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Background Check Fail

Ruben Bolling
© Ruben Bolling

Good thing he wasn’t shopping for nukes!



  1. Anonymous wrote:

    A little two year old girl killed by her five year old brother who was given a 22 rifle as a gift. “And guns don’t kill”.

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink
  2. PatriotSGT wrote:

    And were the parents charged? While the gun was an instrument, the tragedy is in thinking it’s acceptable to give a 5 yo a weapon and not have it locked up accessable to only the parent. My Eagle Scout oldest son and soon to be Eagle Scout younger son along with my direct supervision taught my 5 yo daughter proper shooting techniques as she plunked targets in the backyard. No wildlife or people were injured, just a few used soda cans. She has no access to the weapon and neither do my sons unless the kill me and drag my dead body to the fingerprint scanner on my gun case. The gun cannot kill anyone without an irresponsible human behind it. How can you leave an uncleared weapon unsecured in a home with small children? In this case it was the parents fault. But we’re too cowardly to charge that crime, lets blame the gun, its easier and less confrontational, but its not responsible the people are.
    I’m tired of being punished because nobody has the courage to do whats really necessary. Charge those responsible, create huge fines for irresponsible behavior. Life sentences for using an unregistered weapon in a crime, mandatory prison for being caught with an unregistered weapon, mandatory non criminal FBI records for people with mental health issues, mandatory background checks. Yes to all, but don’t punish/ tax/ fee me because you don’t want to solve the problem.

    How many people have been killed by drunk or druged (including rx’s) drivers? I don’t have the stats, but I can guarantee you it’s more then were accidently killed by guns. I personally know a guy in my state with 4 DWI’s and he just got his license back, again. Fortunately, he moved out of state and I won’t tell you where he moved so can worry about it.

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  3. Michael wrote:

    Patriotsgt, you and I disagree a lot around here, but I’m almost completely with you on this one (I would not like to see the prison for being caught with an unregistered weapon or the FBI file). Here are fatality stats for 2010 (via and

    11,078 homicides with guns
    19,392 suicides with guns
    606 unintentional gun deaths

    10,228 killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes

    So, yeah, accidental gun deaths and drunk driving don’t even compare.

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink
  4. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Michael, thanks for looking up those stats.
    The other point is how many of those homicides were committed with unregistered guns? The article doesn’t state that and I suppose it’s because if the majority, and I’m guessing that’s the case, are unregistered or illegal guns and current proposals won’t have any effect. They just want to take away all guns. Punishing legal law abiding gun owners won’t change that statistic either. Throwing away the key on those that commit those crimes will. At the very least it will keep repeat offenders off the street for good. I know people don’t like it because of whatever philosophical reasoning’s, but it seems common sense to me.
    Perhaps it’s time to consider federal law for DWI/DUI. according to your article “•In 2010, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics”. How many of them will kill someone while driving. Should they have their priviledge to drive taken away for good. Thats about like anti gun advocates asking for all guns to be taken away. Or how about requiring all drivers to submit to criminal background checks, finger printing, increased fees and taxes because a certain portion of drivers (1.4 million) committed crimes with a vehicle? I don’t hear anyone talking about that either.

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  5. Dave TN wrote:

    PatriotSGT, the one thing Michael left off with his disclosure of stats are the trend. Much has been made of the fact that highway deaths outnumber gun deaths, but if the trend continues to change as it has been gun deaths will outnumber highway deaths in 2016. We all see the handwriting on the wall but fail to do anything about it, all because the fear (and fear is what it is) that they will come and take our guns away. Because of this fear we are not allowed to even propose the smallest amount of common sense legislation before someone starts screaming that it will lead to the loss of our guns. There are tons of restrictions on ownership and use of vehicles and somehow they have not come and taken are cars away. Although a few of the DWIs you spoke of earlier have resulted in the loss of vehicles, they just go buy more and use them without the license. There will always be law breakers but that does not mean we should not try to stop them, as we essentially have done with the use of guns. Can we start here with some “common sense” requirements of requiring a mandatory gun safety course prior to purchase of a gun or will this to cause the mysterious them to come and take our guns away. In regard to throwing away the key at the law breakers they will just break out of prison so why bother, cause to enforce the law will mean a possible lock down of the communities to catch them and this too will only punish the law abiding citizens so maybe we should just close down the prisons too. That will never happen because a large portion of the prison system is privately run and like the NRA they have a powerful lobby and will not allow any change of laws affecting their bottom line.
    Its a shame we can’t have a country run by a majority of the people and make laws as such instead of lobby groups controlling every aspect of our life. I guess people will just keep dying but at least profits are up in select businesses. One would think funeral homes would be doing better, I guess not as long as there are shovels and back roads. Maybe they should get a better lobby.

