TOMS Pledges $5 Million to End Gun Violence, Calls for Universal Background Checks

TOMS gun control $5 million everytown moms

courtesy TOMS

TOMS, which in addition to selling shoes, sunglasses, and clothing “provides shoes, sight, water, safe birth and bullying prevention services to people in need” has decided to make a statement regarding their stance on civilian firearms ownership by sending out the following to their email list:

12 years ago I founded TOMS with a simple goal: to help build a better tomorrow.

Since then, you and other members of this community have come together to help provide shoes, sight, and safe water to millions of people in need. And for that, I’m grateful.

But now, there’s another need:

Almost every day we wake up to news of another shooting. [emphasis his]

In our schools. In our neighborhoods. In our places of worship.

And it keeps happening.

To truly commit to a better tomorrow, we have to act now.

And we have to act together.

So, TOMS is giving $5 million to organizations across the country committed to ending gun violence through work in urban communities, mental health, research and policy, and suicide prevention.

And we’re calling on our lawmakers to pass universal background checks, because it’s something more than 90% of Americans agree on.

If you’re among that 90% I would greatly appreciate you sending a postcard to your representative via the button below.

Your support builds a better tomorrow.

With gratitude,

Blake Mycoskie

Chief Shoe Giver

On the surface this might sound like something you can get behind, right? Call me a skeptic, but after this email was forwarded to me — I’m not a TOMS customer and so wasn’t on the list — I did some digging.

Guess where that $5 million is going? Everytown for Gun Safety, Faith in Action, March for Our Lives, and Moms Demand Action.

TOMS Pledges $5 Million to End Gun Violence, Calls for Universal Background Checks

Here’s some op-ed for you, NUT-GRAF style: this is the usual anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment virtue signaling behavior of the left. While all those on the left are not all anti-gun…they do make up vast the majority. Wholly unsurprising but still frustrating to watch in action.

I bet there are some TOMS shoppers here. If you think your purchases or lack thereof don’t make a difference, you’re wrong. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Stand up for your rights. How far does this crap have to go before the gun community at large grows a spine and fights back?

comments

  1. avatar Kyle says:

    And the takeaway from this article????

    ….dont buy Toms.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Never heard of Toms, don’t care about Toms, will never buy from Toms, have a nice day.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        My pinko kid sister wears Toms shoes. They’re mostly worn by Millennial and GenZ lefty-brats like her from what I can tell.

        1. avatar Meagan Garrison says:

          Nitwit liberals have no common sense. Brain damaged pukes.

    2. avatar Whatever says:

      What Toms really seems to say is:

      We are giving $5 million to help disarm the public so that they are unable to defend themselves from criminals and/or a tyrannical government.

      We want helpless people to demand more govenment

      1. avatar Truthseeker says:

        We have a criminal and tyrannical people in government right now (Trump and his cronies like mostly all Republicans who just serve the interest of themselves, big industry, select oligarchs and the fossil fuel industry at the expense of the middle class and the poor, human and environmental health; they actively engage in voter suppression and manipulating the system (using electorates and gerrymandering), introducing nepotism and kleptocracy) yet reasonable people don’t go out and shoot them. Physical fights never bring a long-term solution to a problem. Only respectful dialogue does. Finding the middle ground.

    3. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      One of the more cloying examples of corporate virtue signalling. Just what do they hope to achieve with more “background checks”? Let’s see, if you give a gun to your kid: background check. Yeah, that’s really gonna make us safer. Makes me want to go take a shower.

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      just another anti-gun group doling out misinformation….universal background checks would have zero impact on the bad guys…but then, we know who they’re really targeting

  2. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    They have bought the gun grabber’s mantra including “something more than 90% of Americans agree on”.

    Maybe 90% in the major metropolitan socialist cesspools.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      How about 90%+ of the mass shooters bought legally and passed background checks. Bangers don’t guns through legit means, so there isn’t a backgroynd check. Would reduce crime and violence by 0%. Most of these mass shooters are mentally disturbed and aren’t planning to survive the event. That’s a “lane” health care professionals could actually do something about. While they’re at it, they can do something about other suicidal people, regardless of the method chosen.

      1. avatar Elaine D. says:

        @Anymouse

        Actually, FBI data states that most active shooters aren’t mentally ill. So, so much for fixing it that way. I wish. It would make things easier. Doesn’t look like that’s the route though.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          They are DEFINITELY mentally disturbed. That shit ain’t normal. Whether they have a diagnosable mental illness is a different story entirely.

        2. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Ing

          Believe me, as a mental health professional I want nothing more than to get to the bottom of this question. Especially if things like ERPO determinations are gonna get dumped in my lap someday, which I hope will not happen.

          But some people are just cold blooded and lack empathy for others. The book “The Sociopath Next Door’” is a good one.

          Took the FBI 10 years to finally come out and say that Eric Harris of Columbine notoriety was a psychopath. Ten friggin’ years. Yes, a kid can be a psychopath. And there is no current treatment for psychopathy that I know of. None.

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: “Took the FBI 10 years to finally come out and say that Eric Harris of Columbine notoriety was a psychopath.” Good point; I wasn’t aware of this.

          Kindly recall that the Ft. Hood shooter was officially designated “workplace violence”. What does that mean?

          We ought to all recognize that most of our “diagnosis” of the shooter problem is driven by a speaker’s notion of “political correctness”. E.g., in the colonial era it was clear that native Americans were the “people who shouldn’t have them” and that there was a consensus on the political correctness of this determination.

          So long as the institutions (government agencies, professional organizations, political parties, personal whims) persist in this nonsense we won’t make any progress. They will persist until those of us with a stake in the outcome call these institutions to account.

          I very much appreciate your (Elaine’s) participation in this forum. While you have yet to pass muster in your gun-political-correctness you seem to manage quite a lot of objectivity regarding guns and want to preserve their role in our society. And, you have some credibility to your claim to knowledge of the mental health field. (Some of our arm-chair psychiatrists with no MD in their nome de guerre) make less of an impression on me.

        4. avatar Art out West says:

          Mass shooters are more Evil than mentally ill. A Godless worldview produces people without hope. Some nihilistic people commit mass shootings, and a secular worldview can’t even tell us what is wrong with them. The only real answer his to be found in the Bible, and His Name is Jesus Christ. If our society (and we individually) continues to reject Him, things will only continue to worsen.

        5. avatar M1Lou says:

          The mental illness mantra is just another way to get the camels shoulders under the tent for rights infringement. They already got the nose in back in 1934.

        6. avatar Binder says:

          @ Ing I hate to tell you this, but people killing other people is kind of normal, has been going on forever. Just happens a lot less than it use to.

        7. avatar Pg2 says:

          @M1Lou. Exactly.

        8. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: I understand and respect where you are coming from when you write that most mass shooters are not “mentally ill”. However, as a layman, I take this to be mostly a definitional problem.

          Our notion of “not guilty by reason of insanity” is deeply rooted in an understanding of mental illness as-of centuries ago. Anglo society wasn’t going to hang someone who the community could reach a consensus about as being “insane”. Yet, it certainly would hang anyone who could recognize the distinction between right/wrong and know what he was doing was wrong.

          Today, our understanding of mental illness is much more sophisticated. We can look at an individual and reach the conclusion that he really is very mentally ill and at the same time has an adequate handle on the distinction between right/wrong; enough to be held responsible criminally.

          Our problem, here with guns, is that we have a really poor calibration on the notion of “too crazy to be trusted with a gun”. I think we could likely reach a conclusion that the Borderland shooter belonged in this category; too crazy yet still responsible for knowing that what he was doing was wrong.

          I think that this guy – and lots of other mass shooters – belong in “your” wheelhouse. Yet, you mental health folks have yet to work-up a satisfactory tool kit. Moreover, society is starving you for the resources to deal with the substantial mass of problems that belong to you. I’m not blaming your profession; it’s not trivial.

          And so, society turns to the criminal justice system to deal with the “over-flow”. But the prisons and jails are full. We are reluctant to put someone in jail – and then prison – when it’s pretty clear that his problem is mental illness rather than a predatory proclivity. I don’t blame the criminal justice system either; their problem is not trivial even if mental health were perfectly successful.

          The more this thread compiles me to think about it the more I think that we are struggling with a search for “the Holy Grail”. It might not exist at all. If it exists, we are probably not going to find it. All our efforts are probably concentrating on barking-up-the-wrong-trees. Should that be true, we MUST recognize that to be our problem. Barking longer and louder does not offer much promise.

        9. avatar Sam I Am says:

          You hit on a piece of useless propaganda – “the jails are full”. So, what? The comfortable answers seems to be that an increase in crime means we need to convict and jail fewer people because of lack of will to punish those who violate the law. That means that somehow, there are extremely finite resources available for constructing more prisons.

          The reason I label the phrase propaganda is that the bleeding hearts demand every “need” (real or imagined) be met with full government funding, but somehow the “need” for more prisons is a “need” at all. We have infinite resources for those who feed off the effort of others, but no capacity to punish those who break our laws. Funny how that works.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        While there is a prevailing body of opinion that people who do terrible things must, in one way or another be mentally ill, this is simply a cheap way of avoiding the uncomfortable truth that there are simply mean spirited, evil people in the world who hurt people for no other reason than they want to hurt people. This, of course, doesn’t do much to fill the news cycle, nor does it provide useful fodder for health care professionals or politicians so, despite its inherent truth, it doesn’t get much media attention. That there are simply bad people in the world that can be best stopped by good people is an old truth that simply doesn’t fit modern explanations of what is and what isn’t appropriate. Slowly but surely, however, I think others beside People Of The Gun are coming to realize that the cops ain’t comin’ . . .

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Garrison

          I honestly don’t think it’s cheap avoidance. I think it’s because acknowledging unfixable things makes people feel helpless. We are a very “fixit” kind of society. There always has to be an answer or a reason.

          But sometimes there isn’t an answer. And sometimes the reason wouldn’t make a bit of difference if we knew it. I think our culture just wants there to be an ANSWER. If these people are sick, well, maybe we can make them well. If they can’t be made well…nobody wants to think about that.

        2. avatar frank speak says:

          it frustrates those “looking for solutions”…there really are none…short of disarming us all…something that they incrementally seem to be working towards…..

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Garrison: I think we have to wake-up to the fact that it’s difficult to get “. . . mean spirited, evil people in the world . . .” word-smithed into language that is suitable for promulgation as law-of-the-land. Something that judges can give direction to juries as to how to apply to the evidence in a case.

          If this were so, then it’s an example of barking-up-the-wrong-tree.

          When you wrote: “. . . coming to realize that the cops ain’t comin’ . . .” I believe you were pointing at one of the right trees.

          Now, our difficulty is: How do we help “Slowly but surely, however, . . . others beside People Of The Gun are coming to realize . . . ” This is a problem of democratization of knowledge in the face of the rhetoric of billionaires who buy their pixels and sound-bites by the barrel.

          The really fascinating aspect of this is that these very same billionaires are committed to the same solution we are. Bloomberg maintains a Pretorian guard of 15 “retired” NYPD alumni who – by virtue of the grace of Congress – enjoy immunity from the carry laws of all 50 states! Isn’t wisdom wonderful? Especially when it is bestowed upon the aristocracy!

