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Local Lawmakers Introduce Gun Control Bills

by ARLnow.com — January 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm 737 135 Comments

Two state lawmakers who represent parts of Arlington have proposed a gun safety legislation package in the Virginia General Assembly.

State Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Patrick Hope, both Democrats, introduced bills that would close the so-called “gun show loophole,” require universal background checks on gun purchases, require gun owners to report stolen firearms, and restrict weapon sales to the mentally ill. To drive home the point, the lawmakers recorded two videos (above and below, after the jump) showing them buying a handgun without a background check and buying a high-capacity magazine at a recent gun show in Chantilly, Va.

The legislation was introduced Wednesday, a day before President Obama proposed legislation to require universal background checks, ban high capacity magazines, and ban assault-style weapons.

The gun control bills face an uphill battle in the Republican-controled state legislature; Hope and Ebbin called on Virginia residents to contact their legislators in support of the legislation.

From a press release:

Virginia State Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and Delegate Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington) have introduced a package of gun safety legislation to require universal background checks on prospective firearms purchasers (SB 1232 / HB 2025), close the gun show loophole, and tighten restrictions on the sale of weapons to the mentally ill (SB 1109 / HB 2221).

SB 1109 and HB 2221 would make it a Class 6 felony to sell firearms to persons found mentally incapacitated or who have been involuntarily admitted.

Ebbin also introduced legislation to require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms (SB 965) and to outlaw firearms in legislative buildings (SB 1012).

“We easily purchased a handgun at a Virginia gun show, without undergoing a background check. Sadly, nearly 40% of all gun sales are conducted without a background check. In the interest of community safety, it’s not too much to ask for responsible gun purchasers to undergo a background check to screen for criminal history or history of serious mental illness,” the two wrote in a joint statement.

The lawmakers discussed their visit to a gun show in a January 15th news conference at the Virginia Capitol. Hope showed the High Standard Sentinel Revolver he bought for $175; because he purchased the gun from a private dealer, he did not have to undergo a background check to screen for a criminal record. “Today, a felon with a violent past can walk into a gun show or go on the Internet and buy any gun with no questions asked,” Hope said. “A law we could pass today, requiring universal background checks for all gun sales, would have an almost immediate impact on gun safety. No responsible gun owner is afraid of a background check.”

Displaying a 30-round ammunition magazine he purchased for $20, Ebbin said, “Buying a 30-round magazine should not be as easy as buying a candy bar.” He noted that a 30-round magazine was used in the recent Newtown, Connecticut tragedy that left 26 dead.

Citing the need to pass SB 965, Ebbin said, “When a gun is stolen, a deadly weapon is in criminal hands—a combination we all want to avoid. Reporting lost or stolen guns can help police avert a tragedy.”

Hope and Ebbin called on Virginians to contact their legislators in support of the gun safety legislation.


  • JimPB

    U.S. “gun control” works. U.S. “gun control” for machine guns, enacted into law in 1934, has had close to complete success in keeping machine guns from criminals and from use by criminals and others in acts of gun violence.

    • DCBuff

      Yes and no. Yes, guns manufactured as machine guns have been kept out of public circulation, both from criminals and anyone else. No, in that many semi-automatic weapons are easily converted into fully automatic weapons, and with seemingly limitless magazines essentially act as machine guns.

      • novasteve

        It’s not easy, you need a specialized gunsmith to do so, and it’s a very serious crime to do so.

      • Curious George

        Any competent machinist can make a gun from scratch even an automatic one. Something like a sten gun is not all that complicated.

        Milling out a civilian AR15 lower so that it can be made fully automatic is not that hard for a skilled craftsman but that will also get you 10 years in a federal PYITA prison. Of couse they could just mill one from scratch from a hunk of aluminum.

        I guess we should start restricting the sale of metal.

        • drax

          Yes, because a competent machinist could mill a gun from scratch, gun control is hopeless.

          • Hollywood

            Gun control is hopeless because it’s unconstitutional.

        • KalashniKEV

          Yes, Criminals do Crime.

          No, criminals do not operate Computer Numerically Controlled manufacturing equipment to simply “mill one from scratch from a hunk of aluminum.”

          • drax

            I’ll bet that’s how The Man with the Golden Gun did it though.

          • Curious George

            You could use a milling machine and drill press to make a lower receiver. You don’t need a CNC machine. It would, however, take a long time and you would need mad skillz.

