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The short answer is “no.” Here’s my thinking. My impression is that the folks who comment here, and probably many who read and do not comment, are for the most part extremely responsible and safe people. Although there’s some disagreement on things like home carry, for example, everyone seems to agree on the need for training and adherence to the 4 Rules of Gun Safety. The problem starts when you guys begin to extrapolate from that and apply these characteristics to gun owners at large. This is just not the case . . .

Your average gun owner suffers from the same apathy that most people suffer from. Many of them, unlike the Armed Intelligentsia, allow their vices for drink, drugs, anger, absent-mindedness and other things to interfere with their ability to be truly safe and responsible. And like most people, the average gun owner has the idea that “it’ll never happen to me,” just like any average Joe. This blog does a wonderful job of trying to help guys like that snap out of it. I admire you for it even though I many times don’t agree with the extremity of your position.

So, when I propose restrictions on guns and you guys scream and yell that you don’t want them and don’t need them, you’re making the mistake of thinking all gun owners are like you. Here are my ideas. Please try to keep an open mind.

1. licensing of all gun owners after written and psychological testing
2. registration of all guns to a licensed gun owner followed by renewal after 3 months and yearly thereafter – the renewal would require producing the gun and its paperwork
3. closure of the private sale loophole by requiring background checks on all transfers and transference of the registration from one licensed owner to another
4. safe storage laws and severe punishment if a kid or a thief too easily gets one of your guns

Leaving aside for a moment the obvious question of implementation, whether it would be necessary to register already owned firearms or only newly bought ones, you can see, being open-minded as you are, that straw purchasing would all but disappear (number 2) and theft would go way down (number 4). Combined with depriving criminals of the opportunity of buying guns without a background check (number 3), we would already have taken a big bite out of the gun flow from law-abiding gun owners to criminal gun owners. Point number 1 would help identify some of the Jared Loughners and the Seung-Hui Chos before they act.

The best part is that obedience to these 4 requirements would not disarm anyone who is safe and responsible. And since the tens-of-millions of average gun owners are not criminals, they would go along. They are the guys who inadvertently allow their guns to slip into the black market. They’re the ones who leave their guns lying around for kids or thieves the find. They’re the ones who sell their weapons at gun shows and on the internet without doing the right due diligence. The Armed Intelligentsia doesn’t need anybody’s help to do the right thing, but tens-of-million of your fellow gun owners do.

That’s my presentation, briefly stated. Do you agree that the AI is not representative of gun owners at large? How could you possibly find fault with my proposals?

[Mike runs the Mikeb302000 blog]

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      • You know, I’d go along with these proposals, *IF* we could also require literacy / rhetoric / logic / political / psychological testing before allowing morons to exercise their right to free speech. And I’ll do all the testing, thank you very much. Great idea — thanks for contributing. 😉

      • No, he’s serious.

        He’s also either oblivious to how administrative barriers have been used to effectively ban firearms ownership in Chicago (technically possible, but the required paperwork is never available), or is being disingenuous.

  1. I don’t like the requirement to renew your registration. I understand registering a new firearm and also having some sort of papertrail when transferring a firearm through private selling, along with a background check which accompanies every new firearm purchase. Once the firearm is owned however I don’t think having to renew individual firearm registrations is neccessary and will be abused. States will charge more money than it actually costs to perform the renewals, plus what benefit does this actually provide? I see renewals as a non-value added process. Oh so you still own that gun, oh okay give me $100 every year. That sounds more like a tax unless you can provide a real benefit.

    • The important part is sales and transfers. If the firearm has not changed hands then I should not be required to fill out any paperwork. If it’s stolen, you are required to report a stolen firearm.

      • But, that wouldn’t thwart the straw purchasers. The idea is when someone buys a gun they know they have to show it and the paperwork in the future.

        No more straw purchasing.

        • You’re DREAMING! You are seriously delusional on this one. If you can’t see the obvious ways around this, you are still in the gate.

        • Straw purchasers, could potentially retrieve the firearms long enough to validate through your scheme MikeBnumbers, and then return to the hands of the criminals.

          • You’re not paying attention, Will. You’re just disagreeing.

            Under my system, the purchaser would have to be in possession of the gun after three months and again at the one year mark.

    • That was my thinking. FLAME DELETED As for his list, it’s rubbish. Holes have been poked in his arguments a thousand times.

      • “Holes have been poked in his arguments a thousand times.”

        A half dozen different articles by Bruce come to mind.

  2. FLAME DELETED And exactly what do you personally know about gun owners that isn’t skewed by your bizarre perceptions of the world at large? SHEESH.

    Robert, you’re letting Mikey make my head explode. Why are you doing that? Please make it stop. PLEASE!!

  3. When did the new york times buy TTAG. Registration is step 1 towards confiscation. Period. Safe storage laws like those in DC make owninh a gun burdensom to otherwise lawful gun. Keeping guns locked up and disassembled leaves gun owners defenseless.

    • “Registration is step 1 towards confiscation.” Not in America, not in the 21st century.

      Either you’re paranoid if you really believe that or you’re trying to be slick and use that excuse to not admit it’s a good plan to stop straw purchasing.

      • “Not in America, not in the 21st century.”
        Ah, the old “it couldn’t happen here/now” argument. History isn’t going to back you up on that one.

      • Yes in America. It happened in CA with their “assault weapons.” 21st Century has no relevance as history repeats itself.

        I would worry less about straw purchases and worry more about stolen firearms. Just as most LE agencies. Shotguns, rifles, and submachine guns go missing from trunks, racks, and trunk lockers all the time. Heck, LAPD lost a ton of firearms at a training site.

        • Here in Orlando, there have been several instances of LEO weapons being stolen/misplaced.

          Late 2006, some teenagers stole a silenced submachine gun, a .308 black rifle, and a .45 from a Orange County Sheriff SWAT team member’s unmarked SUV.