    2. avatar anonymoose says:

      Not even that much. Try less than 40% of the people living in major (D)-controlled metro areas, but they have extremely low voter turnout and are always trying to run out anybody who isn’t shackled into living in their ghettos.

    3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      Because the pot legalization crowd is socialist progressive in their political orientation, I don’t expect the billionaire $$$ legal pot dealer business men and women to donate money to the Second Amendment Foundation or any other group of lawyers to fight for gun rights.

      By definition they are Liberal. And they won’t support a fight for gun rights. This is one reason why I don’t trust pot heads.

  3. avatar don says:

    Maybe I’ve been living in a cave. Never heard of the TOMS. But now that I have I won’t be buying into their products.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Could be east coast versus west coast maybe?
      I’ve heard of Thoms, but not Toms.

      1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

        They sell their shoes in Academy Sports…for those of you that shop there…
        UBCs…and who will enforce that? Criminals will continue to flaunt the rules…whatever you put in place.
        Even a full ban…did not work for alcohol…not working for drugs…would not work for guns either.

  4. avatar Yarbles says:

    No such thing as ‘Gun Violence’ TOMmy boy.

    There is only CRIMINAL VIOLENCE.

  5. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Article made my head spin. Had to go back to the top and confirm the author – thought at first it was something from Elaine D…fighting back against anti-gun crazies. Finding the article was posted by Kat calmed me down such that I didn’t need angina pills.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Sorry to disappoint, Sam. I’m sure you realize that since I actually work in mental health, I don’t consider a difference of opinion to be “craziness.” Doesn’t qualify, not even by generous standards.

    2. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Hey, I did the requisite “grow a pair” comment at the bottom. 😉 Just a quick post, Sam I Am.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Yep, you did. Another reason I was in panic that Elaine D had started to understand the bad crowd she is keeping company with (Dimwitocrats/Leftists/Liberals). I was cavalier in just noting the name of the poster was not male (or whatever the non-hate term is), and just presumed it was Elaine D. Thanks for being there.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          Always glad you’re here, Sam. Keeps me smiling.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Always glad you’re here, Sam. Keeps me smiling.”

          Happy to be here. Grateful for the opportunity. Proud to serve.

  6. avatar pwrserge says:

    Why would I pay money for overpriced granny slippers made using third world slave labor?

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Above…..and pretty fugly to boot!

  7. avatar RA-15 says:

    The takeaway is ” FUCK TOMS ” & every rich asshole that think they can buy away our 2A right’s. Our rights are not for sale.

  8. avatar JD says:

    Toms?……..never heard of him.

  9. avatar MarkPA says:

    There is only one “background check” that will have the desired effect. Require a net worth of $1 billion dollars. Now, then, you will have only a few dozen people who meet that qualification. Problem solved.

    But, there is that pesky 2A to deal with. It says that “the People” have a right to arms. How many of them? Well, just about all of them. So, suppose we can sort out some of them. Those who are too young. Those who are illegal aliens. Legal aliens who don’t have green cards. Some criminals; some crazies. OK, so, you are still left with a couple hundred million – at least!

    How do you sort through a couple hundred million people to figure out which “shouldn’t have them”? Do we even have a clear means of figuring out what that would mean? And, still have criteria that pass Constitutional muster?

    It’s not going to happen. Not in America. All we can really do is shuffle the cards in the deck. There remain the same 52 cards; they are simply in a slightly different arrangement.

    Individuals with no Constitutional disabling antecedent will have guns. Individuals who are prohibited persons will still get guns. American society is simply not going to incarcerate criminals and crazies at the rate sufficient to change gunshot numbers.

    Want something different? Need to deal with the root causes. Suicide, depression, mental-illness diagnosis and treatment. Violence, early childhood nurturing. Accidents, training. Laws and paperwork won’t make a difference; unless, of course, the gun-controllers can repeal the 2A.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      @Mark

      For accidents: safety, training, would probably help. Not perfect as even experienced gun owners still have accidents, but hopefully it would cut down.

      For suicide: this is probably where mental health could make the most real difference for people.

      For active shooters: they’re mostly not mentally ill and mostly legally own their guns, so that’s an unknown at this time. Unfortunately this is also the group of people who gets the public most set against guns.

      1. avatar Slave labor shoes by Tom's says:

        Hopefully? Doubt it. Hunters safety hasn’t had an effect. Fewer hunters today mean fewer accidents. Training is Just more feels good.

      2. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        For active shooters the only answer is that over 50% of those on site are carrying concealed. This problem goes away when all these nutbags do is get a few shots off before being taken out by a good guy with a gun.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Ansel: I agree; and, I think that the magic number is somewhere around 50%.

          At some point – probably between 40% – 60% – the probability of facing return fire will register with those who are able to reason about probability. These will either plan more carefully or abandon their plan. At current levels (just a few percent) lots of rational odds-makers will take their chances. At some point, “market penetration” will saturate the population willing to cart-around another pound or two of metal.

        2. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

          @MarkPA

          And those that can’t reason become examples of stupidity for all of us to hold up as shining examples to point to.

      3. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Elaine D …….Many people confuse evil people and their deeds to mental illness. They cannot or will not recognize that there is such a thing as EVIL. I have seen by your comments that you see and recognize this. Wish others would see this. There is no law that will prevent evil, only punish the ones that do evil.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Ed

          Well, I get why people resist the idea of evil. Because you can’t fix it. We like to fix things. We like to believe that somehow everything can be fixed.

          There is a book that has been out a long time that was and is still controversial. It’s titled “People of the Lie” and is by a psychiatrist and consists of his musings about evil. Interestingly, one of the case studies is that of a set of parents who gives a gun to their child that their other child committed suicide with. M. Scott Peck wonders aloud: are these parents incredibly ignorant? Are they misguided? Or are they evil and sending their kid a deeply powerful message intended to do him harm?

          Evil’s a difficult study. And it’s a topic everyone avoids because it’s difficult.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine & Ed: I doubt that there is anything fruitful about discussing notions of “evil”, “criminality” or “craziness”. It’s really quite doubtful that we can achieve any real agreement that could serve much of a useful purpose.

          Let’s prescind for a moment from the Constitutionality issue. What we ought to be searching for is cures to maladies we can do something about. Maybe it’s heart disease. Maybe its suicide by guns. We want to be putting our efforts and money where we can accomplish something.

          It might be that one or another of our passions are just too hard to fix. If so, then we ought to put the majority of our efforts behind something that we think can fix.

          It’s really foolish to imagine that we can fix gun suicides in America more easily than we could address suicides in general. Why not focus on fixing suicides by MD’s and RPh’s who suicide by drug overdose? Wouldn’t we do society much more good by saving the life of a young doctor than an old farmer?

          Why not focus on screening, diagnosing, treating and resolving depression? Wouldn’t we accomplish vastly more good by making miserable people content and productive? These folks want to feel better; in theory, we shouldn’t need to fight them in their goal. (Whereas, suicides really want to kill themselves. We have to fight with then to interfere with their objective.) Oh, by the way. If we cured hundreds of thousands of depressed people we would – incidentally – prevent their suicides. We wouldn’t have to worry about taking guns away from farmers or drugs away from pharmacists. Wouldn’t that be easier?

          Criminals. So, I’d personally be content if we could just get criminals to kill their victims with cutlery or clubs. Then we wouldn’t have gun controllers complaining about gun crime. Alas, I can’t get many people on-board with my approach. How about, maybe, we try to use what little we know about social science to try to prevent individuals in vulnerable demographics from pursuing a life of crime? If we did that then we wouldn’t have to worry quite so much about the “substitution” problem. I.e., if we take their guns away that they might pursue their proclivities with cutlery or clubs.

          Why is it that root-cause analysis with guns seems to stop at the firing pin striking the primer? Is that as far as our thinking is able to reach? Back to some part of a machine? Oddly enough, the part that is legally defined as the firearm is the most inert part of all – the frame/receiver.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “So, I’d personally be content if we could just get criminals to kill their victims with cutlery or clubs. Then we wouldn’t have gun controllers complaining about gun crime. Alas, I can’t get many people on-board with my approach.”

          I’m on board !

          I would take it one step further: repeal all laws. Without law, there is no crime; perfect world. You only have the individual rights you can personally defend. Make everyone responsible for their own welfare. Let free choice decide if individuals will band together to protect the sick, weak and infants.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Evil’s a difficult study. And it’s a topic everyone avoids because it’s difficult.”

          Evil is not a difficult topic, it is simply unpleasant where society welcomes the dictatorship of the offended.

        5. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          Well, I’ll differ with you a bit there. I do think a discussion of and contemplation of evil might be important. Because it’s always there, and there’s always a “can we fix this” question. And the mass shooters are the ones that bring this up for people.

          I think (correct me if you’re wrong) that you’re differentiating between people like James Holmes, the Columbine kids, Adam Lanza, Seung Hui-Cho, Stephen Paddock and people who are from low income, crime ridden, or educationally deficient areas. Yes? Because none of the shooters on that list, the infamous ones, were poor or undereducated. They came from “good” backgrounds and don’t seem to have come from abusive families from what I can tell. Yet they committed the crimes they did. And they are the ones people remember.

          Mental health treatment: I’m all about it. But historically, the people who have been more in favor of this are the Democrats, which is one of the reasons I’m a Dem. Mental health costs money that conservatives just don’t want to spend.

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Mental health treatment: I’m all about it. But historically, the people who have been more in favor of this are the Democrats, which is one of the reasons I’m a Dem. Mental health costs money that conservatives just don’t want to spend.”

          ‘Fess up, now. Do you have a binder filled with goobledigook from Leftist gurus. Mindless stuff that you prattle on about, whenever you have no real understanding?

          Your statement is the typical, “It’s too hard to really think, so I’ll go with the people who encourage me not to think.” The truth is, Dimwitocrats think something should be done about something, and the cost should be born by everyone, whether there is any real chance spending everyone else’s money will accomplish anything.

          Republicrats are not opposed to mental health spending. They/we are opposed to burdening taxpayers for something that can be done without government. Dimwitocrats think every need must be met, and must be met by government (taxpayer) funding. It is no different from the fiction that Republicrats refuse to allow CDC to do any research on so-called “gun violence”.

          Are all “mental health professionals” on the government payroll? No
          Are all the psychologists dependent on government payments to have a financially healthy practice? No.

          Then, how do these people get by without government subsidies?

          People who want to be Dimwitocrats want to force people to “do right”, “right” as determined by political, not moral, imperatives.

          Dimwitocrats suffer from dependency issues, and the Leftists are all too happy to manipulate them.

        7. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: “. . . you’re differentiating between people like James Holmes, the Columbine kids, Adam Lanza, Seung Hui-Cho, Stephen Paddock and people who are from low income, crime ridden, or educationally deficient areas.” Yes, I can differentiate among these cases. It’s not that I’m unable to see differences.

          The problem I see is that we are contemplating writing some public policy into law. Now, how do I imagine I’m going to find it helpful to work in the word “evil” into the text of a law? I’m open to suggestions.