          • KalashniKEV

            CG- keep dreaming.

            Go talk to a real, actual “competent machinist” who has attempted even an 80% blank, and learn about what it is you’re talking about.

          • Curious George

            No CNC machines when the first Ar-10 prototypes were made 1955.

          • KalashniKEV

            *sigh*

            Floor Mounted Horizontal Mill if you prefer then.

      • torsionbar

        I don’t think you understand how firearms operate. The size of the magazine is irrelevant to whether or not its classified as a machine gun, or as a civilian semi-auto.

      • KalashniKEV

        DCBuff- It is not at all “easy” to convert a semi automatic weapon to full auto. In fact, it ask any 91F how “easy” it is to keep legit full auto weapons running and functioning properly. You’re parroting things you were told… that simply aren’t true.

        • mr kettle

          Mr Pot please refrain from calling me grimy!

        • DCBuff

          Kev–who are you parroting? I never said it was “easy” to keep any weapon functioning properly nor did I offer my personal view on the control of such weapons. Your obsession with these weapons has led you to assume.

          • KalashniKEV

            Having a working knowledge of the subject matter does not equate to an “obsession.”

            Well… perhaps it does to someone without the knowledge.

  • novasteve

    The 40% include transfers between relatives, including giving relatives guns or inheriting them. Also the 1 million figure Obama gave today were INITIAL refusals, the vast vast majority were eventually granted. It was kind of like the no fly list when Ted Kennedy was denied on 5 flights until he cleared his name.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Ted Kennedy cleared his name?

  • Ralph

    Dear fellow liberals,

    I would like to invite you to read this article: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-riddle-of-the-gun and the follow-up FAQs to it.

    It made me understand better how complicated the current gun-situation is in the US.

    • Libby

      May centrists read it as well, or is it exclusive to the left?

      • Ralph

        Centrists may read it also.

    • KalashniKEV

      The first major heading of the article is “Some Facts…”

      Shouldn’t liberals remain focused on the raw emotion? Y’know, trot out some kids to use as props, demonize your political opponents as not being “for the children.”

      This is why it’s important for the Antis to act *quickly* before cooler heads prevail and logic takes over- the bill that was passed in NY contains numerous discrepancies, was barely read by those who voted, and was passed outside of NYS law which requires 3 days to pass.

      (Well… it also violates the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 9th Amendments of the BOR, so NBD…)

    • Josh S

      Excellent piece. Thanks for sharing.

      • other side of the river

        +1

  • esmith69

    Thoroughly approve of these kind of regulations and really I can’t believe they weren’t already in place. We have all kinds of requirements in place for getting a driver’s license (which you could also argue is something that can be used as a deadly weapon), so why shouldn’t guns be subject to similar regulations?

    I would also suggest they make it a requirement that a prospective gun purchaser pass a psychological exam.

    • Paul Casimir

      The Second Amendment to the Constitution gives every citizen the right to possess a firearm, there is no “right” to a driver’s license in the Constitution.

      I would aslo suggest that they make it a requirement that a prospective commentor on any article on the Second Amendment pass a psychological exam before being allowed to post. Why not nullify the First Amendment as well as the Second.

      • brif

        The First Amendment to the Constitution gives every citizen the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, yet there are numerous laws and regulations restricting these rights. Why can’t the second amendment also be restricted?

        • Quoth the Raven

          Great point. Every single right that we have has accompanying restrictions. Why should the 2nd be any different?

        • Hank

          I totally agree. This is a completely apt parallel and I hope people who argue for gun control measures keep driving this point home.

          • Paul Casimir

            There are already restrictions on the Second Amendment right to posess a firearm just as there are restrictions on First Amendment Rights. There must be an overwhelming governmental purpose to justify a restriction on any right granted by the Consitution. The burden is on the government to prove that purpose is sufficient to restrict that right and that must be done by legislation. There is no executive authority to restrict a right furnished under the First or Second Amendment.
            The idea of a psychological exam before one can posess a firearm is so ludicrous it could only be spawned from a mind totally ignorant of the Consitution or the law.

          • Josh S

            A psychological exam does probably go too far. But since background checks are already required at gun shops, it is not unreasonable to require them at gun shows, etc. Also, it is a major responsibility with serious societal implications to be allowed to operate a motor vehicle on public streets. Consequently, there are significant steps that one must follow before being granted a driver’s license. It is not unreasonable to think that a similar process (involving training and passing a test) should be used to grant a license to own and operate a gun. I don’t think that hiding behind the Second Amendment is a suitable argument against this proposal since it doesn’t prevent anyone from “bearing arms”, it just regulates it with just cause to do so.

        • drax

          There aren’t really “numerous” restrictions on speech. There are very few, and they apply to actions that happen to involve speech, not the content of the speech itself.

          • Max

            The first amendment has been restricted up to the point that people’s actions can’t be used to inflict untoward damage on another person’s life, and then some. If you could kill 20 kids by yelling at them, it would be illegal to yell at them, but it’s legal to own a gun that can take down a classroom in a matter of seconds.

          • brif

            Yes, there really are numerous restrictions on speech that apply to time, place, manner, as well as content.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions

          • drax

            No, there are not “numerous” restrictions. The scope of the restrictions are small, because most don’t actually restrict speech (content) but actions that come in the form of speech.

          • brif

            Yes, a list of over 16 different free speech restrictions is numerous and yes many of those restrictions are based on content.

          • drax

            No, very few restrictions are based on content. The only one that is really based entirely on content is obscenity.

          • brif

            false statement of fact, fighting words, disruptive speech, threats are all content based.

          • drax

            Wrong.

            Assuming these are all actual exceptions (it’s really more complicated than that):

            false statement of fact – again, it’s the defrauding act that is the problem, not the content. False statements of fact happen every day all over the place (look at this board!) but are protected by the First Amendment. Only when they cause someone specific harm, such as losing money in a fraud scheme, are they illegal.

            fighting words – the point is the FIGHTING it leads to, not the content. Fighting words aren’t banned if they aren’t in the context of starting a fight, for example, on this board they wouldn’t be. I can recite fighting words here and not risk causing a fight, so the First Amendment protects me.

            disruptive speech – like fighting words, it’s the DISRUPTION that makes them an exception, not the speech. Again, if it were the content, the same words would be banned always, but they are not. You can make disruptive speech all you want as long as you aren’t actually disrupting anything.

          • brif

            wow drax, not only are you wrong, you clearly don’t understand how speech restrictions work. false statements do not necessarily have to do with specific harm and yes the content can matter.
            fighting words do not necessarily have to be “in the context of starting a fight” (whatever that means). it does not have to be your intention of starting a fight, it depends on how your statements are interpreted, again based on content.

            disruptive speech can be banned (in a school for example) even if it does not actually cause a disruption. Context does matter here, but again, so does the content.

        • KalashniKEV

          True- but there’s no way the Framers could have envisioned a medium such as the Internet for spreading ideas and opinions. They *did* have firearms though…

          We *MUST* ban the internet, or at least severely restrict the citizens ability to use it. Perhaps a 10 comment per day limit… then in a few years 7… then in a few years 5…

          It’s for the Children. ;)

          • novasteve

            I can make a video offending a certain religion and post it on you tube and within seconds it can be viewed in pakistan and people could be killing each other there as a result. Should free speech be restricted due to the technological advances made that the founders didn’t envision given they were working with their voices and printing presses and not the internet?

          • BarryBallston

            “the Framers could have envisioned a medium such as the Internet for spreading ideas and opinions. They *did* have firearms though…”

            The Framers could not have envisioned the powerful firearms we have today when they drafted the second amendment. They had muskets and flintlock pistols and it took minutes to fire a single shot. Do you really think a rational person drafting the same amendment today would allow for no restrictions on assault rifles??

          • KalashniKEV

            Only agents of the State need access to the full unrestricted power of the Internet. Why do you *need* the internet anyway? Your right to Free Speech was enshrined in the BOR when the country was a different place. Things have changed.

            You should be allowed only to operate a manual printing press. ;)

          • DCBuff

            Kev–and there is also no way the Framers envisioned individuals owning weapons of such destruction as you believe everyone has the right to have under the 2nd Amendment. Yes, they had “firearms” but no one kept cannon in their pick-up truck/gun safe/hall closet in 1791 and it is extraordinarily doubtful the Framers thought the 2nd Amend. gave everyone the right to do so.

          • KalashniKEV

            Your opinion on the matter does not stand up to the facts.

