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Absolute Rights

Ruben Bolling
© Ruben Bolling

Just because something is a right, doesn’t mean that it can’t be regulated at all.



  1. Dan Davis wrote:

    A good person with a good gun can do a lot of good.
    A crazy person with a crazy gun can do terrible, terrible things.
    The solution is to find a way to not allow crazy people to have crazy guns.
    The solution is not to allow nobody to have any guns just to make sure the crazy guns don’t end up with the crazy people.
    The solution the NRA puts forward is to allow everyone to have any gun so that the good done by the good people with the good guns is not lost. That is also wrong.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  2. Arthanyel wrote:

    Dan – succinct and completely accurate. Well done!

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    The problem, however, is deciding who is crazy. Would the people who started the American revolution have been considered crazy?

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
  4. ThatGuy wrote:

    IK is right. What constitutes someone being too crazy to own a gun? I would think that legally it would have to be a medically diagnosed condition, right? But then what about people who can be normal, functioning human beings if they are medicated? Do you still prevent them from having firearms on the chance they stop taking their medicine? What about families with potentially dangerous people in them? Should someone in Lanza’s mother’s position be prevented from having firearms or perhaps have extra restrictions on her ownership?

    Then you can get into IK’s line of thinking too. Can you prevent, say, doomsday preppers from having firearms just because they have strange ideas?

    It’s a really, really complex problem, deciding what firearms should be legal and who should be able to own them.

    Arthanyel, I think that letter you wrote to your Congressional rep had the right idea. If I remember correctly, it suggested tracking purchases including ammunition? Then of course there is strengthening mental health institutions and treatment. I think it’d also be good to have a comprehensive system for reporting stolen firearms, perhaps even making it illegal not to report stolen/sold/traded/gifted firearms. Maybe that would fix the straw buyers issue.

    I like what you wrote too, Dan. Out of curiosity, what constitutes a “crazy gun”?

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    I assumed that by “crazy guns” he meant things like true assault weapons (not to mention bazookas, nuclear weapons, etc.)

    I still think a good step would be to make sure all gun purchases require a license, and in order to get a license you need to have no record of serious mental illness and take a training course on how to use your gun. Similar to a driver’s license. You could even have different levels of licenses, so someone wanting to buy a more dangerous kind of gun would have to have special training for that kind of weapon.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I had an idea that might merit discussion as a possible solution. The governemnt can require various things to be insured like cars, boats, houses. What if registered gun owners were required to have a policy insuring aginst accidental, unintended or meaningful unlawful discharge, etc. If the owner had no insurance they could be fined and or jailed. Who better to weed out the high risk owners then our beloved insurance companies. We know they kept tight control on pre existing medical conditions so as to aviod large payouts, lets turn tem loose on the crazies and the crazy guns. Just like cars, the bigger and more powerful the weapon the higher the premium.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
  7. Dave TN wrote:

    Let’s be real, as we speak around this country state governments (mostly in the south as I know) are shuttering the doors of mental institutions and kicking the residents to the curb. This started with Saint Ronnie and the torch is carried on by plenty of republiecans on the state level. In Virginia the Republiecan gov is closing a well run home in Hillsville VA, not so many years after the shooting at Virginia Tech. I can’t say what will become of the property but if I was a bettin’ man I would put money on the odds that a golf course will pop up there before long owned by some buddy of a prominent politician.
    The moral of the story, Republiecans are spouting so much lip service about not touching guns and that mental health services are the solution, because they have NO INTENTION OF DOING ANYTHING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH EITHER.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink
  8. ebdoug wrote:

    My son has a gun. He has no mental conditions. But then he lost his job, sat around the house, went into depression to the point I called his wife to get the gun out of the house. At the time he got the gun, he was all right.
    Now he is back working and all right again.
    A survey was taken in this rural area. 40% said they had no gun and had no intention of getting a gun. Others had guns for hunting, but the highest response have no guns. Much safer that way. My son might have used his.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink
  9. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Dave TN, I hate to tell you but hear in my very blue state they are doing the same thing. There is even a large former MH facility close to where I live that had 100 acres with many many residence halls, treatment and health facilities that was closed down within the last 6 years. It sits vacant and decaying now. My state has only had 1 republican govenor in the last 70 years and we have only 1 republican congressman. We can’t lay all the blame on the republicans for this one.

    Ebdoug – you are a responsible person with understanding of mental illness and did the reasonable thing. Unfortunately, there are many without such wisdom or courage. Great Job!

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  10. Michael wrote:

    “What if registered gun owners were required to have a policy insuring aginst accidental, unintended or meaningful unlawful discharge, etc.” This is a great idea in terms of market ideology. If we view gun ownership as a market, a victim of gun violence (even if accidental) could be construed as an externality (a cost paid by a third party who is not participating in the market). In economic policies, the goal of regulation is to remove the cost of the externality by imposing it on the true market participants. In theory, wonderful idea.

    In practice, there are too many crazy people like my father. He refuses to register his guns, “because then the government knows where to find them when they decide to take them away.” Sigh. This harkens back to the Jon Stewart clip from last night. Because of his imaginary fear of what harm is possible, we can’t do anything about our real harm that is actually happening.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink