An Alternative Way to Combat Gun Control

The Wall Street Journal features a piece in its weekend edition entitled “Why Our Gun Debate is Off Target.” It may eventually become available only to subscribers, but as of Saturday morning, anyone can access it. The piece is penned by former TTAG contributor Dan Baum, who is in his own words “a lifelong gun guy who is also a lifelong liberal Democrat.” Now, there are a lot of folks who think that sort of person doesn’t exist, but they do. Not everyone who owns a gun is a Republican. One example I can point to is the Yankee Marshall, whose videos are featured periodically on this site is a self-described liberal. So, let’s get past that first hurdle and accept that there are people who buy into much of the liberal agenda, but who also treasure the RKBA . . .

Baum’s article is worthy of note for two reasons. The first is that his general thrust is that the current approach to more gun regulation is a non-starter. There are just too many people who own guns who also value the RKBA for sweeping new gun laws to work. Besides that, even if the vast majority of Americans wanted strong gun control, the Constitution was specifically set up to prevent the tyranny of the majority from impacting the minority. Whether civilian disarmers like it or not, the 2A is here to stay (that sounds like a great chant for the next gun rally on the steps of some state capital – but I digress).

Setting aside some rather foolish things the author has sprinkled throughout the piece ( he says he’d “flash” his concealed carry gun to let other gun guys know he’s part of the fraternity), his point is that the gun violence situation in this country can be addressed not through new laws, but rather through the increased responsibility of gun owners.  Much of the gun violence in this country is related to guns that were at one time legally purchased, but through carelessness were allowed to fall into the wrong hands.

Baum argues that if gun owners started to apply peer pressure to their friends to get them to change poor gun management behavior, we could reduce a lot of the gun violence in this country. Furthermore, by properly securing our guns when they’re not on our person, we could reduce (not eliminate – but certainly reduce) the number of guns that get into criminal hands through theft. He cites a couple of examples of organizations that are attempting to either call dumbasses out for doing dumb things or elevate the level of firearms training. In fact, he specifically mentions our esteemed publisher and website by name, citing the Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day feature.

I think that many of us can agree that we know at least one gun owner whose gun security standards are less than stellar. One of my wife’s friends has a husband who keeps a loaded gun in his nightstand – and he has two kids under eight in the house. As a result, my kids don’t play at their house without either my wife or myself being there. On the other hand, we also know a lot more people who take security very seriously and their guns are less likely to fall into the wrong hands.

The main point Baum’s trying to make is that if we, as gun owners, take our responsibility for safe handling a gun to the next level, we as a community could do more to dramatically reduce the number of firearm-related deaths and injuries than a whole boatload of new laws and jackbooted government thugs could ever hope to accomplish. In a few years, we really could reduce incidences of gun violence to those perpetrated by real criminals. And hopefully by reducing the flow of easily stolen firearms, could even have an impact on bad guys committing crimes with guns.

Baum notes that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and careful with their guns, but it only takes relatively few idiots to screw things up for everyone. Newtown would likely either not have happened or would have had a much different outcome had Lanza’s mother secured her guns in a safe rather than in a downstairs closet. Some of the other “mass shootings,” which are really the only thing that gets the public riled up in a major way, could have been prevented — or at the very least reduced the body count — had guns been better secured.

In the end, Baum is not trying to attack gun owners. The overwhelming message of the piece is that the constant push for gun control isn’t only wrong-headed, but ultimately ineffective. While he may vote on the wrong side of the aisle on other issues, Baum, like many other Democrats and liberals, understands that legislation will not prevent gun violence. Instead, it will produce unintended consequences as law abiding people will no longer be able to defend themselves.

Another point of interest about Baum’s article is the reaction of the people who commented. I read a sample of them and many of them were very angry and took Baum to task for some of his points and examples. It makes me wonder how many of these people ever took the SAT or ACT test in high school.

Back in the dark ages, when I took it, there was a section on reading comprehension. You had to read a few paragraphs and answer some questions about the passage. Many of those who commented on Baum’s piece clearly failed that exercise. Instead, they criticized him for not mentioning 2A or for citing statistics with no backing. Granted, some of these criticisms were accurate, but they miss the forest for the trees. Baum’s point that we must hold ourselves to a high level of responsibility was evidently lost on these folks.

One thing I’ve learned in my years of watching political theater is that there is often an inverse relationship between how angry a person is about an issue and how well they actually understand the issue. Callers to drive-time political themed talk shows are a prime example of that as they take a small sound bite they heard and use it as a launching point.

In the case of the RKBA, we understand the 2A implications as well as the benefits that firearms ownership in private hands brings, but often simply can’t understand why so many of our fellow citizens simply don’t see the obvious logic of our arguments. What would be interesting is if we as a community could exert more control over ourselves and our weapons safeguarding procedures.  I submit that we could have a measurable impact on gun violence and deprive the gun control proponents of their strongest arguments.

All I’m suggesting is that we give it a try. Take some of Baum’s advice and do a self-audit on our own gun security.  Secure our weapons in a way in which we can get to them quickly, but that reduce the chances of someone inappropriate being able to do the same.  Talk to our friends in the firearms community and encourage them to do the same.  After all, the gun rights we save through these actions could be our own.

comments

  1. avatar NWGlocker says:

    Jim Barrett– any relation to the author Paul M. Barrett?

  2. avatar G says:

    I’ve had a similar view for a while now. Most fence sitters I’ve talked to have pretty much agreed with it. I don’t think teaching the four rules in school health classes or something along those lines would be such a bad idea.

    1. avatar Coyote Gray says:

      Their lies a big problem I personally have with the current “gun control” debate.

      In this country, many people, the media, and gun legislation proponents, see gun ownership as perverse. So as a result, our gun laws are designed to make gun ownership more prohibitive, and not make gun ownership safer.

      For example, education has ALWAYS been the most effective way to drive positive behavior amongst the populace. The seat belt PSA campaign, the “Just Say No” commercials, Drinking and driving, safe sex, etc. etc. All education campaigns that positively had an impact on their respective areas. If we did the same thing for guns, early education, public service announcements, parent child pamphlets, etc., etc. we would most certainly see an immediate drop in accidental deaths and perhaps homicides.

