Ballot may determine gun control measures

After struggling to sway both state and federal lawmakers, proponents of expanding background checks for gun sales are now exploring whether they will have more success by taking the issue directly to voters.
Associated Press
Apr 29, 2013

While advocates generally prefer that new gun laws be passed through the legislative process, especially at the national level, they are also concerned about how much sway the National Rifle Association has with lawmakers.

Washington Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a Democrat who had sponsored unsuccessful legislation on background checks at the state level, said a winning ballot initiative would make a statement with broad implications.

"It's more powerful if the voters do it — as opposed to our doing it," Pedersen said. "And it would make it easier for the Legislature to do even more."

On Monday, proponents of universal background checks in Washington will announce their plan to launch a statewide initiative campaign that would require the collection of some 300,000 signatures, according to a person involved in the initiative planning who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt the official announcement.

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has scheduled a fundraiser in Seattle at the end of next month and hopes to have a campaign budget in the millions of dollars.

Ballot measures may be an option elsewhere, too. Hildy Saizow, president of Arizonans for Gun Safety, said an initiative is one of the things the group will be considering as it reconsiders strategies. An organizer in Oregon was focused on the Legislature for now but wouldn't rule out a ballot measure in the future if lawmakers fail to pass a proposed bill there.

While advocates have had recent success on background checks in places like Connecticut and Colorado, they've been thwarted in some other states and in Congress. The U.S. Senate rejected a plan to expand background checks earlier this month, although lawmakers in the chamber are still working to gather additional votes.

Brian Malte, director of mobilization at the national nonprofit lobbying group Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said passage through Congress is the ideal in order to have a national solution and so that states with strong gun laws aren't undermined by nearby states with weaker standards. He noted that initiative campaigns are costly endeavors that can drain important, limited resources.

Still, Malte said, the ballot measures are an option to consider.

"At some point, certainly decisions need to be made about what the right time is to say we take it to the people," Malte said.

Brian Judy, a lobbyist who represents the NRA in Washington state, did not return calls seeking comment about the new initiative. He has previously said the NRA would likely oppose such an effort, arguing that the recently proposed laws on background checks would largely impact law-abiding citizens instead of the intended targets such as criminals and the mentally ill.

Gun measures have had mixed results at the ballot. More than 70 percent of Washington state voters rejected a 1997 initiative campaign that would have required handgun owners to pass a safety course. After the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, voters in Colorado and Oregon approved ballot measures the next year to require background checks for buying weapons at gun shows.

Following another massacre in Colorado earlier this year, state lawmakers approved a bill to expand background checks to private transactions and online purchases. A similar expansion plan in Oregon is stalled in the state Senate.

Some states don't see initiatives as a viable option right now. In Missouri, state Rep. Stacey Newman has been pushing for background checks with little success. While she spoke positively about the idea of a ballot initiative, she said there's no serious consideration of it because of the cost and coordination required just to get it on the ballot. Instead, the supporters of background checks in the state are simply working to prevent NRA-supported legislation from passing the state's General Assembly.

"We're continually on defense," she said.

Gun buyers currently must undergo a background check when they purchase a weapon from a federally licensed firearms dealer but can avoid checks in most states by using private purchases, such as at gun shows.

Washington state advocates believe polls show the public is sufficiently on the side of expanding background checks further. An independent Elway Poll conducted two months ago found that 79 percent of registered voters in Washington state supported background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions.

That wasn't enough to shepherd the bill through the Legislature. Even in the state House, which is controlled by Democrats, supporters fell short after an NRA campaign put pressure on some lawmakers. Pedersen had offered concessions through the process, including the option of sending the measure out for a public vote and exemptions for people who already have concealed pistol licenses or law enforcement credentials.

Pedersen said he was working with the initiative organizers on language for the proposal, and he said the Legislature would first have another chance to adopt the measure early next year. If it fails among lawmakers again, the proposal would then automatically go to the ballot, where Pedersen said he welcomed a campaign competing against groups like the NRA.

"I'm not afraid of it at all," Pedersen said. "The public is really with us. It's the right policy. I think it can be useful for further progress."

 

Comments

Contango

What's the "game plan"?

The political ruling class (nomenklatura) creates so many new and complicated laws that it becomes next to impossible for any "law abiding" citizen not to be a criminal.

From "Atlas Shrugged":

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?”, said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against—then you’ll know that this is not the age of beautiful gestures.

We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men.

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them.

One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone?

But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of law-breakers—and then you cash in on guilt.

Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Say what you will about Ayn Rand, but she grew up in the USSR, she understood what it meant to live under authoritarian rule.

Centauri

I did ask a question some time ago about ideas for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows or from private individuals. Nobody answered my question.

Instead of back ground checks on people, why not have a list of people prohibited from buying or owning guns? The Ohio sheriffs already do background checks on people who desire to have a CCW license. I don't like giving up state rights to the federal government. There are many ways for states to regulate the sale of guns to those who should not have them.

I have a motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license. Yet people without a MC endorsement will break the law and ride anyway. An endorsement to buy firearms could be put on a driver license or identity card. If an individual lacks the firearms endorsement, then no gun sales to that person.

Voters in general are not informed or will vote party lines. It appears that the Democrats want more gun control legislation yet the laws already passed are not enforced. Outlaws will not follow the laws. Voters will vote in corrupt people into office and vote out the decent and honest people.

In Cuyahoga County, Ohio voters almost voted in a corrupt judge that the FBI and Plain Dealer newspaper exposed yet the voters almost voted in this corrupt judge because she had a "D" behind her name.

On the local levels in Perkins Township, in Erie County, Ohio, the voters booted out an honest and well qualified Fiscal Officer and voted in an unqualified person with no experience who then asked for money to hire an assistant.

Putting the gun control issue on a ballot for the voters is a poor idea. There are better options out there to keep guns away from those who should not have them.

looking around

They had a chance to put in place reformed law but the gutless wonders couldn't do it because they feared retaliation from lobby's such as the NRA when election time rolled around. So now it may end up in the voters hands. My bet is that it will pass and will be even more stringent then what was originally proposed.

S w Rand 2016

While I am not all that concerned with expanded background checks, I have to take issue with anyone who advocates it by providing false information as the justification..especially when they note that "it would make it easier for the Legislature to do even more."

Let's look at the facts on the rel crime stats. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O... <--- This should be all we need to say, but let's go even further with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H...

How many times does it have to be said before these people get it through their thick skulls?
- Violent crime and murder in the U.S. has gone DOWN by 50% in the last 20 years since the Assault Weapons Ban was done away with. Just look at the FBI official statistics on their .gov website.
- What about the UK, you say? Their murder rate has steadily gone UPward as they incrementally passed more and more Gun Control.

Stop wasting money we don't have to gather support and to pass laws which are PROVEN (see above crime stat videos) to INCREASE our murder rate, making us LESS SAFE. Period. That is all.

S w Rand 2016

"I didn’t want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. I’ve been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much every single thing an anti-gun person can say. I’ve heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and I’ve spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don’t mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can’t stand).

Today’s blog post is going to be aimed at the first group. I am going to try to go through everything I’ve heard over the last few days, and try to break it down from my perspective. My goal tonight is to write something that my regular readers will be able to share with their friends who may not be as familiar with how mass shootings or gun control laws work.

A little background for those of you who don’t know me, and this is going to be extensive so feel free to skip the next few paragraphs, but I need to establish the fact that I know what I am talking about, because I am sick and tired of my opinion having the same weight as a person who learned everything they know about guns and violence from watching TV."

That was an excerpt from http://larrycorreia.wordpress.co... which pretty much destroys all of the Gun Control advocates arguments and talking points after you take it all in.
And if people don't have 20 minutes to read the guidance being provided by an expert on this issue, then how much weight does your response truly hold?