            If you want to read a real “opinion” on what 2A means, read DC v. Heller (p47-54). 2A calls for the people to be armed with weapons that are “in common use” but that are not “dangerous and unusual”. The state would have to disarm itself first to even begin to claim that an AR-15 or a Glock 19 isn’t “in common use”- and even then it wouldn’t hold up.

          • drax

            Sure, read Heller. On the other hand, here’s part of Heller:

            “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

            “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.” “

      • brif

        Name one current restriction on the Second Amendment right to posess a firearm.

        • KalashniKEV

          OK… NFA ’34, GCA ’68, FOPA ’86…

          • brif

            Those laws deal with regulations and registrations. They don’t acually restrict your right to bear a firearm.

          • KalashniKEV

            I don’t even know where to begin.

            re·strict- To keep or confine within limits.

            Maybe we don’t really speak the same language…

        • brif

          okay, you defined restrict. so what?

          • KalashniKEV

            So… they DO “restrict” our “Second Amendment right to posess(sic) a firearm.”

          • brif

            not based on your definition of restrict

          • brif

            Not to mention, the 2nd amendment only guarantees your right to keep and bear arms. It does not guarantee your right to buy and sell arms.

          • KalashniKEV

            Good point. When can I get my M4 back?

        • novasteve

          Do you need a background check, having waiting periods, etc to exercise your first amendment rights? Are you denied the ability to buy both pen and paper on the same day like you are with guns and ammo?

          • brif

            i have had to wait in order to obtain permits from government agencies in order to exercise my right to assemble. A delay is not necessarily the same as a restriction.

          • DCBuff

            Ouch. Dang, brif, facts are a terrible thing to waste with Steve on this issue. Just to make the argument accurate, the 2nd Amend. does not use the word “restrict” but rather “infringed.” At least according to the on-line dictionairies, “infringe” is more of a breaking action than a restricting action.

  • R. Griffon

    Totally agree on the whole “background checks for everyone, even for private sales” thing. Can’t quite figure out why that hasn’t always been the case since we started doing it at dealers.

    The mentally ill thing? I dunno. What exactly qualifies as “mentally ill,” or “mentally incapacitated?” If I’ve seen someone for depression (and in this day and age, who hasn’t?), does that disqualify me from exercising my Constitutional rights? And what if somebody simply says that I’m unstable, does that count? And what are the HIPAA implications? Restricting access to the mentally ill is a very tricky proposition (but probably worthwhile), and one that doesn’t need a ham-fisted approach.

    But they totally lost me on the 30-rd mag thing. Why WOULDN’T it be easy to buy? There are (supposed to be) background checks on buying GUNS – not accessories. I might need to be 18 to buy a car, but anyone with the cash can buy a new gas tank or the gas to put in it. They’re just showing their ignorance of the subject when they do stuff like that.

    • WL95

      The mentally ill question is very tough to approach, but it is also vital to the firearms debate. Nobody seems to be comfortable going down that road, and the issues you raise about where to set the bar to determine mental illness are part of the problem. Democrats have always turned their initial focus on simply restricting everybody’s access to guns, rather than tailoring parts of the legislation to address people with mental illness. I think that is mostly due to the fact that they count on most of the mentally ill people to vote for them.

      • drax

        “I think that is mostly due to the fact that they count on most of the mentally ill people to vote for them.”

        Why is it that rightwingers often start with a good point but can’t resist ruining it at the end?

        • KalashniKEV

          It’s fun.

          • drax

            The most honest post you’ve ever made, Kev.

          • KalashniKEV

            I just came to party.

      • drax

        I certainly fear anyone who is obsessed with guns, expresses irrational hatred for certain groups, has paranoid delusions about government misdeeds and threatens violence against the government on the Internet.

        • novasteve

          Drax, do you deny that the US government under FDR forcibly sent Japanese Americans, Italian Americans, and German Americans to internment camps?

      • name

        I always find it funny (if it wasn’t so sad) that the NRA types consider that government assessing everyone’s mental health is less opressive than simply not allowing everyone access to all manner of high powered weapons.

    • KalashniKEV

      The current law requires a person to be “adjudicated mentally defective” by a Judge. This is in line with 5A- “No person shall . . . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

      If the bills proposed are like the NY law, they require Mental Health professionals to report on their patients- which violates 5A, 4A (right to privacy), the Hippocratic Oath, and creates a condition where no one will seek help only to be labeled as a kook, and no physician will want the liability of having one of his patients not in the kook database, so they will turn over the info on their whole files.

