Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If this is what responsible shooting clubs find funny we have a bigger problem than I thought.

One of the things about having a blog is that you can see the sites that refer traffic to posts. One of the top sites referring traffic to yesterday's post One Million Moms for Gun Control is called Northeast Shooters.

They are a gun group here in New England, and they claim to represent responsible gun owners. They oppose the Linsky bill.

In addition to many other sensible reforms, the Linsky bill would require gun owners to buy liability insurance for their firearms. I trust the free market enough to believe that liability insurers would almost certainly require that gun owners keep military style assault weapons out of the hands of unlicensed users, including elementary school age children.

This photo is on the Northeast Shooters website, northeastshooters [dot] com. I don't think it's funny, but I'll let my readers judge. (When I saved the file to my desktop, it was called "Ralphie-ar"):

Here is the screenshot from their webpage, taken today. As you can see if you magnify the image, the photo was posted nine days AFTER the Newtown massacre (wherein 20 children where blown to pieces, many literally beyond recognition, with the military style gun pictured in this Responsible Gun Owner's Christmas greeting).


  1. I am 100% convinced that mother's and other women invested in the lives of children HAVE to take the lead here. There are too many neanderthalic men (sorry for being sexist but it IS true) who support unregulated or barely regulated gun ownership to ever be effective in not only pushing legislation through but holding those who violate laws accountable.

    Keep posting, mama!

  2. Hi there new Mama! Moms are taking the lead. You should definitely join One Million Moms For Gun Control and Moms Rising for updates on how to keep the pressure for sensible gun violence prevention legislation on both local and federal legislators.

    Re: your neanderthal comment- the gun makers sell to and encourage that stereotype. there was a whole "man card" campaign running for the ar-15at the time of the Newtown massacre.

    The other interesting stereotype is that many self described "responsible gun owners" express fears about "ghetto gang bangers" committing violence. While I think, having spent my entire adult life in major cities (London, DC, NY, Boston), such fears are nearly groundless, they have a right to their opinions.

    All gun violence is awful. Urban gang violence tends to be one young man shooting another young man. Handguns are the most commonly seized weapons in such cases.

    Mass gun murderers in the USA, for whatever reason, have been overwhelmingly white and male and armed with military style assault rifles— the kind of weapons designed to spray as many bullets as possible in a very short time frame.

    1. Mari, thanks for your perspective. We may disagree, but our Constitution gives us both the ability to have and share our perspectives. I would note that your comment that these perpetrators have "been overwhelmingly white and male and armed with military style assault rifles" is incorrect. I'll give you the white male bit, but if you look at the facts, you'll see that in fact it was just the Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings where these types of rifles were used. (see here:

      This article goes back 20 years. Overwhelmingly they have in fact NOT used semi-automatic rifles. Given that fact, does it still make sense to pass an AWB focused on weapons that clearly aren't the larger issue?


    2. "the kind of weapons designed to spray as many bullets as possible in a very short time frame."

      You truly have no understanding of guns and how they work. Guns do not spray bullets and no machine gun has ever been used in a mass shooting. Machine guns are strictly regulated, and cost upwards of $10,000 each.

    3. Hi Diatribe, I agree on the need to share and express various perspectives, and I am sorry it took me several days to respond to your and other comments on this post. (I should have made a separate new post , instead of a comment, announcing I was away, and for that I apologize).

      My feeling on your specific question is that, given when such weapons are used, the body counts veer high, why not take action against those weapons? It won't stop all the killing, but it might save some lives. I believe that's the spirit of the proposed Feinstein bill.

      Hi Fannie, and thanks for dropping by. I don't think I used the phrase "machine gun." I used the phrase "assault weapon" and military style assault weapon. The popular Ar-15, used in Newtown, is marketed as the civilian version of the M-4 and M-16.

  3. Dear Mari,
    Do you even know the gun laws ALREADY on the books?
    Do you even know what a "military style assault weapon" really is?
    Do you even know the laws on acquiring said assault weapon are?

