You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2013.

Much ado is made over the law prohibiting suits against firearms manufacturers for gun deaths. Mayor Bloomberg recently said that we are allowed to sue car manufacturers for deaths, but, not firearm manufacturers and this is wrong. It is also not exactly factual.

Product manufacturers can be sued for deaths and injuries caused by product defects. The manufacturer is never responsible for deaths or injuries caused by misuse. Of the millions of motor vehicle accidents every year, only a very tiny fraction result in a successful suit against the manufacturer. Those are the ones in which a defect in design or manufacture is responsible for the accident. Car manufacturers cannot be sued for all the deaths and injuries caused by bad driving, drunk driving, bad weather and other factors. Exploding gas tanks, defective braking systems, even defective power window mechanisms have resulted in successful lawsuits.

Since I doubt that anyone, even Bloomberg, wants to sue gun manufacturers for deaths and injuries caused by lawful use of guns by police and military, I assume he is talking about guns used in crimes, accidental shootings and suicides. I think it is quite obvious that being killed or injured in the commission of a crime is the fault of nobody other than the criminal. If an innocent person is stabbed, hit by a car or beaten, the blame does not go to the object that caused the harm; it goes to the person who did the action. How is a gun any different than those other objects used as weapons?

Then we have accidental deaths. Accidents are the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. They account for an even higher percentage of deaths in younger age groups. Accidents include motor vehicle accidents, drownings, falls and other unintentional causes. Accidental deaths by firearms are lower than many others including medical errors and traffic accidents.

Firearms accidents are very rarely caused by a malfunction of the gun. They are the result of misuse, improper handling and improper storage. Guns do not fire by themselves. The common “it just went off” is a lie. Someone has pulled the trigger. Failure to follow the rules of gun safety is the cause of firearms accidents. Guns, like any other dangerous tool, must be properly stored and handled. Gun safety rules are taught in every class and are enclosed in every box.

I agree that it is tragic and needless for anyone, especially a child, to be killed or injured unintentionally by a gun. But, this is negligence on the part of the gun’s owner, not the manufacturer. If lawsuits were allowed, under product safety laws, manufacturers could not be held liable for these deaths. The only objective to be achieved would be to bankrupt manufacturers with the cost of defending such suits. This is why they are specifically prohibited. No NRA/political conspiracy is at work here. This is quite simply, a means of stopping court actions that have no merit without costing time and resources of the court system and those who would have to prepare a legal defense for every pointless suit brought.

Lastly, the issue of suing gun manufacturers has been compared to the successful suits against cigarette companies. I am aside my own opinion of the shady legality of these suits, the finding and the distribution of the money paid. The crux of those cases what that tobacco deliberately mislead the public by claiming that their product was safe, even healthy, for consumption. Used as advertised by the manufacturers, cigarettes did cause harm. There are no rules one can follow to use cigarettes safely.

On the hand, firearms manufacturers not only admit, but promise, that guns are lethal weapons. They also provide rules for safe handling. If these rules are followed, guns can be handled quite safely. Just as a person who was driving drunk, disobeying traffic laws or purposely running someone down with a car is held responsible for his actions, so should the person who misuses a gun. If a child dies because they have ingested medications or household chemicals, the parent who allowed the child to access them is at fault not the manufacturer who clearly labelled them “Keep Out Of Reach Of Children”. The same standard being applied to guns is not the outrageous conspiracy the anti-gun fanatics make it out to be. Such baseless suits should not be allowed against any manufacturer.

I find it extremely ironic that anti-gun zealots continually refer to gun owners as paranoid. While within any group there will be individuals who are more or less fearful or paranoid than others, gun owners, overall, do not seem especially paranoid to me. Most enjoy shooting and/or hunting as a hobby. Carrying a gun seems to me as sensible as having a spare tire in the car. You don’t need it every day, but, when you do, you will be glad you did. Those who don’t choose to carry a gun are free to choose what they believe works for them – pepper spray, knife, rape whistle or nothing. That’s fine by me. I certainly do not feel the need to point out to those who are not concerned with self defense hoe naive and dangerous that may be.

But, it appears to me that those who are truly paranoid are the anti-gun zealots. They ascribe magical evil powers to an inanimate object. In the 21st Century, I wonder how any rational person can believe that an object has a will of its own and the ability to influence people. There is just no way to reason with such people.

