Gun Laws: A New Litmus Test For Surgeon General?

Abortion has been a litmus test for U.S. Supreme Court nominees since the hearings for Robert Bork 27 years ago. Now, some doctors are worried that anything a physician says about guns may prove perilous for nominees to be U.S. surgeon general. Will Dr. Vivek Murthy, an internist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, set the precedent?

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama's nominee for U.S. Surgeon General, testified before the US Senate HELP committee on Feb. 4, 2014.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama’s nominee for U.S. Surgeon General, testified before the US Senate HELP committee on Feb. 4, 2014.

President Obama tapped Murthy to become the nation’s next top doctor in November. Early last month, the 36-year-old was on Capitol Hill for a confirmation hearing, where most of the questions were about the Affordable Care Act.

Murthy is a strong supporter of the federal law and founded a national organization originally called Doctors for Obama, now Doctors for America. His group also urged Congress to pass stricter gun laws after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. That was a point of concern during the hearing for Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee.

“You said, in your advocacy for passage of gun control, last year, that you’re ‘tired of politicians playing politics with guns, putting lives at risk because they’re scared of the NRA,’ ” Alexander said and then continued with a question: “To what extent do you intend to use the surgeon general’s office as a bully pulpit for gun control?”

“Thank you, Sen. Alexander,” Murthy said, adjusting his microphone. “To start, I do not intend to use the surgeon general’s office as a bully pulpit for gun control. That is not going to be my priority. As we spoke about, my priority and focus is going to be on obesity prevention.”

Murthy cleared the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with a vote of 13 to 9. Then, in late February, Chris Cox, director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, delivered a letter to Senate leaders opposing Murthy’s nomination.

Cox told Fox News that “Mr. Murthy’s not just a gun control supporter, he’s a gun control activist. And it’s clear that his agenda is to treat a constitutional freedom like a disease.”

Members of the National Rifle Association began calling their senators and the group said a vote for Murthy would be considered a vote against the NRA.

Some Democratic senators who are up for election have said, or signaled, that they won’t support Murthy’s nomination. The NRA’s opposition has stunned many in the public health and medical community, perhaps especially in Boston.

“It’s a ridiculous attack to claim that any doctor is an anti-gun radical for holding mainstream views and could risk disqualifying entire swaths of physicians,” said Dr. Atul Gawande, who works with Murthy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The American Medical Association and 50 statewide or medical specialty groups wrote to President Obama after the Newtown shootings, urging him to help end what they called “an epidemic of gun violence.”

“It’s completely inappropriate for it to be a litmus test,” said Dr. Robert Sege, a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center who is a point person on gun safety for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Sege listed some of the reasons he says a physician would want to reduce gun violence in the U.S.: over 7,300 adolescents and children were hospitalized in the U.S. in 2009 due to injuries from firearms and almost 1,100 of these victims were less than 15 years of age.

“The surgeon general should not have to be an outlier, someone who doesn’t follow the current recommendations and current science,” Sege said. “That would be very dangerous for the country.”

But now, as NRA opposition grows, concerns that about Murthy’s qualifications and political ties to the president are also getting more attention. Dr. Richard Carmona, surgeon general during the administration of President George W. Bush, told Obama Murthy is not ready for the job.

“In the case of the young nominee who is being considered, I think he has great potential,” Carmona said, “and this is not a criticism of him directly, but it’s a criticism of the process. This shouldn’t be a patronage position.”

Murthy’s colleagues and supporters call him a doctor’s doctor with a record of mobilizing health care workers to fight major public health problems including obesity, AIDS, diabetes and mental illness. A spokesman says Obama expects Murthy will be confirmed but adds that the White House is “recalibrating its strategy.” That might mean shoring up support for a vote or waiting until after the mid-term elections, or it may be a signal that the nomination will be withdrawn.

Update at 10 a.m.: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren didn’t respond to request for comment Tuesday. U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said, in a statement Tuesday night:

After blocking common sense gun safety legislation last year, the NRA seems willing to stop at nothing in their efforts to quash any voice calling for sensible gun safety measures. Gun violence is a public health crisis devastating families and neighborhoods in Massachusetts and across the country. It is time to end the NRA’s stranglehold on American politics and allow this nomination to move forward without interference.

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  • John Stacey

    Top 15 Causes of About 2.5 Million Deaths/Year in USA are:
    1. Heart Disease
    2. Cancer
    3. Stroke
    4. Chronic Lung Disease
    5. Accidents – cars 43,000 (but injuring 3 million)
    6. Alzheimer’s
    7. Diabetes
    8. Influenza and Pneumonia
    9. Nephritis/Kidney Disease
    10. Blood Poisoning
    11. Suicide – 40,000 (of which only half are by guns)
    12. Liver Disease
    13. Hypertension/Renal
    14. Parkinson’s Disease
    15. Homicide – 16,000 (of which 6,000 involve handguns with small capacity magazines, not large)
    And hospital induced deaths 440,000. These are rough estimates for comparison only.
    It is unfortunate that half of all suicides are carried out using guns, but limiting guns will not stop half of suicides; are just too many other options available.
    And overall danger to public from guns, even those illegally in hands of criminals, seems minimal in overall perspective.
    And danger to public from guns in hands of legal owners approaches zero.
    It would seem that focusing on some mechanical object is a whole lot easier (and cheaper) than tackling the real issue of health problems, mental and otherwise.

    • fun bobby

      take a look at boats and pools

      • John Stacey

        Right, forgot all about the huge number of kids that die every year in backyard pools, not sure of stats on that just now, but is much more than public is aware of.

        • fun bobby

          its about 6000 American children killed by boats and pools. more hunters drown while hunting than are shot

          • John Stacey

            Those moose, deer and turkeys are just such lousy shots…

          • fun bobby

            good thing we don’t have a right to arm bears

          • John Stacey

            right. they are already well armed. and could be real nasty if they had firearms! omg, just got it… what a great spoonerism! (rotflmao) Bet the guys who wrote 2nd amendment had fun with that one too.


