gun sold by Badger were later diverted to criminals.

    That’s an entirely different thing.

    The report’s conclusion, as quoted by Greg, was, “Policies which affect gun dealer accountability appeared to influence the diversion of guns to criminals.”

    The evidence given in the OP is that the types and price levels of guns sold appear to influence the diversion of guns to criminals.

    That’s an entirely different thing.

    Cheap guns appeal to certain categories of people: those too poor to purchase better makes, those who don’t know the difference, and those intending to resell to others “off the books.” The third category, called strawman purchasers, are engaging in an illegal activity.

    Strawman purchasers choose cheap guns because they can realize maximum profit. Example: A Jimenez .25 semiauto pistol sells for about $150 new. It can be resold on the street for over $300, no questions asked. However, a new Glock 17 Gen 4 has an MSRP of $591, yet it will only bring $750 on the street.

    Do the math. The cheap gun gives the strawman a 100% profit; the Glock yields only 28% profit.

    This proposition is supported by the report which also states, “The 14-month period during which the dealer did not sell junk guns was associated with a 68% reduction in the diversion of guns to criminals within a year of sale by the dealer and a 43% increase in guns diverted to criminals following sales by other dealers.”

    In other words, the illegal resellers compensated by going elsewhere for their cheap guns.

    Note that the Tiahrt amendments had nothing to do with types of guns. Also note that no effort was made to determine if these resellers switched to other types.

    The report is flawed because it relies solely on the number of guns diverted to criminal use and does not consider the total number of guns sold during the period or the identities of the purchasers. It would be far more meaningful if it quantified the percentage of Badger sales in each gun category that were diverted to criminals.

    It is necessary to eliminate other causes before assuming an effect, and the report here does not do that.

    By the way, multiple handgun purchases must be reported to the BATFE by the dealer no later than the end of the business day. These reports identify the buyer and all the handguns purchased. This information is available to BATFE and other Federal agents. However, prosecution of these unlicensed resellers is virtually nonexistent.

    Which only goes to discredit the law, not prove its efficacy.

    The information cited in the report could only have come from BATFE records of gun sales. I.e., the National Tracing Center. That in itself proves that the Tiarht Amendment had no effect on the avilability of the data for law enforcement purposes, and contradicts the garbage Greg is handing out.

    Greg’s OP states, “In 1999 … Badger Guns & Ammo led the nation’s gun dealers with the most gun sales later linked to crime gun traces.” I would pose these questions:
    How many guns did Badger sell, and what was Badger’s rank nationwide?
    What percentage of guns taken by Milwaukee PD and other area LEOs are submitted for trace, and what is the national average for traces?
    What were the percentages of diversion to criminals by gun type over the period of the report?
    Were sales made by dealers outside the Milwaukee area considered?

    As you can clearly see, there are so many problems with this so called study that it deserves little consideration and no credibility.

  14. Greg Laden says:

    This proposition is supported by the report which also states, “The 14-month period during which the dealer did not sell junk guns was associated with a 68% reduction in the diversion of guns to criminals within a year of sale by the dealer and a 43% increase in guns diverted to criminals following sales by other dealers.”

    In other words, the illegal resellers compensated by going elsewhere for their cheap guns.

    No. The finding is that holding gun dealers accountable can reduce the flow of guns to criminals. You can’t rewrite that conclusion by willfully misunderstanding it.

  15. Charlie Tall says:

    Greg wrote
    The finding is that holding gun dealers accountable can reduce the flow of guns to criminals. You can’t rewrite that conclusion by willfully misunderstanding it.

    Sorry, Greg, but it plainly states that:

    1) the changed cause was the voluntary cessation of sales of inexpensive guns by a single dealer, and

    2) the changed effect was the movement of illegal transfers from the sales of the original dealer to the sales of other dealers.

    There was no change in regulation. I.e., no change in accountablity. No change in the diversion of legal to illegal. In fact, the overall flow of guns probably increased since the illegal resellers took 68% from one dealer and moved 43% to several other dealers.

    You are the one that is willfully misinterpreting the results of this report. Not only that, you are also willfully ignoring the flaws in the report, just as you ignored most of my documented facts and comments in the other blog.