In a conversation with a Liberal friend, I told her that it is my business what I choose to do for self-defense. Her response was that it becomes her business when my gun walks out of my house and kills someone. Really? I’ve never heard of a gun doing such a thing. If it can be proved to me that my gun has this power, I will definitely get rid of it. Something possessed of such evil capabilities is not something I want around. So, off it goes with those voodoo dolls and shrunken heads I thought were so cool until people around me started dropping dead.

Seriously, I can’t think of a single reason why it is anybody’s business at all what I choose to own or if I choose to carry something I own around with me. I have never hurt anyone in my life. I have never committed any crimes. In fact, I have spent my entire life helping others professionally and personally. Picking up a gun is not going to change who I am or what my values are. It doesn’t have that power.

The gun grabbers say that gun owners fear the world around them and see bad guys lurking everywhere. I don’t see any truth to that. What does one have to fear if he is prepared for whatever might happen?

The gun grabbers, on the other hand, are so fearful of their neighbors, friends and coworkers that they can’t “allow’ us to have weapons. They fear that they are surrounded by crazies who have them ‘outgunned”. They fear the evil influence of a picture or a pastry that “looks like a gun” will have on young minds. They see guns everywhere, in finger-paintings, in food, in clouds and they panic. Even the imaginary finger-gun is too dangerous for children to play with now.

This hysteria is being fed by mass media propagandists who sensationalize any story involving a gun to fit the agenda. Robbery, domestic abuse and gang killings are all “gun violence”. Mass murder is no longer about insanity or terrorism, it’s the guns’ fault. I want to see this hold up in court, just once. “I am not guilty, the gun did it. I was just there.” Maybe they can give reduced sentences to those who agree to testify against the gun, so the real danger is removed from society – the gun.

I can’t imagine the convoluted and paranoid thinking that brings them to the conclusion that evil is perpetrated by guns. Maybe it’s the next step up from the “mitigating circumstances” that are already so well accepted among liberals. Now, besides the bad environment and poor role models excusing criminals, we have the “under the evil power of a gun” defense. Because we all know that, without guns, gang-bangers, abusers, robbers, terrorists and homicidal crazies would never hurt anyone. Right?

So, no, I don’t believe it is paranoid to take a realistic view of our society and be ready to deal with it. I do believe it is paranoid to imagine that all of the ills of this society are the fault of an evil object. I believe it is far more normal to live peacefully with your neighbors, ready to help if your family or community is threatened than it is to be so fearful of what your neighbors have that you are trying to turn good people into criminals with a maze of burdensome and intrusive laws.

Today I read of a terrible crime in which a young woman was abducted from a bus, along with her 3 year old child, by a man against whom she had a restraining order. She was fatally shot in front of many witnesses and the man fled with the child. The perpetrator was later shot by a police sniper. Tragedies such as this are a daily occurrence in this country. Over a thousand people are killed in domestic violence incidents in the United States annually.

I was, therefore, somewhat surprised that all of the comments to the article said something like “We must do something about all this gun violence”. Apparently, if the woman had been abducted at knifepoint and fatally stabbed, that would have been better.

Domestic Violence is also a banner issue for anti-gun politicians. More laws are being passed to take firearms from people who are accused of domestic violence. They are even pushing laws to take guns from those deemed to be “at high risk” of domestic violence.

My perspective on this comes from painful personal experience. I was married for two years to a charming sociopath who had no more respect for the law than he did for women. I won’ go into how I got myself into that mess. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I escaped with my life and my children’s lives. This was twenty years ago and maybe things have improved for young women in my situation. However, I think not since I read of so many deaths.

So, wouldn’t I, of all people, want to see psychos like my ex disarmed. I would. But, it’s never that simple. I think those who have been convicted of domestic violence, like those who are convicted of other crimes of violence, should not have guns. Understanding that there is a period of limbo between arrest and conviction, I think a judge should decide if there is sufficient cause to restrict the accused person’s right to arms. Again, this is not an uncommon pretrial condition for in cases of violent crime. Do you see a pattern here? I believe that domestic violence crimes should be treated as other crimes of violence are. Most of all I don’t want to see VICTIMS disarmed because dual restraining orders were issued, a common practice.

