Gun lobby's lies

This was about people who commit an unenforced felony by misstating their marijuana use status, on Form 4473, when buying a gun.

Gun buyers tend to be older than the average adult. This probably is a factor pushing the proportion of Form 4473 signers who have feloniously misstated their marijuana use status downwards.

But gun buyers are more likely to be male than the average adult. This probably is a factor pushing the proportion of Form 4473 signers who have feloniously misstated their marijuana use status upwards.

My point wasn’t to nail down how many 4473 scofflaws there are, but to point out that there are a tremendous number of people violating existing gun laws, and who are, quite property, not prosecuted. Putting an end to light and selective enforcement of existing laws, as the gun lobby sometimes advocates, would be highly unwise.

You can say that about anyone with an agenda, and they do have one. OTOH, some publications define “mass shooting” so broadly that one happens about once per day. Mother Jones defines it more tightly, and considers four or five to have been committed in the last year. I’d say they they deserve some consideration for journalistic integrity on this matter.

This is the list of Prohibited Persons:

A prohibited person is one who:

  1. Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  2. Is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  3. Is a fugitive from justice;
  4. Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
  5. Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;
  6. Is illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
  7. Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  8. Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship;
  9. Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner;
  10. Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Every one of those criteria can come up on a NICS check, EXCEPT a casual drug users that have never been convicted of using drugs. So when we talk about enforcing the laws NOONE is talking about arresting people who lie about smoking pot on the forms. They are mostly talking about felons. Would it be too much to go after a felon that tries to buy a gun?

I think your point is a red herring.

That’s true but it really depends on the writer. Some writers are far more ready to mislead their own side to make things seem more dramatic than they are.

Actually, I think it’s more interesting than that. I suspect that the rapid growth of the suburbs has encroached a lot on areas that used to be sort of semi-rural, semi-suburban and where there was a reasonable population density, but enough wide open space for people to use guns without formal shooting ranges.

Now (at least here in Texas), most of those sort of semi-rural areas like say… Katy (outside of Houston), or Plano/Frisco (outside of Dallas) have become entirely suburban in a relatively short time, and outside of them are literally low population density rural areas, so there aren’t as many people with access to areas to shoot.

I’m reminded of the newspaper articles every September where there are panicky suburbanites freaking the hell out and blowing up the cops and sheriffs because there are dove hunters hunting doves (legally) out in farm fields near their brand new suburban homes. And these people are 15-25 miles outside the center of the “big city”.

So if anyone inside that range wants to go shooting, they have to drive quite a distance to find a range, and most of those are short-ranged, or have onerous ammo restrictions, or are pistol/shotgun only. Makes it much more of a pain to go shooting than if you could go out on your 75 acres and shoot whatever you wanted. Or if you could go on some friendly farmer’s fields and do the same.

They did go after him. Despite having, most likely, served a substantial time in prison, now he is being deprived of the right to buy a gun. While this wouldn’t much bother me, what it he has been convinced, by watching on television the discredited John Lott, that a gun would make his family safer? For our ex-con, that’s a significant penalty. But now, on top of already treating him, for life, as a second class citizen, you are going to massively punish him and his family, for lying on a form (or not lying, if like a lot of felons, his literacy is borderline)? This provides no public benefit and strikes me as vindictive.

For reference, here is the question on the form:

Here’s my modest proposal to avoid piling on the punishment to people who already have served time - replace the felony question with this one:

A bit extreme? Well, yes – since the great majority of prudent American adults would have to walk out the store without buying a gun. But it seems more fair to me than punishing those who have already paid their debt to society, and misread a question on a legalistic form.

Then you should have resisted the urge to confidently assert a percentage.

One could argue that if I say “I think we should do X” and then I actively work to stop X from being done, I was lying when I said “I think we should do X”. But that’s an academic approach; reality as always is more nuanced.

If you simplify the example that argument can be made. That’s not even close to the nature of the claim though. The BATFE does a shit ton of things. Reducing or not increasing funding of that agency does not mean the same thing as opposing every single one of the things that it does. Using that as the standard by which a lie is determined is nonsense.

You are not a big fan of the presumption of innocence I see. That’s new.

The term prohibited persons include felons and those under indictment for felony. It does not include people who think they might have committed a felony.

Losing your right to keep and bear arms is a consequence of being a felon. The intent is not to punish you further, the intent is to keep guns out of the hands of the people who are most likely to commit gun crimes.

How’s that? Form 4473 violators still can’t be convicted of anything without due process.

There already are a number of Form 4473 questions that ask about illegal activities you may have committed but for which there need not have been a legal determination. Are you opposed to the question about being “addicted to” a “narcotic drug?” Maybe you are, but, just to point out, my modest proposal was no more a violation of presumption of innocence than that.

We are talking here about the members of Congress who voted for the Gun Control Act of 1968, which put into law the felon rule. Am I right about that?

I think it is hard to look into hearts to understand legislative motives. I’m sure that some, in Congress, had the motive you suggest, and others didn’t. After the 1968 assassinations, pro-firearms legislators knew that something was going to pass, and fought to make sure it primarily affected people outside their core constituency. The legislators who voted for the bill, only after the stricter licensing requirements were removed from it, may have been a minority of those voting yes. But they are the ones who shaped the bill, and their motives may have had little to do with stopping gun crimes.

You ever hear of a thing called legislative history? It helps us divine the intent of congress.

And the intent of congress was not to exclude people who were not in their core constituency. that’s just silly. The only prohibited person on the list that might be on the list to “punish” them, are dishonorably discharged soldiers.

Can you seriously not see the relationship between the list of prohibited persons and people with a heightened risk of killing someone with a gun?

Are you just as adamant about felons that have paid their debt to society have their voting rights reinstated? Or to phrase it differently, is this solely about gun rights or about the rights of felons that have paid their debt?