    You are typical of GGAs everywhere: you believe what you want despite all evidence to the contrary, and then attempt to force your misconceptions and warped view of reality on others.

    Conclusions: Since 1968, local, state, and federal gun control laws have increased by several orders of magnitude. Nearly every option has been tried: registration, licensing gun owners and buyers, banning guns, banning accessories, regulating dealers, limiting gun purchases by honest citizens, stigmatizing gun owners, banning certain types of ammunition, increasing fees and taxes on gun-related transactions.

    The result has been no decrease in crime or violence traceable to any of these laws.

    Indeed, it can be statistically demonstrated that there is an inverse relationship between gun control laws and violent crime. Instead of decreasing crime, gun control laws tend to be followed by an increase in violence. Instead of increasing crime, relaxed gun control laws yield a decrease in all forms of violence.

    Society has spent literally billions of dollars on gun control and received no measureable decrease in violence, no return on the investment.

    A vast, expensive, and oppressive Federal bureaucrasy has been created which produces nothing but oppression.

    Thousands of people have been injured or killed because these laws disarmed them and thus took away their last chance of survival, while self-righteous gun grabbing assholes like you preached garbage like what you wrote above, and then sat back and watched others suffer because of your lies.

    You and the other GGAs are responsible for these tragedies, yet you continue to espouse policies that not only don’t work, but actually lead to results exactly the opposite of their stated goals.

    One indication of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over while expecting a different result every time.

    That, Greg, describes you to a T.

  16. Greg Laden says:

    Charlie, the result shows that when gun dealers are held more accountable for where their guns end up, their behavior changes and fewer guns transfer from them into critical hands.

    It argues strongly for more regulation.

  17. Charlie Tall says:

    Greg Laden says
    Charlie, the result shows that when gun dealers are held more accountable for where their guns end up, their behavior changes and fewer guns transfer from them into critical hands.

    It argues strongly for more regulation.

    You have a very active imagination, Greg.

    Let me ask you this. If a gun dealer follows all the laws, keeps all the required records, and conducts a Federal (FBI) background check (i.a.w. Brady Bill) on a buyer, would you hold him responsible if that gun was subsequently diverted to criminal purposes?

    Simple question. No hypothetical conditions of the kind you so often impose. No tricks. What’s your answer? Yes or no?

  18. Greg Laden says:

    Let me ask you this. If a gun dealer follows all the laws, keeps all the required records, and conducts a Federal (FBI) background check (i.a.w. Brady Bill) on a buyer, would you hold him responsible if that gun was subsequently diverted to criminal purposes?

    No, of course not.

  19. Charlie Tall says:

    … would you hold [the dealer] responsible if that gun was subsequently diverted to criminal purposes?

    Reply by Greg:
    No, of course not.

    So what more regulation would you suggest?

    For your information, the current background check references eight different databases: 1&2) Federal and State criminal convictions, 3&4)arrests, 5&6)indictments, 7)terrorist watch list, 8)mental adjudication lists, including any and all military PTSD diagnoses. In several states, the state and federal stolen/missing firearms lists are also referenced for the firearm being transferred.

    If a person has a juvie arrest/indictment/conviction for possession of marijuana, he will be denied, even after he reaches his majority. Ditto for an adult. Ditto assault. Ditto any other felony. Ditto any misdemeanor for domestic violence. Ditto any restraining or protection order. Ditto multiple DUI offenses. Ditto less-than-honorable discharge from the military. Ditto any offense for which the sentence could be one year or more regardless of the actual sentence.

    In North Carolina, an order of protection is automatically issued against the male spouse in every divorce case effective until the divorce is final.

    Federal law requires all local and state law enforcement agencies to notify the NCIC within 24 hours of any disqualifying event: i.e. arrest, indictment, conviction, etc.

    Federal law requires that FFLs report any multiple purchases of handguns (2 or more within five business days) to the BATFE National Tracing Center by the end of the business day.

    Federal Firearms Licensees are also required to deny a transfer to any individual they even suspect of any illegal activity including strawman purchasing. FFLs have been accused of civil rights violations and subsequently sued for refusing to sell to minority buyers despite this regulation. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives refused to testify in any of these suits.)

    All of these regulations are in effect now, and have been for the last fifteen years or so.

    So, once again, what more would your suggest and how do you think it would affect crime?

  20. Charlie Tall says:

    Ditto a warrant for unpaid parking tickets, which is a sure sign of criminal sociopath.

  21. Greg Laden says:

    So what more regulation would you suggest?

    I believe there are no regulations at the moment that ave anything to do with how guns are secured. I would like to see that. I would like cities to have the option of being gun-free zones (or having more limitations on what guns can owned there) with corresponding locker systems for people to keep their sports guns. People who plan to overthrow the government with “second amendment solutions” can move to gun-friendly cities or get a place in the country. I’d like to see guns treated like toasters, or cars, or some other dangerous machinery; Accidents are only a small proportion of gun deaths, but they are avoidable with better training (required, regulated) and with safer guns (or are all those guns that went off by accident really homicides?)

    I would like to see all large capacity gear banned, and more restrictions otherwise on what kind of gun can be owned, registration and tagging of ammo.

    I would like to see a better job done than we are doing now on keeping guns out of the hands of people who we know are more likely to use them inappropriately.

    Regarding sales of guns, I’d like to see us follow the obvious recommendations that would stem from the report cited here.

    Your list of regulations suffers from lack of documentation, though I know some of those things are true. But are they really in effect, really enforced? Very importantly, state by state differences in rules obviate many of these things especially in certain areas. Gun regulation should be more federalized (though with urban home-rule).

    You keep saying that we have lots of rules, and you keep saying that the rules haven’t worked. Try putting two and two together. I promise you that everyone reading your comments knows you are full of it. For instance, the famous “assault weapon ban” was (relatively) ineffective because it didn’t ban very many assault weapons (yes, I’m sure you can now produce a long-looking list of what was banned, but that would not be the point). The ban was too limited.

    Have a look at how they do this in the UK. That would be a good place to start, but mix in the German rules about storage of weapons.

  22. Charlie Tall says:

    Greg, Thanks for your reply. It is quite impressive in that you have admitted your ignorance in most areas of gun control. Read on.

    Posted by Greg
    I believe there are no regulations at the moment that have anything to do with how guns are secured. I would like to see that.

    Actually, there are. Federally, there is the Youth Handgun Act which requires FFL dealers to furnish child-safety locks with every handgun sold. There are others.

    I would like cities to have the option of being gun-free zones (or having more limitations on what guns can owned there) with corresponding locker systems for people to keep their sports guns.

    Gun-free zones may also and validly be described as victim disarmament zones. New York City has been a gun-free zone since the passage of the Sullivan Act in May, 1911. It has been a marked failure.

    Locker systems? Now what would that accomplish? Do you imagine that sports guns are factors in many crimes? How much of my money are you willing to spend on hare-brained ideas such as that?

    People who plan to overthrow the government with “second amendment solutions” can move to gun-friendly cities or get a place in the country.

    Oh, Greg, can’t you resist the histrionics just once? How about you and all the other GGAs move to gun-hostiles venues like California, Illinois, New York and Chicago?

    Why is it that GGAs try to force their beliefs on everyone else? Hell, Greg, gun owners don’t try to force you to own or carry a firearm.

    It’s just totally unrealistic to suggest that an American citizen should have to move to another state in order to exercise a natural right, especially one that is guaranteed by the Constitution.

    I’d like to see guns treated like toasters, or cars, or some other dangerous machinery;

    I’m not sure I follow you here. Firearms must go through extensive testing before they can be sold to the public. Each and every firearm is proof-tested before leaving the factory. Firearms manufacturers, like automobile manufacturers, track their products by serial number, and conduct recalls just like auto companies.

    Accidents are only a small proportion of gun deaths, but they are avoidable with better training (required, regulated) and with safer guns (or are all those guns that went off by accident really homicides?)

    Yes, indeed, accidents are only a small proportion of gun deaths, and they are avoidable.