    I think the NRA should put a giant statue of jesus with a ak47 and dead kids from the congo at his feet. I mean they are the ones that promote this right and jesus loves death and war. god bless guns cause god gave us mericans the 2nd amend. Guns are death and mean love war and killing the world sucks but it sucks worse because of the NRA and angry men,

    • fun bobby

      AK47s are commie guns promoted by leftists

    • John Stacey


  • John Stacey

    In Canada one cannot buy a handgun without showing a PAL. To get a PAL endorsed for handguns requires taking 2 RCMP safety courses and writing 2 exams based on over 400 pages of books at a cost of over $400. Few (if any) people following this legal route have ever committed any crimes involving guns. Likewise their legally securely stored guns have not been involved in crimes. Unfortunately the gun wielding criminals never have (and never will) take this legal route to gun ownership. I suspect the same applies in USA today. Guns do not commit crimes any more than cars do. It is evil and (with cars) careless people who do those things. Treat the cause, not the inanimate objects. If anyone should see this clearly, it should be the doctors themselves.

  • Chris B.

    I certainly hope it becomes a litmus test.
    Every person hoping to hold a public office should be willing to disclose their beliefs on restricting personal rights and freedoms. If a candidate feels they would be unable to effectively fulfil their duties without interfering with the liberty of Americans, they aren’t the right person for the job.

    • John Stacey

      Agree. In an ideal world. But in this one, such a candidate will be the last person to admit such :)

  • bossmanham

    Well if you’re going to be in a position in the us government you ought to hold to the constitution.

  • Thinkfreeer

    The practice of medicine does not extend to prevention of accident or violence. A physician may want to help prevent accident or violence, but it not a physician’s role to do so.

    • dust truck

      … which is exactly what he’s advocating…?

  • Thinkfreeer

    I don’t think this suggests that the NRA or others will inquire about opinions on firearms and their control for a “litmus test” for the position of surgeon general. The author suggests this might be the case following along in the same way as abortion was, and is, a common test. The issue is that Murthy has taken an activist position supporting gun control. He is a medical doctor and is entitled to have opinions in areas other than medicine. However, professionals are judged based on their opinions and beliefs – like it or not. If his aspiration was to become surgeon general, perhaps he should have just kept his moth shut on an obviously area of controversy and disagreement. If the supporters of gun control would be reasonable, maybe this would not be such an issue. But they continue to try all sorts of end runs around past practice and constitutional rights and law to get their way. Opposers of gun control rightfully oppose someone who is outspoken on the other side to be appointed to a policy setting position.

    • Joel0903

      Had he kept his mouth shut on such issues, he would not have been nominated in the first place. He is not qualified for the position based on his experience as a medical doctor who has knowledge of healthcare policy. He doesn’t have the required experience in that area.

      • Jill122

        He’s highly qualified for the job — don’t even go there. As for his tweet about guns, it was done right about the time that NRA members were being polled about background checks, high capacity magazine sales and assault-type weapons — the majority of whom wanted background checks for gun owners, wanted to limit the capacity and were willing to limit assault type weapons if we could come up with a good definition for them. It’s the NRA that’s pushing no holds barred and they do that with fear and low and no information advertising. Their business is to sell guns, all guns, any time, any where and to whatever nut shows up with the right amount of cash.

        They have zero responsibility to anything (constitution) or anyone (people) in this country. It’s about $$$. If it were about freedom and constitutional principles and even a modicum of support for victims, they would welcome a small limitation in an effort to save lives.

        Regardless, doctors’ associations, hospital associations and other physicians’ organizations have all expressed their support for Dr. Murthy’s opinions to wit: they too feel that gun violence in this country is out of control. In their respective hospitals they see the damage that’s done and they know the heartbreak and pain of losing people to needless gunshot wounds.

        Finally, that was one tweet at one time. His influence will be in the areas of heart disease and cancer.

        If the NRA wins this, won’t the sugar drink lobbyist and/or the cigarette lobbyist win the next one when the doctor says cut down or cut out soft drink consumption/cigarettes?

        • Joel0903

          Jill, you didn’t actually make a counter-argument. Why is he qualified? What, in his resume, makes him qualified for the position? I made my argument against – he’s 36 (which – unless you’re a certifiable genius and have a dozen patents on life-saving procedures that you, yourself, developed – means you don’t have the experience to hold the position he’s nominated for). He has never run a hospital. He’s never even run a department in a hospital. Look at his biography. He doesn’t have the requisite expertise to influence policy on heart disease or cancer at the highest levels. I’m not questioning that he’s an intelligent man. You don’t get to e a doctor if you’re not. He didn’t get nominated based on his experience. The only other things he’s done is support the President’s election campaigns. Is that how we decide such things now?

          I will add that my personal belief is that the position of SG should be done away with entirely. It’s superfluous and should have been shut down decades ago with its national functions rolled into HHS using existing HHS personnel.

          • Jill122

            Sorry Joel, I guess I expected you to look up his qualifications the same way I did. As for your arguments for the accomplishments he SHOULD have on his CV, that’s not in the job description. Of course, you have every right to demand those prerequisites, but I venture to say that you won’t find many candidates, AND those requirements are not necessary for the job.

            I remember back in the day when women wanted to become police officers (yes I’m that old). Many said they would not meet the qualifications. No one could expect a teeny woman to be able to hold her own on the streets. And then the courts asked those departments that were rejecting the idea just how many of the qualifications were 1) being met by men; 2) were absolutely necessary to do the job at hand. We found out that woman could do the job.

            This is a little different since none of our modern Surgeon General’s have met all of your demands and yet voila! They did the job.

            The medical community is trying to keep us healthy and alive. Guns are dangerous and I wish we could do something about their proliferation, especially the ones that can kill 15 or more people before the shooter has to reload. But it’s not a top problem. I hate it when kids find their fathers’ guns and kill each other. Even there, parents don’t get charged with abuse. Wonder if that would help change that behavior. Clearly guilt has not been enough to encourage people to hide their guns and ammo separately.

          • Joel0903

            With the first part (his experience – you’re making my argument if you actually looked up his CV). I’m posting a link to it at the bottom, in case you didn’t actually do so. It shows quite clearly that – he has no experience relative to the job at hand. However, as I think I mentioned in one of my comments, he is suitable for the job ONLY in the respect that the SG position has become not much more than a mouthpiece for the administration (whichever administration) and it’s policies.

            Do you also wish we could do something about the proliferation of automobiles. If your concern is saving lives, Jill, especially if it’s saving the lives of children, you should be much more worried about cars than guns. If a child finds a parent’s firearm and there was negligence involved, then the parent should absolutely be charged. They usually are. Notice, I mentioned nothing about “hiding” guns or ammo. There was never a need.