      That’s a big reason why I find those who argue for greater “gun control” legislation disingenuous.

      1. avatar ensitu says:

        It’s only a perversion to Liberals when Other PPL have firearms because that is a threat to their Statist Tryanny

    2. avatar Matt in SD says:

      Education is key. Safety is between your ears. My 5 year old knows the four rules. In fact, last night my wife and I decided to go out on a (rare) date leaving our 14 year old would babysit her sister. Walking out the door my wife turned to them asking, “what are the rules?” The little one began to respond smartly with, “Treat all guns like they’re loaded, keep your finger off…”

      It made for a good laugh but also made us happy knowing she keeps those rules in the front of her mind and will continue to for the rest of her life. If all children understood them and grew to be adults with the same knowledge our would could be a much different, dare I say better and safer, place.

  3. avatar Matt in FL says:

    “…there is often an inverse relationship between how angry a person is about an issue and how well they actually understand the issue. Callers to drive-time political themed talk shows are a prime example of that as they take a small sound bite they heard and use it as a launching point.”

    I have come to realize that I’m in the minority, in that on hearing one sound bite like that, my first response is to find out more. I don’t flip out and start calling people libtards and fascists (of course, I don’t do that even after do some research), I go looking for “more.” Questionable info sends me to Snopes and Google before I even think about responding.

  4. avatar William says:

    Gun Control Control? I’m pretty sure prohibition – even prohibition of prohibition – is a failed model. Sic semper tyrannis; praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

    1. avatar jaykayd says:

      Well, asking for restraint never hurts. I’m not sure that qualifies as prohibition of prohibition.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    More Democrat navel gazing from every gunny’s favorite navel gazer, Dan Baum. Y’see, according to the Democrats, it’s all our fault. We are to blame. We have to clean up the mess that they made of society. We have to speak with a civil tongue in our heads, while they spew their lies and crap about us being uncivilized, uncouth racists. Forgive me if I ignore them and their mouthpiece, who has appointed himself to be the Judas goat leading us into the slaughterhouse. I’m not taking any sh!t from any Democrat, especially Dan Baum.

    1. avatar Phydeaux says:

      Amen! This is a faux pro gun story. Baum is attacking gun owners by painting them as somehow responsible for the actions of monsters like Adam Lanza. We’re not responsible for what monsters do.

      Sure negligent people should suffer the consequences of their negligent actions, whether those involve firearms, cars, pets or whatever.

      Where are the laws that automobiles must be stored safely and locked when not in use? Where are the laws requiring reporting when a car is stolen? Wait, there aren’t any? Where’s the outrage? Why is it that firearms are singled out for this special attention?

      If liberals want to reduce the theft of guns, they can support gun safety education in schools and provide a tax credit for gun safes.

      Then there’s the unsupported “facts” that Baum sprinkles in his story. My favorite: “And then there are the tens of thousands of shootings every year by people who aren’t criminals until they pick up a gun. Tempers flare, a gun is at hand, and tragedy ensues.” This has got to be the prototypical civilian disarmament advocate’s favorite straw man argument. This is just a nice way of saying, “There will be blood running in the streets!” Where’s the data?

      I’m looking forward to Dan Baum’s next book about why women are responsible for their own sexual assaults. Because everyone knows, “they were asking for it.”

      1. avatar Tex74 says:

        Right on target.

      2. avatar Merits says:

        Right on. You coined it; faux-pro. Be responsible-we get it. However, this is mostly about the grabbers contention that if guns were less available, less violence, gun or otherwise, would occur. Bogus. False. Nope.

      3. avatar jaykayd says:

        I disagree. Although the author of the article might be more “reasonable” than the other side is (which tends to be more of a disadvantage in this political climate), I believe he has a well-balanced understanding of gun rights. If our Supreme Court justices feel the same way (at least mostly), we’re all in good shape.

      4. avatar Phil H says:

        THIS… THIS… THIS…

        This is the argument that makes me angrier than any other, this suggestion that we are all latent psychopaths just waiting to unleash some lead. It’s the projection of the anti-gunner’s own lack of confidence in their own self-control.

    2. avatar Leo338 says:

      +1

      “Life Long liberal democrat” That’s all I needed to know. FOAD!

      I don’t want to hear any of that crap about alienating them or there are issues besides the second amendment. Well, to me and a lot of others the second amendment is the biggest and most important issue. You can claim to be on our side all you want but your liberal beliefs and actions prove otherwise. When you vote for Obama, DiFi, Pelosi, Bloomberg, Cuomo etc. anything you say does not matter anymore. You support the people we are fighting against to keep our rights. You are as much of the problem as they are and you will be treated as so.

      Besides, liberals will be the first to throw us under the bus as soon as the opportunity presents itself. They complain about new gun laws and want everyone to join in and help fight against them (mostly from NY or CA). What for? If we manage to stop legislation then it only reassures them that voting for liberals is the way to go, because we can always do what we did last time if they come after our guns again. It is just like their justification for voting for Obama the second time. It’s time they reap what they sowed, they need to learn from their mistakes.

      BTW I don’t consider myself a republican; I believe that party has almost as many problems as the democrat party. I am not sure what “label” I am, but one thing is for sure. I despise liberals.

    3. avatar GringoFusilero says:

      Interesting how they blame gun owners, no? Especially considering the fact that the statists love to create “gun-free” zones, banning firearms from certain locations. What happens when a citizen with a concealed weapon goes to one of these establishments? They have the choice of either turning and going home or locking the gun in the car. Many choose the latter. More than a few criminals have armed themselves by finding a gun in a car they burglarized. The most secure place my gun can be is on my hip. If you make me forfeit that security, you can’t complain about the consequences.