    All accidents are avoidable: auto accidents, chainsaw accidents, cooking accidents, falls, drownings, electrocutions, and firearms accidents. Of the examples I just gave, firearms accidents are the smallest number.

    In 1999, there were 824 unintentional (accidental) shootings; that is less than 3% of the total gun deaths. Only 158 of those involved juveniles. Accidental shootings have been decreasing in number since 1993. Training is already required before an individual can secure either a hunting license (in all states) or a concealed carry permit (in all but one state).

    Finally, since 1994, it has been a federal offense for any nonlicensed person to transfer a handgun to anyone under 18-years-of-age. It has also been illegal for anyone under the under 18 years-of-age to possess a handgun.

    In most states, the wildlife resources agency, or whichever governmental organization is responsible for hunting licenses, also oversees hunter safety training.

    The Boy Scouts also conduct firearms training. Many schools conduct firearms training. The NRA conducts firearms training. There are several hundred commercial firearms training businesses in the US.

    The National Rifle Association initiated a child safety program in 1988; entitled the Eddie Eagle Program, it is aimed at children considered too young to safely handle firearms. It has probably been the single most significant factor in the reduction of gun accidents involving juveniles.

    Vermont permits her citizens to buy a gun and carry it concealed without any special license or training. There, if a resident meets the Federal requirements for purchasing a firearm, he also meets requirements for any legitimate use of that firearm. By the way, Vermont boasts one of the lowest violent crime rates in the country, yet Vermont also adjoins Massachusetts which has one of the highest crime rates. Go figure.

    Curiously, none of the anti-gun, pro-gun-control organizations conducts or even supports any firearms safety programs. Lacking sincerity, perhaps?

    I would like to see all large capacity gear banned, and more restrictions otherwise on what kind of gun can be owned, registration and tagging of ammo.

    High-capacity magazines were banned once. The ban accomplished nothing. Therefore, it’s obviously a waste of time, money, and effort to try again. Let’s move on, huh?

    Registration of ammunition was tried once under the 1968 Gun Control Act. It didn’t work. Let’s move on, huh?

    Banning of certain types of firearms has been tried before, and is in effect in a couple of states today. It doesn’t work. Let’s move on, huh?

    Tagging ammo would simply price it beyond the reach of most people. Chemical tags in explosives have been ineffective; why would anyone think that tagging ammo would be any different?

    I would like to see a better job done than we are doing now on keeping guns out of the hands of people who we know are more likely to use them inappropriately.

    So would I. So far, none of your ideas would accomplish that.

    Your list of regulations suffers from lack of documentation, though I know some of those things are true.

    Greg, the Gun Control Act is available on the Internet. See http://www.atf.gov

    You will also find a summary of state laws and ordinances there.

    I expect you to read thoses documents, the ones you have asked for, and familiarize yourself with their provisions. There will be a test.

    But are they really in effect, really enforced?

    They are selectively enforced at the pleasure of the various government bureaucracies (i.e., the lawyers and politicians). More regulation will only result in more selectivity, a.k.a. more inequity, more discrimination, more inequality, more abuse, more oppression. Since you already hate all those things, you should automatically oppose any more regulation.

    Very importantly, state by state differences in rules obviate many of these things especially in certain areas.

    No, they don’t. State laws universally increase or augment gun control. It’s against Federal law for a state to “obviate” a Federal regulation. That’s known as nullification, and it’s not tolerated by the Federal government. I am surprised you are not aware of something that basic.

    Gun regulation should be more federalized (though with urban home-rule).

    Well, that’s your unsupported judgement. I believe most of the information I’ve furnished proves the impracticality of your opinions.

    You keep saying that we have lots of rules, and you keep saying that the rules haven’t worked. Try putting two and two together.

    I once bought a knife and scissor sharpening machine. Like your suggestions, it was touted as being the solution to all my problems. It didn’t work. The salesman who sold it to me claimed it would do everything, but it still didn’t work.

    I did not go back and buy two more of the damned things.

    Greg, try a little common sense.

    If you try something and it doesn’t work, more of it is only going to be a bigger failure.

    I promise you that everyone reading your comments knows you are full of it.