          In 2007, three AR’s were stolen from police cars, prompting a rule (that didn’t last) that all AR’s had to be stored at the station, not in the car.

          The Orlando Police Chief’s Sig 9mm was stolen from her car on February 27th of last year. It was a month before that story hit the papers, and that was due to a tipster, not by free admission. That gun has not been recovered.

          It was reported on January 30 of this year that an AR, a Remington shotgun and some ammo was stolen from an OPD officer’s car sometime between 1/23-1/29. The car was supposedly locked and alarmed. Neither weapon has been recovered.

          In both of the last two instances, no disciplinary action was taken against the officer.

  4. I find fault with the following points:

    (1) This is the same as any written exam required to vote (ala Jim Crow)
    (2) This is not only an unnecessary burden to gun owners but government as well. This also ridiculous for anyone with a larger collection and could be argued a civil rights violation at best.
    (3) A few states already do this. It is unnecessary and only acts as another way to discourage firearms ownership. Most guns recovered at crime scenes are in fact stolen NOT privately purchased.
    (4) I understand keeping them safe from children, but how about teaching firearms safety at a young age? As it is my firearm and my property, criminals have no business stealing them (and surprised, it is already illegal).

    All your proposals have a central theme of discouraging firearms ownership by making it a significant burden to legally acquire one. If this sounds familiar this same tactic was used by racist governments to deny blacks the right to vote with literacy tests and taxing.

    The Bill of Rights is just that; inherent rights to the individual. Instead of more government interference and regulation, there should be more emphasis placed on personal responsibility. The more government “coddling” of the general public, the less personal responsibility you will find as the general population assumes the governing body is responsible for everything.

    I disagree with your points and find your proposal unacceptable and a violation of my civil rights if enacted.

    • Thank you caffeinated!
      You said exactly what I would have, eliminating my need to respond.
      And I really,really did not want to.

    • Your number 3 rebuff means what, that since most are not privately purchased, we just shouldn’t worry about those that are?

      Your number 4 point means what, we should teach kids about guns and then leave then lying around the house? Safe storage saves lives and prevents gun flow. The obvious fact is too many of your fellow law-abiding gun owners don’t have the common sense to do this on their own and need to be constrained by the government.

      • I’m really not that worried about the privately purchased ones. You are correct.

        My brother and I were taught firearms safety at a young age and NO the firearms were not locked up. They weren’t exactly lying around either. Guess what? None of us shot each other nor did we go on a school shooting spree. I can think of at least three other kids at my elementary school that had a similar upbringing with firearms. They are all alive and healthy today.

        I understand you can’t ban guns so you are willing to chisel away at any gun rights we have.

      • Yes, Mike that is EXACTLY what we should do. In my school years, we actually had gun safety training in grade school and we actually were allowed to bring guns to school during hunting season. My parents left loaded guns in house all the time as did most of my friend’s parents. You know what happened? NOTHING! We all respected our parents and firearms and we didn’t touch them without permission. Maybe you should come up with a list of how we should license parents next.

        More constraint by government, really? Yea, that’s just what we need, more government. In case you haven’t noticed, the monstrous government is the root cause of most of the serious problems we face today. Your collectivism is showing Mikey.

  5. FYI, if this statist elitist controller gets another post on this site, I’m done reading this site. Freedom of speech and all that, but I’ll take my freedom and walk.

    • I think you’re looking at this the wrong way. Here’s your chance to take this guy’s arguments apart. If you don’t agree with him then articulate why and look at it as an exercise in mental preparedness. Remember, lots (not most) of people agree with Mike.

      • Charles, this is not the first chance.
        It’s been done before ( hundreds of times), to no avail.

    • Why not refute the OP’s points rather than attack him personally? Comments like this help to support his argument.

      • ben, if you’ve been around here for very long you’ll know that MikeB has posted his list dozens of times to various articles. These points have been addressed over and over again. At what point does it become trolling for attention and web hits? I think we have passed that point with him.

        • Ruff, I could turn that around on you. I’ve told you these things over and over again and you STILL don’t get it. What’s wrong with you, man?

          • What’s NOT wrong with him is he believes in the Bill of Rights. Your post shows that you do not.

          • Huh? How is that turning it around on me? You post the same things over and over and over again. I don’t agree with them, and that makes me the troll?

            Look, to be clear I am fine with you posting your ideas. But your problem is that you totally blow off any criticism of your ideas. You typically don’t respond to the points people make on your ideas. Specific questions on implementation are ignored. And then you post the exact same things again. And again. And again. I’ve long gotten past the point where I try to engage you in any kind of meaningful debate. I don’t think that you are interested in that, and it appears that others in this blog entry are coming to the same conclusion.

  6. Your proposals generate lists that allow politicians to then order the police to go from house to house and collect all weapons. Your proposals are almost an exact blueprint of what happened in the UK and in Australia. You say it won’t happen? Senator Pelosi is ON RECORD as saying she would like to get every gun out of private hands, as is Senator Schumer, and many others. I can’t believe how niave you are to not believe that every plan for confiscation begins with the exact layout you describe. We gun owners have seen it happen many times, in many countries.

  7. I’ll address some “points” individually:

    “Your average gun owner suffers from the same apathy that most people suffer from.”
    Interesting. Right from the get-go you assume your fellow man is dumber and less capable than yourself.

    “1. licensing of all gun owners after written and psychological testing”
    Certainly. As soon as you get all journalists, bloggers, preachers, community organizers, and petitioners to agree to licensing and testing, we gun owners will happily agree to the same. Since I’m sure you agree that the equal protection clause really does mean “equal”, there should be no problem with this. Right, Michael?

    “2. registration of all guns to a licensed gun owner followed by renewal after 3 months and yearly thereafter – the renewal would require producing the gun and its paperwork”
    Again, why not? Just get everyone to consent to the registration of every computer, radio, television, microphone, pen, pencil, notepad, religious text, pulpit, mp3 player, telephone, modem, and cable connection. If you can pull that off, I’m certain we gun owners would be happy to follow suit.