          If you want to write a law that limits bearing arms by age; I get that. Vermont forbids children under 16 from carrying handguns. If you want to write a law making felons prohibited persons, I can work with this. I’d like to make a distinction between violent and non-violent felonies; and this is a little harder. It’s more difficult to clearly define which mental illnesses and severities that should disable a person of his 2A rights. Still, I have a little hope that this might be accomplished.

          Still, in all of this, we ought to be bound by the procedural processes that constitute “due process”. I’m not at all willing to concede that any individual – not a shrink nor a sheriff – should have the authority to decide that someone is too “irresponsible”, too “crazy” or too “evil” to be permitted to have a gun. I am still more opposed to anyone deciding that an applicant has not donated generously enough to the Democrat Party to be permitted to have a carry permit.

          I can live with DC’s Shall-Issue process as onerous as it is. I have no tolerance for NYC’s or NJ’s process which are purely arbitrary and discriminatory.

        8. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Sam

          I’ll listen to what you have to say about mental health once you’ve spent the amount of time actually working in the field that I have. About 15 years at this point so I’ll check back with you in, what, 2033 or so? I’ll put it on the calendar.

        9. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I have seen the outcomes of your mental health profession. Are you of the opinion that mental illness is on the decline? I don’t read your journals, but the news feeds do not seem to support the idea that mental illness is being reduced. In fact, one concludes that mental illness in inexorably on the rise (especially when one looks at the ever increasing amount of money being spent trying to cure the incurable). Are there successes? Of course. Are they “bending the curve”? Nope.

          As a frame of reference, I don’t need to be a cancer surgeon, specialist, therapist, or researcher to know that deaths related to certain cancers are dropping dramatically. I know the jig is up when “specialists” tell me I have to be a “specialist” to observe trend lines. I don’t need to be a stock analyst to know that over time, the stock market has always been on an upward trend. I need to be a trained pilot to safely complete a mission/flight. But I don’t need to be a pilot to know airplanes work, and can get me where I want to go. I don’t need to be an aerospace engineer to read flying safety statistics and trend lines, either.

          Essentially, you are asking, “Are you going to believe me, or your lying eyes?”

        10. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Sam

          What I am saying is that the countless people who have benefited from mental health and had life changing positive experiences from it would be very surprised to hear you say it doesn’t work.

          Why do diagnoses and treatments change: Research my dear. New and more sophisticated understandings of the brain derived from neurology, new technology like fMRIs to show us what’s really happening with things like depression, new studies of drugs being used for different purposes than the original (i.e. propranolol, an old school beta blocker, turns out to have uses for PTSD that were discovered by accident; hallucinogens are turning out to have benefit for depression, anxiety, chronic pain and PTSD in microdose amounts; some cannabis extracts, same). New medical research: turns out that your gut makes about 80% of your happy chemicals so a terrible diet turns out to be a big factor in depression. So does a little gene called MTHFR that’s a recent discovery as well and the gene variation is treated with vitamins, not drugs.

          Those are just a few examples.

        11. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Sam: We really have to be fair to the mental health profession, including Elaine. Screening, diagnosing, treating and curing mental disease is not easy. The progress made in other aspects of the medical field haven’t come easily; nor was the steam engine invented in a day.

          The mental health profession has made a lot of progress. And, there has been a lot of development in the diagnostic ability over time. There have been enormous missteps; and, enormous progress.

          Sure, we can – and should – complain about failings of the mental health profession. Likewise, complain about failings in criminology which has been at it for an even longer time in history. If they were easy problems they would have been solved long ago. They aren’t; and, we should expect to see a lot more work accomplished in the decades or centuries to come.

          We – society – find ourselves at the confluence of public and personal safety, criminality and craziness. What do we do about all of them? I’m certainly not prepared to trust our benevolent governments to take care of my personal safety.

          We could lock “everybody” up. We know what that would look like. We could let “everybody” to be at liberty among us. We pretty much experience what that looks like. Let’s face it. We have no really great solutions. And, until we do, we need to take personal responsibility for our own self-defense.

          It is this idea – personal responsibility for our own self-defense – that is really hard to get across to a solid majority of voters. We’ve been lulled into a sense of complacency by the relative peacefulness of the society in which most voters live.

          I’ve always lived in very safe places. Nevertheless, while at the Gun Rights Policy Conference the Sheriff robot-called my wife 3 times to announce that a fugitive sexual predator was at large in our neighborhood. Just a year ago a dealer murdered 6 of his customers on one day 2 miles from my home. The Unibomber’s last victim lived a couple of miles from my previous home. A guy was off’ed with a car bomb in the village I lived in before that. I got it. And so, I’m prepared no matter how safe I feel I am. It’s this personal responsibility we need to educate our fellow voters about. When seconds count . . .

        12. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I will ask you the same questions, and pose the same observations posed to Elaine D.

          “Are the number of reported cases of mental illness increasing or decreasing (nationally)?”
          “Are the number of reported successful outcomes (lay term – cures) increasing, or decreasing?”
          “Is the universe of mental illness so gigantic that nothing can be done to “eradicate” mental illness along the lines of polio, smallpox, bubonic plague, tuberculosis?”

          “If the answer to the questions are “Yes, every measure of mental illness is decreasing”, then the rising cost of treatment is indicative of the law of diminishing returns, and fiscal policy must be governed by utility, not hope. We have gone as far as possible, and the incremental increase in success provided no meaningful societal benefit; nothing will ever be perfect, and there are more pressing matters that need funding.”

          The central issue is not whether people are helped by the mental profession, it is whether the taxpayer should be burdened with funding such an imprecise, unpredictable proposition. There are foundations, universities, uber-wealthy individuals who can take up the cause of improving mental illness treatment. Why haven’t they done so? Why haven’t they spent their billions (Harvard) trying to help all the mentally suffering? If they withhold funding because there is no profit in it, well…shame on them, but it is their money to do with as they see fit. If they withhold funding because they are unconvinced the funding would be instrumental in effecting improvement in the mental health of the nation, then maybe we should take the hint.

          Mental health treatment has been around for over 100yrs. We eradicated a host of diseases, built entire new avenues of cures for complex disabilities, and continue to rapidly adapt new methods and treatments to every other avenue of medical pursuit. Mental health treatment is a black hole for taxpayer funding. Let the private sector deal with it, or not.

          Obviously, we can’t “cure” everything, but we mindlessly continue to spend as if the watershed is just over the hill.

        13. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Sam: It’s my (not so humble) layman’s opinion that there is much that can be done in a cost-effective way in the mental health arena. For example, depression is now relatively simple to cure. A study I just read calculated that at 11 cents per pill (in the US) it costs only $22,000 to save one suicide per year. That’s cheap.

          My area of study is economics; the dismal science. I’m not particularly interested in the cost/benefit of saving 1 suicide for $22,000 (albeit the pay-off is obvious.) Instead, I see that the hundreds of depressed people whole would not be suffering and would be more productive in their educations/carrears would be vastly more valuable economically. You see, you would have to cure hundreds of depressed people to prevent that 1 suicide.

          Now, think of the income tax and sales taxes paid on that additional productivity. Think of the cost savings to the social safety net. All gravy.

          The plan to pay for this obvious net benefit is a mere detail. Why Bloomberg could donate billions to Johns Hopkins to kick-start the program. Once proven to have the expected tax benefits then the several states should be eager to promote their citizens welfare by expanding the program.

        14. avatar Sam I Am says:

          My questions remain. Is the curve “bending” in the direction of overall reduction? Are fewer, or more instances of people seeking mental health assisting rising or falling?

          As to “cure” for mental illness (or any other illness), if you must seek continuing, regular treatment, you are not “cured”. I am sure there is a medical term for that situation, but “cured” is not it. Of all the mental health patients, how many need no further treatment/assistance? How do we know? Are these people monitored 24/7? Can we declared this group of former mental health patients “cured” (sounds like it to me, but the eternal monitoring is problematic, and likely impossible).

          Simply put, if the number of patients seeking mental health care is not declining overall, we are not succeeding. I have no interest in pursuing a continuing failure with my tax dollars. Once again, why is it no other wealthy group/individual is exhaustively engaged in “solving” mental health? Maybe we should be paying attention to the deafening silence from this cohort.

          About what you call “the dismal science”, I sympathize. During the first Clinton term, the Treasury was required to project revenue from a tax policy that confiscated all income (regardless of source) over $250,000 per tax payer. Interestingly, such a postulation was also made during the Obama years. Back to Clinton….

          Treasury produced an economic analysis that projected expected revenues over a ten year period. That right there should shake everyone who has even the tinniest understanding of cause and effect. There should not have been a projection for year tow. However, the “economists” of Treasury determined that tax policy did not cause behavior change of taxpayers. If one looks closely, it is possible to see how economists are involved in mental health activities similar to the “professionals”. Truth is, there are simply too many variables to accurately predict economic events in detail because economies are not math models, but the aggregate mental machinations of countless people doing unexpected things. Just as there are too many variables resistant to isolation for understanding and modifying mental behavior.

          Which brings us to climate change modeling….doesn’t it?

        15. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Are the number of reported cases of mental illness increasing or decreasing (nationally)?
          Are the number of reported successful outcomes (lay term – cures) increasing, or decreasing?
          Is the universe of mental illness so gigantic that nothing can be done to “eradicate” mental illness along the lines of polio, smallpox, bubonic plague, tuberculosis?

          If the answer to the questions are “Yes, every measure of mental illness is decreasing”, then the rising cost of treatment is indicative of the law of diminishing returns, and fiscal policy must be governed by utility, not hope. We have gone as far as possible, and the incremental increase in success provided no meaningful societal benefit; nothing will ever be perfect, and there are more pressing matters that need funding.
          (which is where your billionaires should come in)

        16. avatar Pg2 says:

          @sam, truth because the Fictional bullshit we are given about polio and smallpox are much more complex than the 1-2 line line bumper sticker slogans we are given for public consumption. Historically data does not support vaccines reduced or erradicated smallpox. The definition of polio was changed after the vaccine introduced, and we are left with diseases like AFM and other paralytic diseases that were once called polio.

        17. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Question is about definitions. My definition is that a mofo who shoots 500 people he doesn’t know at a concert, for no reason, then kills himself, is fucking NUTS! If our “mental health” quacks say something else, then I say they should be fired, let them work at Burger King, they are not currently productive.

        18. avatar Sam I Am says:

          As I was composing a reply, it suddenly became clear that you pose a most awkward question for POTG.

          If a person, or group, decide that the government has gone full tyrant, and an attack on a government function is launched, are those people “NUTS”? If a person, or group of persons, believe that the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to possess weaponry to overthrow a tyrannical government, are those people “NUTS”? Are they “NUTS” for thinking our government would ever need to be overthrown, or only if they act on that proposition?

          Why is all this awkward for POTG? At the edges, gun grabbers are beginning to attack the very idea that there could ever be in instance where our government would need to be overthrown. Anti-gun people claim that thinking revolution is “NUTS”.

        19. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Sam: Good line of inquiry. My only response is to reference the Declaration of Independence. And, to observe, that conventional wisdom has it that at the time of the revolution:
          – 1/3 of the population were Loyalists
          – 1/3 of the population were ambivalent
          – 1/3 of the population supported independence.

          About 3% were in the field at any given time, only about 5% were ever in the field over the course of the war. So, 30% were on the farms, in the shops, running the ferries and so forth to support the 3% in the field. Best empirical evidence we have on point.

