The Guardian: The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in [read more]
The NRA changed its position on background checks. Tonight, Anderson Cooper got NRA board member Sandy Froman, to address this during tonight’s town hall.
Transcript of he exchange –
Anderson Cooper: has the NRA changed their position on this? Because Wayne LaPierre is now saying universal background checks don’t work. I saw this testimony he gave in 1999 to the House Judiciary Committee and he said, quote, “We think its reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at gun show. No loopholes for anyone”
Sandy Froman: the answer is yes, the NRA has changed their position. The reason it’s changed their position is because the system doesn’t work. The system is not working now. We have to get that working before we can add any more checks to that system. It’s already overburdened. In Colorado, it takes ten days to do an instant check.
AC: you’re saying if it got working, if the existing laws started to be improved, you might support the imposition?
SF: I don’t know. Let’s get it working. Let’s make sure the 23 states that aren’t reporting the names of people who are mentally ill and have violent tendencies, let’s get them reported into the system.
Has the NRA actually heard us? I have been harping on this issue, as has David Codrea, Kurt Hofmann and others. Is this a case of the NRA actually having some backbone? Are they going to man-up (sorry Sandy) and stick to their guns (and our guns)?
By the way, you have read me say that universal background checks are the way to develop a national gun registry, that a national gun registry (and in fact, all gun control) is the action of a wicked government, and that it is only a pretext for and necessary prerequisite condition for gun confiscations. Want to see a statist say the same thing? (via Mike).
It’s nice that we’re finally talking about gun control. It’s very sad that it took such a terrible tragedy to talk about it, but I’m glad the conversation is happening. I hear a lot about assault weapon and large magazine bans, and whilst I’m supportive of that, it won’t solve the problem. The vast majority of firearm deaths occur with handguns. Only about 5% of people killed by guns are killed by guns which would be banned in any foreseeable AWB.
Furthermore, there seems to be no talk about high powered rifles. What gun nuts don’t want you to know is many target and hunting rifles are chambered in the same round (.223/5.56mm) that Lanza’s assault weapon was. Even more guns are chambered for more powerful rounds, like the .30-06 or (my personal “favorite”) 7.62x54R. Even a .22, the smallest round manufactured on a large scale, can kill easily. In fact, some say the .22 kills more people than any other round out there.
Again, I like that we’re talking about assault weapons, machine guns, and high capacity clips. But it only takes one bullet out of one gun to kill a person. Remember the beltway sniper back in 2002? The one who killed a dozen odd people? Even though he used a bushmaster assault rifle, he only fired one round at a time before moving. He could have used literally any rifle sold in the US for his attacks.
The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.
Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it. The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.