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Old 04-17-2013, 03:51 PM  
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Expanded background checks for gun sales fails in Senate

Expanded background checks for gun sales fails in Senate, delivering blow to Newtown families and Obama

WASHINGTON – Compromise legislation to expand mandatory background checks for gun sales -- a key element of the federal response to the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. – failed Wednesday afternoon in the US Senate.

The inability of President Obama and Democratic leaders to round up the required 60 votes in favor of enhanced background checks dealt a striking defeat to a major initiative of the president’s second term, falling short despite numerous pleas and trips to Washington by families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, whose children were murdered five months ago by a lone gunman with a semi-automatic assault rifle.

The Senate voted Wednesday afternoon to block the first of nine amendments to Obama’s gun control bill, a compromise forged between senators Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, and Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania to expand background checks for gun buyers.

Despite the bipartisan negotiations, the amendment failed when only 54 senators voted to proceed, falling six votes short. All New England senators voted yes except for Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New Hampshire.

“Shame on you!” a spectator in the gallery yelled out in the chamber, prompting a gavel for order.

Erica Lafferty, 27, the daughter of Dawn Hochsprung, principal of Sandy Hook who lost her life in the shooting, said she was disappointed by the vote “but the fact that it got to the floor is good.”

“I’m confident that it will be back, and I also know that I will be here when it does come back,” Lafferty said. “We’re not going away.”

Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, praised Manchin and Toomey for their efforts during the debate preceding the series of votes.

“You did the right thing,” McCain said. “What they have tried to do today I think is an act that should be appreciated by those of us who many times avoid taking the tough decisions.”

Senator Christopher Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat in favor of gun control, spoke out against the outsized influence of the gun lobby.

“The longer that I’ve spent in this place, the more I’m convinced that there are people who actually do believe that we should just go back to the days of the wild, wild west,” Murphy said, “that we should usher in a new era of gun control Darwinism in which the good guys have guns, the bad guns, and we just hope that the good guys shoot the bad guys.”

Because of senate procedural rules, a 60-vote threshhold was required for each of the nine amendments to proceed. The other amendments include an assault weapons ban and limits on high capacity magazines.

The gun debate has been marked by intense lobbying on both sides, big-spending influence campaigns targeting individual senators, and some vitriolic attacks, particularly by some groups opposed to firearms restrictions.

Groups beyond the National Rifle Association, the traditional representative of the gun lobby, have played a major role in the debate. The National Association for Gun Rights used email alerts, online videos, and a Facebook page to convey mocking imagery that targeted individual senators.

In a series of Facebook posts, the group showed Obama as a puppeteer, controlling the strings of Toomey. Stamped in red ink is, “Toomey Sold Out Your Gun Rights.”

The gun rights group similarly depicted all 16 Republicans who voted last week to prevent a GOP filibuster and move forward on the gun legislation debate. The 16 also are shown with their faces on sticks, tagged by Facebook users with unfriendly names. Senator Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, is “Socialist.” Senator Tom Coburn, of Oklahoma, is “communist #9.” Senator John Hoeven, of South Dakota, is “Judas Bastard.”

Senator Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire, is “liberal [expletive] 1” while Senator Susan Collins, of Maine, is “liberal [expletive] 2.”

Polls show that nearly 90 percent of Americans support a strong system of background checks for gun purchases. But the looming failure of gun-control legislation illustrates how vocal minorities are exerting strong influence on congressional debates by targeting individual senators with outside pressure, channeled through Internet organizing.

Some of that organizing directly targets senators who seek compromise.

“NO DEALS, NO GUN CONTROL,” the National Association for Gun Rights blasts on its website.

Few have experienced as much heat as Collins, a Maine Republican who has built a reputation for being moderate and open to compromise. A host of groups in recent days have taken out ads in Maine trying to win her over, including groups supporting gun-control legislation.

Organizing for Action, an offshoot of President Obama’s campaign network, ran an ad Friday on the Bangor Daily News website with this message: “Tell Senator Collins: It’s time to close background check loopholes.” That ad came a day after a full-page ad from the National Rifle Association that asked, “Will Obama’s gun control proposals actually work? His own experts say, ‘No.’”

The group on Monday posted a doctored and unflattering photo of Collins with her eyes bulging as if she were a zombie. Within an hour, 5,413 people liked it on Facebook and 490 people had commented on it.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, Wednesday morning criticized the president for using the Newtown, Conn., families “as props.”

At a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, he said the legislation would not have prevented the Sandy Hook shootings, and he criticized the vote as being mostly for show.

“A lot of things in Washington are window dressing, it’s a dog and pony show, it’s a parade, it’s theatrics, it’s histrionics, all to show people that something bad happened — which it did. Something terribly tragic happened,” he said.

But, he added, “None of the proposals really would have addressed the tragedy.”

http://www.boston.com/politicalintel...E3M/story.html
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:29 PM   #166
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Yeah, we're talking about the 1% here. Law is often at the margins.



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Old 04-17-2013, 10:29 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by La literatura View Post
By closing the loopholes and making all transactions go through mandatory background checks, more dealers are going to comply, resulting in an increased hardship to people who want to purchase a gun by skirting around the law.
Like I mentioned before the hardship on the number of people who want to skirt the law is potentially there, BUT I think we can all agree that the vast majority of private party transactions are done by people that are perfectly allowed to own firearms.

You increase the hardship of people wanting to skirt the law by a questionable amount that all current indications say is likely minimal, but what isn't mentioned is that you also increase the hardship of all the people who want to buy private party and do so legally.

For some of those people the extra cost of the background check will simply price them out of buying an inexpensive firearm.

Now if we can show that extra background checks will have a statistically significant decrease in criminal access to firearms then you have a legitimate argument. But if we can't all that's happening is private party pricing is increasing for all the legal people which will reduce demand for firearms.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
It also puts an increased hardship on someone who doesn't want to break the law and is merely exercising their 2nd amendment.
That hardship (background checks, which you earlier claimed were not a hardship in the slightest) is already in existence for those who don't want to break the law and are perfectly happy to go through a background check.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:32 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
strawman argument
The inverse of the "You just want to raise prices on guns" argument? I take it you didn't find Crazy's argument too effective either, then?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:32 PM   #170
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Okay.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #171
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Can all background checks be a pretext to confiscate guns later? Sure because it makes every transaction have a paper trail and if the gov were to later require that all 4473 forms be turned in you would have a registration.

That said that's not the actual issue with this bill. The problem with this legislation(and frankly much if not most legislation out there regardless of topic), is that you have what people claim it's for and what it's actually for.

It is claimed that this legislation is to prevent criminals from getting access to firearms. The lions share of data on the issue of background checks is they are of limited value because it's easy for criminals to get around them if they want to. The most commonly mentioned method that is used is straw purchases. But the reality is even if all straw purchases were caught, we have such an inability to catch people smuggling drugs why would anyone think we could stop people from smuggling gun parts(i.e. in many cases generic hunks of metal). Simply put it won't have a measurable impact on criminal availability of firearms. Just ask the Mexicans.

They say the intent of the law is to get guns out of the hands of criminals and to the average person that sound reasonable which is why it's claimed. But since it is unlikely to have any measurable effect on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals are the politicians just stupid or do they have another intent behind this?

So the one thing we can clearly show that this bill will do is increase the price of all private party firearms transactions by $30-$50 on average. Part of that is the cost of running the background check and part of that is the time that a licensed dealer has to spend to do the paperwork. Now basic economic theory says, if you raise the price of something you generally lower the demand. Consider the low end of firearms purchases say $200-$300, forcing them to go to a dealer will add 10-20% to the cost of the purchase. For some of the lower income people this will directly impact if they can afford to buy a used firearm or not. This policy will likely have a measurable impact on demand for lower priced firearms and I suspect will price some of the lower income people out of buying firearms. This isn't rocket science basic economics shows this.

So ask yourself what the actual intent of this bill is, to raise hurdles on criminals getting access to guns where history has shown they will get around them fairly easily. Or is the intent to raise the price of 20-40% of firearms transactions that are private party where economics shows if you raise the pricing you lower demand and reduce the number of people buying guns?

You can decide which one is the more likely intent.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #172
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Like I mentioned before the hardship on the number of people who want to skirt the law is potentially there, BUT I think we can all agree that the vast majority of private party transactions are done by people that are perfectly allowed to own firearms.

You increase the hardship of people wanting to skirt the law by a questionable amount that all current indications say is likely minimal, but what isn't mentioned is that you also increase the hardship of all the people who want to buy private party and do so legally.

For some of those people the extra cost of the background check will simply price them out of buying an inexpensive firearm.

Now if we can show that extra background checks will have a statistically significant decrease in criminal access to firearms then you have a legitimate argument. But if we can't all that's happening is private party pricing is increasing for all the legal people which will reduce demand for firearms.
So it seems to me that the price is a big issue to you, and that lower cost of guns is more important than the alleged (unproven) safety of people from those who exploit the currently existing loopholes and commit crimes.

That's a values system issue there. I think a lot of people would agree with me over you, though.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:38 PM   #173
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The inverse of this is: does the opposition really care about keeping people safe, or do they just want guns to be cheaper so they can sell to more inner city gangs who can shoot each other?
Anyone who owns guns whose number 1 or number 2 rule about them isn't safety likely won't own them for long. Safety is an integral part of responsibility.

The problem is you have people throwing up hurdles to make things harder...rather than safer. In all of these proposals you can prove harder but I have yet to see them be able to prove 'safer'. See when you make things harder than some of those 99% of people that are perfectly legal will choose not to purchase.

If you can prove, honestly, safer then fine, but you haven't done that. Making laws because we don't like things isn't making people safer. It's discrimination pure and simple.

Both the left and the right like to ban things because they don't like them and they are both 110% wrong when they do so. It is bigotry although people tend not to like to call it that because no one wants to be called a bigot even if they are acting like one.

It's hard to be even, but one of the tools we have is to use evidence that is collected to in an even and honest manner to try to..

A. understand a problem
B. propose a solution
C. evaluate if that solution is even going to work

If you're proposing a law to prohibit something without going through those three steps you are very likely promoting discrimination. Because that tends to happen when people make laws because they don't like something.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:39 PM   #174
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You also think that the overwhelming majority of people who want increased background checks really desire it not because it could increase the safety of Americans, but because it would increase the price of guns?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:44 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by CrazyPhuD View Post
Anyone who owns guns whose number 1 or number 2 rule about them isn't safety likely won't own them for long. Safety is an integral part of responsibility.

The problem is you have people throwing up hurdles to make things harder...rather than safer. In all of these proposals you can prove harder but I have yet to see them be able to prove 'safer'. See when you make things harder than some of those 99% of people that are perfectly legal will choose not to purchase.

If you can prove, honestly, safer then fine, but you haven't done that. Making laws because we don't like things isn't making people safer. It's discrimination pure and simple.

Both the left and the right like to ban things because they don't like them and they are both 110% wrong when they do so. It is bigotry although people tend not to like to call it that because no one wants to be called a bigot even if they are acting like one.

It's hard to be even, but one of the tools we have is to use evidence that is collected to in an even and honest manner to try to..

A. understand a problem
B. propose a solution
C. evaluate if that solution is even going to work

If you're proposing a law to prohibit something without going through those three steps you are very likely promoting discrimination. Because that tends to happen when people make laws because they don't like something.
Your argument is that if the background check loopholes are closed, it will increase costs, which will cause fewer people to purchase a gun. Your belief is that even a $30 increase could 'outprice' someone who doesn't think the value of their gun ownership is worth that much.

While this makes sense, let's recognize it for what it's worth: a hypothetical theory that may not actually represent reality.

What makes your hypothetical theory any more valid than mine, which also makes sense and is based on theory?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:47 PM   #176
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You also think that the overwhelming majority of people who want increased background checks really desire it not because it could increase the safety of Americans, but because it would increase the price of guns?
Not at all. I just think that expanding background checks will do nothing to make anyone safer. I think there is one thing going on. The liberal left is using a horrific act of a derranged lunatic to further their agenda on making it as difficult as possible to prevent gun ownership to law abiding citizens.

