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Gun Control: The Origin of the Mysterious 90 Percent Figure

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April 25, 2013

Gun Control: The Origin of the Mysterious 90 Percent Figure

By David E. Petzal

That whooshing, gushing sound you heard last week—sort of like the spillways opening at Hoover Dam—was the collective bladder failure of everyone who rejoiced in the thought that this time, at long last, firearms owners were going to get a good dose of sensible gun control shoved up their collective fundament.

Manchin-Toomey did not get the votes, despite Michael Bloomberg’s money, the righteous exhortations of the New York Times, the arm-twisting of the Sandy Hook parents, and the impassioned speeches of both Obamas.

Ninety percent of the American people wanted this, everyone said, so how did it fail? That figure came up again and again, as sacred and immutable as anything that God said to Moses when he went up on the mountain. All but 10 percent of us, went the Revealed Word, wanted Manchin-Toomey.

In the past when an overwhelming percentage of the American public wanted something, it was enough to:

- End Prohibition
- Get us into World War II
- Get us out of Vietnam
- Throw Tricky Dicky Nixon out of the White House

An honest-to-God 90 percent of public opinion is an irresistible force that no legislature can deny. So what happened to Manchin-Toomey? Could it be that the 90 percent figure was off a tad? I went to Google and found that the sacred 90 percent was the result of a poll taken by the Washington Post, whose impartiality when it comes to gun control is, shall we say, less than perfect. Does anyone with the sense to pour piss out of a boot think that the Washington Post was going to take a poll on this subject and come up with a figure of less than 90 percent? Is this what all the speeches and the forecasts and the stunned disbelief were based on?

Let us draw the curtain on this sorry spectacle. And in the meanwhile, Senator Joe Manchin is going to have some ‘splainin’ to do when he goes home to West Virginia.

Comments (58)

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from RJ Arena wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

"Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics", as Mark Twain has said, sums it up. Polls mean something, but not everything, 'cause its is how you ask the question, who you ask, and when. Of course if you don't like those you contact(i.e. gun owners) you can eliminate them from the poll.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

His speech was 90%, 90% petulant child 10% man! I'm so freaking tired of this manchild I'm on the verge of shoving pencils in my eyes and ears! If 90% of the population wanted stricter gun laws then why were there 30 million+ firearms sold in his 1st term? Why is there a shortage of ammo outside of hoarders? Why is there record numbers CCW permits being issued? Why is it Barrack Obama is president? Simple 51% of Americans are total f-ing idiots! Thanks and see you tomorrow!

+15 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

It's a funny thing with the press recently. When they tell a lie ofter enough not only are they trying to convince everyone else it's the truth but they themselves begin to believe it too. The real reason why it did not go through at least I believe, is for a couple or reasons. There are a hell of a lot more of us, gun owners than they think and that people in general started to question what impact that the bill would have had to prevent the shootings from happening in the first place. The answer is none and such a bill only gives the delusioned minded out there hope that it will keep everyone safer. If anyone feels that the government is gong to protect them then they are going to be very disapointed indeed.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

007 seems to know how to contact him directly. Maybe he can send him a fundament reamer of appropriate caliber.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Let's put it this way. How many gun owners want background checks totally eliminated? I would bet that well over 50 % do NOT want to eliminate it. So either way you have the majority of Americans in support of sensible gun laws, no matter what DP or the NRA tries to tell you. Why this bill didn't pass should NOT surprise anyone. What issue HAS gotten solved by our government of late?? Not too many, if any. Nothing ever get solved in this country anymore because there are special interest lobbies on both sides of every issue pushing for the issue to NEVER get solved. If these issues would ever get solved, these special interest groups would become defunct and NO more money would be coming to them. So it is beneficial to them to have NO resolution ever made on any given issue. This, my friends is the reason this gun control bill died, just as all other issues never get solved by our beloved government. If politicians had some cajones and didn't bend over for special interest groups, maybe we would get somewhere on the gun issue and others.

-16 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Even if there was some substance to 90% the whole issue is a mile wide and an inch deep. Everyone can agree to background checks, but once the item of gun control and a registry came into play that 90% turned against passage.

I'm not even entering into the Astroturf Kingdom. Gabby Giffords NY Times rant is something to behold.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Figures lie, and liars figure!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I can't stand "statistics" generated by polls. They're just so easy to manipulate and draw flat out wrong conclusions from. What bothers me most, though, is the number of people that take such information as God's Truth without a second thought as to how it was conducted, who was polled, how many people, etc etc. Oh, how easily the sheep are misled.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

It sounds to me like the currect background check system isn't being enforced so why would anything change? Or were there parts of Manchin Toomey that Obama was just licking his chops over? I was not in favor of it based on the thousands of "common sense" gun laws we have already.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Wesweso, You're correct!

3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MaxPower wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

"Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that." Homer J. Simpson

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SMC1986 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

As a graduate of WVU, Manchin's Alma Mater, I hope he is unemployed in the near future.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Allow me to bemoan the sorry state of journalism in this fine country. I know that the internet has threatened traditional medial of all types (including our beloved F&S), but journalism used to be important, and used to investigate and report. Now, it seems content to try to be first to publish rumors as "breaking news." (See CNN's embarrassing display in covering the Boston Marathon).

Even old stalwarts have declined into partisan rags. The WSJ after Newscorp's purchase is not nearly as good as it once was and its politics have entered the rest of the paper. If not careful, it might suffer New York Timesitis -- the infection of a once wonderful publication with shrill partisan drivel.

Speaking of the Old Grey Lady, did anyone else notice that the House Republicans released a report on Benghazi that was highly critical of the administration and Secretary Clinton? If you did, then you read it in some publication other than the New York Times, which was radio silent on the matter. Even if the editors think that this was a partisan political dust up by House Republicans (which, it surely, and partly was), doesn't it warrant reporting? Even if you then trash partisanship in your editorial, you should at least report that Congress, at great taxpayer expense, released a report that blasts the administration over Libya. You can then dump all over Congress in your editorial pages if you want to do so, but the story was newsworthy. At least, it would have been newsworthy in a bygone era.

These are strange times for print journalism. The news cafe serves garbage and then wonders why they can't make a living selling garbage.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Angus wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

If I were to take a poll about gun laws and only asked family members, such as cousins, aunts, uncles, ect., I would come up with roughly 100% opposing: magazine restrictions, so-called "assault" weapons bans, and gun-free zones.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from fox4 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Sensible gun laws!!! When is the last time the government came up with anything sensible or reasonable? We are in deep trouble when the political and news media codswallop defines what is sensible. The government is why sensible people need protection. And I hate, hate, hate leadership by polls. Can you imagine a platoon leader asking the troops, "Shall we go for a reasonable stroll today?" They do not know sensible from a cat's fundament.

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from buckhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Many people, including many politicians, do not realize that the US of America is a Republic, not a Democracy and the states created the Federal Gov't and still hold supreme power over the Feds. This was evident by the many County Sheriffs whom openly said they will not obey new gun control laws. No LEO of the Federal Gov't out ranks the County Sheriff. Our Founding Fathers got it right when they kept control at the state level. I think this had a lot to do with the defeat of the gun control laws.

Also, one of my favorite quotes concerning statistics came from the Jimmy Carter era. "Statistics are like bikinis's. They show you everything you want to see but hide the details." Not sure who said it.

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from doekiller wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Let's be damned clear, Toomey is not going to enjoy any favor from those of us that brought his political career back from his previous defeat. I hope he thinks long and hard what happened to our last turn coat Senator Mr. Spector, he was gone the next election cycle. We send you to Washington and you flip the bird to those that supported you in not one but two previous election attempts??? Good luck bud, you won't be getting my support again.

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from ozarkghost wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I think that Congress may have actually listened to the people this time.

The employers (all citizens) need to hold the employee's (the government) feet to the fire and tell them that if they do not start representing us that they can find another job. Then we need to elect those who do not have 'beltway' ties and change some of the stuff that is so screwed up.

I know but I can dream can't I?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

The only time the self-serving sewer rats we call congress gives a rat's ass (pardon the pun) about what you and I think is when they are evalution policy and votes and how it will impact their chances for re-election. Nothing more.... Vote 'em all out!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Reading polls that tell you what you want to hear can cause consternation when you abruptly meet up with .... reality.

See Romney on election night.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Dave...what can I say...you are on a roll. Thanks for calling the liars out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

how many people did they ask? I wouldn't be surprised if they asked 2,000 people. if they choose their sample smartly, they will get 90% of 2,000 agreeing with them.

then they extrapolate that to the rest of America's 250 million and say "90% of Americans want gun control"

OR, they probably added all the thumbs ups and likes to a gun control article published on the internet. even if:
1)some people create more than one user account for themselves, for various reasons

2)anyone in the world can like or unlike, thumb up or thumb down. even non-Americans

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 51 weeks 21 hours ago

Way back in college I actually took a couple of advanced poly-sci courses in polling methodology. Later, during my five years at the RNC, we spent more than a little time pouring over various internal polls on any number of issues; much as witch doctors pour over juju bones. Along the way I learned a few things.
One, even the best of polls are nothing but a snapshot of a moving target. What you get is indistinct and outdated by the time you finish taking it. Taken over a period of several days and weeks polls can indicate a trend, if they keep showing the same thing, but that's about it. They are predictors of nothing.
Two, you can't rely on anything that doesn't sample at least a thousand or so people, and those people have to be screened nine ways from Sunday to make sure they reflect the population demographic. That way, you get a plus or margin error of about four or five-percent, which means they may well be eight to 10-percent off.
Third, you can get almost any kind of poll result you want depending on how you ask the question. Ask, say, "Would you support stricter background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals?", and odds are that about 90-percent of respondents would say, "Yes."
On the other hand, if you asked, "Would you favor background checks that would make you and your best friend felons if you lent him a hunting rifle without a background check?", and about 90-percent would say, "No."
Follow up by asking, "Do you think most criminals would be stupid enough to go through a background check to buy a gun or do you think they'd buy one off the black-market or steal one instead?", and probably 75-percent or two would go with the second option.
Ask straight-forwardly if stricter background checks would keep criminals from getting guns, and I'd venture at least 60 to 70-percent would say, no.
The Washington Post, Gallup and Harris have been running gun control polls for decades. Somehow they always show that a huge majority of people support stricter gun control. Yet when you hold an election on the subject, gun control referendums go down in flames.
Bottomline, it's garbage in, garbage out; just like the polls run in political elections. The media likes polls because it's easier to say who's in front or who's behind than who's telling the truth and who's lying through their teeth. Editorialists like issue polls because they know they can make them say anything they want them to say. If you want to know where public opinion really lies, just check out the Democratic senators from red states who have recently announced they won't be running again after this latest gun control debate. They know polls mean less than the handwriting on the wall.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 51 weeks 19 hours ago

MReeder,

great analysis, thanks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 51 weeks 16 hours ago

I'm waiting with baited breath to find out what NRA rating Manchin and Toomey will get next time. If it's anything higher than C- I'm going to puke!

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from lloydwus wrote 51 weeks 15 hours ago

In Colorado, when similar legislation was being proposed, the legislators repeatedly said that the background check wasn't a burden on law abiding citizens. I wrote all my legislators (state and federal) and told them that since they are recommending limiting my rights, I'd like to be sure that they could pass a background check. That was three months ago and to date not one responded. I guess they have a problem with me abrogating their rights, while they see no problem infringing on mine.

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from Harold wrote 51 weeks 13 hours ago

Yes, we won a battle here, but the fight is far from over. If we're not careful we could win a battle and lose the war. I'm concerned that our opponents ad nauseum repetition of the terms "sensible", "common sense" etc. may start having an effect on the part of the population that is not particularly convinced one way or the other. We're never going to convince people like Biden, Obama or Feinstein of the correctness of our position. Likewise, the opposite is true. The battle is for the hearts and minds of the approximately 60% of the population that doesn't have strong feelings one way or the other. Therefore, we need to be reaching out to that +/- 60% so as to convince as many of them as possible of the correctness of our position. Otherwise, we could end up having our enemies pull some political ju jitsu and turn their defeat into an even bigger victory!

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from Harold wrote 51 weeks 13 hours ago

Yes, we won a battle here, but the fight is far from over. If we're not careful we could win a battle and lose the war. I'm concerned that our opponents ad nauseum repetition of the terms "sensible", "common sense" etc. may start having an effect on the part of the population that is not particularly convinced one way or the other. We're never going to convince people like Biden, Obama or Feinstein of the correctness of our position. Likewise, the opposite is true. The battle is for the hearts and minds of the approximately 60% of the population that doesn't have strong feelings one way or the other. Therefore, we need to be reaching out to that +/- 60% so as to convince as many of them as possible of the correctness of our position. Otherwise, we could end up having our enemies pull some political ju jitsu and turn their defeat into an even bigger victory!

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from firedog11 wrote 51 weeks 12 hours ago

SL I worked for local county government for 30 years and they are supposed to be closer to the voter than the Feds and they couldn't make sensible decisions. The government at all levels wants to make the citizen jump through hoops and the illegal people get a cake walk.
Sen Lautenberg wants background checks on all explosive purchases due to Boston. What a complete jackass! Gasoline and Propane are explosives, SL are you ready to apply for your background check?
Todays (4/26) Washington Times reports that DHS agencies expended 27.9 million round of ammo in the performance of duties in 2012 during operations. (Not training, that was 88 million rounds.) My question is what the hell are they shooting at?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 51 weeks 12 hours ago

Many polls taken by news organizations are never published if they fail to support the position of the poll-takers.
Often, they take numerous polls, and publish the one most favorable to their position.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 11 hours ago

Where is Rock Rat's pollster hero that accurately predicted the last 2 presidential elections?