S w Rand 2016

Let's see how many people do not even bother to hear out the information. It will be the same people who assume that the head of the National Rifle Association "holds sway." They probably think he paid someone off because they never watched the Senate footage on C-Span2 or C-Span3 to listen to the actual debates on the floor.
Is it now considered critical thinking to defer to the judgment of opinion bloggers and media pundits instead of seeking guidance from an expert? The comments will surely tell.

Centauri

Thank you for the link.

Turduckenbreath

Ayn Rand? Seriously?

OK. Let's follow her logic. If there are no laws there can be no law-breakers. Ergo, let's repeal the laws. Some may call it Libertarianism. I think Anarchy is more accurate. Several years ago we saw what happened with deregulating the financial systems. West, TX recently saw the glorious benefits of deregulating the fertilizer industry.

Rather than following Rand's simple-minded theories, let's be a bit more practical and follow the money. The firearms industry funds the NRA. The NRA sells bogus patriotism to chickenhawks and buys politicians who are too timid to think for themselves or do what the vast majority of their electorate want them to do.

Ayn Rand. Sheeesh.

Contango

@ Turduckenbreath:

Merely attempting to demean the source does not disprove numerous methods used by authoritarian regimes to subjugate and control their populace.

Never say: It can't happen here.

S w Rand 2016

@Turduckenbreath You do realize that everyone who listens to the facts in those crime stat video links is going to KNOW that you have no idea what you are talking about, right? Or worse, they will think there really IS something wrong with you. I suggest getting the facts and changing your position before you paint yourself into that corner.
Like I said above, "the comments will surely tell." You need to watch the debates on the Senate floor (C-Span 2 and some on C-Span3 or try their online archives) and get the facts which I posted in those crime stat video links.

And Senator Rand Paul is not Ayn Rand (read: having "Libertarian leanings" does not equate to being a Libertarian). Seriously, how are people NOT getting that S w Rand 2016 = Stand With Rand 2016?

Shattered Mind

Hey now, I like Ayn Rand, but that's immaterial.

You really think the gun industry funds the NRA? Seriously? I've got a bridge for sale, too... Interested? As a Benefactor member and a close to 40 year membership in the NRA, I can tell you you're barking at the wrong tree. Sure, they donate, as any person would but they can't come close to what is donated out of pocket by the citizenry of this country and yes, your neighbors. You want proof? The NRA is going to be holding it's annual meeting next month. Check out the credentials of the attendees if you would. There will be plenty of manufacturers present with displays and the booths will have the usual half dozen employees... but do you seriously think that the majority of the estimated 75 to 80 thousand attendees expected will all be from the manufacturers? Now compare that to the last big anti-gun rally to make the news... With the hefty attendance of about 50 individuals braving the weather and smiling for the cameras. Heck, even just plain old Ohio had better than 300 people on a three day notice show up in January to protest some anti-gun proposals in some OTHER state. I was there... I have pictures to prove it.

The main problem with the "UNIVERSAL" background check is that as proposed, it was neither universal nor was it factual as to exactly what it meant. It called for a background check on ANY transfer of a firearm. Do you know the definition of "transfer"? OK, you and I go to the range. You don't have a gun (obviously) and plan on using one of mine to shoot at targets. If I hand you a firearm, under this "universal background check" system, I have just "transferred" the firearm to you. You have control of a firearm... all by your lonesome. You and I would both be facing felony charges as a result. Or how about this... your great grandfather had the old "family" shotgun since he was a youth. He gave it to you some twenty years ago. You now want to give it to your son. Under the "universal background check" you and your son would have to go to a local gun shop, he would have to fill out a Form 4473, the dealer would have to call it in on a NICS check ( to make sure your son isn't a budding terrorist) and then have to pay the dealer what ever he would charge to complete the transfer. And that transfer fee wasn't even covered in any of the 100 plus pages of that bill. So yeah, you might get charged $50 or 100 bucks ... Just to give grandpas old wallhanger of a shotgun to your boy.