          In the end, the victors write the history. We don’t know whether or when anyone will resort to politics by other means. What IS clear, at least to me, is that we must make every effort possible (as did those of the Revolutionary era) to make the most of the soap box and the ballot box. To plead with those who would govern us and our neighbors as well. To explain to them why we find them to be mistaken and we have a just cause.

          In doing so, we will build up that faction I referred to as the “30%” for without them, the 3% can’t hope to succeed.

          With a modicum of luck – and persistence – the 30% can build to 40% and possibly 50% and politics by other means might be deferred another generation or two. It’s perfectly clear to me that the keyboard-commandos won’t constitute a successful 3% alone. If our powers of persuasion fail us then the cause of liberty is lost.

        20. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “If our powers of persuasion fail us then the cause of liberty is lost.”

          The mid-terms aren’t encouraging, yet. It is possible that the victories of the Left will cause the Dimwitocrat party to go the way of the Whigs if the crazies continue to drive the agenda.

          2020 will be pivotal.

        21. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Sam, I think that is a different question. Maybe not. If a group who felt govt tyranny had gotten out of hand and revolution was upon us, saw the evil govt monsters lurking in an outdoor amphitheater while country music was played, thus were forced to resist their evil by shooting randomly into a crowd of uninvolved strangers, then yes, absolutely, mofos are definitely NUTS!!! You do not need graduate degrees to differentiate between that and quietly laying in wait for uniformed thugs to try breaking down your neighbor’s door.

        22. avatar Sam I Am says:

          You love that diversionary thinking. I asked if a group of people responded to conditions linked to a rogue,tyrannical government by attacking the government, not a country western concert. By definition, agents of a rogue, tyrannical government are agents to be eliminated, whether armed or not (people who decide to not abandon a rogue government will have made their intentions clear, earning what reward they are due). If a government becomes that great threat, the destroyer of worlds, it isn’t just the military or police who are then vulnerable. Even heads of state are proper targets in overthrowing that out-of-control government. If it came to the third revolution, it will be most uncivil.

          Twice before, the situation did have trappings of opposing armies in the field as the main attraction. However, ruthless anti-person raids were carried out on a minor scale. Given the lack of organization of political leaders and uniformed revolutionary armies in place today, attempting to put a rogue government in its place will be quite brutal on “innocents”, all around.

          Throwing off tyranny cannot be labeled mental illness. It is a violation of the sitting government law, but not mental illness. People who believe government cannot become tyrannical are deluded. And that IS mental illness.

        23. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @LarryinTX

          Thing is, being angry and amoral doesn’t qualify as mentally ill. Anger and entitlement aren’t mental illnesses.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      actually, part of their plan is to turn a lot of us into convicted felons…….

  10. avatar Craig in IA says:

    The $5 million would be better-spent on what TOMS was already doing. Might make that clear to them in a contact, along with the firm message that you will not provide any financial assistance to them since they are wasting $5 million right off of the top. Hit the link and contact them. Get off of here for 10 minutes.

    Just in case you can’t figure it out:

    https://www.toms.com/improving-lives?utm_source=affiliate&utm_medium=linkshare&utm_campaign=USNetwork&utm_content=10&utm_term=je6NUbpObpQ&cid=af_lsus_je6NUbpObpQ_10&ranMID=38583&ranEAID=je6NUbpObpQ&ranSiteID=je6NUbpObpQ-uC9T4GD3g54l698AQmQ8dQ&siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-uC9T4GD3g54l698AQmQ8dQ

    Quit complaining here. Oh, and it might be more effective if you didn’t tell them to “go fuck themselves” first… Make your case. Good luck.

    1. avatar kpraxor says:

      https://www.toms.com/improving-lives will remove the ad-tracking query string on that link and is a better way to enter the site so you don’t have everyone in their analytics look like they’re coming from TTAG and using the same tracking code.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Well, OK, fine, count me out then. I can’t even imagine a response which does not begin with “go fuck yourself”, probably followed by several lines of text demonstrating how mild that original response was.

  11. avatar LibertyToad says:

    I wonder if they would change their stance if they found out that more people are saved by guns each year in the U.S. than the number of people who are killed by them?

    Why are they only looking at one side of the equation?

    Policies should not be based on opinion, they should be based on facts.

  12. avatar AlanInFL says:

    Thank God I wear slippers.

    Another company to avoid.

  13. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Never heard of TOMS,guess I won’t be ether as they are on a similar path as the pricks of Dicks.

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      I suddenly want to make a “Tom, Dick, and Harry” joke. I do believe I missed a golden opportunity.

  14. avatar Shire-man says:

    I would have thought it was founded to make money like any other company ever. Can’t say I’ve seen or heard of TOMS before this.

  15. avatar LarryinTX says:

    So, is the jackass going to explain how UBC could ever, in your wildest dreams, delay (never mind prevent) even one criminal misuse of a firearm? We already have background checks, and they accomplish nothing. Check the statistics on before and after they were implemented. Making them universal would assure they would be universally worthless.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “So, is the jackass going to explain how UBC could ever, in your wildest dreams, delay (never mind prevent) even one criminal misuse of a firearm?”

      Doesn’t matter. Pre-conceptions drive everything for Leftists (Useful Idiots only), liberals (same), Dimwitocrats, (redundant).

      My Brother-In-Law claimed that CDC is right about everything they research except the number of defensive gun uses per year; those numbers are just made up because Trump pressured CDC with funding cuts. BIL also claimed that the IRS data on which income groups pay the most taxes is also the result of pressure from Trump. Showed BIL the IRS numbers from the second year of the second Obama administration. BIL said the IRS was opposed to Obama’s economic programs, and skewed the numbers for political purposes (but IRS did not target “conservative” groups for denial of applications for charity tax exemptions).

      It just “doing something” to make the smug elitists feel good about themselves.

  16. avatar Dan in Detroit says:

    So, no more gift certificates to Tom’s for my wife…
    And I’ll probably get her to cut back on buying them, if not stop entirely.
    Guns have always been welcome in my house, stuff from anti-gun companies isn’t and she knows it.

  17. avatar possum says:

    TOMS has some rational points, and in this seaming period of gunsaphobia the request carry’s well. Am I willing to give in to a universal background check in hopes of keeping a part of the 2a? Well yes, yes I would. At the expense of being labeled a FUDD, as I’ve never been to a collage or universality

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      I would trade UBCs only for a full repeal and federal preemption of all other gun laws.

      1. avatar Binder says:

        What I would really like to see is them put a mark on your drivers licence if you are a convicted criminal who “can’t” have a gun. Lets see them try and pass that. Kind of like a FOID card, but you do it to EVERYONE.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Binder

          How about a mark that indicates that you have passed all tests of character and mental gymnastics required and are therefore a safe person to own pretty much whatever, within reason?

        2. avatar Binder says:

          We already have them in Illinois, it is called a FOID card.

          But one upside is that Illinois manages to be the one state with universal background checks that are “free”. And we don’t have a universal gun registry to go with the universal background check.

          The downside is that the gang members who are straw purchasing for everyone else can be pre-approved before even stepping into a gun store.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The downside is that the gang members who are straw purchasing for everyone else can be pre-approved before even stepping into a gun store.”

          Straw purchasers are not the downside. The downside is two-fold: wrong denials; instant in time.

          In the first case an honest and innocent person is forced to prove innocence. In the second case, the background check only “proves” that a legal buyer is legal at that moment; not a minute later.

          It is just a bunch of feel good to make spineless sheep think they can sleep comfortably at night because only “good” people can “pass” background checks. Regarding people who fail background checks are rarely prosecuted.*

          There seems to be no, zero, none, zip evidence that a criminal or about to be criminal has ever been denied the ability to obtain a gun because they failed a background check. That person may be denied at the moment of the background check, but nothing prevents acquiring a gun from an illegal source.

          *Here ya’ go, ‘Laine:
          https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2018/09/08/study-finds-fail-background-checks-charged/
          https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/06/gun-laws-report-finds-few-rejected-during-background-checks-charged/1213216002/
          https://www.politifact.com/new-hampshire/statements/2013/mar/22/kelly-ayotte/most-people-trying-buy-gun-illegally-us-senator-ke/
          https://www.thetrace.org/2016/05/lie-and-try-prohibited-gun-buying/

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Screw that! How about a 1″ tall tattoo on your forehead?

    2. avatar Elaine D. says:

      @possum

      Agreed with you. but, I’m biased because I’ve already had to pass standards that are much more stringent than that just in order to do the job I do, so a UBC would be nothing in comparison.

      That said, I’ve never known a serious POTG who would have any trouble passing a background check. There are some folk who think that it might be a tie to a registry. I’m actually pretty sure that, as a super owner, I’m already on some kind of list so I’m not worried about that either at this point. But that’s just me.

      1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

        Only if you own NFA gear, usually…
        unless your state has a registration process

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Leighton

          I heard differently from someone who probably should not have said something…and I don’t know more…so don’t ask, I tried!

        2. avatar frank space says:

          state registration “lists” are often not very accurate either….once ran myself on the registry list PA is not supposed to have…but does….found at least two missing from the list..even though I jumped all the hoops…and two more that I never owned in the first place…

        3. avatar possum says:

          @ Elaine: “and people would have had to come in voluntary” ? What about court ordered or court recommended? As I have been court recommended and a “been there done that” I would beg to bicker with you on evaluating someone on violent behavior. My brief interview with the Inquisitor had me on lock down for two weeks. I was not very impressed with how the mental health professionals did their jobs. I’ve seen some fucked up shit and came to the conclusion that the way “they” treat mental illness is insane, ( ha, I got 72 hr confinement for writhing that on a chalkboard). My original post was in total sarcasm, FUDD, won’t affect me because Universal Background checks dont apply to me as I’ve never been to a Universal ty, as in collage. I guess you missed that…. BTW , I question the mental stability of anyone who agrees with me, / hee hee

        4. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @possum

          Mental health workers in my particular field aren’t trained in evaluating violence. Most of us are not, because there is pretty much no training available for people like us that rests on sound clinical data.

          Pretty much the only people who are qualified to do that kind of assessment tend to be forensic psychologists or psychiatrists who work more closely with LE than do typical counseling work. If the counselors you were dealing with weren’t trained in those fields, or didn’t have some kind of specialized training for answering whatever the question was about you that needed answering, that was a failure on the part of whatever system was locking you up. If that ever happens again ask for a professional that has the right training. I hope that it doesn’t happen, of course.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        So, Elaine, would you be ok with universial background check being required for any “transfer” of a gun to another person? We often talk loosely about “our” definition of UBCs when what would satisfy gun-controllers would of necessity be something that was intentionally coercive. They’d easily find a reason to make it difficult for a father to give a gun to a son (background check) or a simple loan of a weapon to a friend at the range (background check). This would of course require the involvement of a licensed FFL with increased insurance costs for liability, etc.

        In social movement theory this is called “coercive reform” because it is a common method used by activists to punish their cultural enemies. You can count on gun-controllers insisting on UBCs that are increasingly onerous (waiting periods to buy guns, licenses and local sheriff involvement comes to mind) whose purpose is specifically designed to make gun ownership, gun trading, and gun use, so distasteful that People Of The Gun will simply go away. No think you. Guns Up.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Garrison

          I’ll have to think about that one.