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from SL wrote 51 weeks 10 hours ago

"SL I worked for local county government for 30 years and they are supposed to be closer to the voter than the Feds and they couldn't make sensible decisions."

You don't trust government, while the government along with many people in this country don't exactly trust you acquiring firearms with virtually NO questions asked. So the question is who is more paranoid here? I think the answer is BOTH. The government mistakingly thinks that more gun restrictions will magically stop all gun violence, while fanatical gun owners like you see on this forum can't see past a gun barrel on how guns that are LEGALLY bought easily end up in the hands of people that shouldn't have them when private sales do not require background checks in many places. Both sides honestly deserve each other, because in my opinion they are both equally insane.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 51 weeks 9 hours ago

I think part of the problem is the perception that most of the guns used by criminals are purchased at gun shows or by 'straw" buyers, when this is not the case. I don't think many anti-gun people have ever been to a gun show, if they did, they would see that there are not a lot of private sales going on, and there are always lots of law enforcement types walking around, not a place most criminals want to frequent.
Most criminals buy their guns from other criminals, as they buy their drugs, which is controlled for the most part by the drug cartels who bring in the guns with the drugs. The cartels buy them on the international market or get them from the Mexican army depots through corruption or intimidation.
so increased background checks, more paperwork and a lot more fees will only limit legal gun purchasers and not stop the crooks.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 51 weeks 9 hours ago

Toomey is gonna have some 'splaining to do here in PA as well.......

Especially since he campaigned as, and keeps sayin he is, Pro Gun Rights.

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from SL wrote 51 weeks 8 hours ago

"I think part of the problem is the perception that most of the guns used by criminals are purchased at gun shows or by 'straw" buyers, when this is not the case."

ALL firearms from manufacturers like Ruger, S&W, Glock, etc. etc., leave the manufacturing plants LEGALLY. Which means that they first go to licensed dealers. It's not like these manufacturers are directly selling them to criminals in some back alley. Since criminals are still getting their hands on these originally LEGAL guns, there is obviously a breakdown somewhere where LEGAL purchasers become the main suppliers for criminals. Whether most here want to accept this reality, is a different story, however. I surely won't be holding my breath.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 51 weeks 8 hours ago

SL,
Guess what; the framers of our Constitution and the state representatives who refused to sign off on it until the Bill of Rights were added on didn't trust a strong federal government either, and that was before there were any gun laws.

Therefore they gave us 3 separate but equal branches of government and the first 10 Amendments.

The trouble most of us have with the tyrant occupying the oval office is that he ignores the Constitution when it doesn't suit his extreme radical agenda. He has given us the most divided populace since the War Between the States...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 51 weeks 8 hours ago

Kudu, we are LONG past the time when there were NO gun laws in this country. If you think we will ever go back to having NO gun laws at all, then you are surely dreaming. It will never happen. There is not one judge currently on the supreme court, or will there ever be in the future, who will interpret the 2nd amendment in a way where they will rule that ANY gun law should automatically be deemed unconstitutional. Nope, will never happen. Even in the Heller decision, that was pro-gun, the court fell far short from deeming ALL gun laws unconstitutional. Even Scalia the most conservative judge does not have issues with reasonable gun regulations.

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from badcapone wrote 51 weeks 7 hours ago

The MSM are a sneaky bunch of snakes it is not what question they ask it is how they word it just like any poll.The 90% figure is just a play on your emotions to make you feel guilty that you are not thinking like everyone else.Just remember they have a dog in this fight.Stand tall and vote for people who will respect the Constitution just the like our Fore Fathers intended

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from kudukid wrote 51 weeks 6 hours ago

SL,

You completely missed the point. You call most of us paranoid for not trusting the current all-powerful federal government currently run by someone who has had American citizens murdered using our armed forces (or the CIA) without benefit of trial.

The framers of our constitution clearly didn't trust a powerful central government. Perhaps they were all paranoid as well since they were the ones who divided central government into 3 branches and insisted that the citizenry have a right to arms.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dws wrote 51 weeks 6 hours ago

I found where the 90% number comes from. obama is just being a parrot and repeating what he is told to say. You need to look back to his trip to Mexico(they should have kept him), and when he said how 90% of the guns came from the U.S.A.. Read, Outdoor Life, Editor’s Journal, Half-Truths, August 2009. Senior National Security Council Spokesman Denis McDonough explains how it works.

I also saw a poll by ABadChoice, the headline was Americans want gun control. The problem with it was, something like 1200 people polled, 63% wanted obama/congress to fix the national debt, 34% wanted jobs, leaving 3%. Out of those 57%(21) wanted more gun control. If it’s a poll, it can be manipulated to say whatever is wanted to say.

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from Tim Platt wrote 51 weeks 1 hour ago

Yeah Obama blew his stack when the vote went south and he couldn't pass his bill to save the children from this horrible gun violence. Then he went off to Planned Parenthood and told them what a wonderful job they were doing snuffing 1,000 babies a day and promising more government money. Am I the only one scratching my head?

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from VicF wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Penn Jillette says it very well: "When terrible things happen citizens cry out for safety and the government responds by taking away freedom from honest people." Freedom is a dangerous thing, and in order to be free we must accept the danger that accompanies it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Dr.Ralph, when it comes to Obama you would do better to scratch the other end!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

If you want a true percentage statement, or perhaps one that is lower than the real world figure, here it is... 90% of all politicians are liars. Yeah, that one is way off too, more like 150% of all politicians are liars, the dem. party makes up for the extra 50%.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Daniel Collay wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

I want D.E.P to explain how gun control would affect hunters and himself. I just want Field and Stream to be a resource for hunting and fishing I'm getting tired of this bickering and arguing.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from VicF wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Daniel, have you considered how background checks (beyond what are already in place) will effect hunting and shooting sports? Have you considered how limitations on numbers of firearms one can own, or purchase in a given time period could effect hunters and shooters? Have you listened to the news to hear Senator Feinstein discuss how she would like to confiscate ALL firearms (you can find that on youtube.com)? Do you understand how that will effect hunters and shooters? Do you understand that if an assault weapons ban is actually put into place, it will not stop criminals from shooting people, but the logic employed by the liberal intelligentsia will lead them to try to ban other firearms? Just because you do not hunt with a semi-auto does not mean it is unethical to do so. My father-in-law hunted for many years with a Remington 762, a fine semi-auto rifle. Lots of other hunters use that same rifle, or other hunting semi-autos. There is nothing unsporting or unethical about that. There is, however, something unconstitutional about outlawing such firearms.