Nope, sorry. That bill was just bad. Schumer's version was even worse, adding a permanent registry to his bill. Ask any Holocaust survivor how that worked out. Nazi Germany was the last country to impose a registry on it's people. That made it nice and convenient for them to find all the firearms in the country and remove them from the people.

Besides, why bother? We already have background checks in place. Some 77 thousand people were prevented from buying a firearm from a gunshop. Whether it was from littering, or going through a stop sign or some other MAJOR crime, something showed up to prevent that sale. Want to know why they weren't prosecuted? Because that was precisely why they weren't. Some idiotic minor misdemeanor clogged up the sale. Check out the amount of people charged... Less than 4% of the 77 thousand.

And as far as stopping criminals from getting guns, if they couldn't buy it on the streets, they'd probably just have the drug dealer throw in a couple dozen handguns on top of the heroin or cocaine shipment they're going to receive from Mexico or South America. Brazil DOES make some pretty nice handguns.

Contango

"As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared":

"The U.S. Constitution mentions three federal crimes by citizens: treason, piracy and counterfeiting.

By the turn of the 20th century, the number of criminal statutes numbered in the dozens. Today, there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, according to a 2008 study by retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB...

To be found guilty of many federal crimes, mens rea (intent) is not often necessary.

Did you do it? Innocently or not - you're guilty!

Never say: It can't happen here.

Centauri

http://romanticpoet.wordpress.co...
"Bernadine Dohrn, the wife of Bill Ayers, who is herself also a former member of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, is now joining the chorus of liberals calling for greater gun control."

Terrorists supporting gun control. Imagine that.

The Big Dog's back

Right wingnuts who don't favor better background checks. Imagine that.

Centauri

g8

Turduckenbreath

So.........it should be easier for everyone, including psychopaths and career criminals, to get guns, right? (Because they're going to get them anyway, right?)

And while we're at it, let's not limit the number of shots a gun can fire without stopping to reload. (Because we might want to shoot something 30 or 40 times, right?)

God help us.

Contango

So give up your rights and foolishly allow State appointed bureaucrats to determine who are the "psychopaths and career criminals"?

A potential slippery slope of defining deviancy down

Ever seen a health professional for symptoms of sadness or depression? Ever belong to a support group? No firearm for you!

The Soviet Union could and did declare those who did not appreciate their "worker's paradise" as mentally ill.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol...

"God created man, Sam Colt made them equal."

H*ll, these dunderheads can't even get a "No Fly List" straight.

FORWARD SOVIET!

S w Rand 2016

re: Turduckenbreath in regards to your comment on magazine capacity

Again, you are ignoring the experts. Go to http://larrycorreia.wordpress.co... , hit Ctrl-F on your keyboard and copy-paste "We should ban magazines over X number of shots" (uh, without the quotation marks) into the search box and read the next 17 paragraphs after it.
Are you sure you are qualified to comment on this issue?
Also, think about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l... He has the world record. The video shows him firing 12 shots from a 6-shot revolver in under 3 seconds. 6 shots, reload, and 6 more shots..all in under 3 seconds. You want to ban 6-shot revolvers now, too?

Look. THIS is not rocket science. It is simply and clearly RECKLESS to convince people to weaken their ability to defend themselves against criminals and their organizations. The more you weaken the law-abiding citizens, the more the criminals will prey upon them and then you end up resorting to stronger gun bans and, eventually, complete gun bans.
Do you really want to see SOME cities disarm themselves while their neighboring cities (which also have criminals) do not pass the law (setting aside, for a moment, the fact that even an attempt to disarm the entire citizenry would not stop criminals from moving their arsenal around to avoid detection and/or just having more weapons shipped into the country after any eventual confiscation)?

vicariouslyAlive

"Take a look at how dumb the average citizen is, the AVERAGE citizen, and now think for a moment and realize that half of the population is dumber than that." George Carlin

Puting this to a vote could be more than disasterious for the gun control proponents. It was only when Obama was elected that a record number of democrats voted... I some how don't think gun control is generating as much sensationalism with them to win the vote, let alone get them tk show up to the polls. Which is why they are exploring the option instead of going for it head first.

mrite

Interesting that the state with the strictest gun control, Illinois, just had a shooting a week or ago that killed 4 people goes to show that tighter controls on the weapons are not the answers.