            A better solution is the one my grandfather used with his children, and with my cousins and I – we all respected firearms by the time we were seven or eight because he taught us how to shoot at that age. He taught us how to respect the weapons and we learned not to play with them. That’s all it took. Simple. Effective. Not lead by the government in any way. My PERSONAL belief is that if – with a pistol, 16 rounds (15 + 1 chambered) should be sufficient to kill eight people – if needed. Guns, by themselves, aren’t dangerous to anyone they shouldn’t be dangerous to. Guns and stupid people are dangerous they may accidentally harm.. however, as we’ve clearly shown through statistics (remember, there are only lies, damned lies, and statistics) – there are much more deadly accidents from other object categories than there are from firearms. You don’t seem too hate-filled over swimming pools. They kill more kids in accidents each year than firearm accidents. The best way to stop kids from drowning? Teach them to swim. The best way to stop kids from accidentally shooting themselves or others? Teach them to respect firearms and train them to use them safely and when supervised by an adult. It worked for generations.

        • fun bobby


        • John Stacey

          NRA don’t sell guns. They promote gun safety. They provide safety courses which are a required part of state license process to legally carry a gun. Few if any legal owners are involved in gun crimes. Criminals, however, bypass all that and any form of regulation. That is not the NRA’s fault at all. The NRA, like any rational beings, want the criminal and mental health issues addressed, the real core of the problem.

          • Jill122

            John, I appreciate your thoughtful response and up to a point, I agree with you 100%. The point at which we diverge is when LaPierre said that he and his members do not agree with universal background checks. I do believe it will help. I would go a step further, and make sure that everyone who owns a gun have a license and a certificate of proficiency.

            We also disagree about what the NRA does. It doesn’t sell guns, it promotes guns to its membership for the sake of gun sellers. And that’s how they make their money. They have a huge stake in keeping guns on the streets, and in keeping the country fearful so that they will buy more guns.

            As for criminals, we do what we can. But I’m not sure arming ourselves to the teeth is the way. Did you see what the NRA did in Georgia last night? I live in GA and now must be fearful everywhere I go whether it’s driving on a highway, going food shopping, going into a bar for a drink. Everywhere I go someone will be carrying a gun. Someone will lose his (mostly men) his temper and decide I don’t need to breathe any longer. And the NRA could go a long way to help stop that kind of madness and yet they don’t.

          • Joel0903

            How, exactly could the NRA stop someone from losing his temper and killing you? I suppose they could hire someone to follow you around and protect you from people who might randomly kill you because they can’t control themselves. This isn’t exactly the NRA’s purpose, however. If you are so fearful everywhere you go, there is a simple, legal, solution. Hide away from the world and the things that you fear. The world will not mind and you’ll finally feel safe. As long as no one ever breaks into your home and tries to assault you. I don’t have numbers on this, but it seems from anecdotal experience that most people who own multiple firearms are not those who purchase them from any sort of fear. My grandfather has, oh probably 30 rifles and shotguns in his gun safe (20 of which belong to an uncle, most likely – a collector who travels often and so my grandfather stores them to prevent them from being stolen when the uncle isn’t home). He also owns four pistols that I know of. None of which does he own from any sort of fear. They have multiple purposes – from home protection, to hunting, to one he purchased which is concealable so he can carry it more comfortably in public for protection if it’s needed.

          • John

            “They have a huge stake in keeping guns on the streets, and in keeping the country fearful so that they will buy more guns.”

            Really? Can you explain what the NRA does to create fear?

  • David F

    If you want sensible gun safety measures then start teaching firearms safety classes in schools. Teach kids about guns and take the mystery out of them. Now guns are more taboo in schools than drugs and alcohol, each of which are responsible for more deaths than homicides by firearms.

    You can’t even point your finger like a gun in some schools here in MA without being suspended. When I take kids shooting they can’t even mention it in school without getting a stern talking to. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    • jefe68

      Nope, what’s ridiculous is you’re belligerence about guns.
      You want to own a gun, fine. Put don’t use the 2nd amendment to bludgeon the rest of me and my family with your extreme interpretation of it.

      Which is what the NRA did to Dr. Vivek Murthy. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. The way the NRA behaves is not even close to be an advocate for gun safety.

      • Stephen Tower

        David didn’t say anything about his ‘interpetation of the second amendment’. He said that gun safety should be approached by society in the same way sex education and education on drugs and alcohol are approached. He didn’t even comment on the NRA’s opposition to Murthy’s nomination.

        In response to his rather mellow, conversational post about how education can improve safety, you’ve accused him of showing “ridiculous… belligerence about guns”, and self-righteously announced that “you people should be ashamed of yourselves”.

        There’s only one unreasonable person in this conversation, and it’s not David.

        • jefe68

          Nope, you’re wrong. Teaching about guns in schools is absurd. Yeah that NRA logo means nothing.

          I’m sick and tired of having to act like I have to walk on egg shells on this subject. Sick of the facts that the average American child has 13 times the likelihood of being murdered by a gun as a child in any other developed country. That’s a fact. We have about 300,000 guns in this country.

          This is not only about safety, it’s about common sense.
          It’s our obsession with guns and all that entails that’s way beyond gun safety. Lets talk about why we even have to debate large ammo clips, or the lack of wait times for even buying firearms. You want to call me unreasonable?
          Yes, members of the NRA should be ashamed of their organizations zealotry towards any regulations towards guns. That’s what I’m on about, the NRA. Which is the worst thing to ever happen to this nation in terms of gun control.

          • Stephen Tower

            American children are more at risk for gun violence in this country primarily because our poverty rates are much higher. Children in the U.S. are 2-4 times as likely to grow up in poverty than other OECD countries’ children. In many parts of this country, we have condemned children to grow up in what’s essentially the 3rd world. Outside of the poverty, limiting stats to ‘middle class’ and above, our rates of gun violence are only marginally higher than countries like Germany and France. Granted, most NRA members don’t give a damn about doing anything about poverty, and the lack of any opportunity outside the drug trade so many Americans are born into.

            Also, that number for guns is way low. There are .89 guns per person in this country.

            large ammo ‘clips’ (I assume you mean magazines; if you are going to cloak yourself in self-righteousness, please actually familiarize itself with the subject you are so indignant about) are irrelevant. The average shots fired per murder in the U.S. is 4. Every handgun in america, with the exception of single-shot target or hunting handguns, carries more than four rounds. The only time “high capacity” magazines show up is in the the anomalous case where someone uses one in a mass shooting (a trained shooter can swap magazines in about 3 seconds, and larger magazines are more prone to jamming, so the actual affect of the magazine size on the danger of the gun are negligible). Such mass shootings constitute a tiny fraction of the number of people killed by guns every year; the obsession with magazine size demonstrates that the gun control debate is dominated by fear of scary things rather than a realistic approach to what makes people actually safer. If you actually cared about about protecting children, you’d talk about handgun regulation. Handguns are used in the vast majority of murders in this country, including the most deadly of the big scary mass shootings that gets people so riled up.

            Wait times to buy guns are silly. If someone wants to buy a gun to kill me, they’re probably still going to want to kill me 48 hours or a week from now. Most murders are committed by people who bought their guns legally long before the crime, or illegally bought their gun on the black market, which of course would not be impacted by waiting periods. What waiting periods might do, however, is make it a hassle to buy a gun, so someone who wants to have a gun, but doesn’t feel an absolute need to have one, might decide it’s not worth the effort. It also keeps people, such as women trying to get away from an abusive relationship or dealing with a stalker, or people who work in professions that might encounter murderous people (like divorce attorneys) from getting a gun the legitimately need right away to defend themselves.

            You want to have legitimate discussions about possible policies to increase safety in this country, fine. All parties might not agree on the method, but I’m sure we agree on the goal. I’ve never met an NRA member, who when actually engaged in the subject, doesn’t support some sort of regulation of guns or policy to increase safety. Shouting “YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF YOU MONSTER” to someone suggesting teaching safety awareness about something that can be dangerous (much like sex or driving) is not a reasonable way to achieve your goal. You represented yourself as a terrible advocate for your beliefs, and made it very easy for the other side of the aisle to immediately dismiss you as a “gun-grabbing fanatic”. That doesn’t help anyone, and yes, is an unreasonable response.

          • Jill122

            You clearly haven’t checked on LaPierre recently unless his newsletter is different from other sources.

            Here: take a look at why background checks are silly and scary. (a couple of years ago he was on board).


            Hey, take a look at what Georgia did a few days ago, NRA wet dream come true. I don’t know if this story tells all, but 70% of the population did NOT want this law to pass (a few months ago). But the NRA did.


            I believe they took out the college campus portion, and I’m pretty sure that churches have to opt-in rather than opt-out of the law. So Guns Everywhere.

          • PaulD

            Knowledge is bad? Really?

            Also, we have about 200 to 300 million guns in this country.

          • David F

            You say: “Teaching about guns in schools is absurd.”

            Do you feel the same way about sex education? Should we just skip that class too and hope that kids don’t experiment and get pregnant because they don’t know any better?

            Perhaps we should skip driver’s ed as well. Why should kids know how to operate a car safely?

            How can you be against a safety class?

            The gym teacher taught everyone in my grade school (K-5) firearm safety every year. None of the kids in my school died from a firearms related accident.

            Education is never a bad thing and it’s disappointing to see someone who would prevent children from getting an education on a subject that could one day save their life.

            I question your your so called fact that American children are 13 times more likely to be murdered by a gun than in any other developed country, considering how wrong you go the estimated number of guns in the US. You said 300,000, when in reality it’s in the hundreds of millions. Where do you get your facts?

            The NRA logo next to my name means I’m a certified firearms instructor.

          • Joel0903

            It’s because every year, in the US, 30000 people die in gun-related accidents…oh, wait, those are the figures for automobile accidents. Accidental deaths from fire-arms are about 1/5 of that. It must be that he’s upset because each year, firearms go out on their own and kill 200,000..oh, wait – that’s negligent doctors. Hmmm.

          • fun bobby

            accidental firearms death are usually under 1000. the actual number is zero since all “accidents” are really failures to follow gun safety rules

          • Jill122

            some homicides look like accidents because its difficult to determine motives. Even suicides can be made to look accidental.

            Gun safety doesn’t cure that but I’m with you about education for those purchasing guns. Also having a certificate before gun purchase sure would cut down on crimes of passion.

            Deaths by gun are really only helped by not having a gun around, without doing background checks, and without holding onto the registration for a month (something to check in case the gun is used in a murder and that’s only for research and whatever information can be gleaned).

            I know criminals don’t do all this. But with background checks for every gun sale, we sure would put a big dent in the ways in which criminals can actually get guns.

          • fun bobby

            “some homicides look like accidents because its difficult to determine motives. Even suicides can be made to look accidental.”

            possibly, but surely its quite rare and not enough to significantly skew any statistics.

            “Gun safety doesn’t cure that but I’m with you about education for those purchasing guns. Also having a certificate before gun purchase sure would cut down on crimes of passion.”

            If accidents are what you would like to prevent, everyone should receive safety training especially school children. There is no evidence that waiting periods or permits cut down on “crimes of passion”. They do make it difficult for someone to arm themselves if they are in danger, like a woman who gets threatened by an Ex partner or at work. My wife has a job firing people from their jobs. Do you think someone like that might find themselves in need of protection if they fire the wrong person? If you are in danger there is little the police can or will do to protect you.

            there are records in a legal gun sale. if someone buys a gun and then goes and uses it in a crime the NICS records are not needed so there is no need to retain them for any length of time. Many states including the one I live in have universal background checks and registration of all firearms. It really does nothing from the standpoint of solving crimes or reducing them.

            “I know criminals don’t do all this. But with background checks for every gun sale, we sure would put a big dent in the ways in which criminals can actually get guns.”
            It would put a very small dent in it. so small in fact that the actual effect on the availability of crime guns and gun crime is zero. like taking a cup of water out of the ocean


          • Jill122

            I appreciate the time and effort you have expended to answer my post; however, I would like to point out that most of what you have written is conjecture. You have dismissed out of hand and in some cases without a full understanding of both state and federal law the ideas which would help both of us understand and help stop both accidental and homicidal deaths.

            I live in a state that has just passed a law which permits everyone to carry a gun just about anywhere without any training at all. It’s true gun owners are supposed to have a license, but the penalty for not having one is $10.00. So let me name the places where concealed guns can be carried so we are perfectly clear: car, bar, street, home and then there are the schools (teachers and administrators) and churches (if the pastor/congregation opts-in). People can even take them into the airport if they are in stowed bags. If the TSA finds that weapon, Georgia will be slapping a fine on the gun owner of $10.00 even if they don’t have a license.

            One other point. Gun shows do not share the federal requirement of background checks. There is no waiting period — no background and therefore no registration. So no, there is no paper trail for gun shows or private sales.

            I mis-stated my case on the registration form. Law enforcement would like to have five days for the completion of the sale in order to make sure that the gun is not being sold to an ineligible person. I’m sure we agree that not everyone in our society deserves to own or even handle a gun.

            I’m not saying this is a total cure. What I am saying is that I would prefer to work with law-abiding gun dealers on this issue and to give them the tools they need to make legitimate sales and keep a clear conscience. No one wants to believe they are in some way responsible for selling a gun that was then used to murder children. It’s a very heavy burden.

            Please read this summary of background check requirements (as well as changes law enforcement would like to see made). State requirements can also be opened in another window through this site.


          • fun bobby

            that sounds like a very sensible law. I assume that the fine would only be in cases where the person was legally eligible to get one but did not actually have it. Have you had a sudden rash of problems since that law that are attributed to it? no one has a permit to speak or vote or worship.

            One other point. Gun shows do not share the federal requirement of background checks. There is no waiting period — no background and therefore no registration. So no, there is no paper trail for gun shows or private sales.

            False. Under federal law if you sell more than 4 guns a year you must have a federal dealer’s license. The people who buy tables at the gun show are dealers. it would not make sense to get a table to sell less than 4 guns. All sales by dealers must have a NICS check whether the delaer is at a gun show or anywhere else. no exceptions. In some states like mine you must submit a registration form even for private sales.

            5 days? we live in the year 2014 a background check should not take more than 5 seconds. I had an extremely thorough background check to allow me entry to a nuclear submarine base and it took less than 15 minutes. I think what are you talking about is the three days they have to investigate if they come up with an issue on your NICS checks. when they are very busy now they are able to increase that time frame. it was 5 or 6 days during the holidays because it was so busy.

            “I’m not saying this is a total cure. What I am saying is that I would prefer to work with law-abiding gun dealers on this issue and to give them the tools they need to make legitimate sales and keep a clear conscience. No one wants to believe they are in some way responsible for selling a gun that was then used to murder children. It’s a very heavy burden.

            like I said all dealers are required to do checks every time already. most dealers take their business seriously. they refuse to sell people guns all the time even if they are eligible if they seem sketchy. “smartgunlaws” is in the category of smart phones smart water and smart cars- targeted to those who think those things will make them smarter. I am very well versed in those laws, if you have any questions I would love to help you answer them.

          • Jill122

            Hello fun, I’m learning more here than I ever wanted to know because of course I cannot take everyone’s understanding of the law without looking it up myself.

            So, I’ll take some short quotes from Wiki’s Gun Laws. It’s been crowd-sourced, of course, and you may know better about both the Feds and your state. But this is what I’m going with:

            The number of tables at a gun show varies from as few as fifty to as many as 2,000.[3] At the largest gun shows, over 1,000 firearms are sold over two days.

            The ATF reports that between 50% and 75% of the vendors at gun shows possess a Federal Firearms License.

            Differences by state – NJ has maybe one gun show a year and they are antiques. Texas has 190 per year.

            In 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) published the “Following the Gun” report.[19] The ATF analyzed more than 1,530 trafficking investigations over a two-and-a-half-year period and found gun shows to be the second leading source of illegally diverted guns in the nation.

            In contrast, a Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report on “Firearms Use by Offenders” found that only 0.8% of prison inmates reported acquiring firearms used in their crimes “At a gun show,” with repeat offenders less likely than first-time offenders to report acquiring firearms from a retail source, gun show or flea market.

            Respondents: more than 18,000 federal and state prison inmates in 1,409 State prisons and 127 Federal prisons.[20][21]

            99.2% of inmates reported obtaining firearms from other sources

            “From a friend/family member” (36.8%),
            “Off the street/from a drug dealer” (20.9%),
            “From a fence/black market source” (9.6%),

            “From a pawnshop,” “From a flea market,” “From the victim,” or “In a burglary.” (from above 0.8%)

            9% of inmates replied “Don’t Know/Other”
            4.4% refused to answer

            studies back and forth — none conclusive — different criteria — no follow through to find out where guns come from in the commission of a crime.

            From that I conclude there’s a lot we don’t know and everyone is on shaky ground when it comes to analysis because we simply don’t have enough information, but enough speculation on either side to put us at odds with each other.

            But that’s what Kulture Wars are all about – keeping us divided and scared. Gun owners are afraid any control is a first step toward removal; gun control advocates are afraid that every nut bag in America is hiding a gun.

            And you and I Bobby are proving we can have a discussion, understand each other’s fears and perhaps come to some way that we can both own guns, and feel a certain amount of safety about that guy over there with a long gun in his hand who seems to be pointing at you and me (turns out the safety was on, there was no ammo, and we surprised him while he was looking through the scope). I really like happy endings, forgive my flight of fantasy.

            Trust me — it’s no fun going to a concert any longer. You never know who will be insulted. Tonight we were not supposed to use cell phones or camera. Those are the rules. No one was to be interrupted with lights and noise. The venue takes all the pictures and records some of the music and uses all of it later for PR. Do you think that stopped people from taking cell pix???? LOL! Do you think those lights disturbed others??? (raises hand sheepishly).

          • fun bobby

            ” between 50% and 75% of the vendors at gun shows” don’t sell guns at all, they sell bullet shaped pens, t-shirts, knives, Nazi paraphernalia, non-Nazi military paraphernalia, gadston flags and the like. there are usually a few tables of ammunition and I don’t believe a federal permit is needed for ammo just a state or city permit. one guy I spoke too was selling pens made from old shells and a city official in one town even demanded that he have a ammunition sellers license from the city. guns rights organizations and other political groups or sporting groups often buy tables as well. I would bet that .8% is pretty close to the truth. and those were private sales that happened to take place at a gun show if those people were actually barred from purchase at the time. all dealers always run checks. unless some of the people had clean records before they were in prison.
            on this particular issue its millions of americans from across the political spectrum vs a few Bloomberg types. the link you posted the other day was a group of anti gun lawyers in san Francisco and their total budget is less than a million. Bloomberg has pledged 400 million to pro gun control efforts. he is essentially bankrolling any anti gun group. its easy for him to say no one should have a gun since his cadre of armed guards will always have theirs. A fair number of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (also sponsored by Bloomberg and ironically focused only on efforts against legal guns) are them selves barred from gun ownership because of a litany of felonies they have been convicted of.
            If you take your own video they think you won’t buy a concert DVD.
            you old friend is an interesting example of what I think is behind a lot of this. I read a study recently that said 90% of people admit they have thought about killing another person. Obviously almost no one actually does it. I think a lot of the rabid anti gunners have had the thought , like most people, “I’d like to shoot that person” or “I’d like shoot myself” and they think if they had a gun they might do it and they assume others have the same thought and that if they had a gun they would do it. Some people trust themselves and others don’t. like love, if you do not love yourself you cannot love another, if you do not trust yourself you cannot trust another. I have all the confidence in the world on your old friend. If he has gone this long without committing a violent crime I don’t think he is about to start now. Its a personal decision and I respect those who choose to avoid it because it is a big responsibility and I don’t want anyone who is not going to be responsible or does not trust themselves to have one. For me my main motivation is that I see it as a duty of a citizen, like voting. I do love shooting them too, its a really great hobby, keeps me out of trouble.

          • Jill122

            According to Wiki MORE than 30,000 people die from guns.

            “In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicides, and 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S.[6]”

            By the way, when was the last time you saw someone using a gun to get to work or go to the store, the movies, pick up their kids? Auto SAFETY is taught in some progressive schools. GUN safety is not taught unless the gun owner is responsible, and that does happen, occasionally

            But not enough: “:The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that, on average, one child died every three days in accidental incidents in the U.S. from 2000 to 2005.[138]“

          • Joel0903

            And you fail to comprehend yet again due to your irrational fear. suicides are not accidents, Jill. Homicides are not accidents, Jill. Please pay attention. If you add in vehicular homicide deaths, automobiles are still more deadly than fire-arm homicides and suicides (I’ve no idea the figures for vehicle-related suicides).

            I do agree with the next logical thought you should have come to (but didn’t from other posts you’ve made here on the subject). That is: fire-arm safety should be taught in schools. Just as automobile safety is. What are the figures for the number of children who die every day in the US from 2000 to 2005 in the other categories we’ve spoken about? They’re definitely higher than the gun-related accidents. In the 2192 days you cited (including the two leap-years), 730 kids were killed in fire-arms accidents. During that same time, based on the differences in total deaths for firearms accidents and automobile accidents, just imagine the numbers who were killed by cars in the six years involved. 2000 children 0-14 were killed in 2003, for example. The study you cited likely defines a child as someone 19 and under (As CDC often does) or as 17 and under. Thus, they numbers for those killed in car accidents would be even higher were those age ranges added in, since 16-19 year old people have the highest rate of death in an accident of any similarly sized group.

            In short, why not ban automobiles if you really want to save the lives of children? They’re at least three times, and more likely four to five times, as deadly to children as firearms in terms of accidental death.


          • Jill122

            I agree that suicides and some homicides are not accidents. Did I write that??

            What I am suggesting is that the number of people who die from guns would be cut down considerably if that form of killing were not readily available.

            Some and I don’t know how many or what percentage would never die because they were killed in the height of passion. A passion that might have subsided had it not been for a readily available gun.

            Guns shot by children are homicides, but many are accidental.

            You keep talking about cars. Autos were not created/invented to kill. They are a benign form of transportation that can and are used to kill mostly by accident. The guy who killed those people at SXSW appeared to target people to kill. We’ll see how Texas decides to charge him. Will it be DUI accidental deaths or actual homicide (hard to identify his motives).

            Guns were invented to kill. They don’t have any other purpose. Comparing guns to anything other than something that was designed to kill is simply ludicrous.

          • Joel0903

            Apparently you miss the whole point of the word “accidents”, Jill. That’s the comparison that was being made. Nevertheless, more children are killed from being in an auto-accident than are killed from being accidentally shot. Dead is dead. If you’re so terrified of guns, don’t use one. If you’re so terrified of people with guns, don’t spend time around people who may, or may not, have a gun. It’s simple. If you spend your time alone, you are almost certainly never to die from a gunshot wound, or from being or strangled. Or run over by a car, for that matter. You, yourself, just made the case that a car can be used to kill someone on purpose, or be the instrument of an accidental death. An interesting statistic would be to compare the number of people who handle a firearm at least once a month (to be generous) who are killed in firearm related accidents to those who handle an automobile at least once a month and are killed in a car accident. Interesting in that it would further illustrate which of the two objects are involved in the deaths of more people. Yes, I’m well aware that more people use a car once a month than use a gun once a month.

            I’m simply illustrating how silly it is to be irrationally afraid of an object that has a negligible chance of being involved in your death.

          • Jill122

            I’m not afraid of guns. I own a couple of them and under any theory or practice of the law I would be allowed to keep my guns.

            1) I don’t live with small children.
            2) I shoot well and am not afraid to use my guns on targets.
            3) I would never kill anyone over property — never.
            4) I have never killed anyone — nor would I.
            5) my guns are for recreational purposes and to teach my son how to use one. He loves to shoot at a range.

            I would not reach for a gun if an intruder came to my home.

            I don’t like guns in the home that are not locked up. Locked up means I don’t have easy access and will not be using it in anger, or fear.

            And no I’m not going to stay home, but I do recommend that people not visit my state any longer because anyone here can carry a concealed gun anywhere, church, bars, cars, airport, and that’s a dangerous situation.

            People have been shot for texting, for listening to music being played too loudly, for walking while wearing a hoodie. My country is a dangerous place with lots of angry people walking around.

            And you are not listening to my point because the argument about cars has been used so long that people who repeat it just imagine it’s correct. Again, Cars were not built to kill. However, they have been used to kill both accidentally and on purpose.

            Guns were built to kill. We can also use them for target practice as I do. But their primary purpose is NOT recreational and if we didn’t have them I would like try bows.

            Comparing the two is simply ridiculous. It does not make the point you’re trying to make even if LaPierre does use it over and over as if it did.

          • Stephen Tower

            You sound like a very responsible gun owner. I’m glad that you can set such an example for your family and others around you. You also seem like a very reasonable advocate for more gun safety. I don’t run into such very often, so if you are interested, I’d like to have a legitimate conversation about the issue with you. (I’ve included a lot of text about my personal views below)

            I would agree that I would never shoot someone if they broke into my house, but that’s because I’m a socialist and don’t think my TV is worth someone’s life. If they are willing to risk my retaliation and prison for a TV, they probably are desperate and need it more than me. I would, however, shoot someone if I believed myself or anyone else I cared about faced imminent and serious danger. Then again, I don’t carry a gun on me, so the only time i’d ever have the opportunity for such self defense would be in my own home.

            I mostly use my guns for recreation- hunting and target shooting. The self-defense idea isn’t too important to me, because I generally dont fear other people hurting me. I can imagine, however, in some circumstances or neighborhood, a woman might feel a legitimate interest in protecting herself from a stalker, abusive ex, or random sexual predator. I likewise can see how in some places, a gay man might feel the need to protect himself from violent bigots. some professionals might feel the need to protect themselves or their source of their livelihood, such as a store owner, divorce attorney, payroll courier, etc. For me though, this isn’t an issue.

            One thing I do consider a legitimate purpose of owning a firearm is for potential revolt against an oppressive government. Not that I think this is necessary now, or probably anytime in the near future, but I’m not naive enough about history to believe that 1) our government hasn’t participated in horrendous atrocities in the past 2) that our government will never do so in the future. Now I’m not building a bunker in my back yard, or stockpiling AR’s and ammo, but I do believe their is a very legitimate purpose of the 2nd Amendment. One of those things you hope you never have to use, but is a nice protection. Anti-gun activists laugh at this, but the institutionalized protection of the right of the people to own the means of exerting force is one of the most radical ideas to come out of out revolution. I only wish some of the other radical ideas of the time made it, like Thomas Paine’s ideas of universal pensions and basic income.

            I don’t believe firearms should be entirely unregulated. I think firearm safety course should be widespread, required of gun owners, and subsidized by the government. I think the government should give out trigger locks the same way I think they should give out condoms. I do think a safety and licensing system is a good idea.

            But I have concerns about the consolidation of state power. I don’t like the idea of a gun registry, listing where every gun is and who owns it. I don’t have a problem with background checks, but I don’t want the background check system to make a permanent record of the check on a central government server. Complicated though it may be, I’d like to see an independent administrative agency operate the system, outside of the direct executive control of the federal government, subject to audits ensuring they are following procedures demanded by congress. This way, the government does not have direct access to records of every gun owner and what he has. (This is a major concern for many gun owners) I really wish people would discuss this type of system. I think this is a middle ground many gun owners and gun-control activists could actually have a discussion on

            I want this system to utilize modern technology and the internet, so background checks take minutes to complete, instead of the several weeks they sometimes take now. This would allow private sellers to use the system without placing a excess burden on them (closing the ‘gun show loophole’ people are so upset about).

            I think no one convicted of a domestic violence charge should be able to own a gun for at least 20-25 years, or maybe forever afterwards. I would include in this anyone charged under a domestic violence statute to pleads to a lower charge. No one convicted of voluntary manslaughter or murder. Lesser acts of violence, like simple assault, I wouldn’t object to a temporary loss of rights for 5-10 years. Anyone with violence-related charges pending should have to surrender his arms to local police until the charges are resolved, and if convicted, should be given the option to transfer arms to another owner by sale or gift.

            Anyone institutionalized should not be eligible to own a firearm unless they can demonstrate medical certification that whatever condition they once had no longer exists. I wish I could say the same about anyone receiving treatment for psychological conditions, but I don’t see how that’s possible without requiring the disclosure of confidential medical records.

            I think anyone applying for a concealed carry license should be subject to especially stringent safety training and a secondary licensing procedure.

            I think drinking while carrying a firearm should be treated the same as drinking while driving.

            I would like to explore possibilities of ‘legitimizing’ street gangs that engage in the drug trade. Finding a way to make their trade more above the board and regulated, without opening up drug trafficking to major corporations who could drive them out of business. Bringing the drug trade out of the shadows would allow us to engage in actual harm reduction policies like drug treatment, needle exchange, and impurity testing, and allow drug treatment organizations to seek out people who need it easier. It would also eliminate the need for gangs to resort to gun violence to protect their business by giving the some sort of access to legal protections. As the drug trade is the #1 source of gun violence in most cities, this would go a long way to saving lives and making the streets of the poorest neighborhoods safer. IT would also give these neighborhoods, where basically no other job opportunities exist, a monopoly on a multi-billion dollar industry.

          • Stephen Tower

            Cars also aren’t constitutionally protected. But overall, I agree the comparison isn’t really a useful one.

          • fun bobby

            you don’t see peoples guns in those places because they are concealed. I am 100% for universal gun safety education

          • Jill122

            Nah — guns are not used to get to work; cars are. I believe Joel was the one making the point that guns are just mechanical objects, and asked if we should we ban cars too, because they too kill.

            Guns have one purpose and that is to kill; automobiles were not built to kill. They have an inherently benign purpose which I outlined above.

            And I agree that we should offer universal gun safety education for people who purchase guns, as well as background checks and the ability to hold their names on file for a month. That last is just in case they decide to use their gun within that time frame.

          • fun bobby

            to get to work safely millions of Americans strap on their pistols and seatbelts. pistols and seat belts serve the same function, they are safety devices. Would you drive your car without your seatbelt?
            for something “benign” cars kill an awful lot of Americans.
            Not just for those who purchase guns, every public schools student should as well. We already have background checks. Why would you like “the ability to hold their names for a month”? to what end? I guess I don’t understand what you think that will do.
            This is all a moot point though right? there is no right to own a car and there is no reason or need required to own a gun.

          • fun bobby

            “Teaching about guns in schools is absurd.” why? how should we expect kids to make the right choices without informing them of what those are? are you against sex education and drug education in schools as well?

      • Joseph McCabe

        you are in fact the person who should be ashamed of yourself for taking a mans opinion and words and construing them to fit your anti NRA stance. nowhere did he mention NRA but you couldn’t help yourself and jumped at the chance to demonize this man. It is you who are taking liberties with peoples freedom of expression and your backwards liberal thinking that guns are the reason for so many deaths and yet I bet you support abortion as a right of a woman to kill a fetus.

        • Michael

          jefe68 puts her words into someone’s mouth and then complains about such words. Unfortunately this tactics works on uneducated and it is them she is appealing arguing against guns education, so kids can get educated about guns by movies and cartoons…

          But you, who is “tired of both sides”, chose to do the same
          thing by bashing her for being Pro-Choice and a fetus-killer (I am still waiting when someone explains to me what it means: where the line is drawn).

          What is interesting to me is that though most of us do not understand why Surgeon General’s qualifications are defined by his beliefs of gun ownership, we ourselves believe that education to handle a gun leads to a gun violence, and disagreement with NRA leads to an abortion…

          I think the real reason behind such logic is an arrogant desire to hold the truth and disbelief that one can be wrong, and when that one can not clearly explain oneself the only path is to attack other people for their opinion.

      • Chris B.

        Sir you have no idea how the NRA behaves.
        There is no need to interpret the 2nd amendment.
        It was written by native English speaking men in plain language to eliminate the need for word game.
        The right of the people to keep and bare arms came only mean one things.
        Wishing it could mean something else will never change the reality of it.
        Anyone wanting to hold a public office who doesn’t respect the limits of government control is unfit.

        • fun bobby


        • Jill122

          It’s not plain English which is why there’s always been a controversy around it. Did they mean militias (disciplined, trained and trusted members of a community who have joined together for mutual self defense) or did they mean every jerk on the street so long as he or she has a couple of hundred bucks to spare?

          Recently the supreme court saw fit, in their wisdom, to choose the latter. God bless conservs.

          • Chris B.

            In the 1770s everybody was the militia.
            It wasn’t something you joined, it was used in place of a standing army.
            The militia, AKA all able bodied men, was called up on a as needed basis.
            So everybody had to be able to respond making it impossible to ban anyone from being armed.
            The only think the founders failed to for see was that out culture would become so divided from morality that some would try to deny people their right to defend themselves.
            Or that the government would ignore everything they said about the danger of a standing army.
            The only people confused by the 2nd amendment are people who wish it meant something else or who get paid to explain its meaning.

          • Joel0903

            Actually, the founders foresaw exactly that possibility, several years before the Constitution. Before, even, the Articles of Confederation. They wrote a document which began with a list of grievances that were, in some ways, far less than those perpetuated blithely upon the citizenry by the federal government today. Let us remember that while the Stamp and Sugar Acts doubled the tax, they were, in fact, raises of rates from 2 percent to about 4 percent. Of course, such men as founded our nation would never have to have a revolution to overthrow a corrupt and tyrannical government such as we have today (soft tyranny is still tyranny). Most of the politicians in DC would have been tarred and feathered and run out of town 200 years ago. Even the hardiest scoundrels in the House would rise up in indignation over what the government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has become. Just tell a man such as Jefferson that we have career politicians who are as rich as any ‘gentry’ from his day while never holding a job outside of “public service”, and he’d be hauling out the tar and feathers himself. One can only imagine the rage any of our founders would feel upon hearing simply the number of pages which make up the federal tax laws.

          • Jill122

            I guess you have drones, a few Tomahawks and a small nuclear (dirty) bomb??? What possible good do you believe you and your armory would do in a war with the government?

            Those militias (group of like minded people who want to protect their community) were to be disciplined and could work for the government or against it. If you want to work for the government, join the army or the national guard. If you want to work against it, you’re taking a toothpick to a gun fight.

          • fun bobby

            do the afgans have missiles or drones? did the Vietnamese? some people have drones, you can buy one at walmart.

          • Stephen Tower

            Tell that to the Viet Cong or the Taliban.

          • Stephen Tower

            An interesting article on the Dick Act by probably the most prominent law blog on the internet (although the authors are mostly libertarians and annoy this s*** out of me) :

        • Stephen Tower

          I’m a lawyer. Hundreds of Millions of pages have been written interpreting the “plain english” words of our constitution. It’s very much needed. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t understand how difficult it is to structure the governance of all aspects of society around a few thousand words. (4543 to be exact)

          For instance, what does “arms” mean? Does it include all small arms? Ordinance? What about swords (there was an interesting effort to establish a right to carry Sikh religious weapons called Kirpans; other cases have challenged blade-length laws regulating pocket knives).

          the words “Keep”, “Bare”, “people” have been similarly debated over the years, even if the meaning is a little more settled law now.

          “being necessary to the security of a free State” has been a point of contention also. Does this establish a right to rebel against the government tyranny? Or does it just refer to national defense from outside threats?

          Those few words really don’t speak for themselves. The best you can do is look at the records and commentary by the people who ratified it. Unfortunately, the constitutional convention intentionally kept terrible records of what was actually said there.

      • fun bobby

        about 4% of doctors belong to the AMA

        • Jill122

          gee you are fun and funny. Wiki answers says roughly 30% of docs belong and that’s just the AMA. There are many other organizations, for instance, like the American Academy of Pediatrics that support Dr. Murthy and his opinion.

          Most Americans would like to have background checks on all gun sales. We would like to be protected against the nut jobs AND we would like better health care for them.

          • fun bobby

            I’ll split it with you

            “That brings total membership below 216 000. Up to a third of those members don’t pay the full $420 annual dues, including medical students and residents. Not counting those members, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15% of practising US doctors now belong to the AMA.


            most Americans would not like any new gun control laws. I would like if states like MA actually turned over its court records about those who have been committed and such to the NICS and if when felons committed the crime of trying to buy a gun that they actually prosecuted them. did you know the Obama admin’s own report on the subject determined that a “universal background check” would not affect gun crime.

          • John Stacey

            Good grief, have you ever (legally) bought a gun? You would know there is already quite a NICS background check involved. However, nothing in it about “mental health”. That’s where the focus should be, not on a small mechanical object which, by itself, is quite incapable of harming anyone. Criminals, however, don’t follow anyone’s laws and will always bypass whatever controls are in place, no matter how good they are.

          • Jill122

            Hey John, you again!!! Ever go to the gun show? I guess not. They are fun and a terrific experience. I recommend them highly both as a learning experience and as a way to see and purchase some mighty fine armaments. Don’t bother bringing your driver’s license — you’re credit card and/or cash will be just fine.

            Your argument about the gun is duly noted. It’s clever and began stunning people decades ago who could and wanted to see the so-called logic. It’s impossible to prove a negative, so I won’t try. Suffice to say it’s common sense that much of the gun violence simply would not occur if that teeny weeny mechanical object were not around. I’m thinking Trayvon Martin would still be alive, the guy with a couple of kids who had taken his wife to a movie and wanted to text a selfie to his baby, the kids in the SUV with a loud radio. Just to name a few.

          • fun bobby

            false. anyone who buys a table at a gun show intends to sell more than 4 guns. anyone who sells more than 4 guns needs a federal dealers license and is required to do a background check on all sales.
            would Zimmerman?

    • John Stacey

      I (and all boys) took gun safety (and marksmanship) in a Canadian small town high school. I suspect this is common practice in many other countries too. That did not lead to any criminal activities later that I ever heard of.