    “3. closure of the private sale loophole by requiring background checks on all transfers and transference of the registration from one licensed owner to another”
    Of course. But first you’ll need to do the same for all private transfers of private property between law-abiding private citizens. After that, come talk to us.

    “4. safe storage laws and severe punishment if a kid or a thief too easily gets one of your guns”
    Perfectly fine. We will, of course, need to do the same for kitchen knives, hand tools, motor vehicles, swimming pools, and anything else that kills 600 people or more here in the United States. Gotta be thorough.

    “Leaving aside for a moment the obvious question of implementation”
    Which is another way of saying, “I know these will never come to pass.”

    “How could you possibly find fault with my proposals?”
    I believe I’ve answered this question, but here it is in black and white: your proposals would constitute an undue infringement on any constitutionally-protected right. The only reason you think them “reasonable” is your personal bias against the right they would infringe upon.

  8. I have to admit, I did learn something from this post.
    From now on I’m going to take notice of who posted BEFORE I start to read.

  9. I understand your ideas. I reject them because this is a matter of Rights. The right to self-defense (upon which the right to keep and bear arms is based) must be sacrosanct.

    However, even discounting that, I reject your premise. Your premise is: further restricions on the law abiding will decrease the supply of guns to criminals. This may be the case. This is unimportant, though.

    The problem for your argument that experience from around the world does not indicate that a smaller supply of guns leads to less criminality, whether it be murder, theft, or assault. (Yes, some countries with tighter gun laws have a lower murder rate than the United States. That is an apples to oranges comparison. The best comparison is the same country before and after those gun laws. Those statistics do not favor your premise.)

    So unless you think that someone who is murdered with a gun is worse than someone who is murdered with a knife/club/vehicle/rusty spoon, there is absolutely no benefit to your proposed laws.

    So, on an absolute Rights basis, I must disagree. But, even if I accept your premise that we must strive for maximum safety and decreased criminality, your ideas are faulty.

    Criminals are not criminal because of the ease of access to guns. That plays no role in their decision. Disarming (or inhibiting the exercise of self-defense as you propose) the populace will make it easier for criminals to prey upon the weak.

    A firearm allows an 80 year old woman to conteract an attack from a man in the prime of his life. Firearms can be used for evil, but given the fact that most violent crime is done by healthy, strong, young men, the balance of utility of firearms is towards decreasing crime, not increasing it. Healthy, strong, young men don’t need arms to prey on the weak. The weak need them to protect themselves. (Which is likely why countries with more restrictive gun laws eventually see increases in crime.)

  10. “4. safe storage laws and severe punishment if a kid or a thief too easily gets one of your guns”

    I suppose that “too easily” would be defined by politicians who I trust about as far as I can throw them. I thoroughly enjoy your punish the victim mentality, Mike. Very progressive. I suppose that the next thing you’ll be proposing is that we fine women who get raped for having worn clothes that were too revealing?

    • Well clearly being raped is the fault of the woman, since if she just took the Brady Campaign’s advise and induced vomiting all over herself she would be found to be less desirable and the criminal would have no choice but be compelled to stop his devious act. A clear strategy to avoid harm.

      • I’ve meet some punks who would love that strategy, believing it was they who induced the vomiting.

    • Not punish the victim, punish the guilty. If you leave a gun under your pillow and a neighbor kid finds it and blows his head off, you are not the victim.

      • The neighbor’s kid shouldn’t be in your room rooting around. Sorry MikeB, personal responsibility. Breaking into a house is already illegal.

        • I like that he would blame the gun owner, via a tenuous connection, loooong before he’d blame the kid or even the kids parents. The same parents who didn’t bother to teach the kid not to B&E or, Heaven forbid, firearm safety.

      • “If you leave a gun under your pillow and a neighbor kid finds it and blows his head off, you are not the victim.”

        “The neighbor’s kid shouldn’t be in your room rooting around. Breaking into a house is already illegal.”

        I believe that’s what’s referred to as a “self-correcting problem.”

  11. Ok, here, in Russia – we have all this regulations.
    What’s the difference? The same crime rate among gun owners – lower than 0.1%. And 4 times higher murder rate per entire population.
    If you ask me – there’s no correlation between gun ownership and crime rates at all… The only thing ‘gun control’ means – is a control. Not ‘crime control’ or ‘violence prevention’ – just control. And yes – FBI reports show us – that assault with knifes and blunt objects left serious wounded victims 4 times more likely. If you look up a bit – you can see some coincidence there…
    And i don’t suppose that to be stabbed to death is going to have some difference.
    You wanna fight against crime? Try to look at criminals at all.

  12. While I disagree wholeheartedly with Mike’s post, minus the fact that the AI are for sure not your average gun owner, it is nice to see dialogue between the two ends of the spectrum in regards to gun rights.

    • If by “dialogue” you mean the conflict of facts versus emotional argument, I suppose.

    • If only MikeB were looking for dialogue. If you want to see the kind of dialogue MikeB prefers then by all means head on over to his blog. Please take notice of the dialogue that his coblogger Democommie uses, often resorting to childish name calling and other inflammatory rhetoric. Also, notice the moderation system in place. Only approved messages make it through the filter. If Mike is so interested in dialogue, why does he continue to keep bloggers like this around? Why the limits on what others (but not cobloggers) post?

      • You should take your own advice, Ruff.
        Your own input on this thread contributes nothing, all you have are personal attacks against me. You try too hard too often to convince the others how bad I am.

        • This isn’t a personal attack. I’m asking others to check for themselves and make up their own mind. Are you denying anything that I have posted in the above message? It’s plain as day to see that your blog is not friendly to gun owners and is not encouraging dialogue. There is no convincing that I need to do.

  13. One fly in the ointment: concerted attempts not just to criminalize gun ownership, but make it an illness requiring treatment.

