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 NPR-affiliated radio station KOSU boldly proclaims that Craig Whitney’s Living With Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment is “A Book To Break The Gun Control Stalemate.” Really? Reading the interview and the Amazon excerpt I get the distinct impression that “breaking the stalemate” doesn’t mean what the former NYT Moscow bureau chief thinks it means. Or wants it to means. Like Adam Winkler (Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America), Whitney’s idea of breaking the stalemate is . . . gun control. “What I wanted to do was suggest that especially liberals, who are generally in favor of gun control, should say, ‘Now, look, we agree that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, and it’s protected by the Second Amendment. Now let’s talk about ways to make it safer to have all these guns.’ That must be as much in the interest of gun owners as it is in the interest of people who fear gun violence.” Is there any room for negotiation on gun control? Should conservative gun rights advocates play ball with anti-gun liberals to “make society safer”?

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    • I agree. It’s the same as a “temporary tax”. Most liberals got that way because their brains fell out when they were born. Winston Churchill said: Anyone who is not a liberal in his youth has no heart. Anyone who remains so as hew matures has no brain!

  1. Here’s my ‘compromise’ solution.

    Anyone who wants to own a gun gets a cheap owner id card. This includes a criminal background check. The licenses can be issued by any gun store who wants to send in the background check.

    This person can then buy guns from anyone they want, like an ffl. They can also possess guns in any state.

    If they want to carry, they have to take a course or pass a test similar to a drivers exam. But this license would also be valid in all states and cities.

    Basic gun safety and shooting skills would be part of public school curriculum. This would reduce the number of gun accidents that liberals always crow about. At completion of the high school class you have the option of getting your owner id.

    If you commit a felony the id is revoked. It is a felony to sell a gun without an id.

    It’s not my preferred solution, but if there is reason to compromise, this generally increases the freedoms of legal owners while “cracking down” on all of the loopholes they bitch about.

    • I’ve tossed around a similar idea for years Mike. I am against most forms of gun control. However, I would not be opposed to a voluntary system of lawful ownership control.  And that’s the kicker, it is voluntary so in essence, gun owners would be responsible for enforcing it.  

      You pay for the usual NCIS the background check. This system can be accessed by health and mental health care officials in a confidential way. If you own a gun, period, you have to be cleared. How many you own, what type is irrellanvant, that’s not recorded.  Should never be recorded unless you put it on something like your homeowners insurance, like you flat screen TV .  Whether you even own a gun is irrelevant. Only that you are authorized, if you choose to do so. You don’t even have to register and it’s not even necessary to purchase a gun, of any type. However,  if you are arrested or a mental health worker flags you, you will have to appeal your case to get your rights reinstated. Make the judge or commission be elected.  

      If you purchase from an FFL you’re covered by their paper work. If you sell you firearm (or buy) you have the option of going online or calling a 1-800 number with the buyers ID info and get clearance. Ideally, you do this prior to the sale and not face to face. It’s not required that this happens at all but if you don’t, in this day and age, you’d risk civil liability or worse, criminal charges for any wrong doing the buyer might undertake.

      Obviously this needs tweaking. I am writing this out on my iPad and undoubtedly, there’s things I am missing. I am against gun control in any form.  This is not gun control per se because what you own and how you carry is not on the table.   Flame away as you will but at some point, the scales will tip and they will come at us will a lot worse that what I and Mike are willing to discuss in our posts. If we don’t have at least a plan or framework to temper the gun grabbers, we will fail. 

    • The test would have to be administrated and graded by a non-government third party like the NRA. Otherwise it will be misused. The disqualification by any “felony” is another problem. The gov’t could qualify whatever it wants as a “felony” including non-violent offenses. ALL existing restrictions would have to be eliminated. Otherwise there really is no compromise.

      In general I think you cannot compromise with liberals. They will continually press to re-negotiate until they get what they want. In this case it is total gun confiscation.
      “The rights of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

      • Agree. We know, after many long decades, that the government’s integrity, common-sense, and respect for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights is only lip-service. Just as government finds ways to continue to grow in scope and authority so too do laws against the private citizen’s rights to liberty or freedom. The federal government and some local ones ie Chicago, NYC, etc want the American people disarmed and only governments to have arms. Our safety and rights are not of concern to government. The people in government today are, under the skin, very much like those that have ruled sheeple for thousands of years.

