Tag Archives: confiscation

Disingenuous Doctor

For new arrivals, I’ve been writing to “news” outlets and the writers of published gun-related misinformation. Call it education or calling them out on lies, I’m trying to correct bad reporting. Mostly, I an simply ignored, which indicates they know they’re wrong, and are disseminating BS deliberately. Once it’s clear that the outlet/writer is not interested in allowing facts to run, I’ve been posting my attempts here.

Today’s entry is a little bit different.

A focus on gun safety – not control – leaves 2nd Amendment intact
Our civil rights are under attack, and have been for some time. The freedom to assemble etched out in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is under attack by the Second Amendment — and it shouldn’t be. Jason Aldean’s concert was a peaceful assembly ravaged by a lone gunman who, for all intents and purposes, had the right of gun ownership.

What is it with doctors lying about firearms issues lately? 744 words of misdirection and falsehoods. I sent a proposed guest column of 721 words to rebut. To the Orlando Sentinel’s partial credit, they didn’t ignore me completely, as usually happens.

They told me to pare it down to 250 words or less and they’d consider it for a Letter to the Editor.

I couldn’t do it. There were too many Levy lies for 250 words. I got it down to 444 (remember, even my original column was shorter than Levy’s offering), by leaving out some specific references, and using more abbreviations and… not-so-great grammar.

They turned it down. So here it is.


Disingenuous Doctor

Doctor Marc Levy’s October 27, 2017 column, “A focus on gun safety – not control – leaves 2nd Amendment intact,” is as lacking in candor as the very column title, suggesting that delaying and infringing on rights somehow protects them.

In bringing up the Dickey Amendment and tying it to research, Dr. Levy implies that the amendment stopped federal funding of firearms-related violence. Just to be clear, this is false. The federal government funds much firearms-related violence research. As one recent example, there is “In-State and Interstate Associations Between Gun Shows and Firearm Deaths and Injuries: A Quasi-experimental Study,” primarily funded by the NIH.

Levy attempts another bit of misdirection in noting that Obamacare has a provision that prevents the collection of information on firearms. I’m sure that a doctor in Florida is well aware that Medicare/Medicaid sidestepped the law by implementing a rule requiring doctors to use Electronic Medical Records software, produced by nongovernmental agencies, which include questions on patient access to firearms in the intake questionnaire. Any doctor with Medicare/Medicaid patients will be asking that, while the CMS innocently proclaims, “WE aren’t requiring it.”

Dr. Levy also appears to be a fan of “universal background checks” (more accurately called preemptively-prove-your-innocence”), so that criminals and other prohibited persons could not obtain guns. He avoids the little problem that most firearm-equipped criminals already obtain their weapons unlawfully, and that the Supreme Court’s HAYNES decision upholds
criminals’ Fifth Amendment rights to not self-incriminate by reporting their unlawful activity; i.e.- criminals cannot be required to undergo background checks.

Levy mentions “assault rifles” as he wonders why we don’t track firearms purchases. Either he is unaware that assault rifles are heavily restricted, regulated, taxed, and registered; or he doesn’t want readers to realize that he’s talking about semiautomatic sporting and defense tools. Perhaps he meant to say “assault weapons,” a term with no legal meaning in Florida or federal law; only a handful of states use the entirely subjective term.

The doctor claims that all “responsible” gun owners approve of his restrictions: registration, taxation, limits on ownership, prior restraint on the exercise of a right, and more. Since I do not, that is demonstrably false, unless Levy has invented his own bizarre definition of “responsible.”

Similar claims that “90% of Americans favor Universal Background Checks” don’t hold water. A few years ago in Washington state, polls alleged that 90% of Washingtonians wanted UBCs; but when it went to an actual vote (Initiative 594), fewer than 60% voted in favor, missing the claim by over thirty points, and more than 40% opposed.

Since recent research shows that background checks do not reduce firearms-related homicide rates (“Do gun laws reduce gun homicide rates?,”), the 40% had a valid point.

Levy sidesteps other questions. Estimates of American gun owners range from a ridiculous fifty-five million to a possibly overly optimistic one hundred-twenty million. Estimates of firearms range from two hundred sixty-five million to a three quarters of a billion. Given the lack of knowledge demonstrated by that remarkable uncertainty, how does Levy propose to determine who has what? How does he propose to pry “extra” firearms out of the homes of those with “too many?” Does he expect dubious owners, who won’t tell a telephone poller what arms he possesses, to self-report to a government intent on registration and confiscation? Or does he advocate searching every single, individual domicile in the country? That’s a lot of doors to kick in, and when the California legislature first proposed mass confiscations of “assault weapons” several years ago, a police union spokesman announced they’d see the largest outbreak of “blue flu” in history if implemented.

Perhaps Dr. Levy and the other estimated one million doctors in America will volunteer to do the door-kicking; they outnumber the FBI’s estimate of fewer than 700,000 law enforcement officers anyway.