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Dave, I’m not against common sense laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, but many of the laws they are proposing just go to far. If they scaled them back and say just pushed a universal background check, they’d probably pass. But when they couple them with restricting or making illegal over 150 types of weapons that’s not helping the cause. In my state already had some of the toughest laws, almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit, state backgrounds on non-handgun, non assault weapons and federal backgrounds on hand guns and assault or high capacity types of weapons. The D governor looing at a possible run in 2016 jumped in with the majority D legislature and passed increased fees, licensing regulations and fees, taxes and made it illegal to buy a weapon if your being treated for mental health issues. Ok, but there’s no mandatory reporting by providers for MH issues so its a self report. So what happened (no press on this) a grad student filed the necessary paperwork, waited the required 2 weeks for both a state and federal background to be completed, bought his assault style weapon and handgun and then shot and killed his 2 roommates who were also grad students. Turns out that like the Aurora shooter, he was a diagnosed schizophrenic. The only people being squeezed are again lawful law abiding gun owners. They just don’t seem to want to take the steps to solve the problem. On the gun deaths overtaking car deaths, how many are done with illegal guns and what part of the proposed laws will address and deal with that issue.
    On the cars being taken away your right, but we all pay for the irresponsible in uninsured motorist insurance we have to pay and higher insurance premiums if your area has greater occurrences, so again it’s the law abiding citizen who foots the bill, while the problem goes unresolved.

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  7. Austin 3:16 wrote:

    So what would happen to a parent who let their five year old drive a car ??

    Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 3:13 am | Permalink
  8. ebdoug wrote:


    Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink
  9. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Austin – sadly probably not much.

    Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  10. Michael wrote:

    Dave, you’re right. I didn’t point out trends, because I was specifically answering Patriotsgt’s query about the comparison of accidental gun deaths with drunk driving. Also note that the drunk driving numbers account for 31% of total traffic fatalities. That makes the total traffic fatalities (in 2010) around 33,000, which wasn’t much different than the 31,076 gun fatalities.

    Of course, this ignores one critical issue: intent. Traffic fatalities invariably lack mens rea. For the most part, no one, even if they’re drunk, gets into a car with the intent to cause a fatality. They are accidents. And no one gets into a car to do a Thelma and Louise. (Sure, there are most likely statistical anomalies, but they are just that…anomalies.) So the fairest comparison between traffic and gun deaths is the 33,000 vs. 606.

    The real issue that’s in focus right now is how to address the 11,000 homicides. Will banning certain types of guns make an appreciable impact? What about banning high capacity magazines? Background checks? What about mandatory gun ownership (as some towns have considered)? How about armed guards at every doorway to and inside every public facility? For any of these proposed solutions, how effective will they be and at what cost?

    Here’s the thing: We don’t know. We simply do not have ANY empirical data to draw any objective conclusion from. We don’t have this data because the NRA has successfully lobbied Congress to explicitly ban the NIH and CDC–the two agencies best poised to study this issue–from funding any such research. (What people outside the scientific community don’t understand is that a ban on funding for research IS a ban on the research itself; that’s just the nature of the research field. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous and ludicrous at best.) Until this ban is lifted, everything that we do is just trial and error with no rational basis.

    Ironically, I blame politicians on the left for this ban. In the ’80s and ’90s, people like Feinstein pushed too hard and said too many stupid things. They (honestly) said that their goal was to get rid of all the guns, no exceptions. The politicization of the NRA was a response to this push. However, that doesn’t change the fact that most on the left have now backed away from that stance, while the right has not budged an inch.

    Jon Stewart made a good point when he said this (

    “Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present. We can’t even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually, in reality, happening every year, because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler.”

    Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  11. ebdoug wrote:

    NRA convention this weekend in Texas. Two things: 1) it is a National Rifle Convention, not a National Assault Weapon convention. They need to change their name to support Assault weapons like AK-47s. 2) It would be very hypocritical to call yourself a follower of Christ and be supportive of guns. Perry and Palin certainly don’t get it. If I met them, I would say to them “And what Religion are you? You can’t be a follower of Christ.”

    Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  12. Arthanyel wrote:

    As I have stated repeatedly on other threads, the truly sad reality is that the debate about how to address gun violence is begin held between the extreme right (“unlimited gun rights”) and the extreme left (“no guns allowed”) which means nothing can get implemented.

    The majority of Americans support the Second Amendment rights of law abiding, competent and sane citizens to own civilian weapons. Real military weapons including all fully automatic weapons, are already illegal. And the vast majority of gun owners (over 40 million households) are law abiding, sane and competent.

    And 85% OF THE GUN OWNERS support universal background checks and other common sense steps to address gun violence.

    So lets stop arguing about the size of magazines and start making our representatives implement common sense steps like universal background checks – which will actually HELP.

    Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  13. Michael wrote:

    Just for clarification: There are two versions of AK-47s, just as there are two versions of AR-15s. In both cases, there is a select-fire version, which lets you choose between semi-automatic (must pull the trigger each time) and fully automatic (hold for repeated fire). The select-fire version IS illegal, except for the military. These are called assault rifles.

    The assault weapons ban is a ban on semi-automatic guns that look like assault rifles. Non-select-fire versions (i.e., semi-automatic only) of AK-47s and AR-15s are affected by the ban. However, it is important to note that these are NOT assault rifles, and their firing characteristics aren’t significantly different than other semi-automatic guns that aren’t affected by the ban. For the most part, the purpose of the assault weapons ban is to make guns illegal for looking scary.

    Assault weapons ban proponents are not doing themselves a favor when they conflate the issue by referring to AK-47s without acknowledging this distinction.

    As much as I disagree in this case, Kelly Ayotte has a point when she brings up the possibility of background checks leading to a registry. The history of information technology has one very distinct trend: If it is possible to use some technology in an undesirable way, someone will use it in that way. For instance, the TPM guidelines specifically state that it should not be used for DRM, yet that is its main use in practice. Full body (virtual strip search) scanners at the airport–there have been documented cases of TSOs sending attractive females through them and joking about it. NSA warrantless wiretapping. The list goes on and on. So getting this passed means it is critical that the technology used for the background check cannot report any information about the transaction. Personally, I’m convinced from what I’ve seen that this is the case.

    Of course, that’s assuming we take Sen. Ayotte’s comments at face value. Given the recent history of the GOP, I think that requires a huge leap of faith. I find it more likely that she’s playing along with the “opposition to Obama at all costs” game, and her “privacy concerns” are nothing more than a red herring.

    As for other “common sense” solutions…I go back to my previous comment. Common sense solutions are frequently ineffective or counterproductive. I think the first thing we need to do is get rid of the ban on gun violence research so that we can craft more informed solutions.

    Friday, May 3, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  14. Arthanyel wrote:

    Michael – thank you for the excellent description of the distinction between actual assault rifles (which are illegal) and the civilian versions.

    When I mentioned common sense solutions, I was referring to things that actually can help – like requiring that guns not in active use (and I consider self-defense access active use) should be unloaded and locked. That step alone would significantly reduce accidental shootings, like the 5 year old that just killed a 2 year old. There is NO rational reason that a 5 year old should be able to get their hands on a loaded and unlocked weapon.

    As for the background checks, I personally am not too concerned about a national “gun registry” and I think the arguments against it are overblown. Look at reality. The government cant even pass the most sensible gun violence reduction steps – like allowing research or background checks – so the idea the government could pass a law to “come for our guns” is laughable.

    And even if they could, the majority of people in the armed services and police forces are conservatives, not liberals. Passing a law to “come for our guns” has a greater chance of resulting in a military coup and the GOVERNMENT being shot down than having guns taken away. Not to mention that private gun owners outnumber the armed forces and police by more than 50 to 1 and it would never work.

    So I don’t worry about that, and identifying straw buyers and illegal sellers is a common sense step. It can be accomplished, however by just keeping a registry of THE SELLER of a gun, so that when a weapon is used in a crime and recovered it can be tracked back to where it came from. That doesn’t giver the government a list of who HAS a gun – just who provided it to the criminal.

    Friday, May 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  15. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Arthanyel and Michael – you are both “spot on”.

    We could pass universal backgrounds, and gun safety measures if we just let go of the wanting to ban non-military/police weapons, since real assault weapons are already illegal as you both pointed out.

    Part of me thinks the ban weapons legislators are really secretly just promoting those bills for political reasons to keep constituents happy since they know they wont get passed anyway and keep taking gun lobby money because the lobby knows as well if they go over the top on gun control it won’t get passed. It seems like just a big show that’s scripted and the actors already know how it ends.

    Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  16. Marvel Heroes wrote:

    Your style is really unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

    Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink