TOMS gun control $5 million
courtesy TOMS
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TOMS gun control $5 million everytown moms
courtesy TOMS

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

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

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

But now, there’s another need:

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

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

And it keeps happening.

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

And we have to act together.

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

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

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

Your support builds a better tomorrow.

With gratitude,

Blake Mycoskie

Chief Shoe Giver

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

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

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

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

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

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    • What Toms really seems to say is:

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

      We want helpless people to demand more govenment

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

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

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

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

    Maybe 90% in the major metropolitan socialist cesspools.

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

      • @Anymouse

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

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

        • @Ing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Garrison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @MarkPA

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

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

        • @Ed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              I’m on board !

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

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

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

        • @Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Sam

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

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

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

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

        • @Sam

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

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

          Those are just a few examples.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                2020 will be pivotal.

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

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

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

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

        • @LarryinTX

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

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

    Just in case you can’t figure it out:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @possum

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

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

        • @Leighton

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

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

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

        • @possum

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

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

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

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

        • @Garrison

          I’ll have to think about that one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Mark

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

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

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

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

            Here ya’ go: 114 “ERPOs” in Maryland in one month. From (a well-known alt-right, fascist, racist, white privilege, gun nut website)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • @Sam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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