    4. avatar Totenglocke says:

      Yea, he used the name “Dave Low” in the comments on WSJ – is this Low IQ Budget Dave? I skimmed the article and found nothing but bashing gun owners and blaming us for the actions of criminals. Articles like this promote the idea that TTAG is a false flag operation, which I don’t think it is – but it definitely harms the credibility of TTAG to promote this kind of garbage.

  6. avatar gloomhound says:

    How can anyone be a “lifelong gun guy who is also a lifelong liberal Democrat” without understanding the threat the Democrats are to his guns? My guess is something else in their agenda is more important than our civil rights perhaps?

    1. avatar Robert Brown says:

      Some people don’t consider that one right to be of greater weight than, oh, everything else in the world.

      As long as some gun owners insist that someone isn’t a ‘real’ gun owner unless they buy into the entire Republican belief system, gun owners will continue to be politically marginalized. How much help are you going to reject in the name of ideological purity?

      1. avatar Phydeaux says:

        Yes, and Republicans will continue to be politically marginalized until they become RINOs or just change parties.

        Sure there are all kinds of gun owners, but you gotta admit being a liberal Democrat and a “gun owner” has got to result in some significant cognitive dissonance from time to time.

        I suspect Dan Baum is an opportunist who saw guns as a controversial front in the culture war, and a good way to make a buck. He seems faux pro gun to me. And I have to wonder how many people will end up buying his book.

      2. avatar OODAloop says:

        I think you can be a gun owner and a liberal, but not a liberal democrat. One is the belief in equality, personal liberty and responsibility while the other is a belief in the “liberal” use of government support and absence of personal responsibility.

      3. avatar Totenglocke says:

        I’m curious what these more important “rights” are. The “right” to part of my paycheck? The “right” to have others forced to pay your health care bills for you? The “right” to have others pay for your cell phone? The “right” to vote despite not being a US citizen?

        Also, while you can claim all you want that you “like guns” and “support the Second Amendment”, if you vote for anti-gun politicians, then you most certainly do NOT support the Second Amendment.

        1. avatar Robert Brown says:

          Well, for instance, if you had to choose between your right to own an AR-15 (for example), or your right to get married, what would you choose?

          That’s exactly the choice you’re asking some people to make.

        2. avatar Dan says:

          Another good example is:
          Having to choose between supporting people who are searching for a cure to the disease that is killing you, or the right to own a gun.

          Having to choose between your right to not have your children taught religious doctrine in publicly funded schools, or your right to own a gun.

          Not everyone has to be a single issue voter. Not everyone is a single issue voter. The Republican party has taken a number of stances that are abhorrent to me. On the balance, those stances are worse (and a more pressing issue to me) than the stance that most Democrats take on Gun control.

          Neither party’s platform pleases me, but the Republican party’s (especially as recently taken over by the Tea Party) displeases me more.

        3. avatar Coyote Gray says:

          +1 for Robert Brown and Dan

          I am socially Progressive, and economically moderate/conservative. I have voted for candidates from both parties and a number of independent candidates. I consider myself am “Independent” and “swing voter”.

          I reject the notion that Republicans somehow have the market cornered on 2A. Most people aren’t single issue voters, thought many claim allegiance to a single party.

          I find nothing contradictory to believing the government should stay out of the bedroom, out of women’s reproductive issues, out of religion, should be stewards of intellectualism, and that they should stay the hell away from my guns. In fact, it seems very consistent.

        4. avatar Totenglocke says:

          @ Robert Brown

          Seeing how marriage is a religious ceremony / contract, the government has no place to regulate it and you do not have a “right” to get married unless your particular religion says so.

          I find the notion that a piece of paper trying to force others to accept your romantic relationship as “legitimate” is more important than the right to defend yourself (against any aggressors) laughable. How is your life any worse because you don’t have a piece of paper saying that people of different religious views “must” accept your relationship as valid?

        5. avatar Totenglocke says:

          @ Coyote Gray

          “I find nothing contradictory to believing the government should stay out of the bedroom, out of women’s reproductive issues, out of religion, should be stewards of intellectualism, and that they should stay the hell away from my guns. In fact, it seems very consistent.”

          You find nothing contradictory in supporting a party that wants full control of health care and other industries, severe (or total) control of your finances, control over the language you can use, control over how you’re allowed to interact with people, etc and the right to defend yourself against an oppressive government?

        6. avatar Coyote Gray says:

          @Totenglocke

          At the risk of going off the reservation…

          Marriage is recognized at the Federal level and grants a number of privileges, benefits, and rights to married folks, based on a “religious” ceremony. A contradiction of the separation of church and state edict with in the 1st amendment. So marriage isn’t simply a recognition of ones personal relationship status.

          Furthermore, the federal government recently passed the”Defense of Marriage Act”, which defines marriage only as a union between 1 man and 1 woman. So even if a church does permit marriage and allows for ceremony in a religious sense, the federal government will not recognize said marriage.

          Again, another contradiction of the 1st amendment.

          And yes, their are some churches who now recognize and perform same sex marriages.

          The constitution is more than 2A. And some of us think every amendment is worth protecting fiercely.

          Also, both parties want access to my money and funds. They just differ on what they want to spend it on. Oddly, neither party, and not many voters, have a problem of at least some of it being spent on Social Security, Medicare, education, disability, etc etc.

      4. avatar Blehtastic says:

        They’re called Libertarians, and they don’t vote Democrat.

        1. avatar DisThunder says:

          Ha! I was just going to say that.
          I have voted Democrat on occasion, but this has been almost exclusively preceded by checking on their 2A stance. With only one major exception.
          I did make poor judgement call in 08, but that’s one I did not repeat, for all the good that did. Benefit of the doubt my ass….

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Owning a gun doesn’t make Baum a gun guy any more than owning a Colt revolver makes me a cowboy.

      1. avatar DisThunder says:

        You’ll always be my favorite cowboy.

        1. avatar RKflorida says:

          Get a room, you two.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Thank god for self censorship. I was going to make a truly vulger comment about Ralph in cowboy apparel. Decency prevailed.

