Ross K. Baker, whoever the fuck he is, is a moron.
What kills such efforts in Congress, [massive hyperbole excised because it was enough to make me puke – ed.], is the recognition in the minds of politicians that there are voters in their states and districts who are Second Amendment absolutists, whether they be the kind of people who shoot at targets for practice or those who might shoot at people because of malice or derangement.
He’d be even more upset if he understood that his 1st Amendment absolutism (at least as far as his own speech is concerned, and I’m sure he believes implicitly that he has a right to say and write what he pleases) is protected in the end by all those 2nd Amendment absolutists he despises.
So strong is the constituency for firearms ownership in Congress that a law is on the books immunizing gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits arising out of the use of their products for mass shootings and mayhem on smaller scale. It is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that became effective in 2005.
Are knife manufacturers liable when someone, out of malice, kills someone else with one of their products? Is someone going to sue the manufacturer of the knife the woman in Columbus was going to kill the other woman with, based on some idiotic theory of “gross misuse”? Attempted murder and murder using knives goes back an awfully long way.
If I pick up a brick and kill someone with it, is the state going to sue the brick manufacturer? People have been hitting other people over the head with heavy objects for a long time, too. Think Cain and Abel.
What about auto manufacturers? Vehicular homicide is a thing. Gonna sue the alcoholic beverage distiller or brewer, too, because the driver was DUI? People have also been getting drunk and killing people probably since the first time someone drank off the liquid from spoiled grain [eww -ed.] and discovered the magic of fermentation.
That gun manufacturers had to be specifically exempted in law from this sort of thing suggests there are major legal issues that had to be enunciated in law before idiot lawyers (but I repeat myself) would stop trying to wrongly apply liability law in the hopes of a big payday and a black eye for the firearms industry.
The response of the gun industry has been, from a business standpoint, quite rational: Sellers give the consumers what they demand. The only limit is that they cannot manufacture or sell fully automatic machine guns.
This is a gross simplification of the issue, and it’s wrong anyway. Certain classes of fully-automatic firearms and firearm accessories (suppressors, for instance) prohibited MAY be manufactured and sold to the public, but require an onerous permitting process via BATFE *spit* and typically require a fee of $200 for a federal tax stamp to validate the permit. In other words, you don’t walk into your friendly neighborhood Class 3 firearms dealer, slap your credit card on the counter, and walk out the same day with your machine gun and suppressor. That’s because the permitting process for such weapons and accessories can take months. Moreover, attorneys familiar with this sort of thing advise their clients to put all such special weapons into a not-for-profit family corporation rather than own the weapons personally, since it would be next to impossible to transfer them either by gift or by last will and testament to one’s own children. (Otherwise, new fees and permits would be required for such transfers, one supposes; I’m not able to afford such things, so I have no idea. Ask Mad Mike.)
In addition, sellers who hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) must require a Form 4473 and run an instant background check on anyone who wants to purchase a firearm from them. Such instant background checks can fail for any number of reasons, including that you moved recently and the database hasn’t caught up yet. The last time I bought a handgun, a woman who was there to pick up a firearm via FFL transfer had that very problem; she’d moved two weeks before and a hold was put on her background check. “Give us a call in about a week,” was all the counterman could tell her.
The problem with the “red flag” laws he moans about is that they don’t work because the alleged behaviors under which they can be invoked rarely show up on a background check.
Besides which, the dude who shot up FedEx in Indy a week or so ago WAS QUESTIONED BY THE POLICE A YEAR AGO. In other words, he was a “known wolf,” as many of these recent shooters have been.
The bottom line is that any gun control law is going to succeed only in controlling the law-abiding. Anyone who would go on a mass-shooting tear by definition doesn’t give a flying fuck about your gun control laws.
The once plausible argument that gun ownership was somehow connected to membership in state militias was cast aside by a Supreme Court dominated by “originalists” who developed historical amnesia about the Founding Fathers’ dread of standing armies and preference for “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” and declared that the only operative phrase in the Second Amendment was “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.
No, you dumb fuck, it was put in there because the Framers KNEW citizens needed to be able to defend themselves from their government. We talk about “taxation without representation” as being a root cause of the American Revolution, but when it came down to cases, the war started because the British tried to take our guns. That’s what the Battle of Concord was all about. See again the above where I ask if Mr. Baker understands that his freedoms were and remain secured by force of arms, and the only thing protecting his freedom to disparage gun ownership and bemoan the inability of the government to control arms is an armed citizenry.
Yeah, “The Second Protects The First” is a tired and hackneyed phrase. But it’s no less true for it being tired and hackneyed.
Moreover, the idea that gun manufacturers are in reality a bunch of evil mercantilists who wink and nod while piously protesting that their products are intended for sportsmen and personal defense is no different from every Jew in the world being blamed for the soi-disant depredations of a few rich Jewish families or the (false) claims of blood libel that have littered the world since the Middle Ages.
And this is where things stand: Daily, weekly, monthly massacres of sizable numbers of victims enabled by a patchwork of ineffective, indifferently enforced state laws, and the awesomely destructive firepower of many of the weapons used in these assaults.
Unbalanced, vengeful or politically motivated assailants armed, in many cases, with charismatic weapons patterned on those used by the military will continue to inflict death and grievous injury on innocent people. There is, effectively, no way to stop it.
Yes, there is. AN ARMED CITIZENRY, unhindered by infringing possession and carry laws, or “gun-free zones” which are, in reality, killing zones for cowards who can’t control their urge to kill. One armed citizen could have put a stop to most if not all of the “massacres” that have happened since Columbine. If an unhinged person understands that they’re likely to get dead if they try something like that, they’re probably going to be less likely to try — even in their unhinged state.
But you can kill in mass with a knife, too. Ask the Chinese.
Chinese man attacks 22 children, 1 adult with knife outside primary school (same year as Sandy Hook, FWIW)
Those were all first-page Duck Duck Go search hits on “chinese man kills with knife”.
In sum: Mr. Baker is an idiot. I see now that he is employed by Rutgers University, so somehow that doesn’t surprise me.