          In general, as a cautious person, I don’t know that I think loaning guns is such a great idea. I know people do it. I myself do not. A gun sold to me that escapes from someone else’s hands and ends up as part of a bad situation is going to come back to haunt me.

          You have to do a title transfer to gift a car to a family member. That person can’t drive it unless they have all the things you need to drive: license, insurance etc. I don’t see this as being that different, since it protects the giver from being held liable for actions of the givee. but that analogy opens up a whole other can of worms.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: When you drive to a restaraunt with valet parking don’t you just hand your keys to the nice young man and thank him? Don’t you expect him to return your car when you give him your claim check? Did you even look at his driver’s license?

          You need more – and deeper – immersion into gun culture in the US. We think nothing of lending trusted friends guns for short or long periods of time. You would be stunned to know how long a gun might be left with a friend.

          There is simply nothing magical about a gun. It’s no more a matter of magic than is a car. Either one is capable of doing enormous damage – to kill someone. There is no more reason to take particular care with a gun in excess of the care we take when lending a car to someone.

          I’m not minimizing the importance of taking care with a gun. I’m simply not elevating taking care with a gun over the care we ought to take with lending a car.

          When and where I grew up children drove cars (legally) at age 15. They drove cars illegally at still younger ages. I carried a gun – alone – at age 13 and drove illegally at 14. Wasn’t a problem.

          Let’s keep our eye on the ball here. Is the person old enough to be permitted to possess guns unsupervised as determined by the individual’s parents and the state’s legislature? Is the person one whose 2A rights have not been lost as prescribed by law? Do we want to endure a FOID/CWP scheme in our state? Do we want any prerequisites (training, testing, live-fire qualification) to keeping/bearing arms in our state? Do we want to make these onerous or do we want to try to promote responsible behavior?

          Gun controllers really are interested in making requirements onerous. They want to try to strangle the gun-culture.

          You are entitled to your personal views on what you would like to see. I will grant you that. Just as I am entitled to my personal views on what you ought to be permitted to write for publication on TTAG. In neither case does either of us have the power to dictate to the other behavior protected by the Constitution.

          The debate is really over two things: What laws will pass Constitutional scrutiny. And, of these, which will convey more benefit from enforcement than they will cost. What gun controllers have a very difficult time imagining is that most gun laws they imagine are Constitutional will not convey more benefit than cost.

          A million guns a month are added to the American civilian gunstock each month. At some point guns will be so numerous that they will be indistinguishable from the stock of cutlery or clubs. As we approach this point – ever so gradually – we will finally realize that gun-control is no more feasible than cutlery-control. Can you envision this proposition?

          Now, how many years away from this point are we? Is this point in the future? or is it in the past? This is the ugly reality of the situation. Time to work on root causes.

        3. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          Heh. I never use valet parking. Can’t speak to that one.

          I suppose that what I know as a therapist is that you can’t always know everything about another person’s life or what they are really doing when they are not around you. Or what their friends or partner are doing around them. I’m not saying not to trust anyone. I’m saying that people keep secrets, sometimes for years, and can have secret lives. Fine for them. I’m still not going to loan a gun. I would rather donate to help someone buy their own and go through the proper checks and so forth; knowing someone doesn’t mean I know their entire past or their criminal record, if any.

          I guess it depends on what people consider “onerous.” I’d be fine if my own requirements for LTC had been quite a bit higher. I would have still done them. They would still be very small compared to what I have had to do to earn other licensures. That’s just my own experience. It would take an awful lot for me to consider training requirements onerous. I had to do more than that to drive a car, after all.

        4. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: Good. You are starting to think about the problem. Well, we do loan guns and cars. We loan our children cars when they are too young and poor to buy their own. We loan guns to children when they are too young to buy them at a gun shop. (I ordered my first gun from a gun shop when I was 13, but then that was before the GCA’68. It took years of negotiation to get my dad to spring and take the order. He was the FFL.)

          I’m not telling you that you have to use valet parking services or loan your neighbor your car. At the same time, you aren’t in any position to tell me whether I’m well/poorly advised to loan other folks guns.

          I left one of my guns at a friends home. I knew my friend and his siblings and parents very well. I wasn’t the least bit worried about what they might have done with my gun. They had lots of other guns of their own; all more powerful than my .22. They taught their young children the rule “guns are always loaded”. Typically many rooms in their house had a gun leaning in the corner. The children could check any time and confirm that the guns were always loaded. What they might do with my gun wasn’t much of a concern to me. I almost never thought about it.

          What they did with the gun was beyond my imagination. In fact, my friend wasn’t aware I left the gun at his house; nor was his father. His little brothers had it and used it well for a long time. Nothing went wrong. The boys grew up safe and sound.

          Why should you presume that other people shouldn’t take risks that you wouldn’t take? Why should you presume that you know better how to prescribe risks that other people should take?

          I too don’t find a background check annoying. My name happens to be globally unique so my background checks with NICS clear immediately. In NJ a background check took 3 weeks to clear because it was through the state’s agency. Lots of other folks have problems because of names. E.g., an instructor told me that NJ bounced his BC because he had a name collision with a guy whose name ended in an ‘a’ whereas his ended in an ‘o’. Never mind that the conviction occurred several years before my instructor was born. Took a while to persuade NJ that it probably wasn’t a correct match.

          Personally, I’d like to see a written test on the law of self-defense as a prerequisite for a CWP. Alas, the well is now poisoned. Whatever might be a really worthwhile idea for public safety is something that will now be rejected by rights advocates.

          The gun control crowd has invested so much energy in trying to stigmatize gun owners and trying to impose onerous burdens on the practice that patience for compromise has long been exhausted.

          Let’s take, for example, the 1 year wait for a tax stamp and the $200 tax for a silencer. The gun controllers stopped the Hearing Protection Act with lots of nonsense. (I trust you are familiar with the arguments they raised so I don’t need to recite them here.) OK, we got it. They will use all the political pressure and nonsense arguments they can in order to make it as difficult as possible for us to protect our hearing. Nothing they said holds any water at all. There is little to no evidence that silencers have been used in criminal activity since 1934. We PotG were perfectly willing to let silencers be regulated under the GCA’68 with 4473 form registration. All we asked is to buy them with an instant NICS and to pay the 11% excise tax rather than the $200 stamp tax. (Would have generated more tax revenue and eliminated the paperwork processing.) The gun controllers wouldn’t hear of it. They wanted us to suffer hearing loss. They wanted us to annoy neighbors of shooting ranges so that the ranges would be shut-down.

          So, when we don’t believe that criminals are going to take their traffickers to an FFL to fill out a 4473 form, how do you imagine that we are willing to “compromise” on a “common sense” gun control? Do you believe criminals will get BCs at FFLs? Do you believe that straw-buyers are going to take their criminal principles to FFLs? Burglars are going to take their customers to FFLs? Clandestine receiver manufacturers and smugglers are going to take their traffickers to FFLs? What’s the incentive to do so? ATF and the states only occasionally prosecute a straw-buyer or any private seller who skips the state’s mandatory background check for private sales.

          The real goal in UBC is to prosecute OFWGs for gun loans or sales to friends and neighbors. Why should we submit? We can simply defy the law and push our state legislatures to adopt a nullification statute (as the pot users did).

        5. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          Well, I don’t have a problem following the laws that exist. I didn’t find them unnecessarily onerous, because like I said, I have to follow a LOT more than that just to do my job. To me nothing that’s being asked for looks like that big a deal compared to what I’ve had to go through for many other things. I mean it’s nothing, minuscule, in comparison.

          So maybe I just can’t relate to feeling that it’s that onerous. Totally willing to own that. I only have my own experience to go on here, and my experience is that I’m not unduly burdened by what’s being asked for in terms of owning a gun nor do I consider some of the current proposals to be onerous. I do realize others feel differently, and if my own experiences make others consider me an elitist, so be it.

        6. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: OK, I have an insight to offer you. You are aware of the “Bell curve” abstraction. It can depict the range of human capacity on any of numerous topics. Typically, IQ; but also experience with regulations, and lots of other things.

          I take it that you likely have an IQ over 100 and a profession that requires you to deal with a fair amount of complexity. Likewise, I’m pretty sure my IQ is over 100 and my profession required that I deal with quite a bit of complexity. Most of my complexity was just as obscure and peculiar as yours. And so, we tend to loose touch with the fact that everyone else who lives a life outside our respective fields of experience doesn’t cope well with the complexity we are already familiar with. And, half the population has an IQ < 100. Most of the population has an IQ < 135. So, it's not easy for them.

          I was planning on going to get a lower receiver engraved with the name and city+state for an NFA registered SBR. I didn't have the address of the shop clearly in mind when I went to look for it. I realized that the shop was in the adjacent town, over the bridge in NJ. I had to decide whether to cross the bridge to see the engraver; or, go somewhere else in PA to have the engraving done. After thinking about it for a while I decided it just wasn't worth the risk. The receiver was already registered as an NFA firearm; so, it wasn't clear to me whether I could cross state lines with it (without advance permission from the ATF). I knew it was probably OK to carry an identical receiver with different serial numbers (I have 2 more) because I could claim that the other receivers are long guns which are legal to open-carry in NJ. However, the police might say that the receivers could be used to build handguns. It would be a court fight – for which I have a pre-paid legal insurance. But, I decided that all this risk just wasn't worth the advantage of getting the engraving done in a nearby shop.

          Do you think that the average Jack/Jill wants a court fight hanging over his/her head in making such a decision? And, this is about a simple lower receiver that has never had a trigger group or upper receiver attached.

          When you are able to regularly understand the exposure gun laws create for people of ordinary intelligence and a life to live outside of gun laws, you will "get it". As an aid to your education, I encourage you to google the name Shaneen Allen. She made the grave mistake of telling a NJ highway patrolman that she had a NJ License to Carry and a gun in her purse. NJ ruined her life and continued to do its best to persecute her AFTER the governor pardoned her.

          Jim Crow is alive and determined to persecute anyone – regardless of color – who dares to defy its gun laws. But, ironically, only if the victim is peaceful and law-abiding. Criminals they treat with kid gloves.

        7. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          You know, questions like this are rather unanswerable for me. I choose not to have NFA items because they don’t fill any of the needs I have for firearm ownership, which are only two: self defense here in the States and training for self defense during my visits to another country that has big dangerous animals in it. Things that are easily available on the open market filled what I needed fine, and I didn’t go beyond that.

          That’s just about my shooting lane. I don’t build guns or have them built for me; so the whole discussion about how the various rules affect gun building is one that unfortunately I can’t meaningfully contribute to.

      3. avatar MarkPA says:

        @Elaine: The idea of a background check – in the abstract – isn’t much of an issue. For all practical purposes, we have “UBC” in that if you are found by a cop in possession of a gun (under suspicious circumstances) he is going to run a BC on you that will cover much (albeit not all) the criteria that can make you a prohibited-person.

        Now, it remains to be seen whether the DA is going to prosecute you for your felon-in-possession.