    Psychological testing for people desiring to own or carry a gun, IMO, will be debased to always conclude derangement by definition, with its own ICD-9 code.

    You want a gun? You must be sick.

    • Was there a change of picture? I thought that sexy chick was Robert’s idea of a joke. I’ve questioned his use of these soft pornographic images on the best gun blog around. I think it’s wrong, and it’s in violation of one of his New Year’s resolutions.

      • It was changed to the hot chick. It was a boring picture of guy at a gun show with his face blurred. A clear upgrade and I’m sure this one got more 1st clicks lol.

  14. To steal the old joke “Debating with MikeB is like wrestling in the mud with a pig. Sooner or later you realize the pig likes it.”

    I’m glad we have a Constitution to protect me from him.

  15. This entire article is garbage and out of touch with anyone….much less gun owners.

  16. reasonable for whom? like locks, agreements are for honest people. we ‘might’ agree that some ‘restrictions’ are useful but how will those who come after us manage them? Sorry, i do NOT have confidence in ANY government to do what is best for the populace, but will always do best to keep them in power/control, neither did our founders. i remember what happened to Class 3 weapons, when ‘some restrictions’ were implemented AND acquiesce by the NRA, each group of government officials pushed the restrictions further & further, way past ‘reasonable’. kumbaya anyone?

  17. Absolutely not. No 1 group can represent us all. We all have different reasons for owning firearms. Protection, hunting, safety, business, and yes even some as a fashion statement, and lots of other reasons. With all that, no one group can represent all of us.Our needs, our desires, our reasons for owning.

  18. 1. licensing of all gun owners after written and psychological testing

    I’d like to see written and psychological testing of anyone wanting to post on TTAG. 🙂

    Seriously, these proposals can only make sense to people who assume that everyone thinks the same way they do. In this case, Mikeb assumes that criminals think pretty much like the law abiding do. THEY DON’T! If these proposals were implemented they would create a serious burden to the law abiding, while doing nothing to lessen gun crime. Criminals will always find a way around the law, and considering how many ways around I can think of, using my non-criminally-oriented mind and taking only a few minutes to ponder, these would hardly put a dent in crime. A temporary, but very short, reduction perhaps, but not lasting.

    This is the same flaw in thinking that I frequently see in people who champion the coddling of terrorist prisoners and restraint in the use of force on the battlefield (the old “disproportionate response” argument). They argue that by doing this we “show them” how reasonable, peaceful, and willing to work with them that we really are. It never occurs to them that, even though that is the way they themselves would see those actions, it is NOT how terrorists see them. They’re from a totally different culture and/or mindset that sees restraint as a sign of weakness, but you’ll never convince these people of that.

  19. *sigh*

    Not a single one of your suggestions will do a damn thing to stop determined criminals, criminals with stolen guns, gun thieves, or dirty dealers. The only group of people who will be, even remotely, affected by your suggestions are the gun owners and dealers who already go out of their way to obey laws and will now be grossly over-burdened and inconvenienced and the thousands of new Fed employees that we can’t afford to pay anyway. But you already knew that. Didn’t you?
    How about, and I might be going out on a limb here, we make ‘murder’ illegal instead. How about we stop disarming large swaths of the population rendering them helpless to fight back against criminal aggressors. How about stop making excuses for murderers and armed robbers by blaming the “easy access to firearms” and hold them accountable for the crimes they commit. How about… nevermind. I’m wasting my time with you, aren’t I?

  20. Okay Mike, I’ll bite.

    Psychological testing? Please, it won’t catch those who are psychopaths, or all those who have anti-social pathologies. And where do you draw the line? If an adult has ADHD, do you allow them to have a gun? What about depression, which can be managed with medication, and is for many people? What about gays? cause they are in the DSM as a disorder?

    Progressives have so vilified guns in this society, that we lose sight of what they are…tools plain and simple. I don’t let my children handle power tools unsupervised nor should we allow them access to guns unsupervised.

    This government needs less laws not more. You strike me as a person who believes the government will be there to take care of you when someting bad happens, that the governement has all the answers to the human condition.

    The fact of the matter is, we need to be more independent of the government, rely less on others and more on ourselves, otherwise we become slaves to a system. And I think our Founders knew exactly what they were doing when they designed the 2nd Amendment to fall after the 1st. You cannot have the 1st without the ability to protect it, against enemies foreign and domestic.

  21. I guess the Constitution is lost on you. I will agree to that when you agree the same restrictions apply to the First Amendment (your blog gets pre-screened to make sure their is no hateful commentary and that you have undergone a pysch exam and moreover, let’s discuss the right to religion) BTW), the Fourth Amendment (we need to make sure you don’t have any fancy locks/deadbolts, etc. on your door in case the police need to come in and while we are at it, since you are such a good citizen, sign here agreeing that no warrant is needed), the Fifth Amendment (you should not be allowed to waive your right to incriminate yourself without a pysch exam and intense counseling), the Sixth Amendment (you really don’t need effective assistance of counsel), the Eighth Amendment (what is unusual punishment, anyway?). Hey, while we are at it, let’s discuss the right to vote. Everything you suggest should be applied to voters. Let’s have an intelligence test, a pysch exam, and my favorite, let’s throw in personal interviews to make sure no deviants are among the populace.

    Mike – I think I speak for all here, FLAME DELETED and gun owners don’t trust your plea for “reasonable” restrictions.

    • Better yet, Mike. YOU ARE A RACIST. There. I said it. Restrictive gun laws were created to keep slaves and later newly freed citizens from exercising their constitutional rights. Anyone who supports keeping these restrictions in place must be a racist.

      • Ok, if Farago isn’t going to call you out I will.

        Dirk, your comment is out of line. Mike is not a racist. He is (at least seems to be, I don’t know him personally) an honest person who is trying to find solutions to the problem of violence in society. You may not like his solutions, I don’t care for them either, but name calling is not needed.

        Mike asked for honest discussion. Let’s keep it to that.

        Your point that Gun Control typically affects the poor, minorities and other disadvantaged groups is valid, It Does. Many of the original gun control laws in the US were minted at the same time as the Jim Crow laws by the White Elites in the Racist South after the Civil War, True.

        You make good points, but you are missing one important point. Honest folks can look at the same situation and come to different conclusions.

        People are different, they have different experiences, different assumptions and different priorities. This accounts for people disagreeing.

        So rather than call someone a “racist” or some other name, spend your energy convincing them of the validity of your argument.

        • An honest person? I laugh. Mikeb302000 spent several years on another site revealing that he’d been involved in low-life activity in LA, Las Vegas, and Miami. You have no idea who Mikey is. He claimed on another site, his, to have been a Marine at 17, before his mix-in with the straw purchasers, drugs, and a generally wifty life. You don’t know where he lives, if he could pass a NICS check, nothing. He’s been kicked off even democrat sites for being a pain in the ass. He, Mike Bonomo, is notorious on his own site for deleting any comment he doesn’t like.

          • You are correct, I do not know Mike personally (as I stated).

            You state
            “…he’d been involved in low-life activity in LA, Las Vegas, and Miami. You have no idea who Mikey is. He claimed on another site, his, to have been a Marine at 17, before his mix-in with the straw purchasers, drugs, and a generally wifty life.”

            Do you have links or other evidence to support those statements? If so, I will reconsider my defense of him. If not…Talk is cheap. So hit me with some info.

            My main point was that I get irritated when I see someone tossing about insults in what could be a reasonable discussion. Dirk said “Anyone who supports keeping these restrictions in place must be a racist.” which is the same as saying that anyone who disagrees with him is a racist. And that is not true or fair.

            • Steve, I quoted Mikeb himself above and he couldn’t deny it. He went through a period a few years ago during which he spoke almost honestly, if vaguely, about his life to age 35. He knows where I obtained his own statements. Then an ex-acquaintance of his turned up on another site to explain what he had been up to. This site (sensibly) does not permit further description. I’ll go with that.

        • Well here’s the story I’ve heard, maybe true, maybe BS, but technically I think he is invoking (maybe incorrectly) the hypothesis a lot of weapons restriction laws in general were designed to restrict the kinds of defensive weapons that were culturally chosen by various immigrant groups shortly after they came to the country. Maybe also done to criminalize basic lifestyle of immigrant groups who were considered undesirable in society at the time as a means to harass them and drive them out.

          Examples of this are billy clubs and blackjacks (outlawed in many places during main Irish immigration push) and stilettos and switch knives (outlawed in most places during main Italian immigration periods). In general “European Weapons”. The excuse was that such weapons were “gangster weapons” but the hypothesis goes that these were also the only affordable defensive weapons for immigrants who were largely poor, and the defensive weapons they were comfortable with culturally. Guns were more expensive harder to get, providing a barrier for poorer ethnic groups from getting them, but allowing easy access for established groups. This is one of the reasons I think gun rights have been so very well protected and the right to other lesser arms have been so very compromised. People in the establishment didn’t need to depend on lesser arms, and making them illegal was a way to disarm minorities without disarming themselves.

          A parallel today is to demonize whichever gun is the “everyman’s gun”… i.e. handguns in the glock paradigm, calling them “gangster weapons”, etc. Pretty much any weapon that becomes affordable for the everyman suffers this prejudice.

          Personally I am not for “gun rights”, I am for the right to ALL defensive arms, including blackjacks, knuckle dusters, switch knives, handguns, and rifles. These are all viable self defensive aids for people need to protect themselves.

      • I agree with your reasoning (mostly), but your conclusion is wrong. I do not recall ever reading anything Mike has written that indicates racist tendencies.

    • Of course he’s racist. I don’t mean that he is prejudiced against people of any particular group or appearance. I mean that he favors legislation that disenfranchises ethnic minorities.

      I couldn’t care less about how anyone *feels* about people of other races. I care about what they *do* (or advocate doing) that injures people of any race.

  22. Although I agree with the spirit behind the rules as well meaning, I don’t believe it would be at all feasible in the real world. For that reason, I disagree.

  23. I’m a proud gun owner, and I live in New Jersey, one of the most anti-gun states in the union. Here, we need to obtain a special license from the NJ Police just to buy firearms, including air powered BB and pellet guns. Concealed carry permits are impossible to obtain, transportation laws are positively draconian, and the possession of a slingshot in this state is a felony. The police departments don’t even follow the codified state law that issuance of the licenses must be decided within 30 days of the applicant handing in his/her paperwork. Usually, this wait for the license takes anywhere from four months to a year depending on how socialist your town is. ALL of these laws only hinder the LAW-ABIDING citizens from owning firearms. And still, we’re home to cities like Newark and Camden, where gangs and career criminals murder innocent civilians with guns illegally obtained, stolen, smuggled in from another country, etc. These murders tied in with home invasions happen in record numbers in my state.

    New Jersey is a textbook case of what happens when the fundamental human rights of the constitution were damned to hell by the state government. But I guess that doesn’t matter to you, Mike, as long as the only people with guns are cushy lived politicians and policemen.

  24. Once again Mike covers his anti-self defense views with “reasonableness.” Mike is against the private ownership of firearms for hunting, shooting sports or self defense. “Reasonable restrictions” are merely a means to this end. Mike stands with gangstas, rapists and murders against the law abiding public.

    As to the question — no I don’t think we are representative of the gun owning public. We fit into the enthusiast/activist category. Most of the gun owning public just goes about their business in a responsible matter.

  25. I’m willing to bet gun owners in general are more responsible per capita than drivers. Let me see if I can find some FBI UCR stats.

  26. Think any program for keeping weapons out of the hands of the bad guys will work? We have a couple of perfect examples: Prohibition and the drug war. They worked well, didn’t they? Not.

    Throughout history, anything for which there is a market will be and always has been available. Wishful thinking is not a substitute for reality. There is no way to stop it, so don’t waste your time trying.

    Stop incarcerating citizens for victimless crimes and free up all that space for violent criminals. Lock them up and throw away the key – no repeat offenders. Period.

    And while you’re at it, outlaw civil suits against the victims of criminals. It’s ridiculous that someone can sue because of injuries sustained during commission of a crime.

  27. Putting the “its a constitutional right” argument aside. I do not personally mind jumping through a similar amount of hoops as to what I already do for driving and owning a car. I don’t believe that guns should be made more difficult to own and operate than motor vehicles. So I suppose that I would be partially on board with Mike’s proposal.

    • Again putting aside the constitutional arguments, motor vehicle accidents kill more than twice as many people as firearms each year according to the CDC. Is there any reason to believe that licensing, registration and training will fix that?


          35,080 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents in 2010.
          11,015 deaths due to homicide via firearm in 2010.
          600 deaths due to firearm accidents in 2010.

          11,015 + 600 = 11,615 total deaths via firearm in 2010.

          35,080/11,615 = 3.02, which IS more than double.

          Learn to fvcking math, Michael.

            • Because they are irrelevant. As has been stated (and proven via statistic) time and again, while gun suicide rates may change with limited access, overall suicide rates do not. They just find a different method.

              Shit. I just broke my own rule about responding to you.

            • Japan has what you may call an epidemic of suicides yet near total elimination of civilian owned firearms. Suicide by pill seems to be a more popular choice anyways.

              • No I don’t think it would. A lot of Japanese actually leap out of buildings and off bridges. Firearms are just another means.

                The point is that it has virtually no private ownership of firearms and yet it has a far higher suicide rater per capita than the US. It is also better educated.

      • Just hypothetically thinking how I could frame Mike’s argument so that it would make more sense to me.

      • Simple, I put the “constitutional rights” argument aside because even constitutional rights can and do have restrictions. You cannot hide behind the 2A unless you’re one of those truly wacky extremists who take “shall not be infringed” to its literal end.

        • Mikeb, sadly the 2A is a fraction of what the founders had put into place. Unlike automobiles, fast food, and swimming pools; the Second Amendment is in the Bill or Rights.

          So we are not hiding behind anything as much as we are standing up for rights that have been whittled away since inception thanks to people “who know better.” If you like this utopian final solution you have proposed, then go ahead and move to a country that already has this in place. Stop trying to screw up mine. You’ll probably find that countries with “reasonable” restrictions you have listed are shitholes. Again, move there and stop trying to screw up my country. Thanks.

        • “Hide behind the 2A…” What a wonderful phrase. It’s that missing variant we’ve so often had to remind prosecutors not to use, like “so, you’re going to hide behind your 5th Amendemnt (4th Amendment) rights, eh?” Mikeb, you’re American in passport only.

  28. I agree that the “AI” isn’t representative of all gun owners at large, and I thank you for recognizing that the folks on this board are, generally, safe and reasonably intelligent folks. (At least, I think I am …)

    On to the topic of your proposed restrictions:

    1. licensing of all gun owners after written and psychological testing.

    The reason this is not at all reasonable is that we’re dealing with a right, such as it is … It isn’t reasonable to require licensing for public speech, or privacy, or due process; and arms–of any kind–are a right protected in the same manner.

    2. registration of all guns to a licensed gun owner followed by renewal after 3 months and yearly thereafter – the renewal would require producing the gun and its paperwork

    Registration of guns costs time and money. Now you’re requiring that folks pay to exercise a constitionally-protected right. (Did you renew your federal blogger registration yet?) Yes, I realize that some states do this already; but that doesn’t make it right for the federal government to do the same. And these laws were passed before the Second Amendment was “incorporated” to states and local governments. As it was when those laws were passed, the Second Amendment restricted only the federal government … Or should have restricted only the federal government. The restriction obviously didn’t work well in practice.

    3. closure of the private sale loophole by requiring background checks on all transfers and transference of the registration from one licensed owner to another

    Okay. What? Yes, I said “okay.” Your “licensed owner” wording aside, I’m fine with that. Some folks aren’t, but I think requiring background checks on all sales is fine. I also think that the GCA is bullsh_t and that I should be able to go pick up a select-fire short-barreled rifle and a supressor too. Go ahead and run my background check, and give me my “machine gun” and supressor. If you know I’m legal for it, why can’t I have the firearm I want?

    4. safe storage laws and severe punishment if a kid or a thief too easily gets one of your guns

    Stay out of my house. That right, stay out of my house. Neither you nor any government has any business telling me how to organize and keep my belongings. (I’m being a bit impertinent, I know; but it is for dramatic effect, so please forgive the impudence.)

    You’re talking about a law that targets guns and gun owners, rather than criminals. It’s not that I don’t agree that gun owners have a responsibility to keep track of their firearms; but what’s the difference between what you’re proposing, and saying that a car owner can go to jail if his car is stolen from his garage and the theif runs over a bystander with that car? (Let’s say, for comparison’s sake, that the car was in a locked garage but the key was in the car.) The thief is clearly the responsible party. He is the criminal, and I don’t think it is appropriate to criminalize being a victim. This isn’t to say that allowing a kid to access a firearm and shoot himself or his friend isn’t “criminally stupid.” It’s negligence. But there are already laws to cover that kind of stupidity, and they cover guns the same way they cover knives and swimming pools.

  29. There is an assumption that gun enthusiasts are all solidly politically and/or socially conservative or libertarian. This is not true, as most people are a complex mix of this oversimplified spectrum set forth by what George Carlin would call “our handlers” in order to divide and conquer us for their own personal profit.

    Many of the more frequent posters of the Armed Intelligentsia seem to be conservative leaning politically but maybe a little less so socially. Sometimes articles are written assuming a conservative audience. However, in the past casual posters have come out and admitted to being pro gun democrats, atheists, social liberals, LGBT, etc. It seems that there could be a large silent demographic of this type. Assuming a uniformally conservative (or at least politically interested) audience may be a bit of a detriment in some ways.

