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Tristine Skyler has written a piece for HuffPo looking back on the Tucson shooting of more than a year ago. She hoists the bloody shirts of the victims and waves them enthusiastically, attempting to capitalize on the empathy we all have for people who have suffered a loss and then asks. . .

So what does “after” look like? And what is the progress of the crucially important Fix Gun Checks movement sponsored by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition as we enter into 2012, with a recent second shooting at Virginia Tech bringing back only too fresh memories of a massacre there that still haunts a community?

Oops! Couldn’t pass up the chance to exploit the deaths of innocents disarmed by deliberate policy as a safety measure in an attempt to push her ineffectual agenda, could she? Yes, I said it. The “important Fix Gun Checks” legislation, even if passed, would have been utterly worthless in stopping (or even momentarily inconveniencing) the Tucson and VA Tech mass murderers. That’s because neither one exploited the “loophole” the legislation purports to fix. Did you catch that? That’s right, neither of the shooters were felons or had been involuntarily committed for mental health issues.

So what will this legislation do if enacted? Its proponents say it will require all mental health, substance abuse and criminal records to be entered in a national database which will then be used to stop gun sales to “dangerous people.” And they continually use that scary image of a shady buyer purchasing a dangerous weapon from a shady seller.

They also regularly invoke the images of the Columbine shooters (who were underage and could not legally buy weapons so had a friend – who had a clean record and passed a NICS check – buy weapons for them, illegally), the VA Tech shooter (who had been ordered to get counseling but on an outpatient basis, meaning he was not a prohibited person) and, naturally, the Tucson shooter.

Does anyone else wonder why the sheriff had no trouble pronouncing the Tucson shooter’s name (which I will not repeat, let him rot in obscurity) immediately after it happened? It was because his department was already all too familiar with the creature who had made numerous death threats to individuals over the previous months.

Indeed, he could easily have been arrested and charged with felony harassment (or possibly stalking, I couldn’t really tell from the statutes, but a felony, nevertheless) any time in the six months before the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the other victims in that parking lot. But since he never was, the shooter wasn’t a prohibited person and would have passed even MAIG’s new and improved checks with flying colors.

Some inevitably argue that even if those shooters would not have been stopped by this law, others surely will be kept from buying guns illegally. Except . . .

1) The law doesn’t address purchasing a firearm it covers transferring a weapon. This is not a distinction without a difference. If I give you money and you give me a gun, I have purchased it. On the other hand, if I say “Ooh, that one looks cool, can I see it?” and the seller hands it to me, he has just transferred a firearm to me. If he didn’t do a background check, then we’re both liable for penalties under Section 924(a)(5) of title 18, USC. To wit, a hefty fine and not more than one year in prison. Oh, hey, there’s that magic number of one year which, under federal law makes you a felon and therefore a prohibited person.


2) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ February 2002 study Firearm Use by Offenders, about 40% of criminals obtain their firearms from friends or family, 40% from illegal sources on the street, 12% from retail stores or pawnshops (more than 2/3 of those by straw purchase) and 1.7% of criminals obtained their weapons from a flea market or gun show (and no, it doesn’t add up to 100%, it’s calculated using .gov math).

Ms. Skyler finishes with a plaintive cry,

When will this country be safe from illegal guns?

There is a simple but sad answer to your question Tristine – never. There have been murderers since the time of Cain and Abel. All we can do is try to limit the damage. And since guns in citizens’ hands save a minimum of twice as many lives per year as are lost to criminal homicides committed with guns, taking guns from those citizens will certainly not make us safer. Instead, it would be immoral.

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  1. Living in a free society is a scary proposition. When you give everyone equal rights until they prove themselves unworthy of those rights then you will naturally have problems like these.

    Everyone must, for themselves, weigh the risks and benefits of living in this somewhat free society we have. I choose freedom.

    We will always have violence, no amount of
    law or regulation will stop that. How much of your freedom are you willing to trade for some temporary safety?

  2. In my US History class in high school our teacher had an exercise she would put each class through. The scenario given was that a group of aliens was threatening to annihilate the United States unless we chose to give up two out of the ten amendments in the bill of
    rights. We had to discuss and ultimately vote on which of the amendments we were willing to give up. The idea of the exercise being to see what rights we didn’t value an watch a twisted form of democracy in action.