        • Haven’t we already “negotiated” over the last howevermany years?

          I mean… it seems to me that we’re the only the ones that are having any rules imposed on us.

          What have the liberals “given up” in the negotiations?

          Furthermore… what do they have to offer us in exchange for what they want?

        • NO we haven’t negotiated. We HAVE incrementally surrendered our rights. Whatever the liberals don’t get the first time around they push for the next time or the time after that etc, etc. Liberals “give in” with gun laws the way they do with gov’t spending. They agree to reduce a proposed future increase but never cut current spending.

    • So you are suggesting a federal registry for all gun owners. You don’t see a potential problem civil liberty problem with that idea?

      • Technically, there already is. What do you think happens when you fill out the ATF form 4473? What I am debating is the impending “gun show loophole”, ie private sales issue that will not go away just because we agree or disagree that there is a loophole to begin with. The anti-gun movement has latched onto it and will bring it up until it goes away through legislation or SCOTUS defines it.

        It’s the legislative “remedy” that scares me and if you value your civil liberties as you seem to, a self-policing voluntary system seems to be a reasonable place to start the debate.

  2. I guess the reams of gun laws we have now are not enough for him, nor do they seem to prevent the problem of bad people doing bad things. Since we all know you don’t stop bad behavior simply by eliminating the tools used it’s safe to say we need the alternative which is personal self defense by whatever means necessary. If that scares the left then that’s too bad.

  3. ” Should conservative gun rights advocates play ball with anti-gun liberals to “make society safer”?” What a loaded question in this our wonderfully politically polarized nation. A land where conservatives for the most part still swear by Charlton Heston, whereas liberals side with Michael Bloomberg. This division stands even though there are various issues concerning firearms where agreement can be found. There are many reasons particular to each issue, often times location of the debate being a driving factor. Urban areas dwellers, for the most part, feel uncomfortable around guns as these are not part of common utilitarian items urbanites would grow up with, hence they accept that weapons are best left in hands of professionals. Rural people who grow up in areas accommodative to shooting feel for the most part, that owning and using firearms are an inalienable right and a custom to be passed on. Anyone wishing for a true consensus has to realize that we have MANY different points of view, that this argument cannot be thought of as an us against them because this country is multifaceted. While many will say they stand either white (pro) or black (con) there are many I dare say who like myself, irrespective of political ideology will refer to themselves as zebras, who agree with certain points of each side’s argument while discarding other points as irrelevant to themselves personally. Having explored some of the possible variables should the two sides play ball? Remember, sometimes you will get hits-sometimes strikes……..

  4. Negotiation? No; concession.
    1. Bad people always have and always will do bad things.
    2. “Society” has NEVER been safe.
    3. Legislation only impacts the law-abiding.
    4. “…shall not be infringed” is the ONLY way for those who do not intend to harm others to defend themselves against those who do.

  5. Problem with gun restrictions is that they’re like sun-baked dog turds on a sidewalk: they pass easily, but once they’re in place, are damned hard to remove.

    No thanks to “middle ground” gun control – the other side is never happy, they’re always looking to further restrict our rights…

  6. No.

    Is there a middle ground on other matters of principal? Maybe we should let burglars occasionally have our t.v. so we can break the stalemate. How about we “play ball” with rapists and let them just grope women? Maybe let murderers just beat the sh!t out of people.

    There’s a group of people who, for no demonstrable purpose, want to disarm me. I should find a middle ground with them because…? What could I possibly have to gain by doing so? End the stalemate? The “stalemate” they’re referring to is the lack of progress they’re making towards stripping you and me of our ability to defend ourselves. I’m supposed to have a problem with that?

  7. I dont think most of us are wholeheartedly against legislation that actually makes people safer. I believe that guns make people safer.