    3. avatar Jay Dunn says:

      “lifelong gun guy who is also a lifelong liberal Democrat”

      Umm, so he votes for DiFi et. al. but also supports my right to keep and bear arms?? Sorry Dan, but ESAD.

    4. avatar Tim says:

      Simple, by recognizing that gun ownership is as basic a civil right as a woman’s right to choose or for gays to marry. The point to take away is that government should help guarantee freedoms for people to choose these things for themselves.

      1. avatar Ash says:

        Precisely, I’m as pro-gun as they come but consider myself a liberal and I typically vote democrat (doesn’t matter if you think it’s possible or not). I was also voting democrat while serving overseas, not as a fobbit mind you, on four separate occasions. I believe that in many instances personal freedoms are defended by the democratic side better than by the republicans (gay rights and women’s rights). However, I’ve already notified my Reps that I will be a single issue voter when dealing with the 2A…looks like it’s the tea party for me in two years.

      2. avatar Merits says:

        Except the minor issue that life and arms are clearly protected in our founding documents, and marriage isn’t. Plus, if you allow changing definitions around and you may find someone telling you arms means slingshots.

        1. avatar Ash says:

          I don’t believe in a “living Constitution” and I don’t sway with the wind. Not going to argue political semantics with you, but I believe in People’s rights. Either side can skew it as much as they’d like. However, I feel like (as I stated before) I’ll clearly vote in accordance when my BoR are being affected.

    5. avatar Totenglocke says:

      It’s because they enjoy guns as a hobby but are OK with their hobby being restricted or eliminated for “The Greater Good”. They don’t believe that people should have the right to resist the government in any way (quite obvious given their support for policies that are not only unconstitutional, but violate people’s rights and that their policies almost entirely rely on government employees pointing a gun at you to force you to obey).

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I think you hit it, Ropingdown, with the hobby thing. Civil rights are not a hobby. Self-defense is not a hobby. That’s why I’m not willing to give them up.

  7. avatar Scott says:

    I have no children in my home, just me and the Mrs.
    As I began to become more active in this fight we are in now, I realized that I was part of the problem, and had a few sleepless nights pondering “wouldn’t it be fucked to have some asshat break into my home, steal one of my weapons, and either kill me , my wife, or someone else with it. I had squirreled away some cash to purchase a semi-auto pistol to compliment my .38 revolver, but my conscious told me to spend the money more responsibly.
    I bought a gun safe, use it, and have had many nights of restful sleep since. Now I’m saving up to fill it.
    I implore you all who haven’t taken this important step to think about the potential consequences of leaving your firearms unsecured. Could you live with the consequences.

  8. avatar Tim Tritt says:

    I take issue with his comments, there is NO WAY the American Rifleman reaches millions more than RF and the TTAG… just say’n

  9. avatar Nazgul says:

    Some people may not realize that their “storage and security” practices may not be up to par. Perhaps those are the ones that should not own guns in the first place. Just sayin.’

    1. avatar DJ says:

      Yes, and that includes the author of the article.

      He lists three areas where he thinks gun owners could reduce problems by locking-up their guns:
      – Teen suicides
      – Gun thefts, which puts guns in criminals’ hands
      – Rage-induced gun violence by gun owners

      Then he proudly tells us all about his solution to secure storage: a $25 “safe” (really just a cheap lockbox, at that price), purchased online.

      I have bad news for him.
      – Almost any teenager I know could access the contents of that so-called “safe” in a few minutes using a crowbar/prybar.
      – Any thief that breaks into his home will take the entire “safe” with him when he leaves, to open at his leisure, and
      – If the gun owner can open the safe, s/he can do so even if s/he is in a killing rage.

      In other words, he THINKS he has all the answers, but as usual, his bright-eyed all-you-have-to-do-is-this liberal solution isn’t a solution at all.

  10. avatar Javier says:

    WE are all resposible for our actions if we fail we pay.
    The war on drugs hasn’t stopped the drug cartels. The laws don’t stop criminals. And most politicians are snake oil salesmen. Here’s a question. If the weapons bans they are proposing fails to do anything to lower the deaths of citizens will the politicians agree to repeal the laws and put themselves in jail? And at what number of deaths will it take to realize that it doesn’t work? What if it kills one more than it saves? They will only then blame the criminal for his actions because the law-abiding will be the victims. I refuse to be a victim.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I refuse to be a victim.

      Because I don’t want to be responsible for anyone being a victim, I refuse to be a Democrat.

    2. avatar Mamba says:

      While I agree with the sentiment your question assumes that reason, accountability, and respectability exist within the personality make-up of those pushing the bans.
      If only…

      1. avatar Javier says:

        Sorry forgot the sarcasm warning and switch.

    3. avatar GringoFusilero says:

      “The war on drugs hasn’t stopped the drug cartels. The laws don’t stop criminals.”

      True. Many (if not most) murders in this country are drug-related. End the idiotic war on drugs and watch the murder rate ebb.

      1. avatar Bruce says:

        But aren’t the Dems the ones who want to legalize drugs?

  11. avatar RJOGuillory says:

    ….again….this essay misses the point…first of all, much of the violence and media coverage is being generated to support pre-planned, treasonous actions on the part of your government…secondly, even if the violence is a natural by-product of our society, the guns are not the issue…the issue is that of mental health, fair and equitable treatment…. and living in a society that should value principle and rights over i-phones and kindles…..we need to begin charging and convicting our corrupt politicians….start hanging the corrupt leadership…and begin to re-build our society’s values…that is where we need to start….

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory
    Author-
    Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

  12. avatar Nazgul says:

    I am at a loss to understand liberal gun owners. Why is it that they would vote for politicians that they know are hostile to the 2nd Amendment, especially the ones that have been public about their intentions? Do they not realize that the same laws/regulations/restrictions would also apply to them? What am I missing here?

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      They are progressives who like guns and because of that, don’t want theirs taken away.

      It’s not about liberty or defense from tyrannical government to them, typically.