Consider those fifty-five to one hundred-twenty million gun owners; then consider the roughly thirteen thousand firearms-related homicides. If each homicide represented an individual shooter and gun, that’s 0.01-0.02% of all firearm owners and 0.001-0.005% of firearms. While personal tragedies, statistically homicides are “black swan” events.

Those tiny fractions of a single percentage point do not point to a gun problem or gun owner problem. There is a criminal problem. Perhaps Dr. Levy should lobby for a gangbanger tax to fund criminal violence research.

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Belling the cat

As seen at Slate:

Two Guns Per Person
Why is this legal? I’m not talking about why we don’t require reporting multiple sales of long guns to federal authorities (which we don’t). I’m not talking about the bump stocks the shooter used to make his semi-automatic weapons fire like machine guns. I’m talking about why people are allowed to own more than, say, two firearms without a really good reason.

TL;DR: The Second Amendment doesn’t say how many guns you can have. Nobody needs more than two guns. If someone wants a third gun, it’s full NFA procedures and taxes.

Doug Pennington notably does not address how to figure who might have more than two firearms. Nor does he explain how the powers that be will go about collecting the extant extras. Certainly he isn’t volunteering to collect them; possibly he’s seen my observation regarding the wisdom of kicking in millions of door because the occupants are well-armed.

Perhaps he believes all the government has to do is pass a law and everyone will meekly “turn them all in”.

That doesn’t seem to be working in Chicago where repeat felons — prohibited persons who lawfully shouldn’t have any guns — are found with… guns. It’s almost as if they don’t obey laws.

In 1990, California instituted “assault weapon” registration and got a whopping 2.33% compliance rate.

The NY SAFE Act yielded a slightly better 4.45% compliance rate.

Connecticut gun owners are a little more obedient. That state saw a huge “assault weapon” registration 13.44% compliance rate, although they must have been disappointed with the “high capacity magazine registration 4% compliance rate.

Come on, Pennington; you can’t even get people to comply with universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks.

Conclusions The enactment of CBC policies was associated with an overall increase in firearm background checks only in Delaware. Data external to the study suggest that Washington experienced a modest, but consistent, increase in background checks for private party sales, and Colorado experienced a similar increase in checks for sales not at gun shows. Non-compliance may explain the lack of an overall increase in background checks in Washington and Colorado.”

(That was funded in part by the anti-rights Joyce Foundation and they still couldn’t show compliance.)

If blue states like California, New York, and Connecticut have such poor participation rates with simple registration, imagine how places like Georgia will respond to door to door confiscation.

So, Mr. Pennington; who is going to bell your cat? You haven’t volunteered. When California toyed with the idea, a police union spokesman declared that if confiscation were ordered they’d see the largest outbreak of blue flu in history. And we bloody well won’t kick in our doors.

Let’s pretend law enforcement will play. Consider:

  • The FBI estimates a total of 698,460 law enforcement officers in America (federal, state, local).
  • Estimates of gun owners range from 60 million to 120 million.

Let’s use the conservative gun owners number: 60,000,000. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that The Pennington Edict magically reverses the usual compliance ratios and only 10% don’t turn in their extra guns.

6,000,000 vs. 698,460

The cops are going after heavily armed Americans, so they’ll use SWAT teams. This suggests a typical team size of 12, for 58,205 teams (sure, we’ll also pretend every cop is put on this, ignoring all real crime).

Each team will have to conduct 103 raids. Figure 8 hours for the standoff (remember, you’re going after cantankerous curmudgeons already proven to be uncooperative), and another shift to do the paperwork: 16 hours per raid. 16 x 6,000,000 = 96,000,000 man hours. Better give the guys time to sleep, another 8 hours. So each team runs a one raid per day

Assuming 58,205 teams (-giggle-), the snatch and grab is going to run well over three months. With 8 hours of overtime per day per 698,460 officers. This not only going to take a while, it going to be expensive.

And that doesn’t even factor in attrition, funeral costs, and death benefits. In reality the Pennington Patrols are kicking in doors of heavily armed, noncompliant SOBs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an average of one officer lost per raid. Which means Pennington runs out of suckers before the HANSOBS run out of people and guns.

Fewer door-kickers, fewer teams, more raids per team… Suddenly this is taking longer than projected. Oh, well. At least there’ll be fewer officer drawing expensive overtime. Those pensions and death benefits though…

Maybe Pennington can bring in the military, too. Activate the Reserves alongside the active duty folks, add them to the cops…

And they’re still outnumbered by HANSOBs by more than 2 to 1.

I wonder how many of those LEOs and mil-folk are multiple gun owners. And how compliant they are.

That’s a best case scenario for the Pennington Proposal. What if there are 100 million gun gun owners, and they have a compliance rate closer to historical rates of 10%?

Now the 2,791,360 police and military are outnumbered by 90 million pissed off, noncompliant heroes. They’ll be outnumbered 32 to 1.