      It’s unacceptable legally, and bad all around…

  • Curious George

    So where can I get $20 30 round magazines? With all the panic buying and price gauging they are usually going for $50 or more. That is if you can find any in stock.

  • Dave

    Since 1950, every mass shooting except Tucson was in a “gun free zone”. So let’s add legislative buildings to the list, because it’s worked so well over the past 60+ years.

    • Just the Facts

      Not true, Dave. It took me all of 5 minutes to find these initial three examples proving your point wrong.

      1984, San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre, San Ysidro, CA, 21 dead, restaurant (not gun-free zone)
      1990, GMAC shooting, Jacksonville, FL, 9 dead, private business (not gun-free zone)
      1991, Luby’s massacre, Killeen, TX, 23 dead, restaurant (not gun-free zone)

      • ThoseFactsAreWrong

        Those are actually all incorrect. The easiest one to fact check is Luby’s massacre. All of these occurred before concealed handgun laws allowed people to have guns on their person. In response to Luby’s massacre Texas passed their shall issue carry law in 1995. Suzanna Hupp has testified and spoken many times about how she didn’t carry her revolver into the restaurant due to the state law that prohibited it.
        Your other cases are wrong as well. California banned concealed handguns in public in 1924, and loaded guns in public in 1967.

        • Josh S

          ?
          The issue is whether or not all mass shootings since 1950 have occurred in “gun free zones.”
          What does your comment have to do with that? In fact, you mention Suzanna Hupp and carrying her revolver “into the restaurant” – is a restaurant a “gun free zone?”

          • KalashniKEV

            Yes.

            Wouldn’t make much sense to attempt a spree killing in a place where you might encounter armed resistance… would it?

          • ThoseFactsAreWrong

            Yes. A restaurant is a “gun free zone” if it is illegal to carry a gun into it by state or federal law. It was illegal for Suzanna Hupp to carry her gun into Luby’s that day, so she left it in her car. So that shooting was in a ‘gun free zone’. So it was a mass shooting that occurred since 1950, but was in a gun free zone. The question was to find mass shooting NOT in gun free zones. If a business bans people from carrying guns there, it is a gun free zone. If the government bans you from carrying guns there it is a gun free zone. Understand?

          • KalashniKEV

            The Tucson incident did NOT occur in a Gun Free Zone. Armed response was less than a minute away.

            Does anyone know who Joe Zamudio is? How about Nick Meli? How many spree killers can you name?

          • Dave

            Absolutely. If a restaurant, or any business, posts that guns are prohibited, then it is a gun free zone (go take a look at the signs posted at every door at either Ballston or Pentagon City malls). I don’t know if the McDonald’s or Luby’s had such signs posted, but its certainly not uncommon, and like ThoseFactsAreWrong said, if the state outlawed carrying anyway, it was a de facto gun free zone.

            The statistic wasn’t just pulled out of thin air, it has been used in multiple publications, including the one listed above by Ralph: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-riddle-of-the-gun

          • KalashniKEV

            Know your rights- “No Firearm” and “Gun Free Zone” signs in Virginia have *no force of law* unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in State Law as being off limits to those with a Permit/License to Carry.

        • Just the Facts

          So let me get this straight: you’re saying the ENTIRE states of Texas and California were gun-free zones when those shootings occurred? That’s what you expect us to believe?

          Besides that, a “gun-free zone” is commonly known to be an area, building or property where guns are specifically forbidden, not an entire state that doesn’t allow concealed carry. Otherwise you would have written, “every mas shooting was either in a gun-free zone or a state that doesn’t allow concealed carry.”

          Don’t try to wiggle out of this.

          • Just the Facts

            KalashniKEV,

            As a “gun guy” it is scary how bad your knowledge is. Under VA law, a concealed carry permit DOES NOT allow you to carry a firearm onto private property against the wishes of the owner. (Say by the owner of a shopping mall who has expressed his wishes by posting a “No Firearms” sign.)

            Va Code 18.2-308, Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry; penalty.

            Subsection O. “The granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is PROHIBITED BY THE OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY.” (My capitals)

            If nothing else, Virginia is a private property rights state and a property owner’s right to control his property trumps another’s right to carry a gun. If you violate that sign and are asked to leave and don’t, be ready to sign a trespassing summons.

    • drax

      Aside from this being utter crap, it’s pointless. “Gun free zones” are hardly the only form of gun control – they aren’t really gun control at all.