  8. How about we open the machine gun registry, make the background check online so I don’t have to wait up to an hour sometimes for my purchase to go through and get rid of the stupid system we have for suppressors and SBR’s and just treat them like any other firearm… I would take that compromise! 🙂

    • The last show I went to the dealer did the NICS check online. Only took 2 minutes. The local shops ares still doing the phone system. Not sure if the online check is trying to become more mainstream or not but I was pleased with how it worked on my end.

  9. The 2nd Amendment is a Constitutionally-held end of the argument of weapons possession. As a free person you have that right. You have had that right. You will always have that right. You also have the right not to possess a weapon. You do not have the right to take the right from others. This is Freedom. That is the middle ground.

    All states, counties and cities(municipalities) should have their weapons(guns, knives, etc.) laws overturned and return to 2nd Ammendment protection. Teach everyone why this protection exists, how it came to be, and(most importantly) it is not going to be “given-up” or “watered-down” for “your safety”, it is your “safety”.

    Remember there are a significant number of humans who cannot tolerate freedom. There should be no giving-in to this group.

    Nous Defions

  10. History has shown that it is far easier to take away or destroy liberty and human rights, prosperity and safety, and life itself than it is to either create or restore it.

    • Yep, that’s pretty much it. I live in NJ. Most politicians would agree that this state has “sensible” gun laws. Aside from many bans and restrictions, the biggest “compromise” is that virtually no one is allowed to CCW. It was fairly easy to enact these “reasonable” restrictions, yet it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. The SAF and ANJRPC have a lawsuit going, where they sued NJ judges who refused to issue CCW permits. This case could go all the way to the SCOTUS.

      You cannot legislate us into safety. A compromise here simply means that we lose and they gain. So my answer to your question is no. We’re behind already.

      • “Sensible” and “reasonable” and “common sense” are dangerous words in the mouth of a liberal. They mean whatever he/she wants them to mean.

  11. So much has been taken from gun owners in the way of rights and freedom. Nothing has been given back. This is called compromise by the anti’s. You can have your compromise. I’ll keep my guns.

  12. This is a trick question. The fact is that gun ownership is already heavily regulated in the United States. Asking whether we can find a middle ground implies that the law is weighted toward one side now or the other and that compramizes will be made to address that imbalance. If there weren’t already reams of paper required to buy even a simple single barrel break open shotgun, let alone a NFA class 2 or 3 item, the case might reasonably be made that a few laws might meaningfully increase public safety. These would be things like hunter safety courses, minimal small arms qualification in order to concealed carry on a national level with state option to wave said requirement, background checks to make sure there isn’t a restraining order out on the purchaser, and other limitations which make sure that gun ownership is an informed and responsible process. The reality is that any compramize would need to come at the loosening of strictures not the addition of further middle-ground elements.
    When Maryland put in place its manditory handgun education requirement, my local range offered to teach a real safety and introductory ownership course. The state declined. This is a clasic example of the sham argument that articles like this attempt to present.
    Many gun laws are theoretically well intentioned but grounded in ignorence. They are written and passed by people who don’t understand guns and want something on the books that makes them feel safer. So for all practical purposes, those asking for common sense gun control aren’t asking for real increases in public safety, they are asking gun owners to seed some of their rights and a great deal of inconvenience so that they can maintain a false sense of security. That comes by limiting access to or use of guns and not through practices that will limit criminal and negligent behavior. Murder is against the law as is robbery, assault, rape, and the sale of drugs. Yet criminals do all of these things, every day, with and without the assistance of firearms. But to some, taking guns away or seeming to limit access to guns makes them feel safer. These people comition studdies and think-tanks to validate their views with no concern for making themselves more secure.
    So I would be willing to compramize in order to meaningfully increase public safety. But that needs to come with some very strong loosening of strictures and some very strong legal protections (such as a further clerification of the 2a as a constitutional amendment.)
    That isn’t what’s being proposed here. The author is saying that if I won’t give up my rights to make him feel safer, feel not actually be safer, then he wants to talk about how he can limit my unlimited ownership of firearms to feel safer.
    This is worse than just talking to someone who doesn’t believe in guns. This is trying to reason with someone who feels that taking my rights for no purpose means he is being reasonable. If you want to increase legal punishments for firearms related crimes while loosening strictures, fine. but let’s not pretend that this isn’t a path toward the nutering of firearms ownership.
    When you and I are both safer because of a law I’ll be fine with it. I simply refuse to accept strictures that make others feel better by needlessly taking my rights and making my life less convenient. Dress it up in any kind of language you want, that’s what this kind of proposal is.
    So no.

