Talking to the Pols

I can’t make it to the Wednesday meeting in Oly. If anyone wants to use this for themselves, feel free to.

I don’t mind background checks for gun purchases. But, I’m against 1558 for the following reasons:

If it keeps records, then it is de-facto registration. If it doesn’t keep records, it’s virtually unenforceable.

It’s awkward and expensive, and will result in victimless paper-work crimes that will hurt otherwise law-abiding folks. Example: A teacher (who needs a background check to work) with a CPL (which requires a background check) could not sell to another teacher with a CPL without paying for ANOTHER background check, and if they make an honest mistake and don’t, even though neither are prohibited persons, one will become a felon and lose their job. This law will ONLY catch the otherwise law-abiding.

It’s trivially easy to work around: The same teacher could sell the other a $500 box of ammunition, and GIVE the gun to them as a groundhog day present, and be totally legal.

On the other hand, if gifting DOES get covered in an amendment, then other problems still arise, and mostly otherwise law-abiding teachers will get caught up in a felony paperwork “crime”

It leaves other situations ambiguous. Example: if a friend calls up at midnight, and says she found out that her violent ex-husband just got released, if I drive immediately over and LOAN her a gun until she can scrape together enough money to buy her own (either the one I loan her, or another one), then I’m a criminal. Maybe. Or maybe not. If I don’t I don’t loan it, she may die. And the cops can’t do ANYTHING until the Ex is beating on her door.

I am also against 1612, particularly in light of 1588, because caught in with the dangerous violent criminals (which I agree we ought to know about) will be people who are NOT dangerous, and simply committed paperwork violations out of ignorance. More narrowly written, it might be a good law.

I am against 1676 because while it sounds good, not all “children” are equal, and people could be found guilty even if no-one is hurt, or even if good things happen. Example: a 15 year old is legally a child. They can legally be left at home alone. There have been recent cases in the news where such a person retrieved a gun and used it to defend themselves from a violent home invader. Under this law, as written, the homeowner would have been guilty of reckless endangerment if they allowed their child the ability to defend themselves when the adult was away and unable to do so. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution that will catch good people in its trap, even when no-one gets hurt. Again, more narrowly written, it is a reasonable idea.

I am against 1147. Because there are so many reasons a person might be guilty of “unlawful possession of a firearm,” including paperwork violations where there is no intent to do harm, and not actual harm to anyone occurred, it creates one more “got’cha” for people who made honest mistakes somewhere else, earlier in life. Again, it’s not a bad idea, but should be more narrowly drafted to only get the people who are dangerous and we really want to keep guns away from.

Lastly, a general argument: Seattle just had its first murder of the year last week. Chicago, which has a virtual ban an ALL guns, had 40 just in January. Do we REALLY need to change our laws? Yes, their misuse is tragic, but “doing something!” is not the same as “making things better.”

Thanks for your attention.

9 thoughts on “Talking to the Pols

  1. “I don’t mind background checks for gun purchases.”

    Normalcy bias. We’ve become too accustomed to this harassment. That’s all it is– harassment. It’s what we do instead of something. Go after “those people”. That’s it– we’d all be OK except for “those people” and so we must poke and prod them and accuse them and mess with them until they submit or go away. If we’re lucky, they’ll respond with violence, and then we can say, “See? See? We TOLD you they were no good…” This is the way of the authoritarian mind.

    For the sake of perspective; how would you react to a proposal to require background checks, by federal law, for Bible purchases, or for joining or forming a church? Background checks for getting a computer with a modem? A printer? How did that Glenn Beck guy get his own network? Do we know for sure that he has no criminal past? Isn’t it our “right to know”? Who said that Rush Limbaugh could keep his radio show after being convicted for a drug violation? Do we want “criminals” possibly shaping the minds of the whole country? How about having to pass a background check before we’re protected under the fifth amendment against self incrimination? I mean, why should criminals be protected?