      It’s like being a pro-weed conservative.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      It’s because there are other issues they care about than gun rights, and the politicians who are supportive on those other issues are hostile to gun rights and vice versa. So it’s a true dilemma. They have to decide what they are willing to let suffer. In recent times, liberal politicians have been throwing around the “nobody’s coming for your guns” line (which has been revealed to be complete BS, not just mostly BS). This is designed to soften the dilemma, to make it so that those who were on its horns could relax and stop worrying about gun rights.

    3. avatar Phydeaux says:

      Like the comment that OODAloop made above. There’s a big difference between a lower case liberal and an upper case Liberal (or Progressive, as some style themselves).

      Many liberals are for legalizing all victimless crimes – prostitution, gambling, drugs. They’re against discrimination and bigotry.

      On the other hand, Liberals are all for laws that dictate behavior. They’re all for discrimination and bigotry – as long as it’s not against favored groups. Gun owners and OFWGs are not favored groups in the eyes of Liberals.

      I think Liberals like to muddy the water of discourse by posing as lower case liberals, when in fact they are not.

  13. avatar OODAloop says:

    I am not my brother’s keeper, nor should I be expected to.

    I read the article and the problem is that he’s shooting for collective guilt. I am a responsible individual and take care around my family and friends, but I can’t be held responsible for Bob & Sally Jones who purchase a revolver and box of shells for “home defense” and then promptly forget it on the top shelf of the closet till little Billy finds it years later and does something stupid.

    Why guilt those of use who properly store their guns and ammo, effectively instruct our children in their use and in all ways take responsibility for us and ours? Because gun owners are an easy target right now. Dan Baum’s all about “Hey, we know you’re a good guy, just get your shit together” as if we were the family alcoholic who means well but can’t seem to keep it together. I’m surprised he can even see down to our level over his upturned nose.

    I can understand why he no longer writes for TTAG. Here’s hoping RF keeps it that way.

  14. avatar SoftwareCowboy says:

    I don’t buy into this idea of collective guilt. I especially took exception to his and a number of commenters belief that someone who has their gun stolen is somehow responsible for that. Really? Were they asking for it by owning a gun?

    I have two safes, but I don’t believe that a burglar with time and tools can’t breach them to get at the contents. Or, just rip out the small bedside one with a crowbar to take with them to open later. It’s not like they care about the damage they’ll do to the wall. I look at them as a way to keep them from the grandkids, limited fire protection, and to make any thief have to work to get at the contents, but they aren’t some foolproof talisman protecting my guns from bad guys.

    I’m tired of the holier-than-thou crowd telling me that I’m responsible for the behavior of bad guys. I’m not, and they just piss me off when they start down that path.

  15. avatar Clayton Ridge says:

    I read his article this morning in the Journal. The problem I have with his article is that he believes that all gun owners should have and use gun locks at all times. As a long time gun owner, my children grew up around firearms and never touched them without my supervision, now their children have learned the same. I want ready access to my handgun next to my bed without having to go through some procedure to unlock a gun safe no matter how simple he says it is.

  16. avatar Nate says:

    Practicing gun safety and responsibility is paramount for gun owners, so it makes my head spin when I see people say a safe isn’t necessary, keeping guns loaded and lying around is their right (it is, but it’s dumb) and so on.

    People that act like that are no different than the idiot waving around his loaded gun at the range, passing the muzzle over other shooters and not even realizing it. If you keep your guns in an unlocked closet and they get stolen, you weren’t too smart about it. It’s the criminals doing, but you need to be aware that the opportunity to steal your guns exists and you need to protect yourself against that. If the criminals are determined enough to steal your safe or break into it, then there isn’t much you can do about it. If you take NO steps to safeguard against theft though, you’re kind of an idiot.

    I realize what I said is anathema to the super 2A fundamentalists, but so be it.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      No, it’s not anathema. I just don’t want yearly government inspections to ensure compliance with safe storage laws or B.S. like that which other countries have.

      1. avatar Nate says:

        Then I’m sure I don’t mean you, I’ve just seen people say “I don’t need to store my guns! My house my rules!” and shit like that before.

        I don’t want government inspections either, it shouldn’t be law but stupid fucking idiots let their guns get stolen or their kids at them, and stupid politicians pass laws. If morons didn’t fuck up, the laws would be less likely to happen.

      2. avatar Jim Barrett says:

        No one is suggesting that the government needs to get involved any more than it is. A large part of the article suggests that gun oners use peer pressure to encourage less responsible ones. It is the same line of reasoning that suggests people have designated drivers when out drinking. No one is legislating that.

        1. avatar Nate says:

          Yes, and that’s vastly better than being forced to by law. Problem is, some morons are going to get drunk and shoot themselves and children are going to shoot their friends because of dumbass gun owners. Then the government forces it’s way in and we’re screwed (like now).

        2. avatar CarlosT says:

          Jim, plenty of people are suggesting that the government get more involved. How many places have safes storage laws? How many new bills proposing safe storage laws have been introduced?

          Dan Baum might fault the NRA for not pushing safe storage, but in a climate where our gun rights are actively under attack, I prefer their focus to be on the fight to preserve them.

  17. avatar Ropingdown says:

    It is Baum’s statements in the article that reveal he is not “a gun guy,” for he does not realize the import of his words:

    “They argue that a gun separated from its ammunition, disabled or locked away is useless in an emergency.”….”Not true. I keep my handgun loaded in the bedroom, in a metal safe the size of a toaster that pops open the second I punch in a three-digit code. I bought it on eBay EBAY -0.23% for $25. The gun is secure but instantly available—to me only. Many gun guys use such safes. They just don’t want to be told to use them.”

    This issue was specifically asked and answered in Heller. A gun locked up when you are home is not sufficiently available for defense. If he intended to say “my gun is locked up in my psuedo-safe when I’m not home,” fine, as long as he realizes his ‘safe’ can broken open with nothing more than a large strong screw-driver of the kind Trayvon occasionally carried in his backpack, and only provides security vis á vis young children. I, for one, often work in a home office about 90 feet plus a flight of stairs away from my bedroom. This is a common situation. And “gun guys” have read Heller.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      So do what RF encourages – home carry. No one is saying you can’t have your gun near at hand. The key is control. A gun sitting in your nightstand drawer 90 feet plus a flight of stairs away is not in your control. A gun in a holster on your hip is.