      • true

        very true – all that does is demonstrate that we need real gun control laws – at the federal level – with teeth not just some token localized proclamation

    • KalashniKEV

      When we want to protect a place, we *Protect* it. That means creating a Hard Site. You can’t create a weak enough target that no one will want to attack it. Logically, it makes people there more vulnerable to attack, which has proven painfully true throughout time in this country.

      The only thing that stops violence is violence. Murderers don’t obey Gun Laws like Bank Robbers don’t obey the Speed Limit. The best chance we have of protecting our children- *if* we want to get serious about the problem and how to fix it- is to reduce the time between an attack being initiated and armed response by “the good guys.”

      • Archie Bunker

        It’s like my proposal – If you want to stop the airplanes from being hijacked – ARM ALL THE PASSANGERS – just pass out guns when they get on and collect them all when they depart. It would work.

      • drax

        “The only thing that stops violence is violence. ”

        Well, no, that overstates the case greatly. Violence is sometimes the only way to stop violence, but many people are deterred from violent acts due to lack of means or the threat of violence. On the other hand, you don’t know which it will be until there’s a gun or knife in your face in an alley, so you should be prepared to need an equal response.

        • KalashniKEV

          Evil always finds a way. I stand by my statement that the *only* thing that stops Violence is Violence.

          Lanza could have killed just as many, or even more kids with a Katana or even a Louisville Slugger. There was no limiting factor on how many he could kill in the 20 minutes it took an armed response to arrive. Just however many he chose.

          Also, when confronted with armed response, spree killers typically kill themselves rather than stand up and take it like a man, or slug it out shot for shot. This also fits their profile as losers, failures, cowards, etc…

          • Quoth the Raven

            Seriously? You think he would have killed as many with a baseball bat? Wow. Where to begin? Let’s see – it takes longer, and you have to be closer, to kill someone with a bat. If you have a bat, I’m pretty sure that a couple of us teachers could easily take you down. But if you have an assault weapon, and you’re standing 30 feet away, it’s a little harder, don’t you think?

            No one needs assault weapons or armor piercing bullets. The NRA’s slippery slope argument is ridiculous, and anyone claiming that Lanza could have done just as much damage with a sword or bat is not being honest.

          • KalashniKEV

            1) Yes. With a 20+ minute delay before armed response arrived, it is entirely possible to kill 27 people with bat or blade. It is very possible to kill 37 people or even more. Time before armed response arrives and the shooter’s own will are the only limiting factor in spree killings.

            2) There are numerous reasons why modern, accurate, ergonomic, and reliable semi automatic rifles are popular. The biggest one is to fulfill the true intent of the Second Amendment… and for that they are necessary.

          • Just the Facts

            What a buffoon! I’ll give you a choice: you have to go into a building unarmed against one of two opponents. Opponent A has an AR-15 and/or Glock; Opponent B has a baseball bat. The fight is to the death.

            If you think those two items are equally lethal, please feel free to pick the guy with the rifle…no, really, please pick him.

          • KalashniKEV

            Let’s fix one problem with this scenario right off the bat *WHY* am *I* unarmed???

            Unacceptable.

      • actually

        Actually most of these mass murderes actually indetnd to die so the deterrent isn’t really that effective is it?

  • chipotle_addict

    Seems like a pretty stupid knee-jerk reaction to the Sandy Hook shootings. My question: would ANY of this legislation have made a difference in this sort of case (barring the obvious fact that VA laws are irrelevant to Connecticut)?

    No, of course not. all the guns used in the massacre were legally bought and registered and owned by the perpetrator’s mother. The perpetrator STOLE the weapons from his mother. The problem here is that it’s trivially easy to obtain guns illegally, making them illegal or harder to own legally won’t do a thing to stop shootings done by criminals who don’t care if they break a law to obtain the weapon in the first place.

  • To be consistent…

    Shouldn’t we require any private transfer of alcohol (for instance, the bottle of wine that those of us with good manners take to dinner at a friend’s house) to include an ID check performed by/in front of a government official?

    Because after all, there were more deaths in alcohol related crashes in Virginia in 2011 (245) than there were murders with guns (208).

    PS – I’ve bought more than one gun at a gun show. And had to get a background check every time. There is no “gunshow loophole”.

    • Just the Facts

      TBC,

      You’re right that “gunshow loophole” is a misnomer. It’s a “private sale” loophole. If you buy a gun from a licensed dealer (Federal Firearms License holder), whether at his shop or at a gunshow, you will undergo a background check. (Or the license holder will be breaking the law.)

      Under federal law, a private sale between two individuals (non-FFL holders) does not require a background check. Some states may require them but Virginia does not.

      The reason gunshows get the blame is that private sellers congregate there, thus creating a large market where one can buy firearms quickly and easily without a background check.

      • Homeowner

        Agreed. Virginia also has a required “instant” bakcground check on all firearms (including long guns) sold by dealers. My experience is that it works pretty well.

        • drax

          Didn’t work very well in the Va. Tech massacre. The shooter passed both background checks for his two guns. So even when we have checks, they don’t catch everything. They only check your background, not your current mental state.

          • Josh S

            I realize you have a pathological need to be contrary, but come on. No one is suggesting that any law, policy, regulation is going to prevent all crimes. We all can easily come up with the exception to just about any rule. It’s not contributing to the debate.

          • BBMS

            I would encourage everyone in this debate to put the word “criminal” in front of “background check” every time they write it. That is the more accurate way of representing it.

            But there are also federal laws prohibiting mental defectives from purchasing guns, and the VaTech guy should have been flagged by NICS for that very fact. The breakdown was in the paperwork transfer between state and Feds.

          • drax

            Yes, it does contribute to the debate, because gun control measures may make people more vulnerable to crime rather than less. Guns are used to prevent crime and defend victims, not just commit them.

          • wrong

            guns are used far more often t ocommit crimes than as an effective deterrent. You a much more likely to be killed by your own gun than use it to deter a home invasion or other aggressor.

          • drax

            You CANNOT claim guns are used for crimes more than deterrence, because deterrence involves millions of times that someone chose not to use a gun (or other violence) in the first place. It’s not just shooting at a burglar. It’s keeping the burglar from thinking about entering your home for fear of getting shot.

          • KalashniKEV

            Actually, guns are an ever-present deterrent and are used to prevent crimes every minute of the day in this country. My personal home defense firearm still hasn’t shot me, but has provided a deterrent effect an infinite number of times. I’ve also known people who have actually used their firearms in self-defense, but never met anyone who was killed with their own gun in an attack. Are you sure that you’re not just parroting lies?

        • KalashniKEV

          Have you tried to run a NICS since Obama started coming after our guns???

          • drax

            Obama has instituted no new gun control measures until yesterday.

          • Max

            False. There are no new gun control measures, he is enforcing laws that have been on the books for decades.

          • drax

            Duh. He enforced the law. That’s not the same thing as instituting new gun control measures, which is what I said.

    • torsionbar

      Exactly. It isn’t a “loophole”. It’s simply a sale of private property between private individuals. I propose that all baseball bats, hockey sticks, and croquet mallets be banned from private sale, as they too are weapons in the wrong hands. Only government authorized sporting goods retailers may sell these items. Who’s with me on this??

      • MC 703

        No one because that is a silly comment. Equating a firearm to a baseball bat shows you’re just trolling.

        • drax

          Okay, so lets meet outside. I’ll have a baseball bat, and you’ll not have a gun.

    • MC 703

      A gun is a gun. A bottle of wine is a bottle of wine. Can’t the right agree that there is room in the middle on this? No one is talking about taking hunting rifles or handguns here.

      • Quoth the Raven

        That’s the problem – the NRA and like-minded folks think this is just like the Dark Side. To quote Yoda – “once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” In other words, they have gone all-in on the slippery slope argument. Today, it’s a high-capacity magazine, but tomorrow it will be that hunting rifle. So, we must draw the line in the sand and die for it, and they are unable to admit that there is, in fact, a middle ground. They’ve taken such a radical stance, I’m surprised (and disappointed) there are so many supporters still out there.

        • IP678

          Uh, this is just like any negotiation. You have to be a strong advocate for you side and then you work out something in the middle. Why are you “surprised…there are so many supporters still out there”? You realize with no supporters on either side, the other side steamrolls the laws all the way to their desired extreme?

          The gun debate is actually one of the few times I realize that politicians and lawmakers for the most part understand the reality of the issue better than people debating it on the street. The hyperbole in this thread on both sides is hilarious. Obama’s proposals are milquetoast compared to what some people wanted. But they are realistic.

