Newsweek Hearts “Gun-safety advocates”

“Gun grabbers” is an inflammatory name for gun control advocates. After all, these firearms-focused folk don’t want to prise guns from [the cold, dead fingers of] Americans lawfully exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms. No, they want to change the laws so that most Americans can’t get their hands on guns in the first place. Or if they can, these not-gun grabbers want to make sure that privately owned guns aren’t too dangerous; from the way the weapons fire bullets (never automatically) to the amount of bullets they can fire without reloading (no more than 10). And they’d like them registered with the government, for a little look-see whenever they’re sold. As a certain non-presidential presidential hopeful likes to say, how’s that workin’ out for ya? Not good. You know gun control is on the ropes when Newsweek has to invent a new name for their poster children . . .

Gun-safety advocates would argue that Obama has a moral duty to stanch the bleeding, and that may be true. But what’s particularly interesting right now isn’t the moral equation. It’s the practical one. Look beyond the hoary Washington logic, and it’s clear that the present moment may be peculiar enough, and the forces at work potent enough, to produce real movement on gun safety—provided Obama proceeds carefully.

That means no outlawing specific guns. No relitigating the Second Amendment. And no frantic liberal overreach. Just two precautions that a majority of voters favor, according to a new NEWSWEEK-DAILY BEAST Poll: background checks for every gun buyer (which 86 percent of respondents support) and a revival of the recently lapsed ban on the kind of high-capacity clips that Loughner used in Arizona (which 51 percent support). If Obama came out in favor of these modest reforms, he’d have libertarians (such as the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy), Republicans (Rep. Peter King), independents (Bloomberg), and Democrats (Sen. Frank Lautenberg) on his side. Even Dick Cheney, a longtime hunter and NRA supporter, now admits that “maybe it’s appropriate to reestablish” limits on “the size of the magazine that you can buy to go with semiautomatic weapons.”

The diversity of this group reflects a simple truth: that the vast majority of us have more in common with [anti-gun filmmaker and Virginia Tech survivor] Goddard than with the two-dimensional culture warriors—the latte-sipping elites, the paranoid survivalists—who have dominated the debate for decades.

We respect guns, gun owners, and the Second Amendment, and yet we want gun violence to be as rare as possible. We know that guns can contribute to a community’s safety, and yet we acknowledge that none of the 18 mass shootings since May 2007 was stopped by a legal-handgun carrier.

If Obama recognizes this reality, and takes action, it’s possible to imagine us having a grown-up conversation about guns for the first time in almost 20 years.

Wow. That is—sorry “was” one long paragraph (I broke it up to save TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia from wandering mouse click syndrome.) When did Newsweek become so unprofitable that the editor couldn’t afford to hit the return key?

Anyway, don’t you just love being called a two-dimensional cultural warrior, and infantile with it? Me neither. But there are compensations for enduring this kind of abuse: humor. The best kind: unintentional humor. Check this:

Back at the Lyric Theatre, Goddard was doing his part. Watching his documentary, it was impossible to ignore how little we’re doing to stop dangerous people from buying deadly weapons. Of the dozens of private sellers Goddard and his colleagues encountered at gun shows, not one ran a background check before selling them firearms, Goddard says. Vendors in Maine were the toughest: they requested a local ID. “Minnesota has a system where you can get a permit to buy a gun that proves you can pass a background check, and if you don’t have that, some people won’t sell to you,” he says. “But you can just walk to the next table and buy one there without it.” In Texas, Ohio, and Virginia, Goddard easily bought semiautomatics, often without bothering to show ID. “I bought AK-47s, TEC-9s, a Mach 11, a slew of handguns,” he says. “We could have bought books that tell you how to convert a semiautomatic to a fully automatic and how to make a homemade silencer. There were .50-caliber sniper rifles being sold to the general public almost everywhere we went.” In fact, the only time Goddard, who now works for the Brady Campaign, came under close scrutiny was when he delivered his weapons to the police. “I had to show my ID and answer all kinds of questions,” he says. “None of which were asked at the point of sale.”