        I had thought that there might be some terms under which we the PotG might negotiate for some sort of UBC. What would be essential would be to exclude any 4473 form for loans and any trip to an FFL for loans. However, the time for negotiation of some compromise has gone. There is too much animosity on the PotG side and no willingness on the controller side to settle for less than an intolerable act.

        Some sort of UBC compromise would still be window-dressing; it wouldn’t accomplish anything meaningful. There would still be a black market. Straw buying. Laundering of straw-bought guns with receivers manufactured in clandestine factories. Smuggling. Thefts. Gun-making is now a hobby. Nothing whatsoever will change that.

        While the nation is arguing over UBC we are not lifting a finger on any root cause of anything. Gun-control is 99% futile and 1% politically-unacceptable. I.e., we are not willing to enforce felon-in-possession because that will put more young men of color behind bars for longer periods of time. And, there remains insufficient popular conviction that this practice serves a net positive purpose.

        Look, for example, at Mexico. There, they have the constitutional right to keep arms at home, but no right to carry arms. The government at all levels is committed to enforcing the laws against bearing arms without a permit. They are really deeply committed. Yet, the population has an ambivalent attitude toward complying with gun laws.

        In the countryside peasants carry concealed with impunity. In the city, law-abiding citizens comply. Criminals do not comply. Cartel members pass through checkpoints with impunity.

        America would be little different if our Federal government tried to enforce a ban on carry. We have a concept called “nullification”. The best example is state legalization of pot. It’s absolutely forbidden to have pot under federal law; and yet, the Federales can’t do anything to enforce their law in the states that have legalized recreational or medical pot.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          Interesting point about the pot. I’ve thought of that too as a somewhat equivalent situation. Federally illegal. State legal.

          Of course, the whole pot thing is a mess. There’s still a pot black market in the states that went legal, which they didn’t think would happen. There’s a big influx of homeless folks to those states, which they didn’t think of either. Neighboring states are suing them for problems they’re having at their borders with people who cross over to get pot and then come back to their home state, maybe this is kinda equivalent to the stuff about reciprocity and CCW in some way. Feds are dealing with it by denying any federal monies to anything related to pot and denying federal money to people who test positive for weed even if they’re living in a state where it’s legal.

          Agreed that at this point gun making ain’t gonna go away, no more than meth labs will.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: Congratulations! You are recognizing that “you can’t stop the signal”.

          Radio technology was just getting off-the-ground at around the time of WW-I. After war’s end, Congress was toying with the idea of giving the Navy exclusive control over the radio spectrum. Today we can see, in retrospect, that this would have been a very bad idea. A guy named Hiram Percy Maximum talked Congress out of this really dumb idea. It really wasn’t going to work.

          (Incidentally, payback time came in 1934 when Congress levied a $200 tax on Hiram Percy’s firearm muffler invention. Pretty much ended the market for his product. Hiram Percy was annoyed by his father’s noisy inventions.)

        3. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          Well, I’m still curious about ERPOs. They’re here; I’m curious to see how they play out, since if those become a thing, they’ll probably land in my lap eventually whether I want them to or not.

          I’m definitely interested in mental health to help suicidal folks.

          I’m definitely interested in seeing how people who should not be able to buy legal guns can be stopped from legally buying them. It might not do that much to force them into black market channels, but it sure would help those of us who do buy them legally because we’re able to do that.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Well, I’m still curious about ERPOs. They’re here; I’m curious to see how they play out,”

          Here ya’ go: 114 “ERPOs” in Maryland in one month. From Hotair.com (a well-known alt-right, fascist, racist, white privilege, gun nut website)
          https://hotair.com/archives/2018/11/20/marylands-red-flag-law-spurs-hundreds-gun-confiscation-requests/

          Teaser: “But keep in mind that of the 114 requests Maryland officials received, almost none of them came from licensed psychiatric professionals. The vast majority were from family members.

        5. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: I haven’t made up my mind yet on ERPOs; but, I’m mostly skeptical that they will be abused and won’t do much to stop people determined to commit a crime.

          I think you see how much more effective it would be to screen, diagnose, treat and cure depression than to give rope and drug over-doses to gun suicides.

          “I’m definitely interested in seeing how people who should not be able to buy legal guns can be stopped from legally buying them. It might not do that much to force them into black market channels, but it sure would help those of us who do buy them legally because we’re able to do that.” Sorry, but I don’t understand this.

          “[P]eople who should not be able to buy legal guns” is – first and foremost – a problem of defining the classes of people who should not be able to buy legal guns. E.g., why should someone convicted of felony price fixing be permitted to buy a gun while someone (like Martha Stewart) convicted of lying to the Feds becomes a prohibited person for life? Why should someone who once had a severe mental illness that has been cured have to go to Federal court – and appeal to the Circuit level – to get his rights restored? I have no answers to these questions; but it’s these questions that trouble me.

          As far as stopping someone – now, that’s really absurd. I’ll give you an example of no particular importance other than it amuses me. I trust you understand what an explosive is. And, that it’s regulated. You must have a license to buy explosives. Fine. Anyone who can buy a pistol can buy an explosives license. The NICS check is the same.

          I assume you understand that a bomb is an explosive in a “can” of some sort. That is regulated under the NFA’34 (since 1968) as a “destructive device”. That’s fine; no problem. However, you must wait a year for a tax stamp. You have to pay $200 for each stamp. And, when you use your bomb you have lost the “destructive device” and need to wait another year and pay for another stamp.

          So, if you are on your way to the Boston Marathon you would be better off getting your explosives license and keeping your explosives and your can separate. Only put the explosives in the can at the last minute. Of course, then you are in violation of the NFA’34. However, that’s likely the least of your concerns at that point.

          Exactly how does the regulation of “destructive devices” impede someone with such an objective? This regulation is easily evaded.

          “. . . it sure would help those of us who do buy them legally because we’re able to do that.” This part I don’t get at all. I presume all of us who buy firearms legally don’t have too much difficulty. Sure, we have to wait a year for our NFA stamps. But, we can still get them. Sure, we have to pay really high prices for the really fun toys with giggle switches. Still, if we are committed – and have the money – we can get anything we want; even a mini-gun. So, how does anything change for us if more paperwork barriers are put into place in a vain attempt to slow-down criminals or crazies?

        6. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Sam

          And they’re not likely to come from my field. Why? Number of reasons.

          —People would have to already be in treatment. Meaning they would have had to come in voluntarily. If they haven’t no mental health person will even know they exist.
          —Mental health workers are mostly not trained to evaluate possibility of violence. I’d guess that in the absence of real, solid clinical data and training, most MHWs would elect to have guns removed because better safe than sorry. That’s what happens when you don’t have research to base recommendations on. No guidelines for assessment or prevention or courses of action.
          —At most a mental health worker might see someone once a week for maybe an hour. In the case of psychiatry, maybe once a month for a med check for 20 minutes. Not a lot of time.

        7. avatar Sam I Am says:

          All seriousness aside, you have just explained why so many people oppose government funding for mental health issues: no track record of being effective change agents. But the answer always seems to be, “Just spend more taxpayer money; maybe something will come up.”

          Only dimms would think unending repetition of failed theories will lead to enlightenment. Precisely the problem with public education: there is not enough money in the world to “meet the needs”, as proven by the inability to increase successful outcomes measured by standard tests (even international tests). We spend more money per student than any other nation on the planet, yet the academic achievement remains anemic for decades.

          In all things personal, caring and trying is superior to producing useful outcomes.

        8. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: You might want to read “The Behavioral Science of Firearms” by Gianni Pirelli et al. It’s just been published by Oxford Press.

          I’ve taken Pirelli’s course on mental health and firearms at one of the ranges I patronize. He has developed a protocol for evaluating clients who need their FOIDs (in NJ) reinstated. He explained that he does a very thorough job; and, his services are not cheap. Nevertheless, he believes his protocol is professionally defensible.

          I hasten to add that he does NOT believe that his protocol is a practical solution for clearing applicants for an FOID/CWP. First, very few people would pay the fee that a practitioner would have to charge to apply his protocol. Second, there is no capacity – to say nothing of the knowledge base – in the professional community to run such a procedure on millions of gun owners.

          I am told that many FOID holders have had their cards revoked in IL on some pretext – thick or thin; doesn’t matter. These people can’t get their FOIDs reinstated without a forensic psychiatrist’s letter. But, no doc qualified in IL will undertake an evaluation and supply a clearance. So, even an arbitrary revocation of an FOID on a mental pretext is a lifetime ban on a citizen’s right to arms in that state.

          This is the sort of infringement that gun controllers want to impose on the pretense of “reasonable” “common sense” regulation.

          There doesn’t seem to be any economical, practical, rational means to do a mental health evaluation. Either it’s a superficial “doc letter” that does no good; or, it’s prohibitively expensive and prohibitively difficult to get. I’m eager to see some practical and Constitutional solution. However, in the absence of any willingness to work toward such a goal on either side (let alone both), I see it as a non-starter. Again, where something might be accomplished eventually, our society has burned the bridge before there is any opportunity to cross and meet in the middle.

        9. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          What I was referring to was the spate of active shooters recently who should have already been on a prohibited persons list and were not for whatever reason. Obviously some kind of problem with information transmission going on there that can probably be fixed. And quite frankly I have no problem with someone who’s committed a felony not being able to buy a gun.

        10. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Sam

          Actually, there’s tons of research on good outcomes for mental health treatments. But I’m not going to dig those up for you. It’s 2018, and if you’re actually interested in the issue, Google is your friend.

        11. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Then why do the number of mental illness diagnoses keep rising? Why do the costs of treatment keep rising.

          Are there good outcomes? Of course. I just oppose milking the taxpayer for them. Where are your anti-gun billionaires? There are more people living with mental illness than there are dead and injured due to use of guns. Why aren’t your billionaires interested in curing mental illness?

          Simple,

          Curing mental illness (bending the curve dramatically) does not fit the narrative. Banning firearms pays bigger political dividends. A problem solved (mental illness) is the loss of political power. Your billionaires are not empathic, caring people. They are control freaks, bent on mastering the masses.

        12. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Mark

          I will indeed read that. Thanks for the recommend. I am always reading; always looking for information.

          I followed the rabbit hole of the “this is my lane” statement all the way down, looked at what these doctors were saying about what they needed in terms of research, found one pitiful little pamphlet that basically only said, “all we can tell you to do is talk to your patients about firearms, but beyond that we just don’t know enough to make specific recommends for how to proceed from there.” I’ve looked for info in my own field and there’s almost nothing as well.

          See, though I know people are afraid of large scale research being used to promote gun control, without it, this is the position we’re in: We don’t know enough. Research leads to trying things leads to finding out what does and does not work leads to trainings leads to being able to make recommendations for patients. So what that does is default us, the professionals, to HAVING to make the most draconian decision because we can’t assess it and the risks are too great. We have to default to what will do the least harm, and where guns are concerned, obviously no guns are likely to be least harm. No professional worth their salt would do otherwise without more data because it’s basically talking out your ass and no one good is going to do that.

          For example: It’s been known for a long time that microdoses of certain hallucinogens help certain people with depression, anxiety and PTSD. But until that research started being done for real, as practitioners, we couldn’t recommend that our clients investigate that. Now we can talk to them about it because that research has been/is being done and there is movement toward making it prescribable. Good psychiatrists know about it now. They’ve read the literature as well. There have been symposiums and so forth where information is shared.