Sure, a lot of hold-outs will fold when the cops show up. But a lot won’t. The average won’t be pretty, or conducive to long-term police survival. Blue flu, Pennington; try to keep up.

If even one-half of one percent of the noncompliant shoot back, that’s 30,000 to 450,000 shooters (depending on the scenarios above).

Please recall that Pennington’s little trip down Tyranny Lane started with — as of latest claims — a single shooter killing 58 and wounding hundreds — in approximately ten minutes.

So tell us: How will you achieve your two-gun goal?

Who will bell the cat?


Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

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Never had any doubt

“You’re paranoid.”

“The government isn’t after your guns.”

“Nobody wants to confiscate your guns.”

“Registration doesn’t lead to confiscation.”

How many times have we heard gun control advocates snottily ridicule us for knowing our own history? For understanding the nature of statism?

“This isn’t Nazi Germany,” they say. “No one is going to disarm you and victimize you.”

“Registration is a safety measure,” they claim. “It’s a crime prevention measure.”

Is it? From Buffalo, NY comes a report that details a plan by the police department in that city to begin confiscating firearms of legal gun owners after their deaths.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda said at a press conference last week that the department will be sending people to collect guns that belong to pistol permit holders who had died so “they don’t end up in the wrong hands.” The department will cross reference pistol permit holders with death records and the guns will be collected when possible, he said.

Derrenda said guns pose a threat if their owner is no longer alive to safeguard them, especially if a recently-deceased gun owner’s home is burglarized.

[…]

The state law says that if the permit holder dies, the estate has 15 days to dispose of the guns or turn them in to authorities, who can hold the weapons up to two years. LoHud.com reported that violation of the law by survivors is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine.

So how will the police department find out whether the deceased had a gun? Carry permits? ATF 4473 forms, which licensed firearms dealers have to retain for at least 20 years?

While not “technically” registration, these records give the authorities the tools they need to confiscate firearms – to steal them from the families of the deceased when they are grieving and vulnerable – to violate basic property rights.

And Buffalo isn’t the only place where this odious infringement on basic human rights has happened.

In Connecticut, cowardly politicians rammed through a registration requirement for all firearms they deemed to look scary.  Gun owners resisted, and the majority of what these pusillanimous twits call “assault” weapons remained unregistered.  A few tried to register at the last minute, before the suspense, they wound up in limbo. The state now had their ownership information, and began confiscation proceedings against these gun owners, claiming they illegally held their property.

The state is sending letters to 106 rifle owners and 108 residents with high-capacity magazines saying they can destroy the guns and ammunition, sell them to a federally licensed gun dealer, move the items out of state or sell them to somebody out of state, or make arrangements to turn them over to local or state police.

Those who fail to do so could face serious criminal penalties.

In California, a de facto registration law signed by Jerry Brown in 2011 required the state to retain background-check records of those who purchase guns (although it did not register specific guns to specific people.) And you know what happened? Reason magazine explained in January.

The new law will bolster a program that has generated much controversy. Earlier this month, legislators held hearings on the effectiveness of the Armed Prohibited Persons System, used to confiscate the firearms of California residents who are no longer eligible to own them. The California Department of Justice relies on the current ownership lists to identify gun owners and cross check those with lists of people who have been convicted of crimes or have been involuntarily committed for mental issues.

The state auditor found, in a report released in October, that the department has not sufficiently notified courts and mental-health officials of their reporting requirements. Despite a new $24-million state appropriation, the auditor found that the program has failed to take guns from nearly 21,000 Californians who have forfeited their gun rights.

Not enough for you?

Registration led to confiscation in Australia, and Barack Obama wants to make that nation an example for the United States. (Yes, I know the link is RT – the Kremlin funded propaganda machine – but in this case, it’s actually correct reporting.)

After the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, its government passed the National Firearms Agreement, banning all semiautomatic rifles and semiautomatic and pump-action shotguns and imposing a more restrictive licensing system on other firearms. They also implemented a mandatory gun “buyback” – also known as confiscation (with perhaps a nominal payment for the owner’s property).

Those who do not remember history are, indeed, doomed to repeat it. That is the warning Canadian news anchor Brian Lilley  gave his American neighbors last year when he emphasized that registration did, in fact, lead to confiscation in Canada.

And in my birthplace – the USSR – firearm registration was introduced in 1918, which led to confiscation of weapons from everyone but… you guessed it… members of the Communist Party, with a stint in jail for anyone who possessed firearms and wasn’t a member. This was how Communists cemented their power over the hated bourgeoisie – those business owners, capitalists, and other undesirables whom they wanted to keep defenseless.

Those of us who grew up in tyrannical holes understand only too well that registering people for exercising their natural rights can only lead to the demise of those rights. Those of us who have studied history understand this as well.

Those who ignorantly seek to treat their fellow Americans like criminals merely for daring to exercise their rights either forgot their history, or are ignoring it.

Those of us who remember history never had any doubt about the end result of registration.

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