    Only years later did I realize the correct answer to that unansweable question… Liberty or Death!

    • The correct answer is immigration reform. If you import folks that are alien to your civilization, it is what you should expect. The fact that this very old idea (it is the basis for Euripides’ Medea, for example) has to be explained to us moderns shows that we will forever be doomed to liberalism, until it destroys our civilization. But I’m sure that your teacher did not explain the solution to her exercise in such a traditional, classical manner. Heaven forbid that ever happening.

      • Given the parameters of the exercise I’d guess the teacher was talking about aliens of the ET variety. If such aliens have the capability to “annihilate the United States” immigration laws aren’t going to help much.

  3. Indulge my morbid curiosity. In the unlikely event that the Legislature loses its sanity and gets that act through, how would that work in states whose CHLs are, for all intents and purposes, passed background checks? Would it just be a matter of whipping out my ID, or did the aʄʄholes who drafted this bill work around that?

    Either way it just needs to die.

    • Nevermind, I just answered my own question (CHL is sufficient). Bill still needs to die, especially after I read how broadly written the “drug abusers” section is. That is straight-up terrifying.

  4. The next step will be a mandatory psych evaluation (at great expense from a limited pool of approved providers) before and after gun purchases. Imagine a yearly re-certification. Sound far fetched? Don’t put it past anyone. They already think we are Neanderthals for owning firearms and if having more than 3 makes us gun nuts.

    • Even the UK government made the decision that mandatory psych evaluations were pointless, though applicants for a firearms licence are required to disclose any recent psychological issues.
      Of course this requirement was in place when licences were issued to the last three shooters who committed multiple murders….

  5. The ‘gun counterlobby’ is trying to turn around the process. Since banning guns is illegal per the U.S. Constitution, the only way to ensure the masses are disarmed is to reclassify said masses as “psychologically unstable”. Presto! A disarmed America!One must of course ensure that the captains of leftist theory and industry are allowed to pass their psych evaluations so as to purchase their own guns.

  6. So every college, university, and postsecondary institution will have to make an assessment of the mental health of EACH STUDENT (how else will they figure out which ones are “a safety risk?”) and report anyone THEY deem a risk to the federal government. What could go wrong there?

  7. I want to comment but apparently disagreeing even slightly with Brad is a license to have your comment deleted… maybe Bruce isn’t a moron who is secure in his stance?

    Gun control is stupid and only EVER takes guns out of the law abiding citizens’ hands. This is simple. If making something illegal made it go away, you wouldn’t be able to buy drugs anywhere in the US. Just like anyone is able to buy a gun illegally anywhere, no matter the laws. These draconian laws CREATE the criminals. Without a black market for arms, any dispute regarding an arms transaction could be disputed in a court. Suddenly instead of a violent black market you have a thriving market that is paying taxes, employing people… But then it’d be harder to convince people that guns are evil.

  8. Back in the 90’s, Mary Shafer (then an engineer working for NASA Dryden, and one of the last people who had the ultimately cool job of flying around in a SR-71) came up with what I thought was a perfect rejoinder to people such as Ms. Skyler:

    “Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don’t have the balls to live in the real world.”

    Mary’s quote was in the context of flight failures resulting in death of pilot or crew (and possibly passengers) and trying to engineer “perfect safety” into aircraft (it obviously cannot be done). But the reality is that the world isn’t a perfect place, we cannot foresee all possible events in the future, people are sometimes irrational and there will be no perfect safety, with or without firearms. Ever.

  9. I’d like to tell you how I really feel about this prissy lil “B”, but then my post would be completely filled with FLAME DELETED’S and I’d most likely get banned for life.

  10. When will this country be safe from illegal guns?

    As long as the Police and Military world wide are corrupt and serve corrupt Governments with corrupt Arms Dealers and corrupt State Sponsored Arms Suppliers; you will have illegal guns.
    Get real.

  11. Tristine Skyler could do the world a lot more good in far other ways than writing for Huffpo. I’ll leave what she could do up to your imagination.

  12. how in the hell did she get “evidence”???

    She hoists the bloody shirts of the victims and waves them enthusiastically, attempting to capitalize on the empathy we all have for people who have suffered a loss and then asks. . .”

  13. You guys are all fucking morons. Nice that we see 14 year olds holding classrooms hostage. I’m sure he would have gotten it off the “black market” like so many kids know how to.

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