  13. The Brady Act was the meet in the middle compromise. Now we hear from the anti-rights bigots that they want MORE laws because they’re not happy with the agreement that they made. The private sales exemption to the background checks was a feature, not a bug, but they want that changed. The sunset of the federal Assault Weapons Ban was a feature, not a bug, and part of the compromise, but they want that reinstated because they’re not happy with the agreement that they made.

    The position of the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control, Inc) was to take baby steps in passing laws that would eventually lead to the banning of handguns, any further meet in the middle compromise would no longer be meeting in the middle since it would just be closer to their goal.

  14. In general, I don’t support rigidity for its own sake. Too many people confuse rigidity with virtue. In a pluralistic society, you have to be able to at least talk to the other side, for Pete’s sake, and this books seems to be such an attempt. But, in some ways my thinking about gun control is shifting, as are many other pieces of my political point of view. I no longer know what the heck to call my political stance.

    It’s easy to say that nobody wants a paranoid schizophrenic to have a firearm. Cho at Virginia Tech, Loughner in Arizona, Holmes in Aurora – all of these men were clearly unstable, and it’s easy to say, “we all agree that they should not have had access to a firearm.”

    But, that statement ends up blaming the tool and not the person. If Cho had run through those classrooms with a scimitar and not a Glock, would he really have killed fewer people? If Loughner had driven a rented moving van through the crowd surrounding the congresswoman, would he really have killed fewer people? If Holmes had thrown Molotov cocktails into that theatre, would he really have killed fewer people?

    We can and should still talk with each other. But, we should be careful, on both sides, not to jump to conclusions that are easy, and feel good, but are not tenable.

  15. I got my first handgun while living in MN. I really liked their no waiting period, but permit to purchase. It also made private sales easier and safer because I knew that if they had the permit to purchase, they at least passed the BGC at some point in the last year (and the government will take it away if you commit a felony).

    I like that version of the ‘compromise’ and think all states should follow suit.

      • A permit to purchase in a shall-issue state is nothing more than an ID. You need proof of residency and citizenship to register to vote, why would you not need proof of eligibility to buy a gun.

        Please note, MN’s ptp is free of charge with fast processing. This actually streamlines one’s ability to purchase and reduces cost for the buyer (no 13 dollar bgc every time you buy like in WI)

        Now if the permit was not shall issue, then I think you might have a point, but I don’t see the problem requiring a simple check of eligibility.

    • Unless the premit expires and the government is late renewing you and you find yourself breaking the law because of government inteptiud.


  16. Every time a compromise is reached, the middle ground changes.

    A compromise establishes a new normal of which there are two extremes, even though one of the new “extremes” was once part of the middle ground.

    Although, I’m giving the hard line gun control people too much credit. The extreme position of gun control advocates never moves toward gun rights. As far as gun control advocates are concerned, any gun control law that is passed convinces advocates it’s time for even more controls.

    • Just so.
      The reason this won’t work is that gun control advocates are asking for the armed community to compramize on what they feel will make them safer and what they feel will make society safer. To wit, I feel that owning guns makes me and society safer, gun control pushers feel the exact opposite.
      We feel that to one degree or another the guns are the answer. Compramize asks us to amend that principal.
      Compramize implies shared sacrifice. In our case the loss would be further reduction of our freedoms and further inconvenience.
      On the other side, the only loss is not getting a total firearms ban outright. I am giving them something, they are giving me nothing.
      That is not compramize, nigociation perhaps, but when you get less of what you want and I get none of what I want, I don’t call that compramize. In fact, the pro-2a community is having to fight an extensive and expensive legal battle now just to try and force the line back a few feet. Nobody is offering to compramize there, if they were I’m sure there’d be a more open discussion. Talk to me about what rights you are willing to restore to me and the hurdles you are willing to remove before you speak of compramize. Anything else is diplomatic dubble speak.