As Living for 32 drew to a close and the lights in the Lyric came up, one student asked Goddard what kind of action Congress had taken since Tucson. Not much, he said. Then he smiled ruefully. “You’d think they would realize that all American citizens want to be sure that weapons are not sold to people who shouldn’t get them.”

And I know just where to start.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

22 Responses to Newsweek Hearts “Gun-safety advocates”

  1. avatarTTACer says:

    From Wikipedia:

    The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, for a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

  2. avatarJeff O. says:

    I’m all for gun-saftey:

    1.All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
    4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.

    And done.

    Oh actually,
    5. Don’t sell guns to whackos & crooks.

    Now can I have a machine gun?

  3. avatarChristopher says:

    The interesting thing is that if he bought a handgun in a state he does not reside… I believe that is actually breaking the law to some extent.

    BTW… MACH11?

    • avatarJohn Fritz says:

      No, not to some extent. He’s just breakin’ it. If you buy a handgun outside your state of residence, you have to have the FFL where you purchased the gun ship it to a FFL in your home state and then have that FFL transfer your gun to you.

      And I don’t know this for sure because I have yet to go to a gun show but, in Pennsylvania I don’t think you’re buying anything without passing the PICS.

      Where is this mythical place where you can legally buy all the semi-autos you want with nothing more than a fistful of cash and a handshake?

      • avatarporschespeed says:

        At any gunshow in AZ, TX, UT, MO, OK and many other states I’m sure. IF you are buying new from an FFL dealer you will have to meet whatever requirements apply in your jurisdiction.

        However, if you are buying from a ‘private collector’ a handful of cash is all that is needed. A lot of the used guns a FFL tables seem to come out of some FFL’s ‘private collection’ and escape the paperwork nightmare as well. Handshake is optional, but polite.

        Given a lottery win briefcase, you could walk out the door with all the semi-auto exotics you ever wanted (not full-auto obviously) and enough ammo to never, ever run out.

        It may raise some eyebrows if you walk out with 10 ARs/AKs, but half a dozen pistols and 5000 rounds won’t elicit a blink.

        This is why ‘they’ want there to be absolutely no transfers between individuals – all must go through an FFL.

        • avatarTTACer says:

          You still can not buy or sell out of your home state, even if it is a private sale.

        • avatarporschespeed says:

          True dat.

          As I’m sure this Goddard fellow broke all sortsa regs proving his point, I hope BATF gets right on having him indicted, arrested, and tried.

        • avatarDavid says:

          You can only buy a long arm (rifle or shotgun) out of state from an FFL. For private sales both parties must be residents of the same state.

        • avatarporschespeed says:

          Non-FFLs can buy any gun anywhere, but to take delivery you must have it transferred to a FFL in your state of residence and take delivery there.

          (Not to take away from your long gun observation.)

          ‘Natch you can’t buy a firearm that is illegal in your home state and expect the FFL transfer agent to get it in for you.

          I did not mean to suggest that non-FFLs could do whatever, where ever legally. Just that if you reside in any of those aforementioned states, the gun show exemption still provides some avoidance of backround checks.

  4. avatarPT says:

    “the paranoid survivalists”

    Glad to know since I don’t support banning nearly all regular magazines I’m automatically a paranoid survivalist. Maybe I am paranoid since they actually are out to get my guns?

    I thought Newsweek went bankrupt? The Washington Post bought them for $1.

    “Newsweek has been slumping in the last few years with a drop of 38% between 2007 and 2009, losing $32 million in 2008 and topped in 2009 with $39.5 million in losses. It is estimated that for 2010, the operating losses will amount o $20 million. As you can imagine, that came with cuts in human capital- 33% to be exact. Also, cuts were made in the printed and distribution numbers from 2.6 million to 1.5 million. “

    • avatarJeff O. says:

      They are out to get your guns. So you’re not being paranoid at all.

      Also, kudos for not using the term “hi-cap” magazines, when referring to standard/regular magazines that are not designed to reduce the amount of cartridges.

  5. And So It Begins . . .

    The problem with being a “paranoid survivalist” these days is “just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you”. The current administration knows they are destined for a single term (as the last election certainly indicates) and seem to be operating on the “we have nothing to lose” philosophy with regards to their radical agenda.

    Oil is over $100 per barrel and yet we still cannot drill any new wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Our already huge budget deficit is growing daily and yet the President’s budget proposes more spending. This administration’s lack of a cohesive foreign policy has created chaos among our middle-eastern allies and threatens Israel’s safety and security for the first time in fifty years. A devastating earthquake hits one of our largest trading partners in the world and the President goes to play yet another round of golf.

    And now after two recent decisions from the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) reaffirming our 2nd Amendment rights in DC and every state in the union, the President decides to see if he can whittle away our rights through “compromise” between the radical left (portrayed as the “enlightened”) and the rest of the country (portrayed as ignorant red-necks).

    You got to hand it to the President. The day after he declares it would be so much easier if he were the president of a country where people didn’t have those “pesky” little rights (like the Constitution & Bill of Rights), he decides to once again face off against the opinions of millions and millions of Americans to satisfy a few loyal followers in the far, FAR left. I hope he can fit it all in between the front and back nines!

  6. avatarMr. Normal says:

    Hooray for more specious arguments from the wacktard left. Utter liberalism is in decline so they change tactics to appear more moderate and use terms like “sensible” and “realistic” when the desired end result remains the same.

    I find it ironic that they fight so hard to legalize drugs, claiming prohibition only drives regular, safe, and sane users underground but fail to see that gun control has only prohibited those who choose to follow the law from obtaining legitimate tools of self-defense and sport.

  7. avataririshcoonass says:

    Please note: 1] Rights predate government. 2] Rights, akin to breathing, require neither permission nor acceptance to exist. 3] Rights are not subject to amendment, revision, nor the democratic process. 4] The right to resist tyranny, whether imposed by government or criminals, is an unalienable right.
    Either the Constitution and Bill of Rights is the “supreme law of the land” or we exist at the whim of executive decree, judicial fiat, and legislative over-reach.
    Since the definition of “infringed” remains the same today as it was in the 18th century when the bill of Rights was ratified, please explain exactly what part of “shall not be infringed” remains unclear?

  8. avatarRich says:

    Well said Jeffery and Mr Normal
    Gun control has never been shown by any legit study too reduce crime. It is only about control and those that obey the rules. Criminals love gun control since it makes their job less risky. Lets all make Newseeek an offer. Why don’t you fire all armed security and place a sign out front that reads ” This is a gun free zone”. Gun free zones are a killers dream. Thats why most mass shootingsoccur in gun free zones.

  9. avatarDave says:

    “We know that guns can contribute to a community’s safety, and yet we acknowledge that none of the 18 mass shootings since May 2007 was stopped by a legal-handgun carrier.”
    Didn’t all but one of these happen where legal carry was prohibited?

    • avatarRob Crawford says:

      “Didn’t all but one of these happen where legal carry was prohibited?”

      Shhh… you’re not supposed to notice that.

  10. avatarstateisevil says:

    Gun control is on the rocks in most states. The enemy is desperately trying to hold onto bans in schools and other “prohibited places”.

  11. “Gun Safety” Advocates? How about asking them how many gun safety classes their “gun safety” advocacy group has held. Ask them what qualifications they have to teach “gun safety.” Ask them what gun safety classes THEY have taken. When they sputter and stare at you with the “deer in a headlights” look, tell them that calling them a “gun safety advocate” is a bit like calling Operation Rescue “abortion safety advocacates.”

  12. avatarDOGU says:

    “We respect guns, gun owners, and the Second Amendment…”

    STOP THERE!!! HEARD ENOUGH!! LIBS dont respect their own MOTHERs, much less the Constitution – WHO on EARTH r they trying to B.S. now?!!!!

    LIBS: Cheapest form of entertainment we have today!!
    LOL. Hi- LA -rious!!

  13. avatarChristopher says:

    “Gun Safety Advocates”…. if they can do that… can I take my religious personal safety device/totem(G19 or Hipower) anywhere.. You know… for religious purposes..

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