    My guess is that you answered "No" to all 3 questions, and if you were arrogant enough to answer "Yes" then you need to do some serious reading on the laws and regulations of firearms. Just as an FYI, to obtain a "military style assault weapon" you have many hoops to jump through, intense background checks through the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives), Roughly a 6 month waiting period, a $200 tax, and even if they (the BATFE) accept your request, you still have to find one made BEFORE 1986 and you will spend roughly $30,000 for it, thats right...the price of a new car. We have enough gun laws and regulations already, adding more does nothing to prevent another "Newtown" because we all know that criminals obey by the law...right?. What needs to be done is enforce the laws we already have. Also, please stop trying to tell us law abiding gun owners what we can/can't own. You are attempting to infringe upon our 2nd amendment rights, i for one do not appreciate it. Do you see us attempting to infringe on your 1st amendment right to free speech?

    1. Hi again Chris,

      I just wanted to let you know that a donation has been made in your honor to Rep. Linsky's re-election fund. I appreciate insights and diverse opinions. I don't appreciate your tone. Indeed it serves to reinforce the unfortunate stereotype about those who oppose gun control: patronizing at best, bullies at worst.

      One Million Moms for Gun Control was founded by Shannon Watts largely to stand up to the bullies of the gun lobby.

  4. Hi Chris,

    I am familiar with the gun laws on the books. MA (my home state) has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, and one of the lowest gun death rates. Coincidence? I happen to disagree with your suggestion that we have enough gun laws.

    I, like other members of 1MM4GC, support stronger federal gun control legislation largely because state by state legislation and enforcement is so variable. Trafficking enforcement in particular is desperately needed, as are universal background checks.

    Criminals will indeed break laws, but access to certain weapons increases carnage. This is why the US is unique among industrialized nations in terms of gun massacre type crimes. The longstanding process with BATFE you describe is a great argument in favor of the constitutionality of an assault weapons ban such as the one proposed by Sen. Feinstein.

    I expect that if such a ban is passed, which is admittedly a long shot, it will face challenges in the courts and its constitutionality will turn on the law's specific wording.

    1. Really?

      "Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Globe reported this month — “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent. Aggravated assaults jumped 26.7 percent."

    2. In my 5 years as a Marine Corps infantryman I was never taught how to spray as many bullets as possible in as short a time frame, and that was with actual fully automatic capable rifles, not the semi automatic civilian version. Anyone who says this is the design of the rifle is either ill-informed, or a liar. As a state police certified firearms instructor I recommend my students consider AR15s to defend their families with, thats what I use.

      With regard to the "man card" campaign, I can't say I agree with it but using gender stereotypes is not an uncommon marketing tactic.

      Like it or not the AR15 is one of the best rifles on the market and we as instructors recommend them to students for their affordability of use, customizability and adjustability, and ease of use due to being LOWER powered than most rifles.

      As far as most gun owners being neanderthals, I'm sure the women, students, veterans, and family I've taught would be happy to hear it. I think you would be surprised to find that most of the gun rights supporters in Massachusetts are also big supporters of equal marraige, the right to choose, etc. Maybe you should give us a chance and work with us to curb violence rather than ignore the root problems and focus on passing bans that have already been proven not to work.

      All the best


    3. Hi Fannie,
      The Globe article underscores the need for federal firearms trafficking legislation and enforcement. The majority of guns seized by MA police came from out of state. MA still has one of the ten lowest gun murder rates of all fifty states, according to both the Brady Campaign and the FBI. I agree with you that we have much room for improvement.

      Hi Mike,
      I applaud your service. Thanks for stopping by. I speak only for myself, but I am sure our reps would love to hear proposals to curb violence from any citizen.

      As noted above, the ar-15 has been marketed as a civilian version of the M-4 and M-16 rifles carried by military personnel.

      It is indeed designed to fire multiple bullets in a short time frame, which causes me to wonder why a person who doesn't have the benefit of the excellent, best in the world, Marine Corps training you received should be able to walk into Walmart, or a gun show, or answer an ad on Craigslist, and purchase one.

      Finally,I did not say most gun owners are Neanderthals. The Neanderthal comment was made by a the first commenter on this thread. I do agree that a certain macho emotional appeal is made by certain gun ads, like the man card campaign.

      All best to you as well.

  5. It will be interesting if and when your type finally pushes things too far to see if you actually have the fortitude to fight for what you keep claiming you believe in so fervently. Or do you think you are going to send "men with evil black guns" to enforce your will on others?

    Translation: You can pass all the laws you want, but when a substantial group of citizens decide they will not follow them, it will be difficult to enforce them. In this case, those citizens are well armed.