    Hell, Greg, most of what you think you know is nonsense, incorrect, or just plain lies. You haven’t supplied a single datum; your entire argument is based on supposition, emotion, and ignorance, yet you have the audacity to criticize my documentation. It’s obvious which one of us is full of it.

    For instance, the famous “assault weapon ban” was (relatively) ineffective because it didn’t ban very many assault weapons (yes, I’m sure you can now produce a long-looking list of what was banned, but that would not be the point). The ban was too limited.

    The ban had no effect on crime. None. Zip. It was a bust. Ditto the magazine ban. Those laws were not relatively ineffective, they were complete and utter failures, TOTALLY ineffective.

    Greg, when you find yourself in a hole, the way out is not to be found by digging deeper.

    Frankly, I doubt if you could name a single gun that you think should be added to the ban. You just “feel” that the ban was too limited and “think” it should be expanded.

    What does long-looking mean?

    Have a look at how they do this in the UK. That would be a good place to start, but mix in the German rules about storage of weapons.

    In case you haven’t noticed, neither the German nor the British governments are based on the Constitution of the United States.

    German laws? You really don’t know, do you? Unbelievable that you give the appearance of making learned comments and are really so ignorant!

    The German laws were nearly as liberal as ours until they reunited with East Germany. Their current laws are based on fears that the Communist Germans would try to stage a takeover ala the Communist Revolution in Hamburg in 1923. All of the Bundestag debates around that time are available on the Web.

    German hunting laws and regulations are based on the simple fact that there isn’t that much land available where the average German can go to hunt, so they limit the number of hunting licenses by upping the requirements.

    Greg, I am sure that there are some subjects about which you are well informed, even expert. Guns and gun control are not members of that group.

  23. Greg Laden says:

    The Youth Handgun Act does not require locks with ever handgun sold. There is no federal regulation regarding gun safes, etc.

    I’m not sure I follow you here. Firearms must go through extensive testing before they can be sold to the public

    Which regulations under consumer protection law do you refer to here?

    All accidents are avoidable: auto accidents, chainsaw accidents, cooking accidents, falls, drownings, electrocutions, and firearms accidents. Of the examples I just gave, firearms accidents are the smallest number.

    I’m not sure that all accidents are avoidable, but I’m pretty darn sure that auto and chainsaw accidents were the subject of a different post, not this one.

    In 1999, there were 824 unintentional (accidental) shootings; that is less than 3% of the total gun deaths.

    And we can increase the percentage of accidents by decreeing the murder rate. Charlie, you are insulting the people who read this blog.

    High-capacity magazines were banned once. The ban accomplished nothing. Therefore, it’s obviously a waste of time, money, and effort to try again. Let’s move on, huh? … Let’s move on, huh?…

    I’m sure you would very much like to move on from any discussion of banning your toys.

    I’m pretty sure you don’t know anything about tagging because what you are saying about it is entirely wrong.

    …. and so on and so fort.

  24. Charlie Tall says:

    Posted by Greg:
    The Youth Handgun Act does not require locks with ever handgun sold.

    You’re right, I was wrong. It is the Child Safety Lock Act which requires locks. Locks are now also furnished with long guns. I cited the wrong law, and I stand corrected.

    There is no federal regulation regarding gun safes, etc.

    So? Greg, a lot of people could not afford to have a gun if some idiotic law forced them to buy a safe, too. And a gun locked in a safe would be of little use for self-defense. Try to be a little realistic, please.

    But you’re wrong about the safe, too. The Child Lock Act provides for either a secure storage device (a.k.a. safe) or a lock.

    I’m not sure that all accidents are avoidable,

    You’re not sure? You got any idea what an accident is? Like in this case, if it ain’t an accident it’s a crime? Figured that out yet, Greg?

    …but I’m pretty darn sure that auto and chainsaw accidents were the subject of a different post, not this one.

    Yeah, so?

    And we can increase the percentage of accidents by decreeing the murder rate.

    Say what? Typo?

    Charlie, you are insulting the people who read this blog.

    By expecting them to think? To learn the facts? I certainly hope not.

    I’m pretty sure you don’t know anything about tagging because what you are saying about it is entirely wrong.

