Possible Firearm Reform

firearms, Obama Administration

David Frum despairs that there will be any new firearm legislation in Congress, and he called on President Obama to do a couple of things within in capacity as chief executive —

First: The president can direct the surgeon general to compile a scientific study of the health effect of individual gun ownership. The basis of the whole gun debate in the United States is the belief by millions of Americans that they need a firearm in the home to protect themselves from criminals.

That’s fine, but we already have copious data showing that firearms in the home are far more likely to injure or kill someone in the family than to be needed to repel an intruder. And the Gun People just shout that down with anecdotal evidence and data pulled out of the NRA’s ass. You might as well explain physics to a turnip.

The second step that might be taken — again without the need for any congressional vote — is for the Senate to convene hearings into the practices of the gun industry analogous to those it convened into the tobacco industry in the 1990s.

Frum goes on to call for more safety features on guns, which ought to reduce accidents, but of course accidents are only part of the problem.

However, the New York Times is reporting that there really is support for limiting the size of magazines. IMO this really would be more effective at reducing carnage than an “assault weapons” ban. There is also considerable support for universal background checks. If just those two measures are enacted, it could save a few lives, I believe.

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 19, 2013 @12:12 pm

    Guns are very well made, and, properly taken care of, will last for decades – if not centuries.

    And people who like guns, always want the latest one – the bigger, the faster, the lighter, the more powerful, one. And they want the latest accessories.

    The good news is, less and less people feel the need, or desire, to own guns.
    The bad news is, the ones who do, are the ones keeping the gun companies that the NRA represents, busy.

    I’m all for gun-control – though I’m ok with people wanting a simple handgun or shotgun for defending them and their’s, or a rifle to hunt with.

    I think that what we could do, is what I’ll call a ‘progressive gun tax.’
    ALL guns must be registered, and re-registered every two years, like cars.
    All gun owners need to pass a mental health exam, and a competency test – say, every 5 years.
    And insurance must be carried for every weapon. If you have children in the home, that insurance rate goes up.
    I’d start off with very low registration, licensing, and insurance fees, on the first handgun/shotgun/hunting rifle.
    But, with each gun you own, the fees and insurance rates go up substantially.

    I know this idea won’t “sell,” but I figured I’d throw it out there anyway.

    Any steps that we do take now, will be steps in the right direction – and not the “right’s’ direction.

  2. James F. Epperson  •  Feb 19, 2013 @12:47 pm

    I have long thought that the magazine ban was something that would be “do-able” and effective. Frum’s suggestions are not idiotic—I really think a lot of the issue is propaganda and mis-information. Hearings and studies might address that, over time.

  3. James F. Epperson  •  Feb 19, 2013 @2:55 pm

    I know some folks with a “gun interest.” These are good people, for whom guns are a hobby just like model RR is with me. They would tell you that the kind of thing you are suggesting would be a serious imposition on them—I’m not saying I agree, just presenting their argument. I like the idea of a modest “gun tax,” though. The real fanatics (and I know some of those, alas) would say that registration is the first necessary step for confiscation.

  4. joanr16  •  Feb 19, 2013 @3:04 pm

    registration is the first necessary step for confiscation

    How many generations have we been registering motor vehicles? If a totalitarian government wanted to cripple and constrain the population, they would take away our means to drive, I should think. Yet no one argues that (except maybe some sovereign-rights loonies).

    Granted, fanatics aren’t going to see reason on the matter of registering firearms, but in the population overall, the fanatics are a shrinking minority.

  5. justme277  •  Feb 19, 2013 @6:41 pm

    Frum is a dipshit and it is rare I ever agree with him, however this time he has a few good idea’s for a starting point.

  6. uncledad  •  Feb 19, 2013 @7:25 pm

    “And people who like guns, always want the latest one – the bigger, the faster, the lighter, the more powerful, one”

    Really? Painting with a broad brush aren’t you Gulag? Funny I’ve owned guns all my life, haven’t bought anything new in decades, I had better get to shopping?

  7. Amanda  •  Feb 19, 2013 @7:58 pm

    The anti-gun control people are so out of control. Everyday I’m seeing memes about the horrors of a world without guns, but has anyone said “Let’s ban all guns”? No! The most that has been suggested has been banning assault weapons and/or limiting magazine capacity. They don’t want that but can’t come up with any rational reason for it so they change the conversation. And they get their sheep all worked up. Now they are acting like banning guns is anti-women because how can we stop rapists without high capacity magazine? It’s disgusting.

  8. uncledad  •  Feb 20, 2013 @1:20 am

    “Now they are acting like banning guns is anti-women because how can we stop rapists without high capacity magazine? It’s disgusting”

    OK what ever side your on, count me out,



  9. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 20, 2013 @7:59 am

    Yes, obviously I did use an overly broad brush.
    Ok, so not EVERY one.
    But the statistical fact remains, that there are less and less people who own guns, yet the sale of guns and accessories is quite brisk since President Obama took office 4 years ago, so what can I infer from that, except that the same people are buying more guns and accessories?
    Surely they can’t all be going to Mexico in “Fast and Furious” operations! 😉

  10. uncledad  •  Feb 21, 2013 @12:25 pm

    “Surely they can’t all be going to Mexico in “Fast and Furious” operations”

    I agree most of the folks that are stocking up on guns and ammo are the right wing crazies for sure. The problem with this debate is that so many on the left are demonizing ALL gun owners. Common sense reforms are certainly needed but nothing will get accomplished with over the top rhetoric from either side. The reason I consider myself a liberal is because in general our side is more thoughtful and does not appeal to lowest common denominator. This gun debate however is different, to me many on the left sound just as unreasonable as the teabaggers. For instance why is Joe Biden telling anyone what kind of gun they should buy? That sort of talk is offensive to me, again we need reform but if we go too far and it will cost us in 2014.