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from kudukid wrote 50 weeks 5 days ago

To Daniel Collay:

Here's how.

These are just a few of the scenarios. I'm sure BATF could come up with a lot more under obama's new chief...

Common activities that we take for granted will become federal crimes. These are not irresponsible exaggerations.

EXAMPLE #1
Loaning your buddy a shotgun for a duck hunting trip will be considered a transfer. If the following requirements are not met, YOU HAVE BOTH COMMITTED A FEDERAL CRIME.

1. He must have already purchased his hunting license
2. Season is already open (and will not close before he returns it)
3. He cannot travel with the firearm through a county where season is not yet open or any area where hunting is prohibited and certainly not across a state line.

He CANNOT stop by your house on the day before season opens, pick up the shot gun, go to the sporting goods store to buy a license and shells then drive out to the hunting site. In this scenario, YOU BOTH WOULD HAVE COMMITTED MULTIPLE FEDERAL CRIMES, YOUR WEAPONS WILL BE FORFEITED AND YOU WILL LOOSE YOUR RIGHT TO BUY OR OWN A FIREARM.

EXAMPLE #2
It appears that only you may relocate your weapons. If your weapon leaves your home without you, the new legislation considers it a transfer of possession. ALL transfers require going through a firearms dealer, paying the transfer fee and a background check for the transferee.

Putting the weapon, even temporarily in someone else's possession, requires a transfer through a dealer. There is no exception for putting them in a friend's truck while moving to your new house or packing them unloaded, locked in a gunsafe into a moving truck.

Any scenario in which your weapon leaves your home without you is considered a transfer. Failure to properly transfer the weapon is a federal crime which can result in a prison term AND WILL RESULT IN THE FORFEITURE OF YOUR WEAPON/WEAPONS.

In the scenario above, your buddy's truck was used to commit a federal crime and WILL BE CONFISCATED just like with current Fish and Game violations.

EXAMPLE #3
Infractions as above which involve 2 guns of any type are considered weapons trafficking. You will be prosecuted under the same federal laws as a terrorist arms dealer.

EXAMPLE #4
Any of the infractions above (or hundreds of other routine scenarios) may result in federal charges, confiscation of ALL your weapons and being prohibited, like all felons, from ever owning a weapon again.

Please read the text of the bill yourself. Most of it is boring legalese but the sections on transfers and trafficking are critical.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 50 weeks 5 days ago

i would be willing to bet that the real reason gun control failed this time around was because of all the hard work of everyday Joe's and Jane's, who took the time to write, e-mail, or phone their representatives. when 75% of us showed them that the pure b.s. number 90% was a blatant lie, they knew if they wanted ANY votes next election, they had to drop this issue like a 450 degree potato. but if this is true, it will NEVER, EVER be published. to do so would be suicide for the mainstream media and all of the anti-gun coalition. it would also give the rest of us regular folks the idea that if we wanted something important fixed in this country, we could actually get it done by contacting our representatives. and that would be devastating for "the political machine". imagine what MIGHT happen if 70-80% of the American public told congress to fix Social Security! or balance the budget! or something even more basic, like QUIT TRYING TO INTERPRET THE CONSTITUTION FOR YOUR POINT OF VIEW! the very thought of the general public actually steering our government where "We, The People" want it to go would be extremely dangerous to the political machine that now controls the government. there would be panic on a scale that this country has never seen before. i say, let's try it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I'm just glad I'm part of the 10%!

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from Bioguy01 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

90% of people may have been in favor of background checks, but that didn't mean that 90% of people were in favor of the "universal background check" bill that hit capitol hill a couple of weeks ago.

I'm just going to throw an idea out there, and you can dismiss it, think about it, ridicule it, constructively criticize it, or discuss it. I don't believe that it is necessary to go to a gun shop to conduct a private sale or transfer of a firearm, but if a transfer is to occur between complete strangers, then I do believe that a background check should be highly encouraged as a way of "covering your @$$" if that firearm should ever be used in a gun crime. Would it be unreasonable for private individuals to conduct a background check on their own? I mean I have worked at a gun shop before, and the standard 4473 form is available online, and the phone call to the NICS just tells if the transfer is approved, delayed, or denied. That's it...they don't discuss details. It takes about 10-15 minutes to fill out the form and make the phone call, and there's no reason to go anywhere to have that done by another person when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves. The person transferring the firearm can keep the 4473 for their records to prove that a background check occurred during the transfer. I don't think that's unreasonable. Any thoughts?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

lets face it...the background checks did their job with the kid from newtown, conn. he failed the background check, was denied purchase of an ar15, but killed mom to get to hers. anyone who ignores this major fact is an idiot.

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from SL wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

"Would it be unreasonable for private individuals to conduct a background check on their own?"
Of course it wouldn't be unreasonable. In this computer age we live in, I think a simplified online method could be devised easily. Any law-abiding gun owner who wants to keep guns away from those who shouldn't have them should have NO issues with something as simple as this. You are making way too much sense for most of the people who post here, however. They don't know the meaning of the world "reasonable". In their world it's "their way, or the highway", which makes them NO better then the most rabid anti-gunners out there. Like I've said before, they deserve each other.

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from Rocaphilla wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

Petzal demonstrates once again why coming to an Outdoors blog for political commentary is a mistake. Stick to writing about guns, DP, and leave legislative discussions to those who have enough journalistic integrity to do more than a quick Google search in order to provide snippets of fodder for the reading base that you know is just going to eat up your every word. Accusing the Washington Post of bias and then writing the way you do regarding firearms legislation is intellectual laziness.

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from JohnR wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

Actually, this column is called "The Gun Nut", therefore any regulations pending or otherwise concerning guns and their ownership would be appropriate and justifiable to a gun nut. It's not just about hunting guns.

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from Rocaphilla wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

It's not, however, called "The Soapbox", which is how Petzal has tended to treat it of late.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

Rocaphilla - Nobody is forcing you to read it.

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from art6555 wrote 48 weeks 1 day ago

From what I see its like this;

You are an a real piece of trash if you judge the whole muslim world because of the acts of a few crazies.

You are a real piece of trash if you do not judge the legal, law abiding AMERICAN gun owners because of the acts of a few crazies.