    2. avatar Leo338 says:

      Please tell me what is the point of a safe the size of a toaster? Instead of the criminal having to look for the gun it conveniently points it out for them AND gives them a handy box to carry it in. Oh, and the 3 digit code can be broken in less than 30 minutes if you don’t want to pry it open that is. I know it serves a purpose in preventing small children from getting the contents inside but isn’t his post about us being responsible for allowing criminals easy access to our guns?

    3. avatar Nate says:

      Nice mention of Trayvon Martin for no real reason there.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Yeah, I was particularly impressed by that as well.

      2. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Sorry if you found that gratuitous. The large screw driver is apparently a common item, sometimes found in a backpack with a collection of gold jewelry. At the time that incident was commonly discussed, many comment writers found it unexceptional.

        As for home carry, that was my point, and Heller makes it explicitly. Baum suggested in the article that laws requiring guns be locked up when you are home are acceptable, and that we should encourage the view voluntarily. I don’t think that is the law according to SCOTUS. Am I wrong?

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Baum’s text: To the legislatures of 27 states and the District of Columbia, the solution to both problems seems obvious: Require guns to be locked up, trigger-locked, stored separately from their ammunition, or some combination of the three. A lot of gun guys hate these laws. They argue that a gun separated from its ammunition, disabled or locked away is useless in an emergency. Not true.

          Baum is specifically saying that a firearm is useful for defense even though it is locked up, and clearly approves of the concept. Scalia disagrees, and in a holding of a majority opinion. Why should we delete that part of Baum’s text, pretend it wasn’t there?

          If what Baum was saying was “put your guns in a safe when you are not in direct control of them” I’d approve. He didn’t.

  18. avatar wussface says:

    A Dem-voting gun lover is to gun rights as gun control laws are to law abiding citizens.

  19. avatar Shawn says:

    http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

    Unfortunately, I disagree with Baum. I can remember when I was four and my dad had a briefcase , which I was forbidden to touch. The ideas about what could be inside kept gnawing at me like a call to buried treasure, until one day I scummed to my curiosity. Ultimately, it took me less than a day to figure out that if I pulled on the latch and spun the wheel the lock would catch on the correct combination. As it turned out all the case contained was a bunch of business papers and some pens. At the same age I always knew that my father kept his firearms in the closet. I remember him showing me what they were and how I should (never) touch them without him there. long story short, I never bothered with the weapons because he didn’t treat them as hidden candy. Now, I am not saying we should leave loaded guns around toddlers or anything like that, but what I am saying is that we should have the responsibility to not leave the safety of a child to the security of a box.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      we should have the responsibility to not leave the safety of a child to the security of a box

      +1!

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      There’s a reason those security boxes come with lag bolts, you know. Even if the solenoid locks couldn’t be bounced, a vulnerability that’s been known about for years, if you didn’t screw them down into the floor or into the wall, a thief could just pick the whole thing up and walk away, and just pry it open later at his convenience.

      Another pro-tip: if you’re worried about little kids getting into the box, make it a little harder for them and mount it on a wall above their heads. Make sure you’re hitting at least one stud with one set of lag bolts and use really good drywall anchors for the other set.

  20. avatar dwb says:

    “the gun violence situation in this country can be addressed not through new laws, but rather through the increased responsibility of gun owners.”

    I think that is certainly partially true but the sad fact is that homicides are concentrated in areas with high youth unemployment, poor schools, urban decay, and generally poor opportunities for youth. Heck, if I was an inner city youth going to some of these public schools, getting no education and with limited job prospects, high-risk crime certainly seems better than nothing. If a college kid gets caught with weed he(she) goes to jail… where they graduate from jail fully skilled and qualified for a life of crime. crime causes homicide. There are 240 serious stabbings a week in the UK. The UK has about the same homicide rate as MN, UT, WI, and quite a few other states… and if you look at it, its not a gun control or guns issue, its a point blank youth unemployment issue. Criminals use the tools available. So while I agree that gun owners are partly responsible… ultimately accidental firearms deaths are less than 900 or so. Its the inner city crime that is the real problem, and the “war on drugs” has been an abysmal failure: It’s just been a war.

  21. avatar Jim L says:

    “But my fellow gun guys have plenty to answer for, too. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our guns affect everybody, and the non-gun-owning public has a right to expect things to improve. More than ever, after the transformative horror of Sandy Hook, the old defensive crouch is inadequate. If gun culture is to survive, gun guys need to get in the game. If we want to hold on to our guns, we need to be part of the solution.”

    Really? he can go fuck himself. Us “gun guys” (fuck you again, I’m American) don’t need to engage anyone. They need look no further than their bullshit academic approach to the treatment of people as a whole.
    1. There are no losers
    2. Everyone is equal in ability
    3. Guns kill people.
    4. non-gun-owning people have the “right” to expect things to improve
    LOGICAL FALLACIES.
    1. People lose all the time. There are winners and losers. EOS
    2. I’d love to have the martial arts ability of Kano or Mifune, but I don’t.
    3. People kill people.
    4.Improvement is not a “right”, it’s a pursuit. You have the right to this pursuit but you don’t have the right “expecting betterment” as an absolute.

    If the non-gun-owning crowd should have any expectation, it should be that they should expect thugs to target them and not us so much. It will be that they expect life to be unfair and not all things are equal.

    There is no debate. The 2nd amendment is not open to compromise. This jack-lite-thug can go shit in his hat with his mis-direction and his Masonic flashing. I don’t buy his attempt to seem like a pro-2a. It’s more of the “Hey, I have a gun too.. why do you neeeeed 10 rounds to kill a deer?”… so tired of this.

    No more.
    Done.
    Finished.
    I will not comply.