    1. I am not proposing violence; neither is 1MM4GC. We are proposing working through the democratic process.

      Regarding well-armed unhappy citizens: Sedition is a serious crime.

    2. All legislation through governmental (democratic) means against those you don't agree with is by extension either the direct or indirect threat of force (violence) of the law. You want to bend the law to protect your points of view while using it to suppress others. This behavior is tyranny of the majority and one of the reasons we have a Republic.

      Correlation does not equal causation, anyone with critical thinking skills knows this. There are many mitigating factors when it comes to crime in the Baystate. You statement also does not address New Hampshire's and Vermont's murder rate, which is half of Massachusetts, while they have extremely liberal gun laws. Liberal by the true meaning.

      It's okay that you've given money to Linksy's re-election bid. I do hope you understand he's someone who supported lessening the punishment for animal rape. Though I've already given money to his opponents and civil liberties groups that help protect my constitutionally sanctioned life choices.

    3. "I am not proposing violence" Ah but don't you see Ms Passananti that is precisely what it is you are proposing by utilizing the "democratic process". You are seeking to impose your will and that of others like you on another group with whom you do not agree. "As for the moral status of majority rule (ie: democracy), it must be pointed out that it allows for A and B to band together and rip off C..." - Hans Hermann-Hoppe

      You may not see this proposal of violence directly but you are most certainly condoning the use of it to enforce any law you and your friends push upon us. That is really what "tr" was trying to convey to you. That you condone the use of violence in order to advance your will and that of others like you. You won't be the one knocking down our doors and scaring my daughters to death during a raid on my home to seize my inanimate objects of your scorn. You and your friends won't be pulling the trigger of the actual assault rifle that claims my life because I may have made "furtive movements". You won't be the one who testifies on behalf of the state saying that I was a criminal because I owned a banned item. No, you won't have to do any of these things. You'll be sitting behind your computer writing jibberish in order to advance your vision of what the world should be like according to your thoughts and prejudices.

      I reject all of your "proposals" on the grounds that men with guns will come into my home to destroy my right to life, liberty and happiness because you think that I don't possess the proper status to own a gun and protect that same right to life, liberty and happiness. No ma'am, I prescribe to the NAP (non-aggression principal) and seek to do no man or woman arm directly or indirectly through the use of force in the form of the government. The firearms I own are strictly for defending my life, the lives of my wife and children, my property and my freedom.

      Molon Labe

    4. "Sedition is a serious crime."

      So is treason, which is what Linsky's bill amounts to. He swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Shall not be infringed = no infringement! Period. End of story. There is no common sense in legislation that is predicated upon an irrational fear of inanimate objects; which criminals, by definition, will not abide by anyway.

      Just my 2 cents.

    5. That's exactly it - you ARE proposing violence. Anyone who doesn't comply with the laws YOU advocate are going to be turned into criminals. With the implicit threat of violence against them if they don't comply.

      That's what a law IS.

      Mari - you're not the good gal here. You're not the caring one. Certainly not the tolerant one. You're proposing criminalizing my neighbors, my family, and my friends - having men with guns come and put us in JAIL if we don't bow down to your every new law.

      You want to save lives?

      We lose a Sandy Hook's worth of people every single day because some among us can't control themselves and hit the road drunk.

      Are you going to give up your Cabernet because of that?

      Then why demand I surrender my rifle?

      I can at least point to Constitutional Law, to the Natural Rights upon which our nation was founded, and to three thousand years recorded history of a fallible humanity for my choice.

      What's yours? What is your Bonum vinum next to the life of even one of the children that have died on the highways since you penned your last post?

      If it's really about the kids Mari, prove it.
      Show us your sincerity by giving up the hooch.

      I won't even lobby the state to put all your friends in jail for having liquor in their cabinets over 7% ABV, or call them heartless monsters for giving their kids a taste of communion wine.

      No - I just want to know you - personally - are willing to give up your horrifically damaging pasttime - forever - before asking the state to imprison my family and friends for ours.

      Especially since the externalities of yours are a hell of a lot bloodier, by the numbers.

    6. As an attorney, you should know:
      "The federal government has never won a sedition case against militia-types, white supremacists, or neo-Nazis. Since World War I, they have won numerous seditious conspiracy cases against Puerto Rican independentistas, communists and others on the left, but no one on the radical right has ever been convicted of plotting to overthrow by force of arms the government of the United States."

      My point was that in the end, "rights" are actually determined by who is willing to fight for them. The British learned it several hundred years ago.

      Hopefully, it will not come to that.

      What irritates gun owners about the approach you and many others take is that it is a "one size fits all solution". You might read Paul Heroux's comments about this approach. Mr. Heroux is a very well educated legislator from the Attleboro area. I think we would all enjoy a lot more success in regards to reducing gun crime and other gun problems by developing targeted solutions, rather than the current approach being used.

      Think of it this way: It appears that on a national level, very little progress is going to be made to really protect children. None is going to be made to reduce gun crime. Wouldn't it be better to get people working on real solutions?

    7. Hi again TR,
      All laws are to some extent a one size fits all approach. Everyone wants to protect children, but the trouble arises when we cannot agree on the best approaches. I don't know Mr. Heroux, but look forward to reading his bill. I expect you agree that whatever MA does ultimately doesn't change the national picture, whether it's Mr. Linsky's approach or Mr. Heroux's or someone else's. We need federal background checks for all purchases and comprehensive federal trafficking enforcement.

      Just because nobody on the radical right has yet to be convicted of sedition doesn't mean it will never happen.

      Hi Jenny,
      I reject the notion that supporting common sense gun control legislation in any way, even remotely, encourages violence. Quite the opposite. Indeed, all legislation currently under consideration contemplates some degree of grandfathering.

      Thanks for bringing up drunk driving deaths. Shannon Watts, the founder of 1MM4GC, has stated many times that she hopes her group will do for gun violence what MADD did in the eighties and early nineties for drunk driving. MADD directed legislative focus to drunk driving penalties, alcohol blood content limits, and made the idea of designated drivers mainstream. MADD was also instrumental in getting server liability statutes passed. MADD never pushed for a full on return to alcohol prohibition, just as 1MM4GC doesn't seek a full on prohibition on firearms. The MADD model wasn't perfect, but it worked.

      Hi Matt, Even Justice Antonin Scalia, a longtime supporter of gun rights, and the most influential voice on the right wing of the Supreme Court, has written more than once that the Second Amendment leaves room for limits and regulations. That's settled law. Your assertion that a liability insurance requirement constitutes treason is laughable.

      Hi RJ, I am unaware of any current or pending legislation requiring raids on the homes of citizens. Indeed a warrantless intrusion would run afoul of the 4th Amendment.
      Such alarmist, neo-Stalinist fantasies are good for one thing only—selling ads on Fox News and similar programs. Ultimately breaches of all licensing laws, are secondary violations. E.g., Nobody cites you for failing to drive without a license until you are stopped for some other reason.

      It's ironic that so many voices from the right have no problem with watering down of 4th Amendment rights that started under G.W. Bush and has continued under Obama. Protection from unwarranted search and seizure was, in the founders' view, one of the very most important rights.

      Hi SOAS, You are the second person to comment about bestiality legislation. I confess I was not aware that my home state of MA recently considered such measures, and I am almost afraid to research the extent of our state's animal rape problem.

      As for crime (and/or murder) rates, I think it's important, when quoting such statistics to state whether one means the total number of incidents or the number of incidents relative to population. By the latter metric, MA does quite well measured against the other 49 states.

  6. Can you tell me what the liability is in that's being insured against? How would it have prevented Newtown? Also, can you tell me what the storage laws in MA already are?

    1. Hi Paul,
      Liability for accidents caused by a firearm; liability for negligent use of a firearm; liability for failing to secure a firearm (which may or may not have prevented or lessened Newtown). The NRA already endorses a few different voluntary liability insurance products. They also endorse a *very* narrowly drawn voluntary type of coverage which is designed to reimburse a defendant who uses a firearms self defense defense, but only if that defendant is acquitted. I.e. If the jury deems the defendant escalated the incident and rejects the affirmative defense of self defense, then the insurance won't pay.

  7. Great question about researching laws. Below is the MA statute on firearms storage. Our state laws are easy to look up for anyone with an internet connection. Just type in "MA state law" and the topic you wish to search.

    We in MA are far ahead of the curve nationally in terms of firearms storage legislation:

    MA statutes, current or amended, would not affect CT. What *might* have prevented the Newtown massacre would have been a CT or federal statute, requiring Ms. Lanza to store her high capacity weapons in a secure location off her premises. She also *might* have been deterred from teaching her unstable son to handle the weapons by a law attaching stricter liability. It's obviously impossible to know her thought process.

    My hope, shared by many who support the Linsky Bill, is that MA's present and future strict gun control laws will become model legislation for the nation. Liability insurance would cover the registered owner of a firearm against financial liability in the event his/her firearm is used to commit a crime, or is used to cause accidental harm, injury or death.

    1. "Liability insurance would cover the registered owner of a firearm against financial liability in the event his/her firearm is used to commit a crime, or is used to cause accidental harm, injury or death."

      wrong, it's a poll tax...

      (google the term "poll tax" if you don't understand that reference)

    2. Many observers have argued that mandatory liability insurance would be legal under the taxation power, especially now that the USSC has used taxation power to uphold the ACA. It's being considered in other states, and indeed Mr. Linsky found himself on the front page of the NYT this past week in this context:

  8. Mari, you haven't answered the question about liability insurance. Once again, what is the liability here? Think in terms of car insurance. The liability that is insured is the possibility of the owner of the vehicle doing something negligent and causing harm to a 2nd party. Can you name a case in MA within the last 20 years where a properly licensed gun owner has caused harm in a way that liability insurance would come into play? And do you really think the insurance company would actually pay? They would stipulate clauses in the contract that would insulate them from any chance of actually having to pay out on the policy.

    As for MA laws, no, it's not really that easy. I know the laws in MA extremely well and even DAs in the state have been tripped up by them (one argued that 18yos can buy handguns legally in the commonwealth). In short though, the MA storage laws, based on a recent court case, require firearms to be stored in a locked container within a locked container where it's not reasonably possible for an unauthorized person to enter. In simple terms, this means the gun has to be locked in a safe within a locked home an unlicensed people in the home do not know the combination. That sounds great and all but nobody has built a safe yet that a determined person can't break into with the right tools.

    Storing guns offsite? Where is there a facility for that? Mr. Linsky has stated they should be stored at gun clubs. I'd be happy to give you a tour of the gun club I belong to but they do not have the facilities for that. The construction and insurance costs of such a facility would close the club. Now, since some chiefs of police in MA stipulate a gun club membership as a prerequisite for a gun license, people wishing to exercise their constitutional rights would then be caught in a catch-22. Further, do you really want a large quantity of guns stored in a building which is far removed from any road and police don't have good access to? What a great target for well organized thieves who want to steal a bunch of guns. Seems rather counterproductive don't you think?

    Mari, you seem well intentioned but you're willingness to put onerous burdens on gun owners in MA, who are already subject to laws that cover all the problems you want to solve is off putting. You haven't answered most of the questions I've posed (like why should police have larger magazines than properly licensed gun owners?) and that shows a lack of education on firearms in general.

    Finally, here's a few things you should read or listen to:

    and finally, even Joe Biden doesn't think any of this will do much:

    I have a daughter in elementary school whom I adore. Nobody would like to prevent another Newtown more than I would. However, all the things that Linsky and Patrick have proposed, that you're trying to further, will prevent another one and all they'll do is give people false comfort. I'm sure you're against arming teachers but nobody in the state has brought up non-lethal measures that administrators could be trained on and carry, like pepper spray or tasers and none of the politicians are putting mental health as their foremost strategy.

    1. I understand and share your concerns about your child's safety. And I agree that no matter what we here in MA do, meaningful safety improvements will require some kind of national action especially on background checks, trafficking enforcement and magazine size. If we cannot eliminate violence, surely we can try to eliminate damage.

      Though I support Sen. Feinstein's bill, I am realistic about its chances for passage in this Congress.

      I did answer your question about police above, but it may have posted to another piece of the thread: in short, I think the police should have whatever they need, and yes, that includes access to large magazines.

      Thanks for your kind invitation. I'd be happy to join you for a tour (assuming your club is in the Boston area). Many gun clubs around the country do store large quantities of weapons and heists are not common because well run clubs undertake reasonable security measures. Perfect? No. But not a bad starting point. The American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a stand on gun storage. They recommend no firearms of any type be kept in a home with children.

      The Linsky bill does address the mental health issue you raise for background checks conducted here in MA. We should try to prevent the mentally ill from possessing guns. But this cannot be the centerpiece of comprehensive gun violence prevention. The mentally ill are ultimately more likely to be victims of, rather than perpetrators of, violent crime. Focusing mainly on mental illness does nothing more than offer false comfort of a different flavor. As does the wrong headed notion of arming teachers. Armed guards—not teachers, but actual trained guards— failed to stop the massacre at Columbine.

      As it stands now, though, the USA and other industrialized nations have a certain number of dangerous mentally ill citizens. But only the USA allows access them access to assault weapons.

      Perhaps the middle ground could include a stricter federal background check for certain types of weapons? Just thinking aloud here...

      If Joe Biden is right, then we will all need to take comfort that doing nothing would be even worse than not doing much.

  9. Dear Ms. Passananti,
    first, I would like to apologize for my bad english. It is my third language, and I do not master it completely at this point.
    I imigrated from France, a few years ago, legally may I add. I came to this country for several reasons, and one of the most important ones was the freedoms this country offers. Unfortunately, my first "stop" in the US was MA, where I lived for 3 years. Freedom was nowhere to be found there, so I chose to move to New Hampshire, which remedied my problem of lack of liberties. THis said, I urge you to pay my country a visit. France has strict gun laws. VERY strict. Now, if your vacation takes you to Marseille, you may want to take a closer look. The city is a mess. Gangs everywhere. And guess what? They all have guns. The automatic kind, the military assault kind that you so wish to vilify. This should show you that criminals will always find a way to circumvent the law, and get ahold of firearms, regardless of laws prohibiting them from ownership.
    Now, as an "America newbie", please be so kind to answer me a question. Do you believe that the gang members you are talking about, will suddenly stop killing each other just because they wouldn't have guns anymore? kinda like "Hey, feel free to sell your drugs on my turf, I can't shoot you anyway?"
    Why is it that democrats always seem to target the second amendment, and impose "reasonable" restrictions on law abiding gun owners (not on the non-law abiding, I believe I made that clear already)? You seem to pick and chose the amendments of the bill of rights that suit you, and and try to take apart those you do not like? What if someone would restrict you from writing your blog, because it is about politics? Let only the people with an at least 2 year degree in political science or law talk about politics. The rest should stick to cooking receipes. Wouldn't that be a reasonable restriction to your first amendment right of free speech? Guess what, ladies on this site: It isn't all about you. No, really. There's more to America then the needs of urban moms.
    I realise this is your blog, and that my coment here will probably not stay on here for long, but I thought I'd let you know how I feel.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Welcome to this side of the pond. I hope you will like your new home in NH.

      I have visited Marseilles, though it was a decade ago. Marseilles shares the plight of many urban melting plots. Poverty and crime indeed coexist in many such places. To answer your question: No law will prevent all crime, but I will point out that France has fortunately not endured an epidemic of Newtown style gun massacres, and I believe that's largely due to their sensible gun laws.

      The rights conferred by the Second Amendment, like all the other rights bestowed by the Constitution, are not absolute. Indeed, the right wing of the Supreme Court went out of its way in both major recent gun decisions (cases called Heller and McDonald) to state that gun rights may be regulated and limited. This is why background checks are legal, for example. To use your speech example, it is illegal to use speech to knowingly endanger the public safety. I.e. The most classic example: You cannot yell "FIRE!" in a crowded building where there is no fire.

  10. Fortunately there are some 300 million guns in the nation; and to a good many responsible gun owners selling them is no more complicated than selling a set of used tires for a car.

    Gun control in Massachusetts is utterly futile. From any part of the state you are an hours drive from a state that you can walk into a pawn shop, buy a .44 magnum revolver, load it, tuck it into your waistband, and conceal it under a shirt...and you haven't yet broken a law. What's that you say? Only if you are an in state resident can you do that? Well a rough economy leaves plenty of folks looking for cash who don't particularly care.

    Normal capacity weapons aren't thought of as anything to be persecuted their either where cooler more informed heads prevail. An hours drive.. and thoughtless legislation, totally and utterly bankrupt of insight; are all that prevent those who would seek to be able to defend hearth and home, themselves and their loved ones legally... from becoming criminals under an unconstitutional law.

    Also, in third world nations, people build zip guns from common materials. Here in the united states?
    An entire industry is dedicated to the support of building weapons for personal use only in the home.

    You can now print entire 30 round magazines for an AR from a file off the internet.
    God Bless America, and god save the constitution, and republic from cowards who would trade liberty for a false sense of security.

    I refer to you to the jpfo for the consequences of such naivete. You are opening the door for a life under tyranny for your children.

    I conclude with a quote from everyone favorite genocidal dictator, Adolf Hitler. You can claim that you intend to make a better world for your children, which may be your intention but your naivete will only help men like him.
    "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. "

    1. I completely agree that MA legislation is secondary in effect to a comprehensive federal approach on backgrounds checks and trafficking. The individual states can only do so much. But I subscribe to the position, shared by over half the voting public in recent polls, that an assault rifle is unnecessary for home protection.

  11. If someone breaks into my home, how is my ar-15 going to protect me if it is locked somewhere else? Before you tell me to use my pistol, I don't have one. My Ar-15 is the only gun I have.



    1. Hi Jan, and thanks for stopping by. You raise a key point in this debate: it's always very contentious and controversial to propose the ban of a popular product.

      Speaking hypothetically and just for myself, if the rifle you own were to be banned at some date in the future, I believe the ban should include a buyback provision. I.e. If I wrote the law, you would be compensated for turning in the to-be-banned gun. You could presumably purchase a non-banned one with the cash. A program like this worked quite well in 1994 in Australia.

      All best to you too.

  12. In regards to your claim that more gun control laws prevent crime (aside from controlling law abiding people), Do you happen to know the murder rate with firearms in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, or out west like Wyoming, Montana or Utah?

    According to statistics in 2010, they are as follows:
    "Murders with a gun (no distinction in the type"

    #1 Vermont: 2 gun murders %28.6 gun ownership
    #3 New Hampshire: 5 gun Murders %38.5 gun ownership
    #7 Maine: 11 gun murders 45.8% gun ownership
    #30 Massachusetts: 118 gun murders %56.5 gun ownership (shocked by the % myself)

    #4 Wyoming: 5 gun murders %62.5 gun ownership
    #9 Montana: 12 gun murders %57.1 gun ownership

    Out of all those states listed, Mass has the tightest gun control laws, yet has the highest number of murders with a gun. If you sort the data to murders per 100k of population, mass is still very far down the list. States like California, New York, Illinois, and Michigan have some of the strongest gun control in the country, yet have the worst rates of murders by guns.
    I know the link is Wikipedia, but if you search the FBI crime stats you will get the same results, this is just easier to see and sort.

    As a gun owner, I do not like gun crime as much as you do. I feel it makes me a target to stereotyping as mentioned earlier about us men having penis envy over guns. Guns are my hobby, I am a competitive shooter with these "scary black rifles", and any new laws will single handedly wipe out my sport. We need laws that will stop criminals, the ones who do not follow the law, not the law abiding citizens of this country. Why should honest citizens have to pay for a criminals bad behavior? Why should an entire country suffer for the crime ridden, congested metropolitan areas? National laws do not solve the problem, we had 10 years of proof that any ban will not stop crime. We need to focus on keeping violent people behind bars, and not letting them out on parole.

    1. Hi M.S., and thanks for stopping by.

      Let's start with the penis envy comment (because who wouldn't start there?) and work upwards. I didn't come up with the Man Card ad; I just cited it in response to an earlier comment.

      I also have no desire to wipe out competitive shooting. I imagine it can be a fun, challenging and rewarding hobby.

      I heard Austin Dorr, a highly decorated (former world record holder) trap shooter (and Korean War vet and Purple Heart recipient who was shot in the legs with an AK-47 in combat) speak in favor of an assault weapons ban at an event hosted by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He referred to the ar-15 as a "killing machine" that was unnecessary for a civilian to own, and he went on for quite a while about how he loves target shooting. He sounded confident that a ban wouldn't affect his sport, and said many times he loves his guns. He's also a lifelong republican and a former president of the American Hunting and Shooting Association, hardly a bleeding heart liberal by anyone's measure.

      He did share your, and my, enthusiasm for keeping violent offenders behind bars. Rep. Linsky's bill would increase sentences for those convicted of gun crimes in MA.

      The total crime stats do indeed show that sparsely populated states have less total crime, which is unsurprising. The western states you mention may not have as much crime as some other states, but they have gun death rates among the highest in the nation. Numbers can be manipulated, of course, but if one trend is clear it's that the presence of either a low population, or strict gun laws, or both, can drive down total gun deaths.