I believe guns are just tools if anybody was serious about curtailing violence they would go after the root cause of the problem. The root cause of the problem is not the accessability of guns.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:49 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by 2bikemike View Post
Not at all. I just think that expanding background checks will do nothing to make anyone safer. I think there is one thing going on. The liberal left is using a horrific act of a derranged lunatic to further their agenda on making it as difficult as possible to prevent gun ownership to law abiding citizens.

I believe guns are just tools if anybody was serious about curtailing violence they would go after the root cause of the problem. The root cause of the problem is not the accessability of guns.
What's the root cause of the problem?

Also, you are attributing to the 'liberal left' something that isn't true: they don't want to prevent gun ownership to law abiding citizens. As a Democrat, I'm completely fine with law abiding citizens having guns. I'm not fine with just any criminal/mentally ill person to exploit some lame loophole to bypass the background check.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:50 PM   #178
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So it seems to me that the price is a big issue to you, and that lower cost of guns is more important than the alleged (unproven) safety of people from those who exploit the currently existing loopholes and commit crimes.

That's a values system issue there. I think a lot of people would agree with me over you, though.
Let's be clear I don't care about price, ever since transaction I've done with firearms has been with a background check. My point actually had nothing to do with price.

My point had to do with analyzing what the intent of the law was about. I'm not sure if you're aware of this but many politicians will tell you whatever they feel they need to tell you to get what they want. Be that being elected or getting some personal legislation implemented.

In the non political world we tend to call this marketing. Do you believe everything that a commercial tells you? No of course not because they are trying to sell you something so they'll tell you whatever you need to hear to buy their product.

Politicians are the same way, except instead of selling products they are selling ideas. They wouldn't be where they are if they couldn't market very effectively to people.

The economics argument is merely the simplest one that provides evidence of what the real intent likely is. Of course it's possible that it's purely coincidence that this legislation would succeed in reducing demand for all firearms among legal owners but maybe that's just an accident?

I mean government has never really used increased pricing to try to prevent people from doing something they don't approve of(*cough* cigarette taxes *cough*).

Look I don't ask that you believe me, all I ask is that you always question what you're told. Ask questions even ones you may not like and find your own answer.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:55 PM   #179
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Let's be clear I don't care about price, ever since transaction I've done with firearms has been with a background check. My point actually had nothing to do with price.
It seemed to me that you did argue that increasing price on guns, and thereby decreasing ownership for even law abiding citizens, was a more likely intention of increased background checks than safety of people from gun violence.

Quote:
Look I don't ask that you believe me, all I ask is that you always question what you're told. Ask questions even ones you may not like and find your own answer.
I'm interested in preventing criminals and mentally ill people from using a background check loophole to obtain dangerous weapons. How can I put my interest into action without being considered by you to be some liberal whack job that wants to put you on some government-watched list that circles around your house every morning?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:58 PM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La literatura View Post
Your argument is that if the background check loopholes are closed, it will increase costs, which will cause fewer people to purchase a gun. Your belief is that even a $30 increase could 'outprice' someone who doesn't think the value of their gun ownership is worth that much.

While this makes sense, let's recognize it for what it's worth: a hypothetical theory that may not actually represent reality.

What makes your hypothetical theory any more valid than mine, which also makes sense and is based on theory?
Well because all honesty what I'm saying isn't a hypothetical theory it's elementary economics. If you want a better example just check out the simple study on cigarettes, product that is addictive and likely to have inelastic demand, versus firearms which for most people are optional and likely fairly price sensitive in a normal market.

http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2004-1/2004-1-09.htm
Cigarette use

Cigarette pricing


This really isn't rocket science.

But at this point if you don't see what I'm saying I'm not sure I can do any more to reach you.

If you raise the price of anything you're going to lower the number of people buying it. The point is the intent of the legislation isn't to make fewer criminals able to buy guns...it's to make fewer numbers of all people to buy guns.

Which in all honestly is fine if that's the law you want to propose, just be honest about it and don't deceive the American people.
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