  17. Step 1. City and state governments spend less time on pot, traffic, parking, gun control on law abiding citizens.
    Step 2. Use all this new time to actually investigate the illegal gun trade and criminals themselves.

    Oh but that’s hard. Nevermind.

    If you give antis an inch they will take a mile and then some. History is full of such, Income tax , social security etc started small and then exploded to what theu are today.

  19. Compromise has already been forced on Gun Owners in the existing laws and over-extended by most of them.
    No more of that kind of “compromise”.

  20. There can be no compromise when the end goals of both parties are completely opposite each other. The only acceptable outcome of the gun control debate for the left is an ban on civil ownership of arms. If it cannot be done by the letter of the law, they’ll pervert the law to accomplish the same.

    On the other side, the only acceptable outcome for the pro-gun side is REPEAL of the current set of ineffective laws. There is no way the liberals will accept a removal of anything currently on the books, and there’s no way we’ll accept greater restrictions. So, much like the nation of Israel we are condemned to permanent conflict.

  21. The situation we already have, despite the anti-2As characterization of it being the “wild west” and “unfettered access to machine guns” IS a “middle ground”. We have already accepted infringement in the name of “public safety”.
    This is really where the battle must be fought- not allowing the gun control industry to continue incrementally moving the baseline of discussion toward their position.

  22. The problem with “compromising” on gun rights is the fact that gun owners will always lose. When the opposing view is a total ban on guns, every infringement – no matter how small – on the 2nd Amendment is a loss to gun owners and a win for anti’s.

  23. So I should curtail my rights because a bunch of savages have been engineered by society to not respect anything inlcuding life?

  24. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really feel like so much of this is due to these so-called educated advocates really don’t have a clue just how much is already regulated. It’s like hearing a public safety committee droning on about how “somebody really should make air bags a requirement!” without looking up from their desk in oh, 20 years. I think these guys believe their hype so much that they continue to perpetuate these ideas of “rampant unregulated guns!” without ever actually looking at just how regulated they are.

  25. As always a great many good points on TTAG. I just want to say perhaps we should stop labeling folks as liberals and conservatives on the issue. Politically I am a liberal, but when it comes to the 2A no one is going to be more steadfast in my belief that we have the right to bear arms. Conversely I know folks that are quite conservative in their political leanings and are all for strict gun laws. My point is this: Let’s just say one is pro 2A or anti 2A. Lets not get side tracked on other politics and issues. We just need to stand united on this and we will all be fine. On this I think all of us can agree. 2A +++

    • “Lets not get side tracked on other politics and issues.”

      I respectfully disagree with you because while gun control laws restrict your freedom in some aspects, taking your money away (in the form of taxes, theft, dues, etc) takes away your freedom in a myriad of other ways.

      “Liberal” and “conservative” aren’t perfect terms, but they’re still less obfuscatory than any other terms, simply because most people recognize that the desire to confiscate guns is more often than not correlated with the desire to confiscate earnings.

      If you are for “common-sense gun laws,” odds are, you’re a liberal. If you are for “making the rich [who keep getting defined downward] pay their fair share,” you are certainly a liberal. If you support one and oppose the other, I’d say you’re still a liberal.

      • I see what you’re saying, and I agree. That said, I don’t think we as a country are going to get anywhere with this issue until we stop trying to box in people with labels like conservative, liberal, progressive, republican…etc. The second amendment needs to be treated as a right that crosses conventional party lines. It isn’t a republican or conservative issue. It is a human issue which is self evident, or should be anyway. Certainly it touches on other issues like taxation and certainly it falls closer to some political camps than others. But by continuing to use it as a means of separating people, we further the idea that gun rights are an us vs them issue. I see no room for teaching or for eventual acceptance if we continue down that path.

    • The fact of the matter is the vast majority of socially liberal politicians are big anti gun people. So either you are lucky enough to have one of those rare liberal pro gun pols in your area, you vote “Conservative” for the sake of your gun rights or you are voting in socially liberal anti gun candidates. It is not that most gun people dislike liberals it is that most liberal pols are anti gun and gun rights folks dont like that.

  26. No. Gun grabbers are convinced millions of pro 2A citizens must give up their rights to prevent the chance of someone misusing a firearm.

    Pro 2A people will not give or limit our rights to have little effect on reducing crime. Even if it had a great effect on crime, I’m NOT willing to budge an inch. An inch will become miles. History proves it.

    You cannot use compromise against someone is absolute convinced their POV is the only one.

  27. Should conservative gun rights advocates play ball with anti-gun liberals to “make society safer”?

    F^ck no. I’d rather play an invigorating game of “Hot Potato” with a primed fragmentation grenade.

  28. i think that there is a middle ground but it isn’t what most liberals think of it as. the liberals have poisoned their water so much with so much of the attitude of disarmament policies, de-facto bans, and haranguing of gun owners that they cannot be the ones to advocate a for such a middle ground if it is to take effect popularly. furthermore i think that the majority of people who would advocate for a middle ground are found on the gun nut side rather than the with gun grabbers as evidenced by the widespread dislike of the NRA amongst gun nuts and even NRA members.

  29. How about this: I’ll accept as many compromises on gun rights as the left accepts on free speech and voting. Good enough? In fact, I want broad liberty in all of those areas.

    Let’s take an example. I have free speech rights. That being said, I can’t just walk into a meeting or service or store and yammer away at the top of my lungs. But in all of those places, I’m still entitled to my opinion. The kind of compromise that I can accept is requiring me to keep my firearm concealed while in the city limits. That’s akin to telling me that I can’t run into a church on Sunday morning and shout, “Zeus loves you!” But if I go into the same wearing a yarmulke or Thor’s hammer, that’s my right.

    • OK, lets take voting.

      Many on this board (including myself) support voter ID, in other words, proof that one is legally able to vote to prevent illegal ability.

      Apply this same reasoning to gun buying, and we come up with some sort of purchase ID which marks a person as legally able to buy a weapon in a certain state.

      Even if we don’t believe in voter ID, you still must bring proof of residency. I don’t understand how people can argue FOR voter id and argue against something like a purchase ID.

      • Actually, I’d like to show up on election day–which should be a national holiday–declare my address and name and vote. I am who I say I am. I shouldn’t have to ask permission from the government to be myself.

        I realize that this appears radical. Anyone who’s not radical these days isn’t paying attention. We’ve accepted far too many violations and far too many attempts at standardization.

  30. All we want to do is enjoy our hobby in peace. We’re not trying to force a gun into the drawers of every home in America, but the opposition could care less.

    There can’t be a compromise with the antis. Every “compromise” they suggest is another small step towards total disarmament, whether that’s their actual goal or not. Every nation that has ever disarmed its populace has faced government sponsored enslavement and or genocide somewhere down the road; it’s inevitable for an unarmed populace.

    Just look at the budding clone of the USSR that is the UK. People have been arrested in public or their own homes for saying or doing things we wouldn’t bat an eyelash at here. Their “shining example of democracy for the civilized world” is just an oppressive police state wearing a nice suit.

  31. More of a trap by liberals to erode our base on gun rights. Yes we want criminals and nut cases not to have guns but having them in prison and the nut farm would do the trick. This case for AWBs and banning CCW is so full of lies and crap they have NO logic on ther side. There is no middle ground.

  32. Well, being rigid for its own sake is not always a virtue. People have different ideas, backgrounds, and values. The fellow who wrote this book is trying and the effort seems sincere. Why isn’t he getting any credit for that?

    Has anyone read this book yet?

    Robert, maybe book reviews would be a valuable add to the site? Or have you guys already done that? I don’t recall, but I don’t check the site every day, and the damned thing moves so fast that it’s easy to miss a story or two.

    • People have different ideas, backgrounds, and values.

      Which, if we were writing a new Constitution, might be relevant. The current Constitution includes the second amendment, which specifically states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed“. Key words – “shall not be infringed”. Your background, religion, or personal views mean jack shit when it comes to your desire to limit peoples rights when the highest law of the land specifically says you can’t make any law infringing on those rights.

      • Position noted. You have the virtue of directness, sir.

        But I’m going to read his book. Reaching out to the other side sometimes means understanding what motivates them.

        Most anti-gun people do not wake up every morning trying to cause pain to you or any other pro-2nd Amendment person. They wake up wanting to make this a better, less dangerous world. They may not understand the world fully, their conclusions may be based on faulty assumptions, but that does not make them evil or stupid. So, I will continue to reach out to them.

        I went to three different gun stores today, one of which includes a state of the art range. And I was depressed by the extent to which the people there seemed to be all the same kind of person. Great people, but the same kind of people.

        • Most anti-gun people wake up thinking I want to be more safe than free. That leaves them with two choices about how to spend the rest of their day: in a bunker, or infringing on the liberty of their neighbors.

  33. Here is my compromise: Change the language of the second amendment to just say: The right to bear arms is an individual right and shall not be infringed. Then, impose voter ID everywhere to keep illegals from voting, so the stupid grabbers won’t get reelected.

  34. As everyone else has said, the problem with the idea of “compromise” is that the side of gun rights has never won anything back. The side of gun control is always incrementally taking away and compromising by saying, “But we’ll leave you with ,” and then coming back 10 to 20 years later and going after that exemption they left before. We’re all familiar with the sequence of events leading from the NFA of 1934 through the GCA of 1968, 1986, and on to 1994. In none of those laws did gun owners gain anything, only lose.

    If I was to sit down and actually attempt some form of legitimate compromise, it would look something like this:

    1. Private party transactions should continue to be private continue as they have, but require some form of record be kept of the sale, or turned into authorities. Allow access to NICS for private party transfers, and the date/result of which should appear on the kept bill of sale.

    2. Keep NICS system as is for any general firearms purchase.

    3. Utilize NFA infrastructure system to create a “national firearms license.” This license permits the purchase, ownership, and use of any NFA item in any state. This could also be expanded into a nation-wide concealed carry permit. The requirements to attain the license should be stringent, but no more so than already required for the purchase of NFA items. State specific concealed carry permits continue to exist, but this way we don’t have California bitching that Utah’s requirements are too lax, since both had a say. The requirements should NOT be over-burdensome, though. CLEO signoffs in exchange political contributions need to stop.

    4. Punishment for committing a felony with a firearm are severe, very severe.

    5. Restoration of 2A rights to non-violent felons after time served.

    Obviously, this is a pipe dream. States like California intentionally make their firearms laws convoluted and difficult to understand so that it discourages the average person from even trying. California has also worked hard at stopping NFA items from entering its borders. It would take a supreme court ruling to knock down these kinds of restrictions before states like CA and NY accept them.

  35. Anti’s versions of ‘compromise’ never seem to include shall-issue CCWs with nationwide reciprocity, a repeal of most of the NFA and GCA 1968, and opening the machine gun registry. Their versions of ‘compromise’ all mean that they get what they want and I give up what I want in return for nothing.

    As long as ‘compromise’ means ‘capitulation’ the answer isn’t simply “No.”

    It’s “Go f*ck yourself.”

  36. Of curse the anti want to compromise now. They have been getting there butt kicked since 1996. There hasn’t been any major national 2a laws that have been passed. Many states are now shall issue states that weren’t in 1996. Nothing new is going to pass in the next 2 years and from what I can see most states have become more 2a frendly or at least held the status quo with more and more states developing recipical agreements with each other. Yes there are hold outs like CA, MD, NY, and places were there Laws are being ignored (Phili). Now how much damage Obama is going to be able to do especially if he can replace 1 of the 5 not anti-2a judges (Not sure you can call them pro-2a) is my biggest concern. There is also concern about what EO Obama might have up his sleave.