          Maybe that happens with gun violence but I’m guessing it happens in the field of LE. I don’t see it in the field of health treatment.

          Did he tell you how much he charges for those evaluations? I’m just curious.

        13. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “See, though I know people are afraid of large scale research being used to promote gun control, without it, this is the position we’re in: We don’t know enough. We cannot make recommendations. ”

          You are pronouncing that the scientific method is predicated and dependent on government control as an outcome. That’s not the way any of this works. Research is plentiful, government funded research is not banned. Government funded research to support a political agenda is prohibited.

          Why can the geniuses of science delve into the factors surrounding gun ownership, use and misuse without a predetermined outcome being mandatory? You are prostituting science when you state that the outcome dictates the research.

          Which is pure Leftist, progressive, statist propaganda, not science.

          Can’t believe this is necessary…

          Observation: The number of “mass shootings” (ill-defined) since ZZZZ date is YYY. The data over a time scale is “lumpy” (non-uniform).

          Avenues of inquiry: 1). What is the average number of mass shootings over time?; 2) How do these events compare to the number of mass death events over the same time period?; 3) What are the measurable causes of the events in terms of race, sex, age, locations, weapons used, casualties suffered per event/per entire time horizon; 4) What is the ratio of death/injury between firearms and other implements?; 5)What is the ration of death/injury between classes of firearms and other implements?; 6) What legal inhibits were in place to deter the episodes, over time?; 7) What non-legal inhibits were in place to deter the episodes, over time?; 8) Ages of individuals committing “mass shootings” (ill-defined)?; 9) Ages of victims?; 10) Educational background of the instigators?; 11) Economic characteristics of the instigator?…..and so on,

          What, if any conclusions can be drawn without reaching for explanations outside the range of inquiry?

          Now, I am not a trained scientist, but I am trained in the rudiments of scientific inquiry. The permitted research into “gun violence” would start with an observation of a set of data (“mass shootings”, then attempt to gather related data and analyze. It is not “scientific” to start with “Restricting firearm access for law-abiding citizens will reduce mass shootings”, then doing “research” to prove that policy goal…which is what YOUR people demand the government fund as “research”.

        14. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Sam: You make some good points but miss other points such as those made by Elaine.

          Suppose we are talking about a small number of observations. Let’s use mass public shootings. A single researcher dedicated to the line of inquiry, e.g., John Lott Jr., can gather this data and do a good job. His work is reproducible/refutable by other researchers who are single individuals or grad students wording under the direction of a professor.

          Conversely, when we are talking about a large number of observations, it’s a much different cost proposition. A good example is DGUs. Gary Kleck’s seminal work in the early ’90s suggested a couple million DGUs annually. CDC’s surveys in 1996 – 98 suggested a million DGUs annually. (Violence declined substantially from the early 90’s to late 90’s and we should expect some differences by different researchers).

          It’s not realistic for private sector researchers to do wide-scale research of this sort. Hiring teams of canvassers to make thousands of phone calls. Granted, Kleck did it; but I don’t think any succeeding private researchers mounted so large or a larger effort. CDC’s surveys were the only ones of comparable scale.

          Also remember that data changes over time. Unless we pay attention to the longitudinal dimension we don’t know as much as we should know. I’d suggest that CDC repeat their survey on 10 states per year on a 5 year cycle and carry-on indefinitely.

          Also bear in mind that very large institutions – especially Federal government institutions such as CDC and FBI – have in place data gathering and compilation infrastructures. Adding another question – or series of questions – to an existing system is much cheaper and easier than starting from scratch by having any new institution – say Johns Hopkins – starting a large scale data gathering effort of their own.

          Look at the data CDC gathers from municipal registrars of vital statistics and from hospitals. There is a vast wealth of information to be mined from these existing sources. CDC doesn’t want us to know what they have. We should be insisting that Congress mandate that they publish the raw data that they have. Thereupon, private researchers could all tap in the well of available data and perform their competing analysis.

        15. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Appreciate your analysis, but decline the premise….”missing others”.

          The point remains, regardless of the number of available data points for any observation: When you start with a preferred outcome, you skew both the data and the conclusion. The question should be given the observed phenomenon, what do we know about it, where can we get more information, what can we learn. It is disingenuous to begin with, “What if we make law against the phenomenon, how can we support the law with research?”

          If either data or resources to gather the data are insurmountable factors, then no action is better that “doing something”. In physics, there is a theory of understanding that posits the mere observing of behavior of the research subject changes the behavior. If that is true (and I am incompetent to have an opinion), then “doing something” without sufficient data alters the behavior, but in a corrupting manner.

          What gun grabbers propose is along the lines of the “safe gun”. The imagination concluded that making a gun that cannot be operated by anyone other than the legal owner is desirable. A law was created based on that imagining. The research into the objective was clouded by the mindset that government should establish a law first, then go find evidence to back up the law. When “research” could not support the conclusion, the gun grabbers decided the conclusion was sufficient to warrant the law.

          In the case of Elaine D proclaiming that without gun control, research into mental health is crippled, rendering the profession incapable of finding effective treatments. That assertion is right up there with “Gun confiscation first, due process second”.

        16. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Elaine: About $2,000 as I recall from a couple of years ago. Certainly not cheap. Is it worth it? Absent some context, I can’t say.

          Suppose we were talking about an applicant for the police academy; then, Yes, I think this level of investment would be worthwhile. How about for a person who was caught-up in some incident and lost his FIOD. He wants it back. It may be worth it to him. Cheaper than going to Federal Circuit court.

          My take is to ask: What can we learn from his work?

          As for research, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I trust no one’s research absolutely. NONE. ZERO! We need research and lots of it so we can achieve reproducibility. When we get reproducibility then we might have something worthwhile. What, exactly, we can’t ever be certain.

          Do I trust CDC? No more than anyone else. Nevertheless, they have the access to lots of existing data; e.g., vital statistics. They have statisticians. They ought to be able to get somethings right. (Nevertheless, I recently read that their gathering of death certificate data defaulted to “Accident” when a gunshot death was not supplied with a cause-of-death. So, the accidental deaths figure was inflated. A different error cost an under-count. So, CDC’s figures were unforgivably corrupted. Fortunately, this statistic is least important).

          CDC can gather raw data and publish it for analysis by competing researchers. An excellent example is CDC’s surveys in 1996 – 98 on DGUs. Gary Kleck opined that their questions were excellent. His analysis of their raw data implied 1 million DGUs nationally. But CDC never analyzed and published this data. They didn’t even publish that they had the data. Kleck found it by accident.

          My skepticism is that CDC didn’t like the political implications of what they found so they deep-sixed the data they found. We PotG ought to insist that Congress mandate that they continue surveying for DGU data. E.g., 10 states a year on a 5-year cycle. Let the chips fall where they may.

          Defining a “DGU” is difficult; hardly easier than nailing jelly to a wall. But, if we demure from trying because of fear of failure then we will make no progress whatsoever. We really must persevere.

          Imagine if – purely hypothetically – we discovered only 1 successful DGU per year. Then we would know that. It wouldn’t change a word of the Second Amendment. After all, 1 DGU would not undermine the findings of R.J. Rummel. Nor would it over-ride the judgement of the founding generation in determining that a “well regulated militia” IS “necessary to the security of a free state”. That can be changed by a ratification of 38 state legislatures. Constitutions are stubborn things.

          But we know we will find more than 1 successful DGU. The expected figure is at least 100,000/year and likely in the vicinity of 1 million/year. That counts for something; except in the mind of a statist.

          Likewise, we don’t know what we need to know to do something about – e.g., – suicide. Who suicides? By what means? If farmers use guns, fishermen use ropes and pharmacists overdose, then what do we do? Let’s suppose that teenagers in gun-owning families suicide by guns. If that were so the we would have a duty to educate gun-owning parents about the risks and signs of depression in teenagers. It’s very important to the cause of preserving Second Amendment rights that we persuade these parents to either get their teens into treatment or lock-up their guns and let their kids over-dose. How can we direct our resources successfully in the defense of gun rights if we don’t have enough fine-grain in the data.

          I’m convinced that CDC and other public health and law-enforcement officials are concealing the fine-grain of the data because they know it will lead to effective solutions OTHER than gun-control.

        17. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Likewise, we don’t know what we need to know to do something about – e.g., – suicide.”

          Why do we need to “do something” about suicide? If people are free agents, they have a natural right to make decisions about their life, even when to end it. If a woman has an absolute right to do with her body as she wants, then all persons (is that still a permissible pronoun?) have an absolute right to check out of the hotel.

          The only acceptable way to deal with a person planning a suicide is to ask that person if they would be willing to talk with someone who might be able to present an attractive alternative. If the suicidal person says “yes”, fine. If the suicidal person says “no”, fine. “Society” has no superior call on an individual’s life (remember, that is how we ended “the draft”?). Why do we persist on interfering with so many personal decisions? Will not one rid us of these troublesome priests?

        18. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Sam

          You’re talking about a different kind of research. I’m talking about the kind that produces interventions. You know, the kind you need when you actually have someone sitting in front of you, a live human, that needs your help with an issue involving firearms. That’s what health professionals are interested in. I don’t think most of us give a crap whether you own a gun or not if it never becomes a problem. We do care about having some kind of data and treatment structure to look at for our patients when it does become a problem. That’s when it lands “in our lane.”

        19. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “We do care about having some kind of data and treatment structure to look at for our patients when it does become a problem. ”

          Actually, you don’t need “some kind of data” when the decision is already made that gun control is the solution to anything. You, and YOURS, continue to believe that the tool is the deciding factor in whatever it is you are trying to prove. When denial of human rights becomes the preferred “intervention”, you are beyond medicine, and into politics, back-fitting prejudice into your analysis.

          For instance: A woman suffers a severe depressive episode and requires the strongest medication to arrest the decline into full-blown despair. This woman owns a pistol, a hunting rifle, a semi-automatic rifle, one antique Thompson machine gun. The woman complains of being bored with being retired, and too weak to remain an active member of her shooting team. What research would be useful in bringing her back to robustness?

          Oh, first we need to remove her guns? Why? Because she might do something bad? This would be a case of violating her natural, human and civil right to own firearms. Are you looking for data that would make you feel better about taking her guns? Are you looking for scientific justification for pre-crime punishment?

          Other than taking her guns, how would your treatment of the underlying depression be altered by research designed to support gun control? How does her mental health protocol differ? What meaningful information from skewed research can you take advantage of? Isn’t it true that the treatment for severe depression depends on understanding depression, rather than data that “proves” you are justified in promoting gun control?

          All gun control is pre-crime punishment. You already said it is better to be safe, and defer to eliminating access to guns. The basis of life is risk. No one can predict what another person is going to do in the next five minutes, or five decades. The idea that taking guns away from people (mentally impaired or not) is best because they might do something bad, is no different from putting all newborns in nice prisons because we need to protect them from themselves, and prevent possible harm to society.

          Nothing about gun control can legitimately advise the best course of treatment for those seeking mental health treatment. If a person is so damaged that they would likely use a gun to harm self or others, they are so damaged that they will simply find a different weapon. Thus, treatment of the underlying problem, not the “what if” theories, is the key to a possibly good outcome for the patient.