SL, you can talk all you want about background checks that go beyond what we have now. Fact: The system we have now doesn't work, it has not since it was introduced. You can talk about "this day and age of computers, we could self register". Now what makes you think for one minute our Government would trust us to do that when they don't trust the FFL dealers at gun shows to do it. (Every gun I have ever purchased at a gun show has had background checks...100% of them). Even if they did, that just made it easier for every criminal with a computer now didn't it?
I don't believe in being part of the problem but part of the solution. My recommendation is taking all those laws we currently have.....and , I don't know, maybe try enforcing them. All we have to do is look at how hard it is to get a "registered" gun in places like Chicago, NYC or Washington D.C. to see how more complex laws work.

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from art6555 wrote 48 weeks 1 day ago

In the prospect of "reasonable" I am going to write my politicians again and ask them to start a new crusade. I want them to ban heroin and meth. "For the children"

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from Dcast wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

His speech was 90%, 90% petulant child 10% man! I'm so freaking tired of this manchild I'm on the verge of shoving pencils in my eyes and ears! If 90% of the population wanted stricter gun laws then why were there 30 million+ firearms sold in his 1st term? Why is there a shortage of ammo outside of hoarders? Why is there record numbers CCW permits being issued? Why is it Barrack Obama is president? Simple 51% of Americans are total f-ing idiots! Thanks and see you tomorrow!

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from MReeder wrote 51 weeks 21 hours ago

Way back in college I actually took a couple of advanced poly-sci courses in polling methodology. Later, during my five years at the RNC, we spent more than a little time pouring over various internal polls on any number of issues; much as witch doctors pour over juju bones. Along the way I learned a few things.
One, even the best of polls are nothing but a snapshot of a moving target. What you get is indistinct and outdated by the time you finish taking it. Taken over a period of several days and weeks polls can indicate a trend, if they keep showing the same thing, but that's about it. They are predictors of nothing.
Two, you can't rely on anything that doesn't sample at least a thousand or so people, and those people have to be screened nine ways from Sunday to make sure they reflect the population demographic. That way, you get a plus or margin error of about four or five-percent, which means they may well be eight to 10-percent off.
Third, you can get almost any kind of poll result you want depending on how you ask the question. Ask, say, "Would you support stricter background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals?", and odds are that about 90-percent of respondents would say, "Yes."
On the other hand, if you asked, "Would you favor background checks that would make you and your best friend felons if you lent him a hunting rifle without a background check?", and about 90-percent would say, "No."
Follow up by asking, "Do you think most criminals would be stupid enough to go through a background check to buy a gun or do you think they'd buy one off the black-market or steal one instead?", and probably 75-percent or two would go with the second option.
Ask straight-forwardly if stricter background checks would keep criminals from getting guns, and I'd venture at least 60 to 70-percent would say, no.
The Washington Post, Gallup and Harris have been running gun control polls for decades. Somehow they always show that a huge majority of people support stricter gun control. Yet when you hold an election on the subject, gun control referendums go down in flames.
Bottomline, it's garbage in, garbage out; just like the polls run in political elections. The media likes polls because it's easier to say who's in front or who's behind than who's telling the truth and who's lying through their teeth. Editorialists like issue polls because they know they can make them say anything they want them to say. If you want to know where public opinion really lies, just check out the Democratic senators from red states who have recently announced they won't be running again after this latest gun control debate. They know polls mean less than the handwriting on the wall.

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from TM wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Allow me to bemoan the sorry state of journalism in this fine country. I know that the internet has threatened traditional medial of all types (including our beloved F&S), but journalism used to be important, and used to investigate and report. Now, it seems content to try to be first to publish rumors as "breaking news." (See CNN's embarrassing display in covering the Boston Marathon).

Even old stalwarts have declined into partisan rags. The WSJ after Newscorp's purchase is not nearly as good as it once was and its politics have entered the rest of the paper. If not careful, it might suffer New York Timesitis -- the infection of a once wonderful publication with shrill partisan drivel.

Speaking of the Old Grey Lady, did anyone else notice that the House Republicans released a report on Benghazi that was highly critical of the administration and Secretary Clinton? If you did, then you read it in some publication other than the New York Times, which was radio silent on the matter. Even if the editors think that this was a partisan political dust up by House Republicans (which, it surely, and partly was), doesn't it warrant reporting? Even if you then trash partisanship in your editorial, you should at least report that Congress, at great taxpayer expense, released a report that blasts the administration over Libya. You can then dump all over Congress in your editorial pages if you want to do so, but the story was newsworthy. At least, it would have been newsworthy in a bygone era.

These are strange times for print journalism. The news cafe serves garbage and then wonders why they can't make a living selling garbage.

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from Red Angus wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

If I were to take a poll about gun laws and only asked family members, such as cousins, aunts, uncles, ect., I would come up with roughly 100% opposing: magazine restrictions, so-called "assault" weapons bans, and gun-free zones.

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from RJ Arena wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

"Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics", as Mark Twain has said, sums it up. Polls mean something, but not everything, 'cause its is how you ask the question, who you ask, and when. Of course if you don't like those you contact(i.e. gun owners) you can eliminate them from the poll.

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from weswes088 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I can't stand "statistics" generated by polls. They're just so easy to manipulate and draw flat out wrong conclusions from. What bothers me most, though, is the number of people that take such information as God's Truth without a second thought as to how it was conducted, who was polled, how many people, etc etc. Oh, how easily the sheep are misled.

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from SMC1986 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

As a graduate of WVU, Manchin's Alma Mater, I hope he is unemployed in the near future.

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from buckhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Many people, including many politicians, do not realize that the US of America is a Republic, not a Democracy and the states created the Federal Gov't and still hold supreme power over the Feds. This was evident by the many County Sheriffs whom openly said they will not obey new gun control laws. No LEO of the Federal Gov't out ranks the County Sheriff. Our Founding Fathers got it right when they kept control at the state level. I think this had a lot to do with the defeat of the gun control laws.

Also, one of my favorite quotes concerning statistics came from the Jimmy Carter era. "Statistics are like bikinis's. They show you everything you want to see but hide the details." Not sure who said it.

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from doekiller wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Let's be damned clear, Toomey is not going to enjoy any favor from those of us that brought his political career back from his previous defeat. I hope he thinks long and hard what happened to our last turn coat Senator Mr. Spector, he was gone the next election cycle. We send you to Washington and you flip the bird to those that supported you in not one but two previous election attempts??? Good luck bud, you won't be getting my support again.

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from Tim Platt wrote 51 weeks 1 hour ago

Yeah Obama blew his stack when the vote went south and he couldn't pass his bill to save the children from this horrible gun violence. Then he went off to Planned Parenthood and told them what a wonderful job they were doing snuffing 1,000 babies a day and promising more government money. Am I the only one scratching my head?

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from kudukid wrote 50 weeks 5 days ago

To Daniel Collay:

Here's how.

These are just a few of the scenarios. I'm sure BATF could come up with a lot more under obama's new chief...

Common activities that we take for granted will become federal crimes. These are not irresponsible exaggerations.

EXAMPLE #1
Loaning your buddy a shotgun for a duck hunting trip will be considered a transfer. If the following requirements are not met, YOU HAVE BOTH COMMITTED A FEDERAL CRIME.

1. He must have already purchased his hunting license
2. Season is already open (and will not close before he returns it)
3. He cannot travel with the firearm through a county where season is not yet open or any area where hunting is prohibited and certainly not across a state line.

He CANNOT stop by your house on the day before season opens, pick up the shot gun, go to the sporting goods store to buy a license and shells then drive out to the hunting site. In this scenario, YOU BOTH WOULD HAVE COMMITTED MULTIPLE FEDERAL CRIMES, YOUR WEAPONS WILL BE FORFEITED AND YOU WILL LOOSE YOUR RIGHT TO BUY OR OWN A FIREARM.

EXAMPLE #2
It appears that only you may relocate your weapons. If your weapon leaves your home without you, the new legislation considers it a transfer of possession. ALL transfers require going through a firearms dealer, paying the transfer fee and a background check for the transferee.

Putting the weapon, even temporarily in someone else's possession, requires a transfer through a dealer. There is no exception for putting them in a friend's truck while moving to your new house or packing them unloaded, locked in a gunsafe into a moving truck.

Any scenario in which your weapon leaves your home without you is considered a transfer. Failure to properly transfer the weapon is a federal crime which can result in a prison term AND WILL RESULT IN THE FORFEITURE OF YOUR WEAPON/WEAPONS.

In the scenario above, your buddy's truck was used to commit a federal crime and WILL BE CONFISCATED just like with current Fish and Game violations.

EXAMPLE #3
Infractions as above which involve 2 guns of any type are considered weapons trafficking. You will be prosecuted under the same federal laws as a terrorist arms dealer.

EXAMPLE #4
Any of the infractions above (or hundreds of other routine scenarios) may result in federal charges, confiscation of ALL your weapons and being prohibited, like all felons, from ever owning a weapon again.

Please read the text of the bill yourself. Most of it is boring legalese but the sections on transfers and trafficking are critical.

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from Safado wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Figures lie, and liars figure!

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from Dcast wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Wesweso, You're correct!

3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population.

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from fox4 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Sensible gun laws!!! When is the last time the government came up with anything sensible or reasonable? We are in deep trouble when the political and news media codswallop defines what is sensible. The government is why sensible people need protection. And I hate, hate, hate leadership by polls. Can you imagine a platoon leader asking the troops, "Shall we go for a reasonable stroll today?" They do not know sensible from a cat's fundament.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

The only time the self-serving sewer rats we call congress gives a rat's ass (pardon the pun) about what you and I think is when they are evalution policy and votes and how it will impact their chances for re-election. Nothing more.... Vote 'em all out!

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from lloydwus wrote 51 weeks 15 hours ago

In Colorado, when similar legislation was being proposed, the legislators repeatedly said that the background check wasn't a burden on law abiding citizens. I wrote all my legislators (state and federal) and told them that since they are recommending limiting my rights, I'd like to be sure that they could pass a background check. That was three months ago and to date not one responded. I guess they have a problem with me abrogating their rights, while they see no problem infringing on mine.

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from Harold wrote 51 weeks 13 hours ago

Yes, we won a battle here, but the fight is far from over. If we're not careful we could win a battle and lose the war. I'm concerned that our opponents ad nauseum repetition of the terms "sensible", "common sense" etc. may start having an effect on the part of the population that is not particularly convinced one way or the other. We're never going to convince people like Biden, Obama or Feinstein of the correctness of our position. Likewise, the opposite is true. The battle is for the hearts and minds of the approximately 60% of the population that doesn't have strong feelings one way or the other. Therefore, we need to be reaching out to that +/- 60% so as to convince as many of them as possible of the correctness of our position. Otherwise, we could end up having our enemies pull some political ju jitsu and turn their defeat into an even bigger victory!

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from firedog11 wrote 51 weeks 12 hours ago

SL I worked for local county government for 30 years and they are supposed to be closer to the voter than the Feds and they couldn't make sensible decisions. The government at all levels wants to make the citizen jump through hoops and the illegal people get a cake walk.
Sen Lautenberg wants background checks on all explosive purchases due to Boston. What a complete jackass! Gasoline and Propane are explosives, SL are you ready to apply for your background check?
Todays (4/26) Washington Times reports that DHS agencies expended 27.9 million round of ammo in the performance of duties in 2012 during operations. (Not training, that was 88 million rounds.) My question is what the hell are they shooting at?

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from RJ Arena wrote 51 weeks 9 hours ago

I think part of the problem is the perception that most of the guns used by criminals are purchased at gun shows or by 'straw" buyers, when this is not the case. I don't think many anti-gun people have ever been to a gun show, if they did, they would see that there are not a lot of private sales going on, and there are always lots of law enforcement types walking around, not a place most criminals want to frequent.
Most criminals buy their guns from other criminals, as they buy their drugs, which is controlled for the most part by the drug cartels who bring in the guns with the drugs. The cartels buy them on the international market or get them from the Mexican army depots through corruption or intimidation.
so increased background checks, more paperwork and a lot more fees will only limit legal gun purchasers and not stop the crooks.

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from kudukid wrote 51 weeks 8 hours ago

SL,
Guess what; the framers of our Constitution and the state representatives who refused to sign off on it until the Bill of Rights were added on didn't trust a strong federal government either, and that was before there were any gun laws.

Therefore they gave us 3 separate but equal branches of government and the first 10 Amendments.

The trouble most of us have with the tyrant occupying the oval office is that he ignores the Constitution when it doesn't suit his extreme radical agenda. He has given us the most divided populace since the War Between the States...

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from badcapone wrote 51 weeks 7 hours ago

The MSM are a sneaky bunch of snakes it is not what question they ask it is how they word it just like any poll.The 90% figure is just a play on your emotions to make you feel guilty that you are not thinking like everyone else.Just remember they have a dog in this fight.Stand tall and vote for people who will respect the Constitution just the like our Fore Fathers intended

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from VicF wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Daniel, have you considered how background checks (beyond what are already in place) will effect hunting and shooting sports? Have you considered how limitations on numbers of firearms one can own, or purchase in a given time period could effect hunters and shooters? Have you listened to the news to hear Senator Feinstein discuss how she would like to confiscate ALL firearms (you can find that on youtube.com)? Do you understand how that will effect hunters and shooters? Do you understand that if an assault weapons ban is actually put into place, it will not stop criminals from shooting people, but the logic employed by the liberal intelligentsia will lead them to try to ban other firearms? Just because you do not hunt with a semi-auto does not mean it is unethical to do so. My father-in-law hunted for many years with a Remington 762, a fine semi-auto rifle. Lots of other hunters use that same rifle, or other hunting semi-autos. There is nothing unsporting or unethical about that. There is, however, something unconstitutional about outlawing such firearms.

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from JohnR wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

Actually, this column is called "The Gun Nut", therefore any regulations pending or otherwise concerning guns and their ownership would be appropriate and justifiable to a gun nut. It's not just about hunting guns.

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from Longhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

It's a funny thing with the press recently. When they tell a lie ofter enough not only are they trying to convince everyone else it's the truth but they themselves begin to believe it too. The real reason why it did not go through at least I believe, is for a couple or reasons. There are a hell of a lot more of us, gun owners than they think and that people in general started to question what impact that the bill would have had to prevent the shootings from happening in the first place. The answer is none and such a bill only gives the delusioned minded out there hope that it will keep everyone safer. If anyone feels that the government is gong to protect them then they are going to be very disapointed indeed.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

007 seems to know how to contact him directly. Maybe he can send him a fundament reamer of appropriate caliber.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

It sounds to me like the currect background check system isn't being enforced so why would anything change? Or were there parts of Manchin Toomey that Obama was just licking his chops over? I was not in favor of it based on the thousands of "common sense" gun laws we have already.

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from MaxPower wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

"Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that." Homer J. Simpson

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Dave...what can I say...you are on a roll. Thanks for calling the liars out.

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from O Garcia wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

how many people did they ask? I wouldn't be surprised if they asked 2,000 people. if they choose their sample smartly, they will get 90% of 2,000 agreeing with them.

then they extrapolate that to the rest of America's 250 million and say "90% of Americans want gun control"

OR, they probably added all the thumbs ups and likes to a gun control article published on the internet. even if:
1)some people create more than one user account for themselves, for various reasons

2)anyone in the world can like or unlike, thumb up or thumb down. even non-Americans

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from O Garcia wrote 51 weeks 19 hours ago

MReeder,

great analysis, thanks.

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from 99explorer wrote 51 weeks 12 hours ago

Many polls taken by news organizations are never published if they fail to support the position of the poll-takers.
Often, they take numerous polls, and publish the one most favorable to their position.

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from kudukid wrote 51 weeks 6 hours ago

SL,

You completely missed the point. You call most of us paranoid for not trusting the current all-powerful federal government currently run by someone who has had American citizens murdered using our armed forces (or the CIA) without benefit of trial.

The framers of our constitution clearly didn't trust a powerful central government. Perhaps they were all paranoid as well since they were the ones who divided central government into 3 branches and insisted that the citizenry have a right to arms.

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from dws wrote 51 weeks 6 hours ago

I found where the 90% number comes from. obama is just being a parrot and repeating what he is told to say. You need to look back to his trip to Mexico(they should have kept him), and when he said how 90% of the guns came from the U.S.A.. Read, Outdoor Life, Editor’s Journal, Half-Truths, August 2009. Senior National Security Council Spokesman Denis McDonough explains how it works.

I also saw a poll by ABadChoice, the headline was Americans want gun control. The problem with it was, something like 1200 people polled, 63% wanted obama/congress to fix the national debt, 34% wanted jobs, leaving 3%. Out of those 57%(21) wanted more gun control. If it’s a poll, it can be manipulated to say whatever is wanted to say.

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from VicF wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Penn Jillette says it very well: "When terrible things happen citizens cry out for safety and the government responds by taking away freedom from honest people." Freedom is a dangerous thing, and in order to be free we must accept the danger that accompanies it.

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from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

If you want a true percentage statement, or perhaps one that is lower than the real world figure, here it is... 90% of all politicians are liars. Yeah, that one is way off too, more like 150% of all politicians are liars, the dem. party makes up for the extra 50%.

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from elmer f. wrote 50 weeks 5 days ago

i would be willing to bet that the real reason gun control failed this time around was because of all the hard work of everyday Joe's and Jane's, who took the time to write, e-mail, or phone their representatives. when 75% of us showed them that the pure b.s. number 90% was a blatant lie, they knew if they wanted ANY votes next election, they had to drop this issue like a 450 degree potato. but if this is true, it will NEVER, EVER be published. to do so would be suicide for the mainstream media and all of the anti-gun coalition. it would also give the rest of us regular folks the idea that if we wanted something important fixed in this country, we could actually get it done by contacting our representatives. and that would be devastating for "the political machine". imagine what MIGHT happen if 70-80% of the American public told congress to fix Social Security! or balance the budget! or something even more basic, like QUIT TRYING TO INTERPRET THE CONSTITUTION FOR YOUR POINT OF VIEW! the very thought of the general public actually steering our government where "We, The People" want it to go would be extremely dangerous to the political machine that now controls the government. there would be panic on a scale that this country has never seen before. i say, let's try it!

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from Bioguy01 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

90% of people may have been in favor of background checks, but that didn't mean that 90% of people were in favor of the "universal background check" bill that hit capitol hill a couple of weeks ago.

I'm just going to throw an idea out there, and you can dismiss it, think about it, ridicule it, constructively criticize it, or discuss it. I don't believe that it is necessary to go to a gun shop to conduct a private sale or transfer of a firearm, but if a transfer is to occur between complete strangers, then I do believe that a background check should be highly encouraged as a way of "covering your @$$" if that firearm should ever be used in a gun crime. Would it be unreasonable for private individuals to conduct a background check on their own? I mean I have worked at a gun shop before, and the standard 4473 form is available online, and the phone call to the NICS just tells if the transfer is approved, delayed, or denied. That's it...they don't discuss details. It takes about 10-15 minutes to fill out the form and make the phone call, and there's no reason to go anywhere to have that done by another person when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves. The person transferring the firearm can keep the 4473 for their records to prove that a background check occurred during the transfer. I don't think that's unreasonable. Any thoughts?

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from Bioguy01 wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

Rocaphilla - Nobody is forcing you to read it.

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from Mark-1 wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Even if there was some substance to 90% the whole issue is a mile wide and an inch deep. Everyone can agree to background checks, but once the item of gun control and a registry came into play that 90% turned against passage.

I'm not even entering into the Astroturf Kingdom. Gabby Giffords NY Times rant is something to behold.

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from ozarkghost wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

I think that Congress may have actually listened to the people this time.

The employers (all citizens) need to hold the employee's (the government) feet to the fire and tell them that if they do not start representing us that they can find another job. Then we need to elect those who do not have 'beltway' ties and change some of the stuff that is so screwed up.

I know but I can dream can't I?

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from rock rat wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Reading polls that tell you what you want to hear can cause consternation when you abruptly meet up with .... reality.

See Romney on election night.