          Lawmakers know there is a middle ground. They are already finely focused on it. Meanwhile the public debate is still about baseball bats and potted plants.

        • KalashniKEV

          Recent events have proven this to be entirely true- look at NY. You’re capped at 10. Now your capped at 7. Next time you’re capped at…

          Plus, their law does nothing to prevent crime and only punishes those who are inclined to follow the law in the first place. Spree killings will go up in NYS and the first kook that climbs something tall with an “Sniper Rifle” (aka Hunting Rifle) will have all the Fudds crying when their guns get added to the new database too, and require license renewals, until they decide to no longer renew…

          • novasteve

            NY will then ban bolt actions when they realize they’re more accurate.

          • KalashniKEV

            They already do. They will ban bolt actions when the time is right… they’re just waiting on the right tragedy to seize upon and capitalize. It’s sick.

            The concept is that other states will follow their lead, creating a domino effect, and we will see the Constitution fail now in NJ, MA and CT, as we did in NY… then spreading out from CA and IL similarly.

            Also now that NY is down from 10 to 7 rounds in a mag, look for it to move to 5 the next time tragedy strikes, then 3, then 1…

            (And you know tragedy WILL strike again, because none of this has any effect on Criminals who choose not to follow the law.)

        • Clarendon

          I found it interesting that the NRA is spending their money to make it illegal to destroy guns obtained in government buy-back programs

          http://www.npr.org/2013/01/09/168926749/nra-vows-to-stop-tuscon-from-destroying-guns

  • YTK

    Now if they will only ENFORCE the already strict Federal Firearms laws— for FIRST OFFENDERS!! You commit a crime using a firearm– you should NOT be released, even if it is your “first offense!!”

    • KalashniKEV

      The new NYS law contains a “Webster Provision” for attacking first responders.

      Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if the “Webster Provision” was that you don’t do any “hammer slaying” and then get let out to kill again???

  • duhh

    hmmm let me see here….the same president who knew about operation fast and furious is now trying to ban assault rifles. How stupid can you all really be?

    Guns don’t kill people. People kill people, WAKE UP!

    • KalashniKEV

      Even more irony for you- The same President who supported armed civilian resistance against tyrants in Libya, Syria, and Egypt is trying to disarm lawfully armed American citizens while circumventing Congress and the limits of power of his office, and pushing laws which violate the United States Constitution.

      • jackson

        That characterization of what he’s proposing is so vague and inaccurate you could have written this response 2 weeks ago (which I’m sure the NRA did).

        • drax

          Yep.

          Until Newtown, Obama’s record consisted of stating his belief in the right to bear arms and actually slightly expanding gun rights. No actions taken or proposed to restrict them. Yet the attacks from the NRA on Obama began long ago. They have no credibility.

          I support the right to self-defense with a gun. But I don’t want the NRA speaking for me.

      • Just the Facts

        I know I’m just indulging your trollness, but name one thing the President proposed that will “disarm lawfully armed American citizens.” And by that I mean someone who currently owns a gun, who isn’t a criminal, who will have to give that gun up due to federal law. Name one….

  • duke

    So, as State Sen. Adam Ebbin is seen pulling out his money, the knife concealed in his front right pocket comes into view. A violation of Va. Code 18.2-308. Wait, one doesn’t bring a knife to a gun fight so it must be okay for him to violate the law.

    • KalashniKEV

      Ebbin is with David Gregory in the “laws don’t apply to us” category.

      Just admit you’re a bad person and hand over your rights…

  • Common Sense

    “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    “Well regulated” does not appear to exclude all regulations of guns or even a lot of regulations of guns. Yelling that one has a right to gun regardless of anything else ignores the 2nd Amendment upon which such right allegedly derives.

    • novasteve

      It says the militia being regulated, not the guns. Also the “shall not be infringed”. You can’t have guns in chicago. How are you saying it’s not being infringed?

    • KalashniKEV

      Correct. Better to look at “DC v. Heller” and “US v. Miller.”

      An unconstitutional law isn’t a law.

      • Common Sense

        Here’s a law, please identify any constitutional problem: ” A person cannot own or possess any firearm other than a single shot shot-gun.”

        That language does not prohibit bearing arms.

        • KalashniKEV

          The Second Amendment protects only the ownership of military-type weapons. A single shot shotgun isn’t a military-type weapon.

          (Unless it’s all you’ve got to resist tyranny…)

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