    I believe the reality is that gun ownership and enthusiasm is way more mainstream than everyone assumes, but all but a particular personality type is heavily closeted. I certainly don’t talk about believing gays should have equal marriage rights under law or that DADT was uncivilized at the local shooting club. I’m afraid to, and really that’s not what I’m there to do. Likely my fear is not completely justified and likely I would discover that others quietly share some of these views. Who knows, not going there.

    There is a fact that goes completely ignored however. Regardless of people’s views, most people are pretty moderate and even including people who aren’t, most people are pretty responsible.

    What floats to the surface of public scrutiny is always the anomalous case. It’s only news if it’s not normal. We all fall into the trap of observability bias and assume that what is visible is the majority. (different from observer bias). This is usually never the case in our culture.

    To address the mikeb “ideas” for new gun controls… really there isn’t a problem that these ideas could address. The only way to fight crime is to make less criminals which requires criminal culture to change. No one knows how to do that and it is likely unimaginably hard to do. I get it though, when bad things happen people want to see action taken, and people responsible for taking action want to take the easiest action that will get people demanding it off their backs. What could be easier than punishing already law abiding citizens? Even better, if we criminalize them they’ll be really easy criminals to catch (since their not really criminals) and we can show people we’re catching criminals! Gun control advocates conduct themselves like they are in a political campaign, focusing on what is achievable and what they can easily claim credit for, NOT what actually solves the underlying problem.

  30. How few of you are adressing the question in the post. I suppose if you did, you’d have to admit that my logic follows from there. Gun owners at large are not the safe and responsible bunch you keep trying to say they are.

    Hence, the need for proper gun control laws.

    • “Gun owners at large are not the safe and responsible bunch you keep trying to say they are.”
      And that right there is why so few of us addressed your question. Your sweeping generalization, backed up with zero documentation, invalidates your “logic”. If the premise is false, the argument can not be true.

    • Ha! You’re right (about not properly addressing the question). Let me rectify that:

      Yes, the “AI” are generally smart–although there are clearly a few stumps in the forest. Perhaps smarter than the “average” Joe American, even. That said, you paint a grim picture of Joe. He’s apparently stupid and needs a government (manned my other stupid Joe’s, who were elected by stupid Joe’s) to tell him how to be safe, to protect them from themselves. I disagree. I think Joe is smarter than you give him credit for. He’s become accustomed to people calling him stupid, and maybe he’s started to believe it himself. But, if properly educated and motivated, he’s a smart fellow. I think that a lot of folks are just scared to give him a chance. We’re like scared parents afraid to let the kids go off to college. Well, it’s time to let Joe spread his wings. He has to learn to be a grown up now.

      Some folks will hurt themsleves or others. Yes, it will happen. But Stumpy doesn’t put his hand in the bandsaw anymore. You can call them “growing pains” if you like. There will be bumps and bruises, but society–Joe American–will learn on his own how to be safe. He doesn’t need Mama Government telling him how to do it.

      Smart fellows–or at least, folks who consider themselves “smarter than the average bear”–tend to allow arrogance to cloud their judgement of others. I’m guilty of it. Everyone else seems stupid to me. But that doesn’t make it true.

    • “Gun owners at large are not the safe and responsible bunch you keep trying to say they are.” You didn’t even back up that statement with any form of evidence whatsoever. Do you think we’re supposed to believe you just because you share a common bond with other anti-gun people? Nice try, but your argument reminds me of that one annoying mother of a 1st grade child trying to tell other moms what toys their kids should and shouldn’t be playing with because “A CNN report said so and so toys are dangerous”. Stop telling people what they should and shouldn’t do, own etc and let them take responsibility for their own actions.

      • He doesn’t back anything up with stats or research. I’ve been asking and challenging him on this issue since I started reading this blog and I’ve gotten a single link back to his blog citing a source from an anti-gun group. Woo wee.

      • Milsurp, read the news, man. Every day there are several news stories of lawful gun owners fucking up. Imagine the ones that don’t make the main stream news.

        • “Selection and slanting” by the Liberal controlled Media is less than convincing.
          ‘Nuff said.

        • “Every day there are several news stories of lawful gun owners successfully defending themselves or others with the most effective self defense tool commonly available. Imagine the ones that don’t make the main stream news.”

    • Gun owners at large are in fact responsible, if the metric is how many of them actually cause any problems using guns, which is virtually zero (not exactly zero, but virtually zero, in spite of the media saturation which occurs around anomalous cases). This is easy to confirm by scrutinizing any law enforcement statistics.

      Car owners on the other hand are a menace to society. As are alcohol owners, hedge fund owners, and non-insured emergency room users, etc.

      ABRACADABRA! (for Leo)

    • Mike,

      There are about 6 million active concealed carry permits in the US. And the odds are that yesterday, all 6 million of those folks did not commit a crime.

      There are 80+million gun owners who collectively own around 200-300 Million guns in the US.
      Today, the overwhelming majority, say 79,999,900 of those people will not commit a crime of any kind.

      The restrictions, fees (taxes), and other ideas you put forward will affect us (legal gun owners), but will not affect the small minority of people that are going to do something illegal. In effect you are saying we are “Guilty by Association” and punishing us accordingly. That is Just Plain Wrong.

      Speaking of Registration. If the gov’t were to require registration, I would register. I would complain and vote against it if I could, but I would comply.

      But do you really think that anyone with a criminal bent, would ever be induced to voluntarily walk down the the police station and present their weapons for inspection and registration? That strains credibility to the breaking. Would that not be classified as “self incrimination”….which is something you cannot be compelled to do?…because of the Constitution. From the Fifth Amendment “…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,”

      Your proposed registry would be full of all the names of people that are the least likely to pose a problem which would be absolutely useless. Canada has tried that, and have found it to be… expensive and useless. Read up on their experience with their Long Gun registry. They have not solved even one crime with their LG registry (never mind prevented). Its a waste of resources.