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from kudukid wrote 51 weeks 16 hours ago

I'm waiting with baited breath to find out what NRA rating Manchin and Toomey will get next time. If it's anything higher than C- I'm going to puke!

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from Harold wrote 51 weeks 13 hours ago

Yes, we won a battle here, but the fight is far from over. If we're not careful we could win a battle and lose the war. I'm concerned that our opponents ad nauseum repetition of the terms "sensible", "common sense" etc. may start having an effect on the part of the population that is not particularly convinced one way or the other. We're never going to convince people like Biden, Obama or Feinstein of the correctness of our position. Likewise, the opposite is true. The battle is for the hearts and minds of the approximately 60% of the population that doesn't have strong feelings one way or the other. Therefore, we need to be reaching out to that +/- 60% so as to convince as many of them as possible of the correctness of our position. Otherwise, we could end up having our enemies pull some political ju jitsu and turn their defeat into an even bigger victory!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 51 weeks 11 hours ago

Where is Rock Rat's pollster hero that accurately predicted the last 2 presidential elections?

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from Zermoid wrote 51 weeks 9 hours ago

Toomey is gonna have some 'splaining to do here in PA as well.......

Especially since he campaigned as, and keeps sayin he is, Pro Gun Rights.

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from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

Dr.Ralph, when it comes to Obama you would do better to scratch the other end!

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from hutter wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I'm just glad I'm part of the 10%!

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from coachsjike wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

lets face it...the background checks did their job with the kid from newtown, conn. he failed the background check, was denied purchase of an ar15, but killed mom to get to hers. anyone who ignores this major fact is an idiot.

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from Rocaphilla wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

It's not, however, called "The Soapbox", which is how Petzal has tended to treat it of late.

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from art6555 wrote 48 weeks 1 day ago

From what I see its like this;

You are an a real piece of trash if you judge the whole muslim world because of the acts of a few crazies.

You are a real piece of trash if you do not judge the legal, law abiding AMERICAN gun owners because of the acts of a few crazies.

SL, you can talk all you want about background checks that go beyond what we have now. Fact: The system we have now doesn't work, it has not since it was introduced. You can talk about "this day and age of computers, we could self register". Now what makes you think for one minute our Government would trust us to do that when they don't trust the FFL dealers at gun shows to do it. (Every gun I have ever purchased at a gun show has had background checks...100% of them). Even if they did, that just made it easier for every criminal with a computer now didn't it?
I don't believe in being part of the problem but part of the solution. My recommendation is taking all those laws we currently have.....and , I don't know, maybe try enforcing them. All we have to do is look at how hard it is to get a "registered" gun in places like Chicago, NYC or Washington D.C. to see how more complex laws work.

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from art6555 wrote 48 weeks 1 day ago

In the prospect of "reasonable" I am going to write my politicians again and ask them to start a new crusade. I want them to ban heroin and meth. "For the children"

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from SL wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

"Would it be unreasonable for private individuals to conduct a background check on their own?"
Of course it wouldn't be unreasonable. In this computer age we live in, I think a simplified online method could be devised easily. Any law-abiding gun owner who wants to keep guns away from those who shouldn't have them should have NO issues with something as simple as this. You are making way too much sense for most of the people who post here, however. They don't know the meaning of the world "reasonable". In their world it's "their way, or the highway", which makes them NO better then the most rabid anti-gunners out there. Like I've said before, they deserve each other.

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from SL wrote 51 weeks 8 hours ago

"I think part of the problem is the perception that most of the guns used by criminals are purchased at gun shows or by 'straw" buyers, when this is not the case."

ALL firearms from manufacturers like Ruger, S&W, Glock, etc. etc., leave the manufacturing plants LEGALLY. Which means that they first go to licensed dealers. It's not like these manufacturers are directly selling them to criminals in some back alley. Since criminals are still getting their hands on these originally LEGAL guns, there is obviously a breakdown somewhere where LEGAL purchasers become the main suppliers for criminals. Whether most here want to accept this reality, is a different story, however. I surely won't be holding my breath.

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from Daniel Collay wrote 50 weeks 6 days ago

I want D.E.P to explain how gun control would affect hunters and himself. I just want Field and Stream to be a resource for hunting and fishing I'm getting tired of this bickering and arguing.

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from Rocaphilla wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

Petzal demonstrates once again why coming to an Outdoors blog for political commentary is a mistake. Stick to writing about guns, DP, and leave legislative discussions to those who have enough journalistic integrity to do more than a quick Google search in order to provide snippets of fodder for the reading base that you know is just going to eat up your every word. Accusing the Washington Post of bias and then writing the way you do regarding firearms legislation is intellectual laziness.

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from SL wrote 51 weeks 10 hours ago

"SL I worked for local county government for 30 years and they are supposed to be closer to the voter than the Feds and they couldn't make sensible decisions."

You don't trust government, while the government along with many people in this country don't exactly trust you acquiring firearms with virtually NO questions asked. So the question is who is more paranoid here? I think the answer is BOTH. The government mistakingly thinks that more gun restrictions will magically stop all gun violence, while fanatical gun owners like you see on this forum can't see past a gun barrel on how guns that are LEGALLY bought easily end up in the hands of people that shouldn't have them when private sales do not require background checks in many places. Both sides honestly deserve each other, because in my opinion they are both equally insane.

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from SL wrote 51 weeks 8 hours ago

Kudu, we are LONG past the time when there were NO gun laws in this country. If you think we will ever go back to having NO gun laws at all, then you are surely dreaming. It will never happen. There is not one judge currently on the supreme court, or will there ever be in the future, who will interpret the 2nd amendment in a way where they will rule that ANY gun law should automatically be deemed unconstitutional. Nope, will never happen. Even in the Heller decision, that was pro-gun, the court fell far short from deeming ALL gun laws unconstitutional. Even Scalia the most conservative judge does not have issues with reasonable gun regulations.

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from SL wrote 51 weeks 1 day ago

Let's put it this way. How many gun owners want background checks totally eliminated? I would bet that well over 50 % do NOT want to eliminate it. So either way you have the majority of Americans in support of sensible gun laws, no matter what DP or the NRA tries to tell you. Why this bill didn't pass should NOT surprise anyone. What issue HAS gotten solved by our government of late?? Not too many, if any. Nothing ever get solved in this country anymore because there are special interest lobbies on both sides of every issue pushing for the issue to NEVER get solved. If these issues would ever get solved, these special interest groups would become defunct and NO more money would be coming to them. So it is beneficial to them to have NO resolution ever made on any given issue. This, my friends is the reason this gun control bill died, just as all other issues never get solved by our beloved government. If politicians had some cajones and didn't bend over for special interest groups, maybe we would get somewhere on the gun issue and others.

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