  37. If you want to “make society safer” and reduce “gun violence”, then you start dealing with violence, not guns. If you make it as easy as possible for law-abiding citizens to own and carry a gun, then it will become very dangerous to be a law-breaking criminal, and society will become safer.

    I have just given you the only effective solution for the problem of gun violence, and no compromise was required.

  38. Bob is correct. I totally agree with his wisdom. In fact as a person who actually grew up in an inner city, I am convinced it is the only way to control gun violence……or any criminal activity. …….BUT , I am a liberal…… what?,! Some folks out here will not respect my views because of my stand on other issues. That makes no sense.
    The 2A is why we are on this blog. If I wanted to talk politics I would go on Fox or MSNBC. Sadly, it seems some folks just want to fight. Why? As a unified force that reaches across party lines we are unstoppable. Lets not divide ourselves.
    Best to all.

  39. I’ve written a couple letters and posts for this site on the importance of not letting other politics get in the way of gun-rights advocacy. I believe we should make common ground with anyone who will support the second Amendment. As I’ve put it before, the litmus test for gun rights is not abortion, it’s not drugs, it’s not gay marriage. It is only gun rights. But that litmus test is still valid, and we should never surrender an inch of our rights for some tactical political bullshit. If liberals want to support gun rights, that’s great, I’d love to have them, they are in some ways the best ones. But they have to actually support gun rights, not pay lip service as a sinuous and hypocritical attempt to slip in more control under the radar.

    TLDR: Damn the torpedos, hoist the black flag, no quarter asked or given.

  40. I think there’s room for compromise, and thankfully, it’s right there in the Constitution where the Second Amendment is found. It’s called the Tenth Amendment.

    How’s this for compromise. Repeal each and every firearms-related Federal legislation, eliminate the “F” from the ATF, and I promise not to argue against gun control outside of my state of domicile. Federalism is the original compromise; how about we give that a try?

    If California wants to make all guns illegal, well, that’s the choice of the people of California. If Texas wants to allow its citizens to buy full-auto MP5’s and silencers at WalMart, well, that’s up to the people of Texas. Let a thousand Brady Campaigns bloom in state capitols and city halls all across this great land of ours!

    This way, we can see in a few years’ time which policies are good smart ones and which are idiotic ones. Whaddaya say?

    More and more, I’m convinced that 99% of our political problems can be solved through taking federalism seriously.

    • The 14th Amendment makes it clear that no state can violate any person’s rights under the US Constitution, and that the US government may step in to any state when/where needed to secure your rights.

      The solution is that the President needs to start respecting his Oath Of Office, which says that he will defend and support the Constitution. When any state violates the 2A rights of its population (CA, NY, NJ, MD, IL, etc.), the President needs to force them to stop violating those rights. Lyndon Johnson sent in the US Marines to enforce the Brown VS Board of Education ruling, and the President should force Washington, D.C to obey the Heller ruling, and Chicago to obey the McDonald ruling.

      The problem is that every part of government is violating our rights, and no part is doing anything to stop the violations. The protections built into the Constitution aren’t working anymore. Why? Because The People (from which all government powers originate) are not forcing their government to protect their rights anymore.

  41. Treat it just like a driver’s license. Shall issue CCW to anyone who passes a background check and a written and shooting test to demonstrate basic proficiency. And national reciprocity with the CCW.


    I think that says it all right there.

    Can I justify owning nuclear weapons? No. But I think enough land, some wrecked cars a buddy and two howitzers would make for a good game of Battleship.

  43. Why is the “common sense” approach liberals propose to gun control always MORE gun control, contrary to all evidence that it does not work (for the stated intentions)?

  44. The thing about compromise is that it’s only good when one side is not objectively wrong. It’s a good compromise when little boys are playing a game, and they agree that one of them gets to be Batman this time because he wasn’t Batman last time. That’s a good compromise because no one is objectively wrong or right. The thing about gun control is that compromise is unacceptable because gun control is objectively wrong in that it will at best have no effect on crime, and at worst increase it. THAT is why gun control is something that cannot be compromised over.


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