    Then we can look at the Progressives’ pets. How about a background check before an abortion? How about required AIDS screening before a homosexual man can get a job? If it can save only one life, remember…and you don’t want people to die, do you?

    • Surely you would approve of background checks before being able to raise your own children. I mean, we can’t have criminals, or people with ANY POSSIBILITY of any form of mental issues, raising kids, can we? Think of the kids, Man…

      Point being; once you cross that line, you have no moral argument against any of this stuff. It’s binary. One of the other.

      • I agree. I have used those argument before, but for many on the left they just say “but guns are different, and DANGEROUS,” or else they are total sheep and say “hey, you know, that IS a really good idea!”

    • PR purposes. It makes you sound reasonable to the uneducated middle, so that they have less to dismiss you out of hand with, and they listen to the rest of the argument, and consider it more seriously.

  2. Sounds like the same people wrote your laws as wrote ours. Lots of ways around them without taxing anyone’s brain. If anyone asks, “I’ve always had that gun and the magazines” is an affirmative defense.

  3. So I did go. I ended up in overflow. A couple comments (that probably will not be popular with some:)
    #1 If you are a creepy looking militia guy there to talk up your militia and rant about the fighting the government. You are not helping. If you think you might be this guy you probably are.
    #2 If you are a disorganized guy with way more than the normal 2 minute testifying times worth of stuff to quietly rant about you are not helping.
    #3 NRA spokesbot2000’s should be programmed to answer the question asked and not ramble on for 2 more minutes with a none relevant set piece. The question was about how 1588 would be registration not … Hell it was so bland I can not remember it said.

    That said there was a nasty trick played in that 1588 was replaced at the last minute with a different one that suffers from more/different impossibilities than the original. Then new one requires the use of 4473 instead of the DOL coming up with their own horror. The part that probably makes in illegal is that only the seller is allowed to keep the 4473 and the FFL can not. I think this breaks the ATF and FBI regs for doing a background check. Also you can do the transfer with out a background check if the person has a Washington CPL but there seems to be no requirement for record keeping. If compromise is both side don’t get anything they one this one might be a winner.

    New version here under Amd/Proposed Subs:
    http://app.leg.wa.gov/m/cmd/main.htm?aid=18681#items_page

    The Safe storage one is also a bit nasty. Basically you are required to firearms secured in such away that people under 16 can not get access to them. If they (the youngs) do get access and do something bad (could be anything) there are now criminal penalties. These do not apply if the firearm is secured in some manner. Amusingly I think that if you secured the firearm and then gave the kid a key or the code you would be covered. That last my just be the programmer in me looking for bugs.

    • Thanks for your report; I was hoping someone would.
      Your first three comments – well, yeah. Duh. Shouldn’t have to say that, but sadly, every group has those well-meaning souls that don’t really help the cause much by voicing their support.
      I’d like to think the guys writing these laws are smart enough to have a clue how the results of their writing efforts would actually work in practice, but I’m pretty sure I’d be wrong. I also wonder why they swap things out at the last second before public testimony – that’s just stupid, if the goal is to actually write a good law. Pointing out the stupidly-simple work-arounds is always fun. Things like “you mean I could sell him a $500 screw-driver, and GIVE him the gun, and it’s cool, because gifting isn’t covered?” make people’s heads explode, sometimes.

  4. Talking to pols is like talking to posts. None of them will change a position endorsed by his or her party lest they get moved down the legislative food chain. If 90% of the speakers present oppose a bill that is favored by the majority party, then the bill passes because the party wants it. This was my experience.

  5. “How about having to pass a background check before we’re protected under the fifth amendment against self incrimination? I mean, why should criminals be protected?”

    Good one, Lyle!

    “Of course, these Constitutional protections were never intended to protect wrongdoers from the consequences of their wrong deeds.”

    And that’s when the nation fell off the precipice into the chasm of tyranny

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