          Once again, how does gun control law inform your course of treatment for a mental health patient? Your course of treatment, not your choice tool suppression.

      4. avatar LarryinTX says:

        My understanding at the time was that anyone (including federal officers) using data from 4473s to compile a registry of gun owners and/or their guns was guilty of a federal FELONY! This was included to get the legislation passed. I *believe* that portion of the law is consistently ignored because “I’m a cop, I can do no wrong, the rules do not apply to me!” But anyone, ever, says to me they want to see my 1972 Colt Python is going to get *instantly* “What makes you think I have ever owned such a thing?” Except my consciously registered SBR and can, nobody can possibly have any record of what firearms I own or have ever owned, unless that person is a felon.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…nobody can possibly have any record of what firearms I own or have ever owned, unless that person is a felon.”

          There is a “legal” way to know. If you should become a priority “person of interest”, it is possible for LE to send a notice to every FFL to research records (which must be kept like forever) and determine if you bought a firearm through an FFL. The effort would be time-consuming, but not completely impossible to complete. It would actually be an exercise in data mining, sorting through multiple data sources to find records meeting specific criteria. It might not be a directly digital data mining exercise, but the entirety of the FFL system permits manual data mining .

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Sam: It’s not as easy as that. (And, I think it’s important for us to continue to make it as difficult as possible.)

          Yes, its true that FFLs must maintain their 4473 archives for 20 years. Unfortunately, if an FFL goes out-of-business they must send their archives for perpetual storage by the ATF.

          Nevertheless, there is little record-keeping required of gun owners in most jurisdictions – so far. Thus, the old “boating accident” can account for a sudden loss of a lot of guns.

          Another interesting phenomena is that of the 80% receiver. So, I’ve lost my AR-15 in a tragic boating accident. Or, I turned in a receiver at my local constabulary and got a receipt. So, I’ve accounted for it one way or the other. Yet, there is no accounting for the lock, stock or barrel. Nor is there any accounting for the fact that I have an 80% receiver and a jig.

          I think that there are two things to fight for. First, the maintenance of the status quo on 80% receivers and other parts other than the frame/receiver. I really don’t care much if they want me to engrave a serial number on a receiver as I begin finishing it. Nor filing a 4473 form with my LGS. It’s keeping the 80% hobby alive and healthy.

          Second, it is onerous for FFLs to maintain 4473 form archives for 20 years. We ought to insist that Congress require ATF to undertake a study of successful traces by “time-to-crime”. Very likely there is some cut-off in their success experience. Maybe it’s at 7 years or 14 years. I would be shocked if traces of guns that were sold 20 years ago proved useful more than occasionally. Whatever the figure is, FFLs should be be able to destroy their archives after 7 or 14 or some such time period.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          You need a bit more insight into government-directed record keeping.

          It would take minimal effort to demand that FFLs digitize their bound books in searchable format. Those refusing could have their license revoked, and government would just let a contract for another company to digitize the records, and store them at ATF. Government could demand that ATF contract to have all their records for the last X years digitized.

          Yes, you might get by with being a person of interest who suffered statistically unbelievable number of tragic losses of firearms, but that would only make you a person of more intense interest. But the point of the exercise is to demonstrate that records searches are not the burden we would like them to be, and government has the power to make them less burdensome for the government.

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Well, 4473s did not exist in 1972, but I get your drift. But that would not prove I did not sell the gun in the intervening 40+ years, or have it stolen (I did have a Python stolen in 1969). And setting Pythons aside, researching a firearm which had millions of examples sold is unlikely to ever happen. Mainly, though, I would imagine you would need evidence which would convict me by itself before you could justify such a deep dive into 40-year-old records, taking self employed individuals tens of thousands of man-hours to look through all transactions for the last 100 years, or whatever. You say that can legally be done, I’ll take your word for it, but I don’t imagine compliance would be higher than about 0.02%

    3. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

      “Am I willing to give in to a universal background check in hopes of keeping a part of the 2a? Well yes, yes I would.”

      Possum, the *problem* with that is, the *only* way a ‘universal background check’ can work is that is that the government knows where every gun is. That is called gun registration.

      That means, the next time a ‘Progressive’ administration controls ‘the levers of power’, there is nothing stopping them from passing a law banning any gun, or class of guns, and requiring they be turned in. (Gun confiscation).

      And thanks to laws requiring any registered gun to be reported to the police if lost or stolen, there is no way for you to lose your guns in a “tragic boating accident” and still legally own them.

      No universal background checks. That always leads to gun confiscation…

      1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        We should recognize that simply is no “reasonable gun control” because gun-controllers are not reasonable. They are prohibitionists pure and simple.

      2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Geoff…..I remember that either Clinton or the Kenyan dictator got caught saving the background checks from the Instant Background check system and creating a database of gun owners. A federal judge ordered a cease and desist and destroy order.

      3. avatar frank speak says:

        It’s important to understand the real motivation at work here…their goal is obvious…

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      uh..it’s college…[playing into their hands just a bit there]…….

  18. avatar RGP says:

    Ok so this is ostensibly a charitable nonprofit organization of some sort, and they can afford to give away $5 million to something that wasn’t even on their beneficiary list?

  19. avatar Larry says:

    More of an Allen Edmonds guy .

  20. avatar daveinwyo says:

    OK, I’m stupid. I thought that all legal firearms sales required a BGC each time except for CCW holders (by state?). So what is different about a “UBC”? I went to a gun auction this summer and had to fill out BGC paper work to buy. So no gun sale loophole. All bad guys get “UBC” ? How? Maybe I’m missing something.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Only gun dealers have (federal) legal obligation to run a background check before he can sell a firearm. Private citizens are not compelled or even able to do so.
      State and local laws are of great variety. Here in Illinois we have to go to State Police web site and make sure that buyer’s Firearm Owner’s ID is valid. The site will create a “check” number you need to keep with the bill of sale. Without FOID you can’t even touch a gun in store or at a gun show. It is also required for any ammo, primers and propellant purchase. Last time I have been asked for it at Cabela’s to buy bullets. Not cartridges, just inert slugs of lead and copper.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        UBC is designed to force sales between private citizens to be done through an FFL. The scheme is a revenue enhancer, and a private sales killer. My LGS refuses to facilitate private sales (there is no profit to the FFL, and the transaction should be refused). UBC is simply adding bricks to the backpack. Accomplishes nothing regarding safety, or crime prevention (a feature, not a bug), but is part of the anti-gun berserkers program of making guns just too much trouble to possess.

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        those restrictions in Illinois are an abomination…sooner or later they need to be challenged in court…all the way to the top, if necessary

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Nobody has addressed the elephant in the room, so I will. You say you filled out the paperwork at a gun auction, fine, we’ve been there. But if you step out into the back 40 and pop off a few rounds and your wife, or son, or brother, or neighbor would like to try out your new toy, are you prepared to go back into town and pay $25-50 to have that person pass a background check before you can let them handle it? Before you answer, understand that they would then have to go back into town to pay $25-50 to have *YOU* pass a background check before they can give it back to you! THAT is what the “universal” means.

      And bad giys don’t obey these laws.

  21. “Chief Shoe Giver”……Have seen the hipster-types in our office wearing footwear that resembles those. Didn’t know that’s what brand they were. My late elderly Aunt on my dad’s side wore some just like that.

    Very stylish for the beta-male crowd it seems….

    And yes, I too am more of an Allen Edmunds guy as well.

  22. avatar anarchyst says:

    Quite often, firearms owners are their own worst enemies. The duck hunters don’t like the AR-15 “black rifles” so they see no problem if attempts are made to ban them. The traditional rifle owners don’t like machine guns, so they have no problem with them being legislated out of existence. Some pistol owners see nothing wrong with certain long guns being outlawed just as some rifle owners would have no problem seeing pistols banned. You see, anti-gunners want them all. They will chip away a little at a time until their goal of civilian disarmament is complete. They have an excuse for banning every firearm. Scoped bolt-action rifles are defined by anti-gunners as “sniper rifles” because they are “too accurate”. Magazine-fed weapons are suspect because of high (actually normal) magazine capacity. Handguns are suspect because they are “easily concealable”. The gun grabbers want them all and have made (flimsy and suspect) excuses for banning every type of firearm. They don’t care how long it takes. and will use incrementalism to their advantage.
    Friends, ALL firearms advocates must “hang together” and realize that an assault on ANY means of firearms ownership and self-defense is an assault on ALL forms of firearms ownership and self-defense.
    There is absolutely NO ROOM for complacency among ANY Second Amendment supporters. An attack on one is an attack on ALL…
    ALL firearms laws are unconstitutional on their face. Imagine the hue and cry if “reasonable” restrictions were placed on First Amendment activities, especially with the “mainstream media”. The Second Amendment is clear–what part of “shall not be infringed” do politicians and the media not understand…of course, they understand full well…it’s part of their communist agenda…
    Even the NRA bears some responsibility for capitulation on matters concerning firearms. The NRA failed when it allowed the National Firearms Act of 1934 to stand without offering opposition, the 1968 Gun Control Act, the NICS “instant check” system, the “no new machine gun for civilians” ban in 1986, the so-called “assault weapons ban in 1994, and other infringements of the Second Amendment. Let’s face it. What better way to increase membership than to “allow” infringements to be enacted and then push for a new membership drive. Yes, the NRA has done good, but its spirit of “compromise” will only lead to one thing…confiscation.
    If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Again?

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        I know, right? Some posters have these huge manifestos save off so all they have to do is cut and paste.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Some posters have these huge manifestos save off so all they have to do is cut and paste.”

          Well….I, for one, makeup everyone of my blithering idiot comments.

  23. avatar JohnB says:

    “provides…bullying prevention services to people in need.”
    They sell guns?

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “They sell guns?”

      There are other “bullying protection” services available. In other times, people providing such services were unfairly thought to have last names ending ind A, E, I, O, U.

      (I know this because I worked for them at one time)

  24. avatar PWinKY says:

    I’ve been a huge fan of Toms ever since they were founded. I was a big fan of their mission and trying to make the world a better place. Plus, their shoes were comfortable and not super expensive. I have bought 1-2 pairs of Toms every year since they began.

    I am not a fan of gun control; fake statistics; or donating money to those organizations. I will never buy another pair of Toms. My hatred of this cause runs much deeper and longer than my enjoyment of their brand.

  25. avatar Toms is am R-tard says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing toms sales drop off as they do more of this virtue signaling. Hi I am Tom and I is retarded.

  26. avatar GS650G says:

    I know, we’ll just pass a law FORCING everyone to do what we think will keep guns out of criminal hands and it will succeed.

    Because outlawing murder was successful as he’ll.

    Reminds me of the naive attempt to outlaw war globally.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “I know, we’ll just pass a law FORCING everyone to do what we think will keep guns out of criminal hands and it will succeed.”

      Once had a list of the crimes that are violated when a “bad guy” kills another person. Best I remember, the list identified 16 already known, established, published laws. But the anti-gun mafia are certain that if only one more gun control law had existed, the other 16 laws would not have been violated. Interesting that the gun grabbers are never in agreement about that “one more law”.

  27. avatar neiowa says:

    More Chicom made crap from a metrosexual twit.

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