The fact is that a restraining order is just a piece of paper it is not protection. Lots of women die with one in their purse. A violent, abusive person doesn’t respect the law. All that paper does is give the police something with which to charge him when he stalks, threatens or harasses the victim. Sometimes it raises a flag in the 911 system and rates a faster police response to that address. Sometime, without one, police will do absolutely nothing about the situation.

Back to my story. I left my husband with our two children, a baby and a one year old. I also had a four year old from a previous marriage and a twelve year old sister who was my ward. I rented an apartment, changed my name and filed for divorce. My ex had been arrested and convicted of assaults against me. He was on probation and I had a restraining order. After numerous lesser incidents, he kicked in my door one night and attempted to rape me. I managed to get away and flee to a neighbor with him in pursuit. Confronted by my friend’s husband and father, my husband left the scene. An hour later the most unpleasant police officer I have ever met arrived. His attitude was hostile and he asked what I expected him to do. It went like this:

Me: Arrest him

Cop: For what?

Me: Assault, attempted rape, violating a restraining order

Cop: He’s not here, he’s not violating anything

Me: I have these witnesses

Cop: For all I know, you invited him

Me: Well, look at me, he attacked me, he tried to rape me

Cop: For all I know, you like it rough and you’re just mad he didn’t stick around to cuddle

Me: I’m separated from him. I didn’t want this. He tried to rape me

Cop: You’re not divorced. It can’t be rape if you’re married (not true, even then)

This was frustrating, humiliating and made me really, really angry. This officer was later fired after he beat his wife so badly she ended up in ICU. I went to the State’s Attorney and filed the charges myself. Then I got a gun.

I didn’t ever have to shoot him. I let him know I had it and that was enough. But, he filed for a restraining order against me, knowing that the gun would be taken if it was granted. It was a small court and the judge knew the situation so it was denied. But, where would I be if it had been granted, as they so often are? Defenseless, maybe dead. He also tried reporting to Child Protective Services that the gun was a danger to the kids. A talk between them and my attorney, along with assurance the gun was safely stored, ended that. Since that time, nobody has ever touched me without my consent or broken into my home. I will never be a victim again.

So, yes, I’m glad he didn’t have a gun. But, I know if he really wanted one, a court order or a law wouldn’t have stopped him from having one. I guess I’m lucky he preferred to hurt me up close and personal.

On the other hand, if his tactic were successful, I would have also been banned from having a gun. I’m a generally, law abiding person so that would have been a dilemma for me. I can’t say for sure that I would have chosen law over life. I’m glad I didn’t have to choose. I’m glad that it was a one judge court and his restraining order against me was denied so I didn’t have to make the choice between being a criminal and protecting myself.

So, I really abhor the idea that Democrats are trying to disarm people on the basis of accusations, not evidence, and worse, on risk assessments. My guess is that if it is determined to be a high risk relationship for violence, both parties will be barred from lawful gun ownership. They apparently think victims are completely incapable of ever being anything else.

While I do believe that there’s no need to make weapons access easy for criminals, I also believe strongly in the right to due process. There must at least be probable cause, not just accusations. Those falsely accused have deserve their day in court. Victims should be empowered, not made more helpless.

I will admit that I didn’t pay enough attention to the “Universal Background Checks”  being pushed by the Obama Administration. I live in a state, Connecticut, where background checks are already required for all sales and transfers of ownership. Even the Brady Campaign gives Connecticut high marks for having “closed the gun show loophole”. So, I was perplexed when, about a month ago, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy began pushing for background checks and “closing the gun show loophole” in this state. I thought that if he was that  ignorant of current state law, surely someone on his staff would correct it. Yet, he kept stressing this every time he commented on gun control. What, then, could be his agenda?

The agenda, friends, is to redefine “transfer”, from its traditional meaning of transfer of ownership, to include ANY TRANSFER OF POSSESSION EVEN TEMPORARILY. This would trigger a background check every time you loan a gun to someone other than spouse or child. No exceptions for step-children/step-parent, siblings, grandparents, cousins or other household members such as unmarried couples living together. They would also require that if you leave your home for a period of time (3 to 7 days depending on which version of the bill) that any guns you leave at home with someone other than your spouse or adult child would be subject to this “transfer” requirement. No exception for guns stored in locked safes. So, you go away for a long weekend, leaving your guns in your safe and your roommate, fiance, babysitter, dog walker or any other person in your home and don’t do a “transfer” and background check for every gun – you are now a criminal. Obviously, when you get home you must “buy back” all your own property again.

This clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with preventing prohibited people from buying guns at gun shows. It is aimed at increasing the cost and burden of legal gun ownership and creating a situation where law-abiding people may easily and unintentionally become criminals.  Lying and passing this off as “closing the gun show loophole”, in my opinion, increases the likelihood gun owners may not read the laws in the entirety (if they pass) and thus be ensnared.

The Obama Administration, represented by Joe Biden, have pushed especially hard for their agenda in Connecticut and Colorado. They claim this is because those states have been particularly affected by “gun violence”. Obviously, the fact that they are both states in control of Liberals make them attractive, too. But, I think the fact that they are both states that already “closed the gun show loophole” , by requiring background checks on all sales, is the true reason. If they can get two states that already have highly restrictive laws to pass even more outrageous legislation, this is a win for them.

The Colorado Legislature has already passed such a measure which will most certainly be signed into law by their Democratic governor. Connecticut’s Democrat controlled General Assembly is likely to do the same. Interestingly, Democrats in both states use the same phrase to describe exceptions proposed by Republicans as “loopholes so big you could drive a truck through”. Coincidentally, all of these people have spent extensive time talking with Joe Biden.

I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe that these talking points have been provided by Biden, at the President”s instruction. Democrats have deliberately lied in these states, falsely claiming that their state laws do not currently require background checks for gun show purchases. Naturally, the media “reports” this without doing any fact checking whatsoever. I have written to various local media outlets asking that they do a report on Connecticut’s current background check laws and/or question the governor about his false statements. Of course, they have not.

This is a deliberate, well organized conspiracy to mislead, misrepresent and lie to the American people about the reason, intent and consequences of laws being pushed by the Obama Administration. There is no reason whatsoever for these laws than to make owning a gun so burdensome that law abiding citizens will give it up or unintentionally commit a “gun crime”  while engaging in ordinary activities with family family and friends or in their own homes. These “universal background check laws” are an immediate danger to any person who owns a gun or lives with a person who owns a gun. Media and Democrats continuing to refer to these bills as related to gun “sales” is a falsehood that makes it sound “reasonable”. I am certain that if any gun owners or NRA members were actually surveyed in the much touted polls that say 90% or more agree with universal background checks, what they were asked is “Do you agree with background checks for gun shows” or “for private sales”.  I have seen no public representation that “universal background checks” means anything more.

I, personally, don’t object to the idea of background checking private SALES. This could be done without registration, although, it is not. At the very least, the background check system should be available to private sellers. I, as a responsible gun owner, would not want to sell a gun to a prohibited person and would take advantage of it, even if not required by law. My husband and I keep all of our transfer records, including an authorization number from the state indicating the background check was passed. This is required here, but good record-keeping is a good practice anyways. I see no reason that the state should also keep the record permanently.

There has been a lot of emphasis on the registration aspect of background checks leading to potential confiscation in the future. Although this is a legitimate argument, I believe the new definition of “transfer” is of more immediate concern. I also find that the gun-grabbers think their argument that confiscation isn’t going to happen is sufficient. Although we know that it is not, using registration/confiscation as our main argument is beating the proverbial dead horse. I don’t think we should stop making this point. I’m just saying there is another to be made.

We need to get them to answer for the lunacy of this proposed redefinition of transfer. Ask Biden if he does a background check and transfers ownership of that shotgun to one of his staff members every time he and his wife leave the house. Ask how many crimes result from people borrowing a shotgun for a hunting trip. How many roommates or fiances have committed crimes with legally owned guns stored at home while the owner is away? Not many I’m betting. Ask how reasonable it is that an unmarried military reservist must transfer ownership of his guns every time he goes to training or deployment. Ask how a gun locked in a safe can go out and commit a crime while its owner is away for a few days.

Malloy’s lies about the “gun show loophole”: http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/lib/malloy/2013.02.21_Gun_Safety_Proposal.pdf

Colorado Background Check Law Passes: Note the “allowing” guns to be loaned up to 72 hours and “immediate family”: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22799034/universal-background-checks-passes-colorado-senate-moves-house

Twitter Updates

%d bloggers like this: