Immigration (Coming Together?) and Gun Control (Falling Apart?)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The "gang of eight" has unveiled its immigration reform plan and is hopeful that it can pass. Meanwhile, the bi-partisan gun control compromise may not get the required votes to pass. Bloomberg congressional reporter Heidi Przybyla, discusses the latest from DC.


Heidi Przybyla

Comments [12]

The SAME DAY as Sandy Hook shootings, a knife attack at a school in CHINA wounded 23. Only in America is the probability of CRAZY having a GUN so high...and our Congress seems to be working to keep it that way. How nuts is that?

BTW, automatic weapons CAN be purchased but the buyer must pay a VERY HIGH fee to the BATF. Why can't we implement the same hurdle for assault-style weapons? Not banned just heavily taxed.

Also, we had two recent incidents where four year olds killed with .22s left loaded and unattended. Where is the legislation that charges the gunowner as an accessory for poor gun storage practices? My opinion is that this would cut gun deaths in half in less than a year. Lock it up or get locked up if it is misused.

Apr. 26 2013 01:13 PM

@Restore Sanity from Westchester, NY:

And how did you establish that "approximately 40% of gun sales are NOT subject to background checks," and "NO internet sales require background checks"?

your second assertion is confused "gobbledygook".
In fact all licensed firearms dealers who sell via the Internet are required to do the same background checks required for "in person sales"
The weapon is sent through a licensed firearms dealer located near the buyer and the background checks take place through that local dealer.

The "40% Not subject to a background check" assertion is more elusive.

During a "Brian Lehrer" Show, a caller asked where that statistic originated (the guest was a PBS correspondent who investigated the Newtown shootings and had used that statistic in his report and during the show).
You can hear the actual exchange at 10:31 of this recording:

I don't think it is unfair to say that neither the correspondent or Mr. Lehrer knew where the "40%" number came from - maybe from the "Brady Campaign", maybe the "Administration cherry-picking data", it was almost as if the NRA's denial of the statistic lent it credibility.

The listening audience was more helpful and I located this reference in the sources linked to their written comments:
"" . . . Bloomberg’s office pointed us to a 1997 study by the National Institute of Justice on who owns guns and how they use them.The researchers estimated that about 40 percent of all firearm sales took place through people other than licensed dealers. They based their conclusion on data from a 1994 survey of more than 2,500 households. But it’s important to note that of the 2,568 households surveyed, only 251 people answered the question about the origin of their gun. . . . "

(I wish there was some way to emphasize that last sentence.)

The telephone survey cited did not indicate whether the guns were acquired before the background check mechanism was established.

Please refrain from such weakly supported arguments in the future.

Apr. 18 2013 12:38 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Christine from Westchester -- Oh boy, here we go with the "Fast and Furious" (a Bush administration initiative btw) meme. Thanks for the reply, but your comments are nothing but a rehash of NRA (aka the lobbyists for the gun industry) cliches, and so for fear of going over the deep end I see no reason for further reply. Have a nice day.

Apr. 17 2013 10:51 AM
Restore Sanity from Westchester, NY

@ Christine: You need to check your facts. Today approximately 40% of gun sales are NOT subject to background checks, and NO internet sales require background checks. Also, the main cause of the Fast and Furious debacle was the inability of the local U.S. attorney to prosecute the original straw buyers because of Congress weakening the laws, leaving the ATF with no option other than to resort to the sting operation.
No one is saying the new legislation will be a panacea, but it's a start.

Apr. 17 2013 10:44 AM
Christine from Westchester

No Tony, I'm saying we should enforce the laws on the books. Instead of ATF working on Fast and Furious, how about the enforce the laws and stop the straw purchases?

Apr. 17 2013 10:35 AM
Christine from Westchester.

I'm not against background checks, but legal gun owners by and large already buy from reputable dealers who do the checks. I think very little will change as criminals buy and steal and obtain illegally. And they're the ones we need to worry about. So a vast majority of guns are already bought with background checks, even on line. Let's enforce the existing gun laws. Further, there's very little one can do to identify mentally ill buyers. So between criminals and mentally ill (there isn't a magic list to check of the latter), it's largely an exercise in managing the already law-abiding buyers. So this idea of "you have to start somewhere" sounds like something that gun owners think ends in registries. And the only people who would register guns are again, the good guys. I think those who think this will help are naive.

Apr. 17 2013 10:33 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Christine from Westchester -- In other words, you're saying why bother doing anything?

Apr. 17 2013 10:27 AM
Restore Sanity from Westchester, NY

@ Christin: Unlikely that gun crimes will drop dramatically, but over time would have a big effect -- e.g., Clean Air & Water Acts in the '70s didn't magically make the NYC smog disappear or make the Hudson River swim-able, but today both have improved dramatically. You have to start somewhere, and this is a good beginning. Do you really think it should remain legal to buy guns over the internet without a background check?

Apr. 17 2013 10:24 AM
Christine from Westchester

Tony- I'd say that the point isn't that we need to add more gun control. The point is bad people (who if you ask me are mentally unbalanced) who intend to do harm, will. And no amount of gun contorl or sniffing bomb dogs apparantly will protect us when someone decides to harm us.

Apr. 17 2013 10:23 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Christine from Westchester -- That would be possible, if the GOP hadn't removed the teeth of federal gun law enforcement when they controlled both houses of Congress. In fact, they have refused to confirm a head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for several years now. Also, many states over the past twenty years have all but abolished sane gun control laws.

Apr. 17 2013 10:23 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Am I alone in noticing that a lone shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed many more people with guns than were killed in Boston the other day by bombs? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around, or has the world, or at least the US Congress, turned upside down?

Apr. 17 2013 10:18 AM
Christine from Westchester

What do people really think will happen with this added legislation? Suddenly gun crimes will drop? This is a silly waste of time. Let's enforce the laws on the books.

Apr. 17 2013 10:09 AM

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