      But dont take my word for it:(from Wikipedia)
      ‘Former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino is opposed to the gun registry, stating in a press release in 2003:

      We have an ongoing gun crisis including firearms-related homicides lately in Toronto, and a law registering firearms has neither deterred these crimes nor helped us solve any of them. None of the guns we know to have been used were registered, although we believe that more than half of them were smuggled into Canada from the United States. The firearms registry is long on philosophy and short on practical results considering the money could be more effectively used for security against terrorism as well as a host of other public safety initiatives.”[11]

      As for Illegal guns. Look at Mexico. They have all of the restrictions and regulations you propose. None of them have helped stop the Drug Cartels from doing whatever they want. And before you start with “Mexico’s violence problems are the US’s fault because of our gun laws” line, remember, if it wasnt us, it would be someone else. The Cartels have the money, and therefore they will find a way.

      This has gone way long….Sorry

      • Steve, your first two paragraphs are a wild as if I had said almost all of the 6 million commit crimes every day.

        Your assertion that NONE of them did is ridiculous when you think about it, am I right?

        The vast majority are law-abiding and responsible, fine. But what exactly does that mean. Whatever number you put on it, since we’re talking about millions the rest are too many.

        • Mike you keep on bleating that we will somehow agree with you if you keep posting your ridiculous “ideas”. Not a single one of them is reasonable or logical. In fact, all of them require more government and more money. I have to jump through enough hoops already to buy a firearm and I refuse to jump through anymore so you can sit back with a haughty, smug smile on your face thousands of miles away. I don’t how you came to be a collectivist or how you can believe that a basic human right is subject to your regulation and I don’t care. FLAME DELETED

    • I didn’t need to address that point.

      Whether or not gun owners are more or less responsible is immaterial to your supposed aim.

      If you want less crime, more gun restrictions is not the answer. (Again, look at the results across the globe.)

      The premise upon which you base your call for more restrictions on gun owners is thus unimportant to the argument.

      And, if you aren’t arguing that more gun restrictions will result in less crime, why do you want the restrictions in the first place?

  31. The proposal put forth in this post is straightforward enough. It is prefaced by the stated assumption that while TTAG readers are “for the most part” competent in their conduct of firearms related activities (how flattering), the average American gun owner is a sloppy drug and booze-abusing lout whose approach to life is one of apathetic negligence. We all know that more regulation means a safer world, don’t we? Just ask Mr. Madoff’s former clients! “All your billions are be mine!”

    Then comes the proposed list of restrictions. Some would argue that it is an odd approach to a Constitutional Right that one should have to take written tests and psychological exams before exercising the right. I must admit, though, that as to guns Nigeria follows this protocol, so Mike has deftly selected a system already imposed by a model of good government. Well, that’s a time saver! One does not carelessly dismiss a practice Nigeria has thoughtfully implemented! An annual licensing is proposed: I assume this “annual” bit would be like my annual car registration, just $34 and a mail-in. Call this deficit reduction (Big Brother’s) if you can’t see a safety benefit. As to my detailed objections to gun registration, I’d assert my 5th amendment right to avoid self-incrimination, but (and keep this to yourselves, please…) , I haven’t passed the written and psychological exam for that right yet, so who knows if I’m competent to assert it without causing myself harm?

    Finally, what could be more appropriate that “severe punishment” of me if a thief steals my inadequately locked “bump in the night gun” from my bedside by means of incredible ninja stealth? In short, the author recommends that my pistol be locked up tight at night, so that even the loud and clumsy break-in artist gets a few good whacks in before I’ve got the damned thing pointed his way? I detect in this proposal a sort of Rainbow Coalition idealistic affirmative action for burglars. Sure, the good ones will succeed regardless, but the loud clumsy ones? Let’s level the playing field for them, shall we? I call that “equality of results” where formerly burglars only experienced equality of opportunity.

    The epilogue of Mikey’s post is where we find the most philosophically rich flourish: Look, don’t tell me you’re law-abiding if you refuse even the most modest of Orwellian tracking. I think we know your scofflaw sort! Well, Mikey thinks he does.

    Make no mistake: Mikeb302000 knows of that which he speaks. He’s claimed elsewhere to have played a role in both straw purchases of guns and careless storage of them in trunks of cars which subsequently get stolen. God knows he’s claimed to be around drugs and guns in the same day. So listen if you will to the voice of experience, Mikey’s, who for all I know is writing to us from Dartmoor Prison. Let the grandeur of his approach sweep away any desire to know who the hell the fellow actually is today, what he does, his qualifications if you will. Piffle. Qualifications are for gun owners. Regulatory proposals can come from Ulan Bator for all we care, right? I personally doubt MikeB, a US person, has the legal ability to pass a NICS check, but doubt I’ll get an anwer on that this week. In the meantime, he’s told you who he is philosophically. Now your task is to remember his birthday, and send him a Brown Shirt.

  32. In MA, we have all of these implemented. And yet, every other day in the Globe and Herald, you can read about a gang-banger shooting, or two groups of people who meet up, look askew at each other, and start shooting. None of them have permits, certainly not to carry. There are parts of Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, and Springfield you cannot go to safely.
    We have had many cases of “prohibited” people acquiring firearms, and using them for murder (ex the guy who walked out of Shirley prison and murdered a barber, or the killing of LEO Jack mcGuire, or the killing of the Nepalese store clerk Christmas 2010). None was prevented any of these these four suggestions.
    What we do have is people waiting months, (up to 6+) to receive or renew their license. We have Police departments making up any requirement they want to deny or discourage applications. We have people who have been criminalized because the PD took so long to renew, that their license expired while they were waiting, despite a 90 day post expiration grace period. We have a sudden shortage of registration forms, so no one can register or transfer.
    Anyone who says these ideas will be used solely to discourage firearms ownership is 100% correct, I know from first hand experience.