Put it on the ballot and it will go down in flames! However, they thought that in California with homosexual marriage. It was voted down and now there are all kinds of lawsuits.

I say settle like the movie Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome. Put 2 people in a cage and listen to the chant "2 men in 1 man out" and the winner rules!!

The Big Dog's back

Eight of the 10 states with the weakest gun-control laws, including Louisiana, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana and Oklahoma, are among the 25 with the highest rates of violence, according to a study by the Center for American Progress.

S w Rand 2016

You want to cite, as your source, a Left wing partisan think tank with close ties to President Obama and the White House http://www.sourcewatch.org/index... (first two paragraphs) and ignore the advice of the overwhelming majority of law enforcement as well as the FBI Crime Statistics?

Link that study, please. I would like to debunk it in full :)
Oh, wait..I already did. YouTube "Choose Your Own Crime Stats," uploaded by AmidsTheNoise and linked by myself in a previous comment on this article.
Are you intentionally trying to spin the comprehensive data, or do you just have tunnel vision?

totallyamazed

.
Oh, don't you fret. Even if the voters overwhelmingly say no to this legislation via a formal election vote, federal judges can always overrule the vote and say the populace isn't educated enough to make that call (bless their hearts) ;-/
.

Turduckenbreath

So.........it should be easier for everyone, including psychopaths and career criminals, to get guns, right? (Because they're going to get them anyway, right?)

And while we're at it, let's not limit the number of shots a gun can fire without stopping to reload. (Because we might want to shoot something 30 or 40 times, right?)

God help us.

(I posted this a second time because the nonsense it generated the first time was so stupid I'd like to see more.)

S w Rand 2016

No. You re-posted it because you had nothing else to say after these same remarks were exposed as nonsensical rhetoric the first time. And you want to bury your defeat by pushing it back as many pages as possible without being too obvious about it. So, by calling it stupid, you pretend that the comprehensive case which was made to you is somehow in dispute so that we might write even larger comments (which no one will read) to explain in more detail.

Contango

@ Turduckenbreath:

Repeat socialist dogma until believed, if that fails use force.

Dr. Goebbels and other authoritarian propagandists would be proud.

4shizzle

Repeat lies until they're believed.

It's not working for you clowntango.

Turduckenbreath

Naw.

The responses mostly figured out some exception, then argued it as the rule.
Bogus reasoning.

You cannot change that opposing universal background checks makes it easier for psychopaths and career criminals to get guns. So what do you argue? That some of the wrong people might be classified. BOGUS reasoning. Admit it; you don't give a damn who gets guns as long as you get yours.

Same with high capacity mags. Because some guy can reload fast, there should be no limit on size. Really? No, really??? Well even though some people might be able to reload quickly, I'd rather take my chances against a ten round clip than against a 30 round clip. Now you try real hard to find fault with that reasoning.

S w Rand 2016

First and foremost, nothing you just said can negate the better judgment of the experts. Your talking points have already been debunked at http://larrycorreia.wordpress.co...
Secondly, I was arguing against banning guns which can receive magazines with over 10 rounds in them (which is, effectively, about 90% of the rifles and handguns that Americans own and purchase), as well as banning the magazines themselves. I already gave you a link and a string of text (We should ban magazines over X number of shots) to paste into the search box with Ctrl-F on the magazine issue. And if 17 paragraphs can't spell it out for you, I don't know what will.
In closing, I don't own a gun. I just feel safer knowing that law-abiding citizens around me might have them.

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