  22. avatar tdiinva says:

    I know there are a few remaining liberals out there that support the Second Amendment but they are engaged in an act of self delusion when they continue to support today’s Democratic Party agenda. The Second Amendment is not compatible with the infantilized, government dependent citizen that the Party is in process of creating. These liberals have to make a choice between the right to bear arms or free contraception, abortion on demand and gay marriage — those are archtypal issues — so choose wisely my liberal friends.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      These liberals have to make a choice between the right to bear arms or free contraception, abortion on demand and gay marriage — those are archtypal issues — so choose wisely my liberal friends.

      Leaving the red herrings of “free”, and “on demand” aside, why force this choice? That doesn’t make any sense and arbitrarily weakens support for gun rights for no reason.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        These aren’t red herrings. They represent three distinct aspects of the Progressive mind set that forms the backbone of the modern Democratic Party. Free contraception represents the entitlement society. Abortion represents the quest for avoiding the consequences of ones own actions and gay marriage represents the moral relativism that is needed to support the other two. While there are a few non- Progressive Democrats still around they have no impact on policy decisions. When you vote for a Democrat you vote for gun control. Why do you think Colorado switched from pro-SA to anti-SA? If maintaining your Second Amendment rights is near the top of your preference list you have to vote Republican at least for Congress or you will end up disarmed. Wishing that your Blue Dog will hold the line when the chips are down is an exercise in self delusion.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          “Free” is a red herring because those debates weren’t about getting handouts, it was about getting prescription medications covered in health plans that had no reason to exclude, other than they felt squicky about them. These same plans covered erectile dysfunction drugs, after all, so what’s the problem with covering contraception?

          “On demand” is a red herring because the anti-abortion side is like the anti-gun side: they’ll take what they can get for now, but what they really want is everything. People who care about this issue aren’t fooled.

          As for gay marriage and moral relativism, are you really going there? Two people of the same sex marrying each other makes it an “assault marriage” and therefore it must be kept illegal at all costs? For the children?

          What I see when conservatives come out with this kind of stuff is that you’re really just the other side of the same control freak coin as liberals. I value all my freedoms and while the Republicans are better on gun rights than Democrats, they’re just as bad or worse a whole host of other things.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          Ever hear of the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment? Requiring religious organizations to provide contraceptives and abortion when it is against their doctrine violates it. So I guess that is one right you could do without. What makes contraceptives different than other drugs that it should not have a co-pay. Anybody can walk in to walmart or target and pay $10 without insurance. Sounds lke you are in to a consquence free life and free stuff.

          It seems that the only thing you care about in the Constitution is the Second Amendment. The Constitution isn’t there to support the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is there to support the Constitution.

        3. avatar CarlosT says:

          What makes contraceptives different than other drugs that it should not have a co-pay.

          This is why I said “free” was a red herring, because that was never the issue. The issue was that coverage for contraceptives was just flatly denied, even when they were prescribed for non-contraceptive purposes. You do know there are other uses for birth control pills other than just contraception, right?

          And as someone who isn’t part of the majority religion in this country, I fully understand the First Amendment, and the Free Exercise Clause. I understand it’s not carte blanche to do whatever you please, especially if what you want to do violates the law. The Mormons would like the have multiple wives. Well, too bad. That’s illegal, and just saying “but it’s my religion” doesn’t get you an exception. The Catholics have to abide by employment discrimination laws just like everybody else, and yes that applies to sex discrimination as well.

      2. avatar Totenglocke says:

        Because the only pro-gun alternatives (Republicans and Libertarians) don’t agree with all of those (Republicans with all of them, Libertarians only disagree with the “free” birth control). Voting for a collectivist party by default means you are anti-gun because collectivism doesn’t work if the people are allowed to make their own choices and having the means to protect yourself from government force is a big no-no.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Totenglocke, it’s to the detriment of the country as a whole that the Libertarian Party doesn’t have a much more significant presence in our politics. We would all be much, much better off.

          Let’s not pretend that the Republicans are Libertarian friendly in any way other than gun rights, though. They want control of you, just like the Democrats, but their priorities are different, so the instructions from on high are different as well. But leaving you alone is not part of the plan.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          Carlos:

          What nonsense. The Republcian Party stands for personal freedom With personal freedom comes responsibility. You want birth control pills get them through the private market not by government fiat.

          Libertarians are as adolescent as Progressives. Not surprising since their idol, Ayn Rand, was a self absorbed, immature, slatternly woman and a medicore writer that had a few good ideas.

          I prefer to call myself a Federalist and the Republican Party is the current residence of Federalist ideas. Things like abortion and gay marriage are to be determined at the state level by legislation or initiative and not through the Federal Courts.

        3. avatar CarlosT says:

          What nonsense. The Republcian Party stands for personal freedom With personal freedom comes responsibility. You want birth control pills get them through the private market not by government fiat.

          If you want to go that route, we can go that route, but then let’s go that way for everybody, and all drugs. Why should contraception be singled out? If women have to go to the private market for birth control pills, why don’t men have to do the same for erectile dysfunction pills?

          Things like abortion and gay marriage are to be determined at the state level by legislation or initiative and not through the Federal Courts.

          I don’t accept the “States Rights” arguments when it comes to freedoms. It didn’t fly for black civil rights, and it doesn’t pass muster for me for women’s right, gay rights, or gun rights, either.

  23. avatar Sam says:

    Newtown would likely either not have happened or would have had a much different outcome had Lanza’s mother secured her guns in a safe rather than in a downstairs closet.

    And from where does Jim Barret source this fact?

    The Connecticut State Police have yet to release their report on the Newtown shootings. Any public information about how Nancy Lanza stored her weapons is uninformed speculation.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Let’s assume she did have her guns in a safe. What was to stop Adam from just torturing her to get the keys or combo out of her? Was she SERE trained? Did she have a cyanide capsule disguised as a tooth? He wouldn’t have had to open the safe himself, just gotten the safe open somehow.

      Let’s review, people: this guy murdered his own mother, then drove to an elementary school and murdered six more adults and 20 first-graders. Somehow I doubt adding beating up his mother to the front of the list would have fazed him much.

  24. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    After a few paragraphs I remember back to a week or so ago with criminals using stolen SUVs and cars to smash into gun stores and snag a bunch of guns that were stored in locked racks and cases.

  25. avatar Roadrunner says:

    Most of my family and many of my friends are Democrats, and I almost was myself. But I have to question some folks’ level of commitment to their liberties when they relentlessly vote into office people who they know will violate their liberties and everyone else’s. If you’re right to bear arms, or any other fundamental right, means anything to you, will you please stop voting for people who think the Constitution is toilet paper?

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      If your right to bear arms, or any other fundamental right, means anything to you, will you please stop voting for people who think the Constitution is toilet paper?

      You do realize that excludes both the “major” parties? Huge majorities of both voted for the Patriot Act. George W. Bush’s administration had a horrible civil liberties record, and Obama’s civil liberties record makes W look like an ACLU lawyer.

  26. avatar ensitu says:

    I’ve said this many times; “The Middle Class, and those who would defend it, are being marginalized, demonized, denegrated, dehumanized as a lead-up to their Isolation in preperation for a death blow to the American Culture, a genocide as the UN defines it.

  27. avatar Hazzard Bagg says:

    Back in 2003 Yale-New Haven Hospital found that only 58% of its employees were following hand hygiene protocols. Evidently some healthcare workers at YNH were fibbing to themselves (and their colleagues) about washing their stanky mitts. YNH implemented an intensive campaign mandating that workers “challenge” one another when a breach of hand hygiene protocol was witnessed. Result: Significant reduction in infection rate at YNH.

    Isn’t Dan Baum just making an analogous call to gun owners to be honest with themselves when it comes to securing our guns?

    It seems unwise to cast aside potential allies in the midst of a desperate fight. If you have to, hold your nose; but let’s link as many arms together as we can and beat down this threat to our freedom.

    We can argue amongst ourselves after we’ve won.

  28. avatar gloomhound says:

    The fact are this:

    The civil right of every American to be armed is at risk because of the Democrat party right now. You all can cry bitch and moan all you want. You can try and cloud and obfuscate the issue, never the less it is the Democrats and their leaders including Obama that is trying to take away the peoples arms.

    If you say I am a Democrat and vote for and support the Democrat party and it candidates then you are helping them to disarm citizens and that is a fact. You are the problem.

    Go and take a good long look in the mirror and deal with it.

  29. avatar Veritas says:

    Responsible gun ownership is not the issue. Most gun owners are law abidding, responsible people. The gun grabbers are all about control. Crime is not the issue. Let’s keep the focus people.

    Our enemies cannot be reasoned with. If you’ve seen the video of legislators walking out of a meeting when pro gun people attempted to present their case you realize you have a better chance of teaching astro pyshics to a junkyard dog.

  30. avatar Publius says:

    The WSJ piece is worth reading, as it’s probably the best article on guns (= least slanted) to appear in the MSM in a long time.

    However at this point, I am not prepared to give any democrat/progressive any slack whatever on the issue of firearms. None.

    They are not to be trusted, as they’re not operating in good faith.

  31. avatar bsmojoman@gmail.com says:

    The gun control debate is not democrat or republican based. Its an international agenda. Legislative wording for national level laws are already pre-written, enactment plans developed, population management forces in place, etc. The plans have been implemented in foreign countries and is here on our door step looking as if it was our idea. As American’s the foundations and motivations behind gun control are not from America, they were not born here. Our politicians have sworn an oath to all Americans to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, its an oath that they hold 18 year old men and women to. And by golly they need to stick to their oaths too. We have many enemies around the glob that would love to tear our constitution apart in front of the American people as a means of retribution for imperalism. Gun control laws are a clear indications that our enemies are being successful in accomplishing this task. Gun control has little to do with saving lives in America. We have 4 million children today in public schools taking mind altering drugs for learning disorders such as ADD, ADHD where the known side affects are violence and depression. This is done and managed through government programs in public schools. ADHD drugs are identified as type 2 drugs and are listed with cocain and other illegal narcotics. Yet we give 4 million children on these drugs in public school due to teacher observations of classroom behavior. These kids are provided little to no supervision in the administration of these drugs. Its a ticking time bomb! Do we really need 4 million young adults on this stuff? Do we really have a gun problem? Is the violence we are seeing expected by those pushing legislation and using our kids as the motivation? Remember what I said earlier that the gun control ideas are not American.

  32. avatar Chad says:

    I think Dan is right on the money in this aspect. Keeping your guns locked up and secured, away from unauthorized users, is something that all responsible gun owners should do.

    But here is a thought as well. I don’t have kids at home. I carry a handgun everyday. My home is locked and has security measures. Do I need to purchase a $2,000 safe to secure my rifles and shotguns? Why? Because my guns are secured in my home, which in theory, should be off limits to unauthorized users.

    So, all of us need, 2 ton safes, that costs thousands of dollars to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals? I think that’s a stretch in logic and reality. My guns, in a quick access safe at home, can easily be stolen if a home intruder, has the determination to take the entire safe. So, a 2 ton, behemoth is your solution?

    How about, keeping animals in cages and not letting them out, until they serve all their 15 year sentence. That way, they can’t break into my home!

  33. avatar JohnF says:

    Ideologically I agree with most of the posts above. But I do think we need to find some common ground with the left if we are going to make progress with gun laws. This is not a perfect analogy, but I see a parallel with the politics of hunting. The hunting community got a lot of broad based support by becoming the preeminent champions of game conservation. It’s not that they were saying they were responsible for game depletion, it was a move that both served the needs of hunters AND got broad-based support for the activity.

    I think the firearms self-defense community would be very smart to get farther out front on gun safety, including storage. We are absolutely not the cause of poor gun safety, but we are the perfect group to show positive civic responsibility on an issue. I think there is a tendency to take the position that we have 2A and Heller, so the antis should just leave us alone. That would be great in a perfect world. But as long as the government shows they can violate 2A at will, we need broader public support to accomplish our goals.

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