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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 03:09 PM
Number of posts: 12,148

Journal Archives

Promising to take laws like the NY SAFE Act nationwide *is* a threat.

The NY SAFE Act makes possession of the most popular magazines in U.S. homes nationwide a Class D felony, comparable to rape. Ditto the most popular rifles in U.S. homes. Promising to take that bullshit nationwide, thereby criminalizing 60+ million peaceable citizens and subjecting them to life-destroying criminal penalties if they refuse to bow to your beliefs, is damn sure a threat. Ditto for those who promise to take CA/NJ/MD laws nationwide.

If you don't think it is an issue, you weren't paying attention to the 2014 Senate midterms, or the 2016 races (not just the Presidency, but downticket in swing states). The party leadership cloistered in their DC/NY/CA bubbles simply don't comprehend how this crap plays nationwide. Again, it's not the *only* issue where the party leadership has made some major missteps, but it is perhaps the most egregious.

The party ran a gun-control activist in fricking Montana in 2014, for Pete's sake; WTF were they thinking?

*After* the 2012 election. The results of that shift fell out in the 2014 midterms. How'd that go?

It wasn't until after the 2012 election and the Sandy Hook murders (which neither a handgrip ban nor a magazine ban would have affected in the slightest) that the party went all-in on handgrip and magazine bans, rather than just pandering to Bloomberg's money.

Aside from greatly increasing rifle and magazine sales, the late-2012 reversion to the pre-2006 position ended up hurting Dems in the 2014 midterms and was a big part of losing *seven* Senate seats, which handed control of the Senate to the repubs.

Here in my state of NC, Kay Hagan shifted Third Way on gun control and lost her seat to a no-name repub in an upset. Udall in Colorado and Braley in Iowa, both strong ban proponents, lost to pro-gun repubs. Pro-gun Dem Max Baucus retired in Montana, so the party ran gun control zealot Amanda Curtis---in fricking Montana!---and lost the seat. Repubs picked up senate seats in South Dakota, where guns were a significant issue, and West Virginia, where it was huge. Pryor's loss in Arkansas can probably be blamed in part on the 2012-2014 gun ban push (do ya think people in Arkansas might, you know, own guns?).

I'm not saying gun and magazine bans were the *only* issue in play, but they are a really big one here in NC, and across most swing states. The number of states with majority gun control support can be counted on your fingers, with some fingers left over.

I said they were *a* huge issue in a lot of swing states this year, as in 2000 and 2004.

A lot of states that went for Obama in '08, I'll point out.

My state (NC) appears to have elected a pro-gun-owner Dem governor, while rejecting the anti-gun-owner presidential candidate. If you were to explore the reasons, you might find that threatening 2+ *million* NC residents with major felonies (a la the NY SAFE Act) might convince a few hundred thousand Dems and indies to stay home or leave the Presidential ballot blank. Just as in TN and WV in '00 (Gore lost his own home state), or a bunch of swing states in '04. And what was the margin of loss in heavily-gun-owning MI? FL? OH?

You may not *like* guns, but it is certainly helpful to understand that there are roughly 100 million gun owners, that they tend to vote at higher rates than the general population, and that they are more likely to vote the issue than are people who don't like guns. It's the ham and egg principle; if you're a chicken, you're concerned, but if you're a pig, you're involved.

And given those facts, is it too much to ask that the Dem leadership actually try to understand the nuances of the issue, instead of letting their policies and legislative proposals be set by those who don't understand, and can't avoid stepping on the mines?

Let me put it this way. If you proposed to outlaw hunting, and make it a Class D felony equivalent to rape for someone to go in the woods and shoot a deer, do you think you *might* get some pushback at the polls from the ~16 million Americans who hunt? If so, then why is it hard to grasp that threatening 60+ million with such felonies might create similar backlash?

To use nuance, you have to *understand* the issue, which many in the DC/NY bubble apparently do not.

Some back-of-the-envelope facts to inform said nuance:

-- The vast majority of gun owners are nonhunters (>80%).

-- The primary reason for gun ownership is defensive purposes; target shooting is in second place, with hunting a distant third.

-- Approximately twice as many Americans own "assault weapons" as hunt.

-- Approximately 3.5 to 4 times as many Americans own "high capacity magazines" as hunt.

-- The label "assault weapons" denotes the most popular centerfire rifles in U.S. homes, and the most popular target rifles in both sanctioned centerfire target competition and recreational target shooting.

-- Many states have *zero* rifle homicides in any given year, and the vast majority of states are in the single digits.

Murder, by State, Types of Weapons, 2015

[font face="courier new"]Total murders...................... 13,455
Handguns............................ 6,447 (47.9%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 2,648 (19.7%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,671 (12.4%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,544 (11.5%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 624 (4.6%)
Shotguns.............................. 269 (2.0%)
Rifles................................ 252 (1.9%) [/font]

-- The overwhelming majority of gun homicide is committed by a very small cohort with violent criminal records, most of whom are already legally prohibited from ownership.


Given the above, can you see how demanding a ban on the most popular rifles in U.S. homes, or threatening owners of common magazines with jail time for peaceably possessing same, is *not* in fact a "nuanced" position? Or how the DNC leadership's obsession with legislating rifle stock shape comes across as both ludicrous and authoritarian?

"Being OK with gun violence" and "supporting reactionary laws against the nonviolent"...

...are quite different concepts.

But if you wish to continue getting pushback, keep promising to imprison 60+ million citizens because of what they have in their bedrooms, instead of refining your proposals to realistically target the actual problem.

If you fail to understand the nuances of the issue, you'll fail to understand how to avoid missteps.

Your response is *exactly* why Gore failed to learn from Bill Clinton's mistakes in 2000, and lost; ditto Kerry in '04. Howard Dean worked hard to shed that fundamentalist mindset, and Dems did well in '06 and '08, before the Third Way authoritarians dragged the party back into the ditch in 2012-2013.

If you see mainstream gun ownership as a "sin" like racism and bigotry, then that failure to listen is certainly understandable. But purely from a pragmatic standpoint, it is helpful to understand the issue even if you personally don't like the guns in U.S. homes.

There is common ground to be found on violence prevention. Banning the most popular guns and magazines in U.S. homes isn't it.
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