The Irony of McDonald v. Chicago

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firearms, Supreme Court, The Constitution

I defer to Scott Lemieux’s legal analysis of McDonald v. Chicago, the gun rights decision handed down by SCOTUS today. I’m not going to quote it here; just read the whole thing, and then come back.

From a liberal perspective, any act of SCOTUS that dismantles the 19th century Slaughterhouse decision and rules that the 14th Amendment applies to the states ain’t a bad thing. This is the same legal principle on which most of the great civil rights decisions of the 20th century were based. I believe most if not all of the decisions that have ever caused wingnuts to scream about the awfulness of liberal judicial activism were tied somehow to the 14th Amendment forcing states to observe the rights of U.S. citizens.

Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated public schools, rested on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Scott says the majority opinion in McDonald cites the due process clause of the 14th, which also is a critical part of Roe v. Wade and all of the cases that decided public schools should not be leading prayers in classrooms, such as Abington School District v. Schempp.

In other words, exactly the same part of the Constitution that allowed legal abortion and threw classroom prayers out of public schools has now been cited in a way that probably will overturn a whole lot of state and local gun control ordinances, and righties are dancing in the streets.

Given the Heller decision (see also this), I think McDonald is no big surprise. But while I appreciate the legal foundation of the decision the result — which will be to dismantle a lot of gun control ordinances, mostly in urban areas — worries me. And, frankly, I think it ought to worry the NRA as well.

Contrary to wingnut lore, there is not a huge public sentiment in favor of dismantling gun control laws. According to polls, recent and going back a few years, the enormous majority of the public either thinks gun control laws should be left as they are now (42 percent, according to an April CBS/New York Times poll), or made more strict (40 percent, same poll). So, per this poll, 82 percent of the public thinks gun control laws should be left as they are or made stricter, compared to 16 percent who want gun laws to be less strict. An October Gallup poll had nearly the same result.

It’s true that when the poll questions are framed in terms of gun rights rather than gun control, the numbers are somewhat more favorable to the NRA position. But I think this is the result of people reacting to the word “rights” — we’re always in favor of “rights” — without thinking through logical consequences. In other words, there are people who favor gun rights in the abstract, but they also want gun control in their neighborhoods.

And it is possible that if the NRA gets too aggressive about dismantling gun control laws, especially in large urban areas, the day may come when people start to think long and hard about amending the Second Amendment. That may be many years down the road, and I may not live to see it, but I think it could happen.

Update: Steve M on why the gun control war will never be over. And it isn’t because the gun control movement won’t quit. The gun control movement pretty much faded out of view several years ago, except in the fevered hallucinations of the NRA.

And that’s not just because they won’t consider America to be anything less than a fascist dictatorship until it’s as easy for virtually anyone to buy a gun in D.C., Chicago, or New York City as it is in, say, rural Mississippi. Even if the day comes when we have gun laws everywhere that are as loose as the loosest ones now (and I think that’s far more likely over the next couple of decades than ever passing any laws anywhere that actually tighten gun access), the gunners still won’t admit they’ve won.

They can’t. As I say here all the time, the belief that right-wingers are the perpetual victims of liberal fascism is a core element of their self-image. What’s more, believing this is what opens up wingers’ wallets and keeps groups like the NRA and Gun Owners of America — as well as every other right-wing organization that seeks small contributions — well funded and healthy.

In politics there is no hand so good it can’t be overplayed, I say.

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41 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Growth Factor  •  Jun 28, 2010 @5:46 pm

    I am somewhat ignorant on these issues, so please forgive me if it shows in this question. What is preventing the widespread sale of military style weapons such as RPGs and fully automatic assault rifles in American gun shops? Surely the NRA and the weapons industry would like to see these weapons legalized for ideological consistency and profit. It seems that we have reached to point that whatever the NRA wants, the NRA gets. Why not this?

  2. Swami  •  Jun 28, 2010 @7:08 pm

    I’m not up on the McDonald vs Chicago.. But I do vaguely remember a massacre at McDonald’s Golden Arches, probably about 30 years ago when America was in it’s infancy of gun violence. For some reason the number 26 people killed pops into my mind..Ill have to check it out to see if my memory is working. I can’t even remember who many people Freddie Cowan killed up in New Rochelle. I don’t know if my memory is failing or whether there have been so many mass killing due to gun violence that it becomes impossible to keep track.

    Anyway, I think we need more guns in America.. “A chicken in every pot, and an assault weapon under every bed”. .. of course, the banana clip goes without saying.

    I want my country back!

  3. Joe  •  Jun 28, 2010 @7:14 pm

    Heller specifically lists various gun regulations, including involving felons, mentally ill, certain public places, dangerous weapons et. al. that are still allowed.

  4. maha  •  Jun 28, 2010 @8:04 pm

    dangerous weapons et. al.

    There are non-dangerous weapons?

  5. Doug Hughes  •  Jun 28, 2010 @8:27 pm

    At the risk of irritating my friends with a divergent view..

    The ‘regulars’ here will agree that the fetus people are beating a dead horse trying to ban abortion, and missing the potential areas of progress – sex education and contraception. Why opponents of abortion aren’t leading the charge on contraception is a mystery I dimly perceive on dark days of depression.

    But the people who want to ban guns are the left-wing counterparts of the fetus people. Many of the ills of gun ownership would be relieved with education and real training. Way too many gun owners have NEVER been to a range – never had any training – and think a Glock is a magic want that ‘makes’ bad things stop. That delusion can be fatal. Restricting gun ownership (particulary for self-defense) to people who have had training and have demonstrated proficiancy makes the same sense as restricting driving to people who can safely handle a car.

    But just as the fetus people shun contraception – the anti-gun lobby quails at the idea of expanding and requiring education as a condition to buying a weapon or ammo.

  6. syskill  •  Jun 28, 2010 @9:03 pm

    The survey you linked was of 1,580 adults nationwide. Given the wide variance in gun laws across the nation, it doesn’t follow that those who answered “more strict” to the first question favor a total handgun ban, or that those who answered “less strict” favor arming every man, woman, child, convicted felon, and mental patient. About the only thing you can gather from the answers to that question is that public opinion has shifted slightly against strict gun laws over the last seven years.

  7. syskill  •  Jun 28, 2010 @9:17 pm

    Actually, that trend shows up in all the polls in the report: support for “stricter” laws (whatever that means in their time and place) and blanket bans seems to be falling.

  8. maha  •  Jun 28, 2010 @9:27 pm

    The survey you linked was of 1,580 adults nationwide.

    This is how scientific polling works. The samples all seem absurdly small to me, but somehow good pollsters can get an accurate read from them. However, it is the religious faith of gun culties that they are the majority opinion, so all polls saying otherwise must be wrong. And I hope you don’t plan to persuade me that if I don’t love firearms as much as my own children I must not understand America, or something.

  9. maha  •  Jun 28, 2010 @9:43 pm

    Doug — there’s not that much of an anti-gun lobby any more, though, and no effort at all is being made to ban guns altogether that I can see. Banning guns is a non-issue in the Democratic Party. Even most progressive activists won’t go there, frankly. That ground was conceded years ago. I’m not aware of any national activist organization trying to ban guns. Even the Brady Campaign isn’t out to ban guns, just regulate them more. I know there are individuals on the Left who want to ban guns, but they have no real influence anywhere. So I don’t know where you get the idea that gun banners are somehow analogous to the Fetus People, considering the Fetus People have real political clout and control many state legislatures. Further, I cannot imagine that gun control organizations are opposed to gun safety education, the way Fetus People are opposed to birth control. So I don’t agree with your argument.

  10. syskill  •  Jun 28, 2010 @10:08 pm

    This is how scientific polling works. The samples all seem absurdly small to me,

    I was trying to make a point about it being nationwide, not about the size. Since gun laws vary, surveying the national population about whether they would like gun laws to be “less strict” or “more strict” doesn’t actually tell you anything about whether they would favor an outright ban, like the ones at issue in Heller and McDonald.

  11. Dave S  •  Jun 28, 2010 @10:29 pm

    Stop me if this is obvious. It’s not about rights, it’s about power, or, more to the point, powerlessness. If it was about rights they would have wigged out at the patriot act.

    The second amendment is a trump card, so they don’t have to fight on logical grounds. The right is feeling much less powerful of late, so they want their guns close. You never know when you might run into an illegal alien or a Muslim or an agent of the fascist government who needs killin’.

  12. Tom B  •  Jun 28, 2010 @11:28 pm

    It amazes me how an organization of only about 4 million (the NRA) wields so much clout, especially when it is obvious they are in no way an agency of the government (organized militia). How about this: a law banning gun ownership by people who have undergone psychiatric treatment? It would have stopped the Virginia Tech guy. The law would never pass, but it would again show how utterly brain-damaged the gun nuts are.

  13. Dave S  •  Jun 28, 2010 @11:52 pm

    The law would never pass, but it would again show how utterly brain-damaged the gun nuts are.

    You don’t need to bother. We have worse recent examples:

    Conservative Republicans Want to Deprive Terrorists of All Rights — Except Right to Buy Guns

    As I recall the argument, if we implement a program to deny guns to terrorists, we might slip up and deny one to “one of us” by mistake, and that’s intolerable. So despite the fact that they’re so … terrifying, I guess, that we can’t give them trials or lock them up in on-shore prisons, or even let them step on our shores, if they happen to get here on their own, they’re welcome to buy a gun. I’m sure this makes perfect sense to somebody.

  14. Dave S  •  Jun 28, 2010 @11:54 pm
  15. maha  •  Jun 29, 2010 @6:13 am

    Since gun laws vary, surveying the national population about whether they would like gun laws to be “less strict” or “more strict” doesn’t actually tell you anything about whether they would favor an outright ban, like the ones at issue in Heller and McDonald.

    Of course it doesn’t, especially since any group of people selected at random will contain a large percentage who aren’t clear what their state and local gun laws actually are. The point is that it’s a gun nut myth that a majority of Americans are laying awake at night worrying about over-regulation of guns. The large majority either think current gun regulations, whatever they are, are just fine, or want them tightened up a bit more. Only a very small percentage want more de-regulation.

  16. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 29, 2010 @7:50 am

    I’m not going to touch the 14th Amendment aspect here, though it’s a very good point that I hadn’t thought of. For what it’s worth, I’ll just give my take on this decision.
    There is nothing wrong with a trained adult having (a) non-automatic weapon(s) for self-defense, or non automatic rifles for hunting.
    That is not the issue with the anti-gun crowd, amonst whom I count myself. The issues is when these weapons, and their automatic cousins, get into the hands of those not trained, or criminals of all ages, races, sexes, etc…
    There are reasons cities want to restrict weapons. If you lived in a city, as I did NYC, during the crack epidemic of the late ’80′s early ’90′s, you would have ample evidence for wanting strict gun control laws (GCL’s). There were multiple killings practically every day, and drive-by’s almost as often. These were not done, for the most part with non-automatic weapons, but automatic ones. GCL’s were put in place in cities, not against the homeowner or renter, who had a gun for protection, but to keep criminals and gangs from having “Deadwood” like shootings every day. The weapons were used during the commission of crimes, not self-defense. Most of the killings involved either drugs or gangs, or both. Many innocent people were sent to their maker because of a turf war, or revenge for some perceived aggrievence.
    The other issue is population density. A single shot, or even a burst of fire, in Podunk will only do so much damage. One in a large apartment building, or Times Square, will cause a Hell of a lot more injury and loss of life.
    To my understanding, the SCOTUS, despite the plea’s of the citizens of cities and their law enforcement officers, basically decided against GCL’s that wanted to keep weapons away from the type of people who used them for offense and revenge, rather than defense.
    The SCOTUS’s answer to the concerns of citizens and the police who protect them from criminals with automatic weapons is, “Hey, the citizens can now buy automatic weapons, and arm up, too!”
    This is cold comfort for people and police who don’t want to live in an armed madhouse, but a nice city where they and their children can feel safe at home and in the streets without stray bullets killing Grandma as she sits in her chair on the stoop, or little Sissy, who was playing with her dolls in her bedroom, when the bullets from a single burst in a turf war down the street turned her head into swiss cheese.
    And you know, you can’t even blame the NRA and the SCOTUS. The NRA is just another corporatrist entity putting profit before people, logic and safety. And the SCOTUS looks around and says, “Well, the people aren’t too ‘up in arms’ over anything else that should have ‘made them mad as Hell,’ so this interpertaion is no big deal.”
    America: Where profits trump people, logic and safety. We can see in our history plenty of examples of when that attitude was a scatter-shot one. Now, it’s automatic…

  17. David Nieporent  •  Jun 29, 2010 @8:21 am

    That is not the issue with the anti-gun crowd, amonst whom I count myself.

    No duh, since you don’t know what an automatic weapon is. Except on television, there are effectively no criminals running around with automatic weapons out there; there have been only a handful of killings with automatic weapons in the U.S. in, well, ever. There were no drive-by shootings with automatic weapons in NYC. Criminals do not use automatic weapons; they’re terrible for just about any criminal purpose. And neither Heller nor McDonald did anything about automatic weapons.

    You’re confusing semi-automatic with automatic. And semi-auto is not some exotic, scary military weapon, but a normal firearm used by people every day. All semi-auto means is that you don’t have to manually cock the weapon each time you want to fire; you still get only one shot per trigger pull. (There are no “bursts.”)

  18. bill bush  •  Jun 29, 2010 @8:50 am

    Two things:

    Follow the $$$. There is a big industry of fundraising, “conventions”, membership fees and telemarketing to be supported by distributing paranoia as a raison d’etre.

    Even in the knife blogs and sales sites, there is the same paranoid bent that encourages “get your knives now before Obama outlaws them”. You can easily see how this meme (is that the right word?) is useful both financially and propaganda-wise. And of course it falls right in with the fact that thinking about complex answers for complex problems is too hard, so simplistic “solutions” sell well.

  19. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 29, 2010 @8:58 am

    David,
    I can’t argue, I’ve never even shot a gun, as my post plainly shows. I wouldn’t know a semi from an automatic, from a BB gun. I defer to someone who knows.
    All I know is that there was a lot of carnage around the streets, and I seem to remember reading that it was because not only were there more guns, but people using them were able to get more shots off quicker.
    When I grew up in NYC, no one I knew had a gun. Not the teenagers, not their parents. You heard of kids with Zip-guns, but they probably didn’t live in my lower-middle class section of Queens. Or, if they did, we didn’t know them. My family moved upstate when I was 13. I know of several schoolmates whose parents hunted and had rifles, but no handguns. By the time I moved back to the city after finishing college, this was 1981, I knew of several people at work that boasted of having, and even carrying guns.
    I still feel that, whatever the nature of the gun – single shot, semi, or automatic, there is a good reason to limit their access in a population dense area. That’s my feeling on this matter.

  20. joanr16  •  Jun 29, 2010 @8:59 am

    [T]here have been only a handful of killings with automatic weapons in the U.S. in, well, ever. There were no drive-by shootings with automatic weapons in NYC. Criminals do not use automatic weapons; they’re terrible for just about any criminal purpose.

    1) Sources for these “statistical” statements?
    2) How do you know so much about what is or isn’t suitable for a criminal purpose?

    Just asking, since they’re questions you raised.

  21. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 29, 2010 @9:01 am

    Swami,
    I remember the McDonalds incident because of the tasteless NY Post headline:
    “Big Mac Attack!” I’m not sure if Murdoch owned it at that time, but this would seem to show that he did. I didn’t buy the paper for years after that. But, they still had a great sports section back then, so, I broke down and started buying again.

  22. felicity  •  Jun 29, 2010 @2:39 pm

    Dave S – you’re right, it is about power as is the anti-choice crowd about power (over women and in the case of women who are anti-choice it’s about a bunch of loose women out here who will bed down with wifey’s husband at the drop of a hat because should she get pregnant, it’s easily gotten rid of.)

    As far as guns go, police departments and people who live, work (and often die violent deaths) in the inner cities of America will be people who will suffer from this decision. It’s doubtful that any Supreme responsible for this decision lives in the inner city or has ever been a cop in modern America. They live in bubbles, sealed off from reality and really shouldn’t be sitting on the Court – for a multitude of reasons.

  23. felicity  •  Jun 29, 2010 @2:45 pm

    Growth Factor – good question. I’ve asked it myself. I remember when there was a great controversy over whether vest (the kind cops wear) penetrating bullets could be sold in gun shops (or bought illegally of course.) The cops lost the argument. I’ve actually wondered why we can’t buy road-side bombs and hand grenades and how about a nuclear weapon or two – probably too much collateral damage like a wingnut or two might get offed.

  24. buckyblue  •  Jun 29, 2010 @4:45 pm

    The 14th Amendment has been used to apply almost all of the Bill of Rights to the states. On a case by case, amendment by amendment, basis. It’s called incorporation, (or selective incorporation for those tightly bound). There have been few on the 2nd Amendment, but this is a biggie. The gun control/rights issue seems to follow a similar pattern as many other issues when polled. If the American public is asked a fairly broad question, they come across as being more conservative. If given information, or more specifics on the issue, they move to the left. Kagan said that gun control was a settled issue, and unfortunately I would have to agree with her. I’ve said this before on this blog, but the VT shooting occurs where 32 people are murdered, and there was more discussion over whether we should expand gun ownership to prevent this type of tragedy than to restrict it. I have a hard time believing that at anytime will we restrict guns. How many will have to be murdered before we think something should be done? You have more hope than I do, Maha.

  25. stix213  •  Jun 29, 2010 @10:03 pm

    Considering most of the country has virtually no gun restrictions, it makes sense that a national polls would not favor making gun laws less strict… since less strict for most of the country would mean handing out machine guns and RPGs on the streets. I mean, it doesn’t get much less strict than today being able to walk into an Arizona gun shop, buy an AR-15 with a 100 round Beta C mag, pass your 5 minute background check, and head directly to the range with no wait period.

    There are relatively few jurisdictions this will have an affect at all as most states already have a 2A similar provision in their state constitution, so citing a national poll when this is really a local issue in a few select states and locals, is misleading at best.

  26. Dave S  •  Jun 29, 2010 @10:44 pm

    I’ve said this before on this blog, but the VT shooting occurs where 32 people are murdered, and there was more discussion over whether we should expand gun ownership to prevent this type of tragedy than to restrict it.

    We had the same thing after the Virginia Tech shootings. There’s this kind of “magical thinking” that if a bunch of the kids had been armed, the only person who would have been killed was the bad guy. Nobody else would have been caught in the cross fire. And it goes without saying that nobody would hesitate one second before pulling the trigger to kill the bad guy, as if taking any human life is the easiest thing in the world. And in all the shooting, nobody would mistake good guy for the bad guy. There would be no confusion. There would simply be fewer dead, not more dead.

    Right. Somebody should talk to a soldier about how well that works out in practice in an active, close-quarters fire fight. Or ask a cop.

  27. maha  •  Jun 30, 2010 @6:43 am

    Considering most of the country has virtually no gun restrictions,

    Geographically speaking that may be true, but if you consider percentage of population that is less true. The tightest restrictions are in urban areas, places where most people actually live.

    citing a national poll when this is really a local issue in a few select states and locals, is misleading at best.

    Not according to the NRA, which insists that a whopping majority of American citizen want what’s left of gun control laws be dismantled. No, they don’t.

    And if you want to talk local, then let people who want more restrictions in their locality have them. The NRA and the rest of the guns-uber-common-sense lobby plan to march into one city after another to dismantle laws that most of the people in that community want left as they are. This is tyranny of the minority, I say.

  28. Francis  •  Jun 30, 2010 @10:42 am

    In my experience of dealing with Americans, there’s a simple litmus test for their views on gun control. Fire off a bullet in a random direction horizontally and what will it hit?

    A hillside/cornfield? Pro unrestricted gun ownership.

    A road or lightly spaced houses? Moderate restrictions.

    A tower block, passing through three or four walls before the bullet comes to rest? Ban Guns!

  29. vjbinct  •  Jun 30, 2010 @12:34 pm

    maha@4 ‘There are non-dangerous weapons?’

    Certainly–assault weapons in the hands of Democratic congresspeople.

  30. luke  •  Jun 30, 2010 @12:36 pm

    [Note: In future, please limit your comments to what is actually contained in the post to which you are commenting. Do not assume you know what the post says without reading it. Do not assume you know what I think based on your own prejudices about "the left." See also Comment Policy. -- maha]

  31. vjbinct  •  Jun 30, 2010 @12:37 pm

    Now that states’ rights are trumped by federal rights in re gun control, perhaps it’s time to federalize abortion rights. Any crickets out there willing to chirp?

  32. vjbinct  •  Jun 30, 2010 @12:42 pm

    Ah, and while I’m doing tweet-length rants, how about the mountain and western states limiting the hunting seasons on bear, elk, and wolves to pistols only. On foot.

  33. maha  •  Jun 30, 2010 @1:03 pm

    Now that states’ rights are trumped by federal rights in re gun control, perhaps it’s time to federalize abortion rights.

    That’s what Roe v. Wade already did, through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment (plus some other things). The McDonald v. Chicago decision also is based on the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. That’s why I titled the post “The Irony of McDonald v. Chicago.” Catch up.

  34. luke  •  Jun 30, 2010 @1:03 pm

    I read the entire post and made a comment-by-comment response to all the comments I was responding to. I can’t believe you deleted the post. How cowardly of you. Show me a single sentence, a single phrase in what I wrote that even hints that I didn’t read the post or the comments.

  35. maha  •  Jun 30, 2010 @1:07 pm

    I read the entire post

    Not well, apparently. You wandered off into some irrelevant tangents about gun control laws that went beyond what we were discussing. And I actually didn’t disagree with all of your comments, but I didn’t like your tone. You do not come by here and lecture anybody, dude. Ain’t allowed. We do not need you to tell us that the Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, for example. If you want to try again with a more respectful tone, I may consider leaving your comments up. If I feel like it.

  36. luke  •  Jun 30, 2010 @1:56 pm

    I see you dropped the charge of not reading the post or the comments.

    I made specific points about the post and each of the comments and then I made a broader point about some areas that the left always gets tripped up in when discussing gun rights. My tone was polite throughout. I even prefaced my post by saying I’m not a single-issue voter when it comes to the right and the left, and yet you phrased your comment about me (“Do not assume you know what I think based on your own prejudices about ‘the left’”) in a way so as to make it look like you’re protecting the commenters from some random gun-nut troll.

    You know all of this is true and yet you won’t let the commenters read my comments. I read your post and appreciated the fact that you weren’t (or at least didn’t seem to be) dogmatic about some of the basic issues which have proved to be stumbling blocks in this debate. I had hope that here was a place (this blog) where left-leaning people (with whom I agree on a lot of things) could discuss gun rights and gun laws in a civil, intelligent way.

    I think that after your mis-characterization of what I wrote your commenters would be pretty surprised to read my comments.

    But obviously that’s not going to happen, because I was apparently wrong about the tenor of this blog, which is just another participant in the brain-dead left-bash-right partisan mud-fight.

    I blame myself for expecting more. Good luck with your future endeavors.

  37. maha  •  Jun 30, 2010 @2:31 pm

    I see you dropped the charge of not reading the post or the comments.

    No, I just didn’t repeat it. I could tell you had read the comments, but if you read the post you didn’t understand what I wrote. As I remember you lectured me about needing a constitutional amendment to ban firearms. Well, duh, of course. Why did you think you needed to say that? When I read that I assumed you didn’t read the post, but now you say you did read it, which must mean you don’t read well. Also, you were not at all polite. You were not vulgar, but I don’t consider being talked down to by somebody who assumes I am stupid and ill-informed “polite.” You are in no position to do that.

    However, I gave you a chance to re-state your argument, and instead you whine about how nobody got to read your first comment, which no longer exists. And y’know what? That’s really boring. So you’re banned now.

  38. Jim  •  Jul 1, 2010 @11:01 pm

    Keep in mind its a civil right. That’s correct, a CIVIL RIGHT we are discussing here. Also note that in every location that has strict gun control laws gun violence has gone up significantly. Chicago, D.C., etc. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s true, gun control is not about guns, it’s about control.

  39. maha  •  Jul 1, 2010 @11:38 pm

    Keep in mind its a civil right. That’s correct, a CIVIL RIGHT we are discussing here.

    I do wish you wingnuts would actually read the posts you comment on. I spent most of the post discussing that very point.

    Also note that in every location that has strict gun control laws gun violence has gone up significantly. Chicago, D.C., etc.

    That’s not true of New York City, which has very strict gun control. If you look at violent crimes per capita, New York is one of the safest large cities in the U.S., and has been for some time. There are much higher homicide rates in many cities with very loose regulation of firearms, such as Dallas. And for New Yorkers, the bite is that most of the guns used in violent crimes here are purchased legally in Southern states. The idea that loosening up gun regulations somehow reduces crime is a complete fabrication, believed only by idiots.

    gun control is not about guns, it’s about control.

    It’s about public safety and effective law enforcement.

  40. b-rock  •  Jul 15, 2010 @1:53 pm

    @Growth Factor

    Both RPG’s and automatic weapons can be legally sold by class III federal gun dealers in the U.S. But they’re manufacture and importation has been prohibited since 1986, so the stock is extremely low. When they do come up for sale, they are very expensive.

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