      MA was had the third lowest gun death rate in the nation (the best was Hawaii, the others in the top five were RI, NY and NJ:

      The highest gun death rates were in Alaska, Wyoming, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, where gun ownsership hover around 60% of households. THe VPC claims the rate for MA is 13%, the governor's office says 20%.

  13. Interesting that you want to insure a civil right - and by the way, it is a civil right to keep and bear arms, whether you want to buy into this or not.

    Now, before you pick the above statement apart, a question - what other civil rights would you like to see "registered and insured" before an American is allowed to practice them? How about religion? Sure, you can say religion wasn't meant to kill people, but history dictates that its the source of millions upon millions of deaths across the world through wars and through its very practice?

    How about the press? Whats black and white and red all over? Newspapers, television media, radio and blogs have all been cited in the past for "irresponsible" rhetoric - Abu Gharab's prison scandal and ensuing photographic expose in the media, doubtlessly endangered US personnel abroad. Nancy Grace's reporting on a case may have inadvertently drove a woman to suicide (re: vodka mom) and of course, the rush to judgement over the Benghazi tragedy had millions of morons beleiving that a video mocking Islam was responsible for the death of a US ambassador.

    So I covered speech, the press, about assembly? Al Sharpton, before he was the emaciated host of yet another MSNBC trash tabloid show, was a NYC rabble rouser who hated Jews. Protesting a car accident that led to the death of a young black child, he incited a riot that resulted in many injuries and one death. Hmm, that could be hate crime insurance, protest insurance....see where Im going? By the way, Im an activist and a freelance writer who is of the notion that NO speech, NO assembly, NO religion and NO expression - no matter how vociferously I disagree with it, should be banned, outlawed or prohibited via legislative fiats, such as insurance requirements.

    And protests lead me to my point. You come on and tell us that Linsky's bill has wide support, yet your rally on the state house, with Linsky gathered some 100-200 people. I was at a rally, spoke at it in fact, on the same steps of the state house -- we had just over 2,000 people out there in support of the second amendment and specifically against Rep Linsky's bill. Our rallies were exactly ONE week apart.

    SO to assume you have the lock on this discussion or even more laughably, that its going to be supported by oh so liberal MA, is to underestimate the dedication we have to our rights.

    If you, representative Linsky and others were serious about preventing gun crime, you'd have an actual discussion about the root causes of violence in our country - they include not only mental health, which the president paid short shrift to, but to the decline in our culture AND the inability of parents to *gasp* parent their children.

    Oh and the picture on the NES site was that of Ralphie, from "A Chrstmas Story" - the AR 15 was obviously PhotoShopped in over the Red Ryder BB gun from the film. Get a sense of humor.

    1. Hi, Of course the picture was photoshopped. I question the taste and timing in a public forum (this picture wasn't pulled from a private discussion and it was posted nine days after Newtown). At no time was I concerned for little Ralphie's safety. ;)

      The root cause of gun violence is easy access to guns.

      33,000 Americans die by gunshot wounds in this country every year (i.e. that number doesn't include war deaths). That's about ten 9/11's a year. No other industrialized country comes close. The 2nd amendment does indeed confer a civil right, but it's settled law that the right maybe regulated. As Antonin Scalia wrote, the right to bear arms is not without limit.

      I don't believe Rep. Linsky's bill is a "lock." Nor are any of the federal measures under discussion. In writing about them, I'm not trying to reach those who have already made up their minds to oppose it.

      I didn't spend much time before Newtown thinking about gun policy.

      I'm writing to readers and citizens who never thought much about gun policy before Newtown. The fact is that the majority of households in MA don't own guns. I'm going to make a safe assumption that some unknown number of those households support increased restrictions. Just anecdotally, I never heard a word for or against guns from any moms of small kids I know until Newtown. Now such discussions are common. This time is different.

      The volume of comments I've received from gun owners opposed to any new regulations surprises me greatly.

      If those opposed to sensible gun control feel so secure in the correctness of their position, why would they bother reading one mom's little blog? And it is a little blog. I am not the Huffington Post here.

      I speak only for myself, and not for any group, party, or nonprofit. Why do so many gun control opponents find my personal views worth their time?