    I’d really like to hear the facts about tagging from you.

    Greg, asserting that I am wrong and demonstrating my error are two different things. So far, you’ve failed at the second every single time. Well, you got me on the Youth Handgun Act. But every other time you goofed.

    However, consistency is good. Wrong (most) every time. At least it’s something to count on.

    By the way, would you like to buy my knife sharpener? I’ll make you a real good price.

  25. Greg Laden says:

    Charlie, how many guns do you own again? You really shouldn’t be allowed to own any.

  26. Charlie Tall says:

    Greg Laden says:
    January 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm
    Charlie, how many guns do you own again? You really shouldn’t be allowed to own any.

    Dozens.

    And some of them are absolutely stunning examples of the gunsmith’s art.

    For example, a beautiful Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .243 Win with Grade IV wood, highly polished metal, and a Leupold telescopic sight, manufactured in 1982. I have another Model 70 Featherweight in .300 WSM, similarly equipped, but this one manufactured in 2008.

    For upland shooting there’s the handy little Sabatti over-under in 20 gauge, 3-inch. It has single, selective trigger, high-grade European walnut stock, scroll engraving, automatic extractor-ejectors, full-length vent rib, full and modified chokes, and weighs only 5 lbs-12 oz. It is a pleasure to carry in the field, quick to the shoulder, and a positive joy to shoot. I’ve used it for trap and skeet as well as hunting.

    I have another Sabatti in 12 gauge that is very similar to the 20, but weighs about a pound more.

    Then there’s the Remington 700 Varminter in 22-250. It has a heavy-profile barrel, 25x benchrest ‘scope, and a retrofitted Choate stock. This little rifle will put three rounds of Sierra HPBT benchrest bullets into a group the size of a quarter at 300 yards on a still day.

    Even you would appreciate my Steyr Mountain rifle in 30-06 with its polished and spiraled, hammer-forged barrel, highly-figured European walnut stock with hand checkering and oil finish, and a high-gloss Leupold VX-L 4.5-12x50mm ‘scope. Although the barrel has a lightweight profile, this rifle will put my 165-grain handloads into a half-inch at 100 yards every time.

    Then there’s my little CZ model 455 Mannlicher-stocked .22 bolt action rifle. It, too, mounts a Leupold ‘scope, has up-graded walnut, polished blue metal, and shoots a cloverleaf group at 100 yards with match ammo.

    But I think my favorite is the Remington Model 798 mauser-action bolt rifle in .458 Winchester Magnum. It has the best regular production walnut available in a reinforced stock, mounts a Leupold ‘scope in Leupold quick-release scope mounts to allow use of the iron sights if the ‘scope is damaged. Sighted-in at only 50 yards, this rifle is intended for dangerous game. Although I’ve never hunted with it, I take great satisfaction in consistently hitting a 6″ iron silhouette at 100 yards without flinching.

    Oh, I almost forgot my matched pair of Armalite AR-180 rifles in 5.56x45mm NATO, both produced by Sterling in England circa 1975. They are identically mounted with Leupold AR ‘scopes on original Armalite mounts. These rifles are the semiauto version of Eugene Stoner’s M-18, the successor to the M-16. I had the pleasure and privelege of spending several days with Mr. Stoner in 1969 when he visited Aberdeen Proving Ground. At that time I was assigned to the BRL, Ballistics Research Laboratory, and Stoner was there to sell his new rifle to the Army.

    I am particularly proud of my Savage Model 24 .22/.410 over-under combination gun given to me at Christmas following my sixth birthday. I fondly remember carrying my little gun to the corner to catch a bus that would take me out to my great-aunt’s farm the summer before my eighth birthday. I still use that little gun to pop the odd garden-raiding rabbit.

    I’ve got several neat handguns, too. Would you like to hear about them?

    Greg, you are getting too predictable. When confronted with rational discourse, proven data, and cold logic, you respond most often now with unsupported assertions and ad hominem attacks.

    But after all, it is your blog, and if you wish to shutout opposition, that’s your prerogative. It’s just not the most forthright action, particularly for a scholar who is assumed to be skilled in academic